Survival Survey: What is your #1 stock-up item?

image by Muffet

If you knew that world as we know it ends in thirty days, what item would you stock up on so that you would never run out?  Assume that you have both the space and capability for storage.

I would absolutely HATE not having ice.  This probably has something to do with the fact that I live in a desert.  I would stock up on at least ten years worth of ice!

How about you?  What’s the one, single item that you couldn’t live without?


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  1. amber says

    Insulin! So my husband could live longer. That is assuming that it would still be good, longer than 10 years. Which it wouldn't. Sigh!

    • mere says

      there are a lot of very interesting articles on the web about changing diets to eliminate the need for insulin, even in type 1 diabetes. Might be worth having a look at? Same goes for other illnesses that need long term medication

      • mommyoffive says

        His Pancreas is nonfunctioning and sadly almost every food has sugar in it or turns to sugar. If you don't have a working pancreas, you will ALWAYS need insulin and he will continure to need sugar as well. It's a crazy balance.

  2. Liz Long says

    LOL. Black Cohosh. I'm not a reasonable or nice person without it. Ten years should be about right to get through most of my need for it. :-)

  3. says

    Butter! I used obscene amounts of butter to cook with, and it goes a long towards making otherwise unimpressive or lackluster meals palatable.

    • mere says

      apparently you can store ghee for long periods without refrigeration – some say indefinitely. Easy to make! I'm making it to store at the moment as butter is on my list of "don't want to be without"!

      • TheSurvivalMom says

        The butter powder I use reconstitutes and is decent as a spread but does not melt. Canned butter is the best option if you want butter than will melt, and when I make quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches, nothing less than real butter will do!

    • says

      Do you recall that commercial where this family cooks with butter? A lot of butter… they were called the buttertons.
      They showed a cartoon graphic of the family sitting at the dinner table with mom serving them..and everthing on the plate had a full stick of butter sticking out of it. Everytime I see that commercial I laught..cause I use obscene amounts of butter too.

  4. Lyndee says

    Lotion … lots of manual work and arid climate are bound to chap and chafe – a little conditioning lotion would be a comforting luxury!

  5. says

    Oooh… toilet paper, that's a good one. OTC meds maybe. Definitely there would be a minimal stockpiling of Dr. Pepper for my husband and Diet Coke for me!

  6. melcloud says

    Yes! I agree with you. Ice is nice…and would suffice. I live in the desert too and can relate.

  7. alicia says

    Books! Novels, poetry, inspiriational, do-it-yourself, history, basic educational ones, anything that would entertain or inform. And a 20 year supply of the prescription I have to take.

    • mere says

      A friend changed the diet of her kids and the bi-polar episodes reduced dramatically – there's lots of information out there on the net about it.

    • Liz Long says

      Good luck with that. We have friends with a daughter who is extremely schizophrenic (VERY psychotic, even on high doses of medications) and a son who is mildly autistic. And the dad is bipolar. (The mom is struggling with depression, but wouldn't you be with all that on your plate?) So, as much as I hope that the other suggestion that diet can help does something, I understand that some people, including kids, can not manage without their medications.

      So, good luck now and if SHTF.

  8. Tricia says

    CHEESE! Sliced, block, shredded, cream, Swiss, cheddar, Monterrey, Colby/Jack, etc.
    Cheese and sour cream are parts of almost every meal.

    • Anna says

      I make my own soap, 1 for laundry base 2 for body. I have no less than 100 lbs of each which is about 20+years worth, it's cheaper to make and since I use my own soap for the Boraxwashing soda laundry recipe, I only use 1 tbsp per large load and now have 3000 loads worth stored up in 4 gallon buckets. SO HURRAY on the vote for soap.. I second!! when your butt is itchy from being dirty, no amount of chocolate or coffe will cheer you…

  9. GoneWithTheWind says

    Being bi-polar in our modern world is difficult. Being bi-polar in a post-modern world (After TSHTF) may be a good thing or at least not nearly as bad as it is today. Almost every really great artist was bi-polar and many great leaders were as well. It is really our homogenized modern society that creates the big problem for bi-polar people.

  10. Carl W. Livingston says

    Common, people!!!

    Water, food and shelter should be your first concerns. Once those are secured, adaquate clothing and methods of self-defense should be of high consideration.

    A good plan might be to secure enough food to last about three years and enough Heirloom seed to ensure you can get to a point where you can produce crops indefinitely. The three year supply of food will enable you to get a good start at producing crops. Water will be of great concern. Not only will you need water to drink, cook with and bath, you will need plenty of water to grow those crops.

