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Premium Member
415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First and foremost, we need to recognize and thank Vic, Tuco, DonJ, and Dr Zero, wothout whom this would not be possible. Doc will be a mod here, as soon as he can be "activated"...

Check back here from time to time for updates. I will try and develop a well organized primer/database organized into the 5 BIGGUNS, food, shelter/gear, medical, navigation... PLUS this thread will be for miscellaneous S/P posts that merit saving.

(I am totally geeked about this new room...)


Welcome to the Survival/Preparedness forum!

First of all, what this room is NOT about: conspiracies, militia recruiting, anti-U.S. sentiment, end of the world prophecies, and whatever else the mods think of. Try and keep it clean folks.

What this IS about: product reviews, emergency kits, first aid kits/techniques, food/water gathering, surviving without the comforts of modern society, etc...

I was one of the millions that was left without power in 2002. The first thing I thought of was: I am not prepared for more than a few days... Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we help eachother be prepared to live without the crutch of technology.

There are two basic levels of preparedness, short-term and long-term. Typically, when talking about being prepared for the short-term, we mean two weeks without electricity, heat, party stores, gas stations, ATMs, etc. Some things may still be available, like vehicles, your home, battery power, etc

Long-term preparedness is basically being able to sustain life for you and yours indefinitely without ANY of the comforts of society. The reason it is sometimes necessary to distinguish between short and long-term is because some techniques/equipment are necessary for one, but not the other. For example, short-term survival doesn't require you to hunt big game, but it could make life alot easier if you're surviving for much longer periods.

And of course, ALL these things are up for debate here! One thing is for sure, as society "progresses" the skills that have kept humans alive for centuries are slowly being forgotten, i.e. hunting, farming, foraging, shelter building, self-defense, etc... if the power ever goes out again, we need to know these skills, learn 'em quick, or be a helpless victim. This forum, might possibly save lives...

Premium Member
415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's a great little site with camping tips/tricks to get you started (thanks Protus):

BOB list
(Thanks to Dr. Zero for this great list!)

This list is a collection of BOB contents from around the web there are some duplications and some things might be missing.
It is not inteded to be a universal BOB must have list its just something to get you started and to show what others have said and show where you may be lacking.

The kids part I really like part comes from the west coast from their experience with earthquakes and students at school.

So enjoy!


1 One-Quart Ziploc Bag
1 Chemical Foot Warmer
1 Plastic Hooded Poncho
1 Space Blanket
1 LED flashlight
1 Cyalume Stick
1 Straw
1 Combo Tool that is a Whistle/Compass/Thermometer/Magnifying Glass
1 First Aid Kit (2 wipes, 2 small band-aids, 2 medium band-aids, 2 larger band-aids)
2 Alcohol Prep Pads
1 Ration of Toilet Paper
2 Safety Pins
2 Sticks of Chewing Gum
1 Piece of Hard Candy
2 Six-inch Strips of Duct Tape
1 Six-foot Length of Fluorescent Pink Twine
1 Dollar Bill
Phone Card and/or film cannister filled with quarters
1 Photo ID with emergency phone numbers and family photo on reverse
1 Pencil Box 8” long, 4” wide, 2” deep
2 Rubber Bands

The poncho can be used as a makeshift shelter as well as for its primary use. Using the straw, the Ziploc bag can be inflated and sealed to make a pillow. The Ziploc bag and straw can also be used as a beverage container. Obvious usage: the space blanket, foot warmer (bigger and longer lasting than a hand warmer), cyalume stick, twine, safety pins, money, toilet paper, first aid kit, and duct tape. Since the kits will be in school bags, no fire making equipment or knives are allowed. However, the magnifying glass in the combo tool could conceivably be used to start a fire with increased aid of one of the alcohol prep pads. The alcohol prep pad primary use is to clean skin. The chewing gum and hard candy are “comfort” items as well as the family photo on the reverse of the ID card. The ID cards have emergency numbers, address, and my toll free number for calling family members. The rubber bands help keep the pencil box shut and can be used for amusement (magic tricks or pencil box guitar). The school backpacks also have a small flashlight on them and there is always a trail mix bar inside. Obviously there are pencils, paper, and books in the bag.