    You will need snares, trout lines and other implements that guarantee a sustainable source of meat proteins. A fishing pole and rifle simply won’t do because you simply aren’t skilled enough, or lucky enough, to ensure you will take what you need to feed yourself and family – each & every day – with the socially accepted methods. Question… Why is it, do you think, that trout lines and snares are illegal in most states – BECAUSE THEY ARE SO EFFECTIVE!

    • LizLong says

      This is an entire website devoted to preparedness. When I answered, it was assuming that the basics were already covered and this was about a non-essential (technically) item that the responder loves and would miss HUGELY, or something they need that is difficult to include for some reason. Water, food, shelter, clothing, general hygiene, cooking methods, food storage, heirloom seeds – these are all regular discussion items.

      Also, it's a site for moms. Things like textbooks to make sure the kids are still learning something, writing implements and a surface (paper / pencil, chalk / board, dry erase / white board, whatever) are also important to many on here. Having board games, buying child sized work gloves and tools, and the best ways to deal with female issues of all sorts are also concerns.

      I understand your point, but I think it's a bit disrespectful to think the other posters have not considered the basics already, given the rest of this site.

  11. says

    Fuel here. We run a small farm and without it we cannot grow nearly enough. Well runs on the solar and a generator and the tractor needs it to run… So fuel is definately top on my list!

  12. Casey says

    Water, water, water! Then reading glasses… and a stack of good novels. And a mealworm colony… yummy! (Hey, I'm not kidding. My first 1,000 worms arrived in the mail.)

  13. says

    Water, we have city water. Can't seem to get hubby to get the barrels or drill a well or get gutters for our house. I have the food and meds, tp and cleaners and personal hygiene covered.

  14. Ashton says

    Coffee or liquid caffeine like 5150 energy juice. I can't live without caffeine. Or allergy medicine for my dog. She would be beyond miserable without allergy meds.

  15. says

    Regular Bleach is a good one. It can be used to sanitize all kinds of things including WATER. Ammunition is another. Yes, I do know how to use firearms. Spices. Many a bland food can be made palatable with the right spice. Dried spices don't go bad, they just get less potent with age…but still use-able.
    Prescription Meds. Vitamins.

    Survival Common Sense…..we're gonna need it!

    • MarlenaEdmonson says

      I think Toilet paper and vinegar and paper towels and a sink that works outside….if we lose electric we can still hand wash our clothes……

    • traumamamma says

      Yay for canning jars!!! Not only do I can food with them, but I also can water in my empty jars. When I run out of jars and need some to can with, I open the water jars, store the water in a nice big pitcher and reuse the jar for food. I never have an empty jar hanging around. Back to the subject, my #1 priority is to store water. We need water to cook with, wash with, drink, water my veggies, water my chickens, to clean up with, etc. I have water jugs hidden all over my house. My husband just realized that I had a 55 gallon drum of water behind my fridge! Forgot to tell him it was there…out of sight, out of mind, but none the less available in an emergency. Almost any container that had fluids purchased in it can be recycled to hold water. That is, however, milk cartons that contain micro bits of fats and proteins that may not be completely removed by washing, and can hide in the tiny pockets of the container make unacceptable storage containers.. My favorite is gallon orange juice jugs. They fit flat under the bed if laid on their side. Just make sure to completely top off the container with water before capping. If you have an aireator on your faucet, be sure to check your containers in a few days to open and refill, as the air in the water rises to the surface and leaves a gapl refill the gap again to the tippy top and your water will last forever! Close very tightly.!

      • says

        How do you sanitze the orange juice jug?? Do you wash with dishsoap or just rinse out with hot water?
        When you put stuff in the canning jars do you have to cook it to sterilize. I remember my grandmother used to do this when I was young but have forgotten the procedure…..

        • traumamamma says

          I just wash the jug with hot water and antibacterial dish soap. I rinse several times with hot water, then several times with cold water. I fill the jug to the top, lightly cap and allow to sit on the counter for a few hours. You will notice tiny bubbles collecting on the sides of the jug. At that point, I remove the cap, put my hand over the top of the jug and spank the sides of the jug and watch to see that all the little bubbles have risen to the top. When I no longer see any bubbles, I top off the jug with water that has also been “airing out” to the point of making a “water tension hump” on the top of the jug. At that point, I replace the cap and firmly screw down. There may be a drop or two of water running down the sides of the jug. This tells me that there is no longer any air in the jug. Then I put a wrap of duct tape around the lid, squeezing the tape into all the little dents in the lid and the jug. It is then nearly anaerobic water, making it difficult for bacteria to grow. Place the jug in a dark place. There you go!

          • flutterbye says

            was wondering if when you pack your water in the juice bottles–just clean tap water and do you add a tsp. of bleach or anything? How long do you suppose those bottles will keep? The ‘store-bought’ ones say about 2 years….though I am not sure that is accurate. Isnt water–water?
            Thanks this is a great site!!

            BTW–couple of my ‘musts’ in my cupboard are white vinegar–cleans & kills germs, and organic apple cider vinegar and raw honey for medicinal uses. Also Vodka–I dont drink, but it can be used on skin/disinfectant for surfaces also, and worst case “medicinally” for pain/sleep.

        • traumamamma says

          As far as the canning jars go, I have a pot of simmering water for the jars when I am canning food. I keep them in the water for at least 15 minutes. I also make sure to use simmering lids. You can also use your dishwasher for the jars if it has a high heat cycle and if you are fast at your canning skills. Unless you are raw pack pressure canning, your jars must be hot and sterile.. When I am canning water in my empty jars, I just wash the jars and use hot lids to seal in the water. I can water for 15 minutes waterbath. I often do small batch canning, so I need “filler” jars in my pot. Perfect opportunity to can a jar or two of water.

        • Ted Hunt says

          Water has been around for approx. 4,5 billion years. Yep its the same water that ran through dino’s. So the real question is , how clean is the water your storing?
          Most bottled water is just tap water from a different city. So who knows?
          But if its bottled , it has been cleared by the government in that city/state and has a exp date of about 2 years. Should say on the bottle.
          If you want to store water indefinately, read the label, is it tap? (artesian,reservoir etc) or is it distilled?
          distilled has removed pretty much all impurities and germs and can be stored for decades (if the container is capable).
          Do not use de-ionized water, its too pure. It’s a great cleaner because water has a tendency to absorb gases (as it falls through the air) and minerals (as it soaks into the ground). You need these things in your body. De ionized water will absorb the gases and minerals in your body, and you will go the way of the dinosaurs.
          So if your water supply is reasonably inspected and you cant see floaties or smell it. It should keep for a few years in a really clean container. Like others have said here, water purification tablets are like .30 per gallon if you want to make sure about germs ( get them on ebay) , bleach is way cheaper.
          Dont be afraid of your water supply, unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated. In a natural disaster , you have reason to believe. So store it ahead of time.

          I am a snack and soda vendor , i have read quite extensively on bottled water.

          • GA Girl says

            The only thing about distilled water is that all the minerals have been taken out and our bodies need them. It is ok for a short time if you need water, but not long term.

          • Josh says

            Any idea how long the five gallon jugs from companies like Deer Park would be good for? There is a small amount of air up near the cap. I have these set aside for long term storage. I plan on running them through the Berkey if need be.

        • traumamamma says

          To grow bacteria in water, you need air and light, and by removing the air and storing in the dark, there is very little chance for the water to allow bacteria to grow. If you question your particular water in your area, you can always boil the water for 10 minutes, then cool and store. I have mountain water, and I have been able to store for 7 years now without worry. You can, as with all stored items, rotate your stock if you are concerned.

      • Jillian says

        Not sure why I didn’t think about it but I have gallon size canning jars not in use, couldn’t I hot pack water and seal in a water bath just like tomatoes and such? Being processed they would be unlimited on time as long as well sealed right?
        Thanks for help….

  16. woodslady says

    Toilet Paper?? The Third World has none and they survive pretty well… To really get into the survival mindset you have to think beyond what you're accustomed to. The best thing to have is God, and next the brains He gave to figure out how to use what's around you.

    • Liz Long says

      Um, actually a lot of them die from diseases transmitted by poor hygiene. TP won't solve that, but it sure don't hurt.

      • traumamamma says

        I have a Dutch “mom” that has never used toilet paper…she washes each time she urinates or has a bowel movement…that may be difficult if water is at a premium….baby wipes are a good alternative, and, if washing off is not an option, it will keep your skin lubricated and protected against bacterial infection.

    • traumamamma says

      Absolutely God first, then perhaps a huge stack of old telephone books…makes excellent toilet paper and paper for canning bacon with. (for t.p.,just crumble into a wad first to soften the paper. The ink is sterile, and the paper is compost able. Toilet paper from the store just takes up so much storage space. We (my daughters and I) have begun making fabric kotex, cotton crocheted tampons, and flannel “nappies’ for the babies. I am working on a plan for reusable adult diapers. We can also use flannel squares as toilet paper if in dire straights. Anybody remember “diaper pails”? Same concept with the squares.