two man tent
portable water purifier
need to get a good hatchet, maybe a trenching tool
portable radio
basic first aid/meds/first aid book
birth control (never know when the love bug may bite)
change of clothes, extra socks
sleeping bags
rain gear
light fishing gear
gun cleaning kit
Boy Scout handbook/survival manual
duct tape
a stone for your knife
tons of extra batteries
pack saw
potassium iodate (anti-radiation pills)
gas masks/full bio suits
police/emergancy/weather type scanner
vhf two way radio (marine type) or at least a cb radio
emergancy strobe (marine type) or flares
12 hour light sticks
kaopectate, imodium, or other disentary medicine for the kit.
high spf sun block
garbages bags for trash, toilet (got a bucket?)
potassium iodate
portable stove
high energy food bars
550 para cord/rope (a million uses)
-boonie hats (to protect from the sun; easy to pack)
-large handerchiefs (a million uses)
-SERE cards (you can almost ditch the BSA manual for this)
-polypro underwear (will help keep you comfortable and alive as the temperaturce shifts.
-gloves (sturdy operator gloves will protect your hands from everyday scuffs and nicks; you'd be surprised how bad your hands get dinged in a survival situation)
-emergency space blanket (lightweight and waterproof; will keep you warm and can be used to carry the injured)
-belt canteens or water bladder (your need to carry water is probably greater than you think)
-cigarettes (these aren't for smoking; these are for barter. A pack or two in a hard box is light enough and will be more valuable than what you paid for them in a survival situation)
gas mask
super glue
Bic lighter
Tin foil
P38 can opener
Spare glasses
Disposable razor
Good boots
Web gear
Sleeping bags
Maps of the local area (street and topo)
Seasonal clothing
Comfort items for children
Hard candy
Personal medications
Specific personal needs items
Sewing kit
Surgical kit
Spare clothing
Hand Sanitizer and/or anti-bacterial soap (works well if put in women's knee high stockings, keeps it from getting too goopy)
duct/eletrical tape
leatherman tool
water purification tablets

First Aid Kit:

Alcohol prep pads
Children’s Ibuprofen
Children’s Claritin
Benadryll Capsules (anti-histamine)
Surgical kit
Migraine pills
Children’s/personal medication
Cough drops
Cough suppressant/decongestant
Band Aids
Cold compress
Ace bandage
Bandages of various types
Hand sanitizer
Material for a sling
First aid book
Anti acids
Topical anti biotic
Oral anti biotic
Tinactin (anti fungal)
Cortisone cream (anti itch)
Burn cream/gel/bandages
bee sting kit
Ammonia inhalant
Pen light
Potassium iodate/thyroblock
Super glue
Eye wash solution
Spare glasses/eye glass repair kit
Eye patch
CPR breathing barrier
Diarrhea medication
Nose spray
Skin disinfectant
Ear drops
Splint material
Trauma shears
Anti-constipation medicine
Anti-yeast medication
Activated charcoal
Syrup of Ipecac
Safety pins

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Child’s Name:___________________________________________________________Child’s Birth date:_____/_____/_________Mother’s Name:_______________________________ Phone ( )_________________Father’s Name:________________________________ Phone ( )_________________Emergency Contact:____________________________ Phone ( )_________________Emergency Contact:____________________________ Phone ( )_________________Child’s Allergies:__________________________________________________________Doctor’s Name:_______________________________ Phone ( )__________________

Student Comfort Kit

Please send the following items your child may need in the event of an earthquake or other emergency. Nothing brings comfort to a child like a snack and something special from home. The bag will be stored in your child's classroom and will be passed out if an emergency occurs.

**Please use a gallon size zipper style plastic bag for storage of your child's kit. Please mark the bag with your child's name and room number.