      • lee says

        don’t think I an go as far as you are but I am definately trying to NOT buy things like paper towels or paper napkins anymore….cloth napkins and towels and wash cloths are better anyway….

        • says

          Lee, I’m not big on everyday use of paper towels myself, but do keep in mind that in a crisis, water may be at a premium. Therefore, laundering wash cloths, cloth napkins and the like may not be as easy as it is today. I’ve stocked up a bit on paper towels and paper plates for that reason.

          • GMC3MOM says

            …and to that point, if you are using paper goods that are as eco friendly as possible, when you are done with them you can toss them into your fire/fire pit/stove. Just make sure you get the most eco friendly as possible.

          • Josh says

            I’ve been paying attention to how much water I use everyday just doing dishes. It is a lot. I bought a huge stack of very cheap paper thin paper plates. I will put these on top my real plates as a liner to keep the plate clean. Then I will burn the dirty paper plate and reshelf the good plate. The cheap paper plates can be bought from the bulk stores for very cheap.

      • traumamamma says

        Since my last post regarding home made napkins and tampons, I have discovered sea sponge tampons. Highly absorbent, completely natural, and very easy to rinse out. It is your body and your body fluids, after all. I still amazes me after all my years in the ER that people still find their own body and body fluids offensive. Ever hear the term, “On the rag”? There was a reason for that. Tampons are a relatively new creation.

    • Patty says

      Yes, we can do without tp but it makes a great barter item and some people will give an arm and a leg for it! Always good to have extra.:)

    • Ted Hunt says

      Your very true in what you say. Tp is probably not top priority in an emergency, but its a good idea. The third world countries you talk about? One of their worse killers is disentary from germs, try wiping for 6 months with no paper , no running water to clean your hands and no clothes washing machine or electricity. Its why they get sick and die more often than we do. Shorter life expectancy. Then washing their bodies in the city water supply extends the germs to everyone else.
      so yes consider cleanliness and personal hygeine in your survival kit.
      In long term survival , cleanliness and health confidence can help boost your spirits.
      After WW2 things like soap and personal hygeine became very valuable commodities during recovery, disentary and disease are always the biggest killers in disasters.

    • BVM says

      Yes! Toilet paper!
      I had almost forgotten myself. Thank you, ‘Woodslady’. I always keep a large amount of toilet paper in the house and a roll of expensive paper towels in the car(soft AND durable, bottoms up!). WSHTF, my family and I are gonna go ahead and skip using leaves, or going all Demolition Man(“He doesn’t know how to use the three seashells!”) and wipe as God intended, using a man-made, disposable paper-product which we have been storing up for some time.

    • says

      I remember reading about some white folks who lived in Southwest Africa. One of them said to survive they need Gold, God, Guns, and Groceries.

  17. Purple Prepper says

    I have looked into a lot of skills. I could make plenty of things with other stuff around. I would stock pile soap, just regular old soap. It can be a dangerous process to make it and I don't really want to mess with that.

    • Donna says

      I read your comment about soap.
      I don’t use lye in my soaps. Sounds bad to me, lol.
      So i go to hobby lobby or michaels and buy glycerine and essential oils I like . You can also buy goat milk, shea butter, and olive oil cakes to add to your soaps there too if you wish.
      I use my microwave to melt it down, for 30 seconds each time till melted. You add the essential oils last.
      let me know how it goes.
      Donna S.

      • AnnaInOhio says


        I’m new here but couldn’t help chiming in on your comment about not using lye in your soaps. All soaps whether it’s liquid, glycerin, or any other form .. they all have Lye. Look in the ingredient label, it will usually say Caustic Soda another word for lye. Some soap companies don’t put the ingredients on their label but if you call and ask, they are required to tell you. You can not make soap without lye. I am a professional soap and candle maker for the past 13 years, I do this for a living.

    • diannamarsolek says

      soap is no more dangerous to make than cooking dinner if you a carefulle but lye soap will KILL allot of stuff that other soaps will not i live primitive and have lived in mexico and on the boarder good strong lye soap has saved my family and me so much pain also you can make it with wood ashes so the lye dont have to be strong you can dang neer drink some of the lye i use for the liter soaps if i wer you i would look into it

      • AnnaInOhio says

        Umm.. don’t drink lye, it will kill you. No matter how watered down it is. And be careful of getting it on your skin, even one or two crystals that come into contact with your skin will burn your skin as it mixes with your bodies oils, ask me how I know! Always take precautions when using lye. goggles, gloves, face mask, covered shoes and long sleeves. I have seen some very painful accidents using lye, one involved a baby who pulled a bottle of water/lye solution off a counter, poor guy it went down his diaper and on his chest.

        Respect it for what it is though and it’s a wonderful tool. Not only can you make soap with it, but if you have to use the bathroom outside, it is great for breaking down human poo.


  18. LastGoRound says

    The posted comments indicate to me that about 9 out of every 10 of the responders think this is a joke. Sadly, they will be dead within a week of a TEOTWAWKI situation. By the time they realize the ATMs and their debit cards aren't working anymore, that they wouldn't do any good anyway because the grocery stores are being looted, the power just went off, that the nearby urban area is riot torn and going up in flames, and that their vehicle's gas tank is reading 'E', it will be way too late.

    • says

      Really? 9 out of 10 responders here probably already have water, food, hygiene, first aid, and all the other basic TEOTWAWKI needs covered and are answering with their #1 LUXURY item to have. Yes, prepping is generally a serious topic with serious concerns behind it. But that doesn't mean you can't LIGHTEN UP and have a just for fun topic every now and then!

      The people who "will be dead within a week" aren't hanging out on this board. The ones on this board will be home cooking a tasty meal on their sun oven and making sure their defensive perimeter is fine, and checking to make sure the solar panels are aligned correctly.

      • LastGoRound says

        One can certainly hope so, and hope that the Red Bull, Viagra, and Chocolate answers are just that – people being very unserious about a very serious subject. Given the current events occurring almost globally, you could very literally go to bed one night and wake up to a whole different world the next morning. Be prepared…

        • TheSurvivalMom says

          Stick around and read through the hundreds of blog posts and comments, and I think you\’ll find a group of people pretty well focused on what it takes to be prepared.

          • Ted Hunt says

            This is a great site.
            Yes we should be very serious in planning for after SHTF. But its a good idea to give thought to after that. Even soldiers carry chocolate and gum to give out to new orphans in war torn countries. A little niceness, a little reminder of good times. Thats why the movies industry boomed during the depression, a cheap way to forget the situation for an hour or so.
            And yep luxuries will gain in price as the currency is used up as Toilet paper. Nylon stockings , cigarettes or aged liquor would by you just about anything under the sun.

          • kirsten h says

            dont knock chocolate as a survival item.
            speaking as a member of a military medical family, and a vet myself…as well as having been both fairly wealthy and very poor (for the usa)…
            1. calories. Chocolate packs a LOT of calories in one small bar
            2. long term storage . if properly sealed….some of those bars will still be good when my grand kids are old and grey, ok they may not taste as good, but they KEEP.
            3. trade value (i believe this has been stated)
            4. medicinal value. chocolate, no joke, has anti depressant value. theobromine is a proven mood lifter, and that can be critical in bad times.
            5. making foods palatable. you need your kids to drink the powdered milk? you want to make cookies with your oatmeal and flour? chocolate is part of the unsung arsenal of “make it taste good”. right up there with hot sauce. (chocolate covered jalepenos are actually a thing, who knew?)

            while its down several places on my list of “stuff i need”i do happen to have several forms of shelf stable chocolate, bars… powder… etc in my pantry.

        • LizLong says

          Truthfully, if you're having to sit up and guard your house all night or force yourself to stay awake an extra couple hours to make it to your bug out location, some Red Bull might not seem like such a luxury. And chocolate is always good to barter. My stash of Hershey's Special Dark Syrup probably seems silly to you, but if I have to get my kids to drink powdered milk to get some calcium, well, that just might make a world of difference. As in so many things in life, a lot of it is in how you look at it.

          But I gotta admit, the Viagra would just plain be a luxury! Not a practical purpose for that one. 😉

          • lee says

            okay so I’ve got the cans of beans, dry beans, the rice, the pasta, the foil, the whiskey, the canned hams and canned beef and chicken, among other things…..but you know what I prize the most?….my olives….when we’re all dirty and depressed and sick of the rice and beans, a jar of olives will mean a lot….same with chocolate…although I don’t know how to keep chocolate for a long time unless in the refrigerator, and the electricity might be off….
            we’ll need the basics…..but thinking about the extras is a good idea…

          • Terry Sullivan says

            re: viagra. while it is a second string item, I know on those long cold nights when human comfort is needed the most, us seniors should have a stock of it, especially if it is already necessary to use. It is not a luxury, just not an immediate survival item. For the same reason, I have a deck of cards for each of us since we like to play cards on the computer. Pictures of our grandchildren, since they are so far away that bug out plans cannot include them. We have skills most of you young preppers have only heard about – priceless. On the immediate survival list should be notes on what skills you would need, and then learn them, post haste! Don’t forget your greatest resource – your parents or grandparents.