·2 granola bars
·Fruit roll-up or small package of nuts or raisins
·Single serving, non-perishable, securely sealed food item

Items for Warmth:
·Space blanket (available for about $4 from Wal Mart or K-Mart)
·2 leaf/lawn bags--one to sit or lay on, the other for a "raincoat"

Other possible items:
·Letter of comfort (a letter to your child informing them that they will be taken care of until you get to them)
·Family photo
·Small flashlight or penlight and batteries
·Small Toy
·Bottled water or juice (no glass containers please)

Premium Member
415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

01. Package each meal for each member in individual bags.

Breakfast Day 1
Lunch Day 1
Dinner Day 1

This prevents any loss of food for any one person in your party and allows you to keep order in your kits.

02. Pick foods your family will enjoy.

You will find that it is very important that you place foods in this kit that your family will eat regardless. You might plan to place foods in your kits that your family particularly enjoys, but that you don't always serve.

03. Rotate your food.

Most food comes with expiration dates on it. It will be important to rotate your food according to this schedule so that you do not find yourself in an emergency situation with expired food.

04. Place food in your kits that are easy to prepare or ready to eat.

When you need to use this kit, remember you will have in most cases been evacuated from your home either by car or on foot. It will be a stressful time for your family. You may be in a Red Cross Shelter, in a campground or on the road or on the way to relatives homes. You will not have all the luxuries of home. Cooking at best will be difficult. Please keep this in mind as you choose your foods for this 72 emergency survival kit.

05. Don't spend a lot of money.

This is a survival kit. You will want to be comfortable but not extravagant. The food you place in here, due to its convenience, will cost more than you desire to spend, however, you can keep the cost very reasonable.

06. Ideas for Food.

Beef Jerky Saltine Crackers
Corned Beef Hash Soup-for-One
Roast Beef Hash Cheese & Crackers
Beef Stew Oyster Crackers
Chili Dried Beef
Ravioli Fruit Cups
Applesauce Cups Vienna Sausages
Pudding Cups Bread Sticks
Cookies Snack Pack Cereal
Canned Milk Powdered Milk
Fruit Rolls Fun Fruits
Packages of Raisins Packages of Peanuts
Granola Bars Beef Sticks
Box Juices Hot Cocoa Mix
Suckers Hard Candy
Trail Mix Power Bars

This list is just to give you some suggestions for putting together your own kits. As each families taste differ you will need to adjust for your own families taste.

07. Menus - Examples

Breakfast-Day 1 Breakfast-Day 2 Breakfast-Day 3
--------------- --------------- ---------------
Cereal Instant Oatmeal Granola Bar
Powdered Milk Fruit Roll Granola Bar
Fruit Cup Box of Apple Juice Box of Grapefruit Juice
Box of OJ Hot Cocoa/Ice Tea Hot Cocoa/Ice Tea

Lunch-Day 1 Lunch-Day 2 Lunch-Day 3
----------- ----------- -----------
Cup of Soup Beef Jerky Box of OJ
Saltine Crackers Peanuts Cheese & Crackers
Box of Apple Juice Applesauce Cup Fruit Cup
Pudding Cup Box of Grape Juice Granola Bar

Dinner-Day 1 Dinner-Day 2 Dinner-Day 3
------------ ------------ ------------
Corned Beef Hash Chili with Beans Beef Stew
Applesauce Cup Saltine Crackers Bread Sticks
Box of Grape Juice Box of OJ Box of OJ
Granola Bar Tapioca Pudding Cup Fruit Cup


CANNED HEAT (STERNO) - This can be purchased at most sporting goods stores as well as most grocery stores. You will need to store 1 large can per person per day.

BUDDY BURNER - Select a shallow can (tuna, cat food, etc.) and insert coil of corrugated cardboard the height of the can.

Pour melted paraffin to partially fill can. Allow to harden. Birthday candle in center will help light. A lid on the can with a wire handle will help control the heat.

VAGABOND STOVE - Use a number 10 can. Cut opening around the top of the can with a can opener punch. This is to provide a draft for your fire. Then cut an opening at the bottom of the can large enough to fit the Buddy Burner or a small fire. Cook on top.


Lighting Equipment

GAS LANTERN (Coleman, two mantle)

Burning at the rate of 5 hours per day, the following amounts of white gas would be used: Per day - 5/12 quarts; per week - 2 12 quart per month - 3 1/8 gallons; per year - 38 gallons.

KEROSENE LANTERN - (with a 1" wick)

This device will burn 45 hours on 1 quart. (Dietz Lantern Information) burning at the rate of 5 hours per day, the following amount of kerosene would be used: Per day - 1/9 quarts; per week 7/9 quarts; per month 3 1/13 quarts; per year - 10 gallons.

FLASHLIGHT (Two battery)

Batteries used were well-known brands in testing). Continuous running on new batteries - 7 hours. 7 month old batteries, continuous running - 5 hours.

CANDLES (Burning time)

3/4 diameter x 4" tall - 2 hours and 20 minutes
7/8 diameter x 4" tall - 5 hours
2" square x 9" tall - 7 hours per inch or : 4 inches - 28 hours
9 inches - 63 hours

Premium Member
415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Heating or Cooking Equipment


With both burners burning for 4 hours per day, the following amount of white gas would be used: per day - 1 quart; per week - 7 quarts; per month - 7 1/2 gallons; per year - 91 gallons.

CAUTION: DO NOT STORE WHITE GAS, KEROSENE, & SIMILAR FUELS IN THE HOUSE OR WITHIN THE REACH OF CHILDREN. Consult distributors of fuel, or government agencies that would have information on the proper storage of fuels.


What will you do if disaster strikes your neighborhood: a fire, a riot, a flood, a tornado, a hurricane, or an earthquake? The most critical need for help after the disaster is during the first 72 hours, yet community and government assistance will probably not be available during this period.


With a minimum of expense and trouble it is possible to bring together a few basic items which will ease the stress of a difficult situation and may even save you and your families life.

In any form of emergency situation, several things take place: both physical and emotional.

1 - We will all experience emotional shock and a cer-
tain amount of hysteria.

2 - The propensity of accidents increases.

The greatest threat to loss of life are accidents that lead to severe bleeding or other forms of injury or trauma.

If we are not able to address these injuries as effectively as possible, this will greatly increase our own stress and could virtually debilitate some people and prevent them from acting in a sound and rational manner.

We must keep in mind that in the event of a severe disaster, all familiar public services, including medical, will be immediately over-taxed and as a result, will be basically ineffectual to you as an individual, particularly during the first 72 hours.

Assistance Organizations such as the Red Cross, Hospitals, the Military, National Guard, etc., require a certain response time they are looking to you to take care of yourself and your family completely for a period of a few hours up to 72 hours. It takes approximately 72 hours until their operations are in full service.


It is important that you take a comprehensive survey of your own family units needs and insure that you have included any special items that are unique to you. Your needs could be very much different than the suggested lists, only you can decide what you and your families needs are based on your resources and experiences.

Once you have established and gathered together what you feel are necessary requirements for both an Emergency Preparedness Kit and a substantial First Aid Kit; you will need a container that these items will go in.

1- Fishing Tackle Boxes
2- Tool Boxes
3- Sweater Storage Boxes
4- Rubbermaid Tote and Go

The items listed above are ideas for storing your large First Aid Kit.

These boxes need to withstand the rigors of rapid transportation. Please keep in mind that none of the items you gather together are of any value to you if they cannot be brought to the point of need and be in useable condition and render the service that the items were intended for.

1- Rubbermaid Tote and Store
2- Suitcase
3- Footlockers
4- Plastic Garbage Cans
5- Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

The items listed above are ideas for storing your 72 hour emergency kit.

These kits do not have to be complicated! Rather, simple is better than complex, however, the need of quality and durability should be one of the major criteria for any items included.


The Civil Defense Bulletin Reads:

"Water to be stored should be drawn into containers before it is needed. Don't wait until an emergency happens before laying in your supply. When an emergency occurs, it may be to late to act. The public water service may already be interrupted or contaminated. Also, if thousands of households are trying to fill water containers at the same time, they would reduce the pressure in the street mains. This would make fire fighting more difficult. Waiting until something happens before you draw and store the water you need could cost you your home or even your life."