            I have three bug out bags, one that functions as a concealed carry purse, and I have my most critical necessaries in it – including a large crochet hook -and it never leaves my side. Never. Second is a large fanny pack with more critical stuff and the third is my solar powered backpack with a laptop, all my music, iPol, iPad with movies, all protected against EMP. Primarily we plan to hunker down in place, but recognize that we may have to leave on short notice.with no choice in the matter. That is why we have redundancy in our supplies eg. purse has a filter bottle, back pack has a camelback insert along with more food than the survival bars in the fanny pack and so on. That is just what I can carry; hubby can carry more, but if we are separated, we can still make it because we both carry the really critical stuff.. Although we are seniors, I am not concerned about comparing ourselves with the young and buff. We know we are survivors, been there, done that, and at the end of the day it is what is between your ears and what is in your heart.that will get you through whatever happens. Oh – one small thing. While I have my whole library on a stick, I have a very small paper version of the bible. You can be sure that I would prefer using grass than that paper if we run out of our camping supply of tp. A last word – don’t pack anything you have never used. Make sure every single component is an old friend and not just in the bag because someone told you to pack it. God be with you all.

      • traumamamma says

        I so completely agree with you, Liz…I must have missed something on that other person’s comment…I have yet to see anyone on this website with a dumb idea or a dumb question. I have not read the writing of anyone thinking this is a joke. 9 out of 10 people on this website will be the caretakers of the others that fail to prepare. I believe that people do not rise to the occasion, they sink to their level of preparedness. I see lots of people here that will have a high level of preparedness. I believe that I just read a post by that 1% that will be sinking.

        • Sarah says

          @Terry Sullivan: Why on earth would you carry around a laptop and other electronics when you will likely not be able to recharge them?

    • Charley says

      within 3 days of Katrina, every Walmart and other stores were picked clean from looters. Many of the looters caught on video were police officers. In a SHTF situation you may have only yourself and whatever small group you’ve banded with that you can trust. I work in a school with older kids. Periodically we talk about 2012 and things they see on tv. They ask me if I think the world will end. I tell them no. But that what bothers me is that so many very intelligent people think that something WILL happen. Being prepared for whatever life throws you isn’t a joke. It’s just good common sense.

  19. sandra says

    Lots of bleach, cause it's gonna be tough keeping things disinfected.
    Toilet paper will be hard to come by, likley. So that means using cloth in it's place.

    • TheSurvivalMom says

      Bleach has a shelf life of just about a year, so also stock up on calcium hypochlorite, which is pool shock. Buy the stuff without any additives — calcium hypochlorite being the only active ingredient. Use this to make homemade bleach by mixing 1 heaping teaspoon with 2 gallons/8 liters of water. You now have bleach. For water purification purposes, add 1 part bleach to 100 parts water.

      • says

        No kidding! I have been “prepping” for years and years and I did NOT know that bleach had a shelf life of one year!(I rotate everything.) What a great example of “we learn something new every day!” Thank you!

        • elli says

          oh oh … didn’t know this either … seems it is always something ~ that’s why it is needful to have experienced friends about <3

      • Kelly says

        Wish I had known about pool shock bleach when I lived in the Amazon more than 30 years ago. For personally, I have my supply of coffee, tea and chocolate. And salt. Would like to stock pile wine, but it keeps disappearing.

      • Josh says

        That is great! the low shelf life of bleach has been a problem for me. I will buy some pool shock on Monday. Do you know what the shelf life of calcium hypochlorite is?

      • AnnaInOhio says

        Thank you for sharing that.. I had no idea. Why on earth would anyone buy bleach if you can make it? I’ll have to look into that and see what it cost here in my area. And it’s a long term storage item too. Gotta like that.


      • cam says

        I had no idea bleach had a shelf life! Wow, one more thing to rotate. Glad I caught this on your site. Thanks for keeping me “better” informed.

      • Martha says

        Went to a Samsclub that I don’t regularly frequent and as I went to get some Clorox bleach I found a brand called Cloralex. This contains sodium hypochlorite (as opposed to calcium hypochlorite). Had to look it up and they are apparently the same except for “…the hypochlorites convert readily into sodium chloride (table salt) and calcium chloride (road salt).”

        Read more: Sodium Hypochlorite Vs. Calcium Hypochlorite |

        I got 8 – 32oz bottles for less that $5 and it has a shelf life of 2023. I also never realized bleach had such a short shelf life…BTW love you blog :)

  20. deb says

    Hi, I am a recent reader of this website. I have a comment; if a calamity occurs, I would think individuals without food, water etc. would break in and take what you have and I would think they would even murder to get it. Even in all your prepareness what could you do to stop it.