Be Careful About Rain Water -

Rain water that has been collected should be treated the same as any other unknown water source. Rain water contains small particulates and acid.

Good Methods of Storing Water -

Store Bottled Water - may be stored up to six months with no detrimental effect or rotation required.

Store Water in Old Bleach Bottles - Rotate every 7 to 9 months. No not rinse the Plastic Chlorox Bottles before filling with water. You should not get ill from drinking this water as the residue left in the bottle is probably just the right amount of chlorine to protect the water.

Purchase five gallon water containers from a camping supply store or Army Surplus store. Keep in mind, however that you will need to transport this and possibly on foot so consider the weight involved if you choose this method. Water weighs approximately 14-15 pounds per gallon.

Water Purification Methods -

Boiling- Most water can be purified for drinking purposes by boiling it for 10 minutes. This will destroy the bacteria. In order to im-
prove the taste it will be necessary to aerate it after boiling. This is accomplished by pouring it from one container to another several times. This should be done after the water has been allowed to cool.

Chlorination- You can use any commercially available bleach solution. It should contain 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite. Add the following to a clean container in which when the water is added. It can be thoroughly mixed by stirring or shaking.

4 drops per gallon
20 drops = 1/4 tsp or
enough to purify 5 gallons.

After adding the proper dosage and stirring, allow the water to stand for 30 minutes. It should then have a distinct odor of chlorine.
If this odor is not present, add another dose of the solution and let stand for another 15 minutes.

The taste or smell or chlorine in water as treated in this manner is a sign of safety. It is not harmful. On the contrary, if you
cannot detect chlorine in water you are trying to purify by this method, do not drink it.

Purification Tablets -

Tablets that release iodine may be used safely to purify drinking water. These tablets can be found at most drug stores and sporting
goods stores. The names vary but it is generically known as halazone tablets. Follow the directions on the package. Usually one tablet is sufficient for one quart of water. The dosage is doubled
for cloudy water.

Iodine - Ordinary Household Iodine may be used to purify small quantities of water. Add 2-3 drops of Tincture Of Iodine to each quart of clear water (8-10 for cloudy water). Mix and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Other purification methods may be recommended by the proper authorities if special conditions arise. In such cases follow the instructions of your local government or authorities.

It is suggested that each member of your household have a minimum of 1.5 gallons of water per day. This is including infants (nursing mothers will need more). It is suggested then, that you store 4.5 gallons per member of your family for your 72 hour supply.

Premium Member
415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

I know that most of you do not want to consider the possibility of having to leave your home and then rough it even to the point of having to be responsible for the dispose of your wastes, however, the possibility exists and the following will help you to take care of this unpleasant task in the proper and safest manner.

You will need 12 to 18 large brown paper bags for each person for each day. This allows the use of 4 to 6 bags each time for 3 times per day.

You will place the bags 4 to 6 thick (one inside the other).

Spray Disinfectant

Newspapers and Toilet Tissue


Pointed Shovel

The bags are called soil bags. Paper is preferable to plastic because of their biodegradable properties. You will place these bags one inside the other and spray with a disinfectant. Then fold up 2 sheets of newspaper and place in the bottom of the bag. Place this bag in the hole that you will use.

After use pour 1/4 cup bleach into bag or douse with lysol thentie the bag shut with a piece of twine and spray the bag with insecticide. If you are moving on, dig a hose 30 to 36 six inches deep and bury the bag. Make sure that you cover it well with dirt and then stomp on the dirt to make sure that there isn't any air-gaps in the hole.

If you have made camp and will be staying you can place all the soil bags in a large plastic bag with a tie on it and place it in a large trash can that is not being used for garbage. Then at the end of the day, all the paper bags can be buried at one time.


INSTRUCTION MANUALS ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS - This is a start. It can be reviewed with family members. Further information is available to you at your local library.

BATTERY POWERED RADIO - Local stations and the Emergency Broadcast System will be the only source of reliable information during an emergency.

If the radio is a permanent addition to your 72 hour kit it should be checked regularly to make sure both it and the batteries are in working order.

FLASHLIGHT - These should be stored outside of the radio and flashlight. The shelf life can be extended if the batteries are kept in the refrigerator or freezer.

FAMILY RECORDS AND VALUABLES - Birth Certificates, Naturalization Papers, and Diplomas, Insurance Certificates, Genealogy Information, Computer Disks, Passports, etc.

ITEMS FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT - After the initial response to an emergency, the disrupted life style and disorientation can cause undo emotional stress and feeling of insecurity. Items that are emotionally reassuring should be included in the emergency kit.

These can include crayons, coloring books, story books, puzzles, soft small toys for children. Personal items for adults should be included such as books, handiwork, musical instrument, or sports equipment.

PLASTIC BAGS AND TIES - These items can serve as garbage containers, ground cloths, tents, wash basins, broken window cover, and substitute rain coat.

DISINFECTANT - Bleach, lysol, betadine can be used to treat sewage, waste water, and refuse to minimize infection. Storage containers for these items must be unbreakable.

IMPROVISED TOILET - Pack a pointed shovel, and a plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid. Pack 12 to 18 paper bags per person per day. Sanitation is the most important consideration. Remember to also pack the toilet tissue.

PAPER CUPS, PLATES, BOWLS and DISPOSABLE UTENSILS - This will help you to conserve water and at the same time minimize contamination problems.


SOAP - Liquid soap (soft soap or pump ivory) works best when water supplies are limited.




TOILETRIES - Although these are not necessary for survival they will contribute to a sense of well-being and comfort. Toothbrush and toothpaste, comb and hair brush, washcloth and towel, deodorant, shaving supplies and mirror, shampoo and mouthwash.

FIRST AID KIT - It is assumed that major medical needs will be taken care of by community resources. The community has a plan which will deploy paramedics, fire departments, police, and other medical personnel as needed to areas where major injuries have occurred.

The purpose, therefore, of the items included in the family First Aid Kit is to treat minor injuries so that they do not become a major threat to health during the first few days of an emergency.

WATER STORAGE - General Water Storage is 1.5 gallons per person
per day.

SLEEPING BAGS and BEDROLLS - Wool blankets resist fire, they warm
even when wet and they are less bulky than sleeping bags. There
must be adequate and appropriate sleeping cover for every member
of the family.


CAN OPENER - A manual type must be packed with any canned goods.

UTILITY KNIFE - A sharp versatile knife will come in handy for
many purposes.

ADJUSTABLE WRENCH - This must be kept handy to gas and water lines. Each member of the family should be trained how to turn off gas or water in the event of an emergency. Turning off water not only prevents damage to one's home, but also provides increased water pressure for community use.

Water trapped in the hot water tank and indoor plumbing will stay clean once the main water valve is turned off.


MISCELLANEOUS - Small Ax, Heavy Gloves, and MATCHES stores in a
waterproof unbreakable container.


In the case of most emergency's there will be little if no communication over telephone lines.

It is imperative that all members of your family learn to send morse code SOS. This is the universal sign for HELP.

It can be sent many ways, by signal mirror, lantern, key and whistle.

It is very simple, however, care must be taken to insure that each member knows how to send it and receive it. You must practice this skill if you are to retain it.

S (dit dit dit)
O (dah dah dah)
S (dit dit dit)

Dits are very short blasts of light or sound. Dahs are longer (3x that of dits) of light or sound.


Store these items in water proof containers. A plastic bucket is ideal for this. Make it accessible to your emergency kits.

Suggested Items:

01. Scriptures
02. Books & Magazines
03. Paper, Coloring Books, and Activity Books
04. Felt Tip Markers, Colored Pencils, Scissors
05. Games
06. Small toys
07. Any Hard Candy
08. Children's Vitamins, Pain-Reliever, Cold Remedies, Band Aids, and First-Aid Cream
09. Creative Game List
10. String
11. Clothespins
12. Feather
13. Straws
14. Wooden Blocks
15. Marbles
16. Metal Washers


This is a list of games that children can play out of everyday items.