    • TheSurvivalMom says

      Deb, I\’m posting an article on Wednesday that addresses this scenario, but in short, tell NO ONE that you\’re prepping. That\’s the only way to be sure you won\’t become the target of looters. If you\’re prepping together with another family, or some relatives, then of course you\’ll be sharing info, but the rule of thumb is to not tell
      anyone everything!

    • lee says

      entirely possible that people will try to break in….but they’ll break whether you have stuff or not……

      besides…..prepping does not mean the end of the world…it means that you are prepping for even simple disruptions… a bad snow storm that cuts the power for a week….or a dry spell where there is no fresh veggies or fruit….or a run on the banks where your credit card wouldn’t be useful for several weeks….

      I hope my preps are useful for a snow storm my self….that, and to be able to provide for my adult children and my grandchildren if they come upon bad times….

    • Ted Hunt says

      Join the NRA. They have self defense for women. Safety training for firearms. And if we all supported them, SHTF would be postponed indefinately, because their purpose is to stand up for the constitution. They now are funding defense for the 1st amendment (free speech) as well as the 2nd (right to bear arms). They demand criminals be locked up and good citizens be protected or at least be able to protect themselves.
      Women are the fastest growing segment of hunting, shooting sports and self defense training. Why would anyone want to miss that revolution?
      My grandmother made the same money as a man in the 1920’s, delivering mail. She drove her horse and buggy all over the country at night in hard times. Othe women gasped and said, arent you afraid meet up with bad men 10 miles out the country at night. She showed them her 32 in her purse and said “those men will have to watch out for themselves”

    • Leslie says

      Self protection plan which includes guns & ammo, know how to fight dirty( remember this is to keep yourself & your family alive) perimeter booby traps, bullet proof blind to keep watch. Be sure to have a community of like minded people with multiple skills & I do mean multiple skills. Start now teaching kids survival skills:weapons proficiency,hunting & preserving meat, gardening, livestock care, self care(herbals &meds). The list keeps going on & on. Become your great grand parents & ancestors. I’ll turn 60 in April & often feel totally overwhelmed by what I want to learn, then I remember to take it a day at a time & stay in the moment. Pray, a lot, for perseverance, wisdom & to retain my compassion for others.
      Bless us ALL in our endeavors!

    • Wesley says

      What could you do to stop it?

      Gratuitous utilization of high velocity lead projectiles would certainly help.

      Honestly, it may not stop them, but I’ll make the bastards pay in spades for whatever they try to do to or take from my family.

      I’m all for helping anyone who asks for it and I’d be hard pressed to turn someone in honest need away, but I won’t be victim, nor will I allow my family to be. It isn’t a matter of the physical items lost, its the being subjected to brutality and having things taken from you by threat of your life and security. There is something fundamentally cruel and emotionally damaging in the act of being victimized that I feel no one should have to endure.

      So,if TSHTF and some ill-prepared thugs want to try to ransack your food stores, I say “let them eat lead”…

  21. Dave, RN says

    Pemmican! You can live off of the stuff almost indefinitely and properly made stores for 20 years. And it's good for you unlike the vegetable oil oatmeal grain type bars…

    • Sarah says

      Hear hear for pemmican! (Made properly with animal fat and no sugars it will indeed last for 20 years.)

      Water and pemmican will keep anyone alive and healthy for a very long time. I also store a lot of salt, because it is so useful: nutritionally, for canning/pickling, meat preservation, disinfecting, and for bartering. And firearms/ammo of course!

    • elli says

      wonder about the peanut butter .. I usually prefer the Smart Balance all natural ~ says no refrig needed, what about the shelf life of unopened? would it be better to have some chemicals that extend the shelf life? I haven’t seen this discussed anywhere yet.

          • Ted Hunt says

            If the crisis last that long some ambitious young man will store ice in a straw lined cellar. YOu can just trade him cherry pie for the ice. Or throw an ice cream social and have ice cream and cherry pie with the young man. lol
            Thats how my parents lived.

          • Sean P says

            It wouldn’t be an option for you Lisa, but I know around here,(before modern refrigeration) they would harvest the ice from the frozen lakes in the winter and it was stored in warehouses that were dug out to be 10-15 feet underground. Apparently they could keep the building cold enough by packing the room solid and covering the ice blocks with straw/hay, that they were able to provide ice year round (might be a little harder to do nowadays with the size of the communities, but never give up on the old ways, they worked for hundreds, if not thousands of years)

        • says

          Actually the had ice long before electricity. The found it in caves and also cut it in the winter from frozen lakes and stored it in caves.