Clothespins -
01. Drop in a bottle
02. Pitch at a target
03. Clothesline relay

Wooden Blocks -
01. Print letters on cubes. Roll cubes to spell words.
First one to complete 10 words wins.

Marbles -
01. Roll them at a target
02. Toss them in a box
03. Old Fashioned Marble Game

Metal Washers -
01. Toss them into numbered cups.

Paper Cups -
01. Tossing Games
02. Blowing Relay
03. Telephone

Paper Plates -
01. Toss through a wire coat hanger

Straws -
01. Marble Blow Relay
02. Bean Relay

Spoons -
01. Carry Ball
02. Flip Beans at target
03. Carry Cotton Balls

Feathers -
01. Feather Volleyball: blow feather over string or net
02. Toss them at a target
03. Blow them over the line relay

Premium Member
415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good info from Dr. Zero...

A recent thread in misc.consumers.frugal-living got me thinking about things that can be purchased now for very little money which would prove invaluable for use/trading after TEOTEAWKI.

This is one of those catagories that could be unlimited. I try to build up a supply based on what is difficult to make myself.
I have a different method. Every month I alocate $20 to my stash. I ususally add a package of 10 sewing machine needles for $2.
It is the kind of thing that will be useful and nearly impossible to make on a home basis.

I usually add a brick of 22's each month. I watch at garage sales for combat/ work/ hiking boots for a couple bucks a pair.
The boots get a good coating of neatsfoot oil before going in sealed bags. I also watch for gloves, it's hard to make good ones.
Shirts and pants are not nearly as difficult as gloves. Cold weather gear is more essential than summer items. Work clothes, jeans and flannel shirts, are better than bright colored.
I watch for old radios with short wave bands for a couple bucks. I figure after TEOTEAWKI more time and labor will be spent supplying your own needs rather than buying items.
This means tools are essential and watch for shovels, hoes,buckets, etc.

Heat will be a wood stove most likely so add a buck saw for when the gas for the chainsaw runs out.
I was buying some steel the other day and in the dumpster at the steel place was a band saw blade from one of their saws.
I added it to my purchase and cut it into 5 - 30 inch sections with a chop saw. The teeth are large enough to make some buck saws.
I watch for Schwinn bikes and have a dozen in the rafters of the garage. I buy them for $5 max that may need a tire or a cable.
If you do not frequent garage sales and free markets watch for police auctions.

They usually sell dozens of recovered but unclaimed bikes. I bought a group of 5 for $10 once. By having a bunch of the same type, the parts interchange.

I have extra inner tubes in ammo cans and patching kits. Buy spare tires and tubes in the fall when they are on sale.
I buy backets of vegetable seeds in the late summer when they are closed out at 5 cents each. I put them in a glass jar with a dessicant. Store in cool and dark. The viability may drop over the years but some will work. I can fit a lot in a gallon glass jar and 100 packets were only $5, some for me, some to trade.
I watch for sewing machines. I will pay up to $5 for a Singer,White or Brother brands are good too. I especially like old straight stitch singers. They are strong enough to sew leather.
Canning jars are great. They don't deteriorate unless you smash them and you can put small stuff like your needels, thread, zippo lighters, fish hooks in them until you need em.

If you think that your family would need one 2 jars of food per day then you need at least 700 jars. The latest issue of Backwoodsman has an article on building a vacuum packer that works with the jars. Handy for packing grain and rice. I pick them up at $1 a dozen at garage sales frequently.

I have a big box of candles. I watch for the big 3 inch ones that often have maybe an inch burned off and sell for a nickle or quarter. You can buy candle wick at craft stores if you feel like melting them down or use them as is. Crock pot works good for melting wax. Candle making kits with molds are good and cheap too.

In the miscellanious pile I have slightly less practical stuff that may turn out to be needed at the time. I wouldn't grab it if I was forced to run but it was all picked up for next to nothing. I have things like a hand cranked ice cream maker, ice skates, decks of cards, board games, checkers and dice.

I have some future activities planned for recreation and spare time, or when the blizzard has you pinned inside. Like a juggling book and balls. Don't forget to add a few musical instruments or a harmonica.
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