    • Kelly Sangree says

      No – it’s not the chlorine, it’s the stabilizers you need to worry about, and from what I hear they are hard to filter out. It’s still good for some basic personal hygiene and flushing toilets (if the sewers haven’t backed up), but no good for watering plants or consumption.

  22. says

    Are there natural antibiotics, medicines to use since we wont have access to these? As you can tell Im new here….Also, last year we had our attic insulated with the spray foam, is it safe to store water and food there??

    • dusty says

      Good to have oil of oregano on hand and tea tree oil. Stock up on meds at local dollar stores such as for diarrhea, constipation, nausea, colds flu itches bandaids etc, etc. even vitamins. The one for congestion is guaifenesin, same ingredient as mucinex but very cheap at dollar stores.

      • erin says

        pepto has a short shelf life and ingredients in it actually turn to lead after expiration so be carefull capsules and caplets can be safe almost indefienitly but most liquids degrate quickly so just toss those and stick with nonliquid alternatives. other than essential oils I have heard oil of oregano actually gets stronger not weaker too and is a great mutli use oil/antiseptic

        • Paul Stein says

          Sorry, not true. There is no lead in Pepto-Bismol-type products, and nothing in them can turn to lead. The “Bismol” relates to bismuth, a heavy element, but not lead.

      • says

        Oil of oregano is a great antibiotic. As is Thyme oil. Tea tree is an anti-fungal. Peppermint and wintergreen are good for pain relief. Essential oils also have a long shelf life.

    • Lisa says

      Garlic is a natural antibiotic and Dr. Oz even says an antiviral. Eating just a clove a day kept bronchitis from myself and my 3 year old last winter. If you pickle or marinate it, they lose their aweful flavor of eating a raw clove, but keep it’s good properties.

      • Keri says

        For antibiotics-find a product called “fishmox”-I’ve gotten it a Southern Agriculture. It’s fish antibiotics that come in 250mg capsules. You can find anything from amoxicillin to cipro to penicillin. Ive taken it to my pharmacist and was told that it is EXACTLY the same thing that we get from our doctor. Just pay attention to the doses that your dr gives you and write it on the fishmox bottle. My pharmacist said 1 capsule 3 times per day or for a really bad infection 2 capsules (500 mg) 3 times per day. I used it for a UTI and It worked perfectly! I wouldn’t recommend self medicating often, but in a emergency…..

          • Wesley says

            +1 to fish and bird antibiotics!

            Might be the only good way for the common man (or survivalmom) to reliably and affordably stock pharmaceutical-grade antibiotics.

            I’m a fan of garlic as much as anyone else. I had a severe bronchitis infection in high school that I made worse by not taking the antibiotics prescribed to me regularly. I ended up out of meds and still sick as all hell. I took several cloves a day for a week (got a new rule added to the school rulebook for it, too) and it beat the infection as surely as those antibiotics would have had I taken them regularly.

            But, there’s some comfort and peace of mind to having actual antibiotics on hand to treat infections, especially in loved ones. I might be down for some au natural medicine, but, by golly, anyone else is getting a bottle of pills.

            That, and you can always threaten them with the option of eating raw garlic cloves if they object to the course of antibiotics. ^_^

      • elli says

        interesting you say that garlic doesn’t lose it’s good qualities by being pickled, I had been trying to find out about hard boiled eggs that have been pickled (which my family loves-Pennsylvania Dutch recipe) I still don’t really know if that takes the goodness out of them .. anybody know ??

        • Winnie says

          I don’t know about pickled garlic, but please be aware that storing garlic in oil is a very dangerous combination that can encourage the growth of Clostridium Botulism. Botulism Is common in soil and garlic is a low acid root vegetable.

        • says

          Actually, when you pickle a food it compounds the nutritional value by activating the enzymes. So when you pickle the garlic, eggs, etc. you’re actually ensuring that they will be even better for your body. Dr. Weston Price did an exhaustive research study on this topic and it’s amazing to discover just how much the practice of Zymurgy can do for our diet. Sauerkraut, sourdough bread, pickles, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt are all beneficial to use because of the zymurgy effect.

    • Sarah says

      I believe that the right foods are the best medicine. Garlic is an excellent natural antibiotic. When someone in my family feels a cold coming on, the best thing in the world is home made, home-canned chicken bone broth (made with my own chickens’ feet too) and cloves of home grown garlic floating in it.

      Another excellent natural antibiotic is coconut oil. While I cannot raise it or grow it, I can stock up on it, and it has a very long shelf life. It has medium-chain fatty acids (particularly lauric acid) that is especially effective at eradicating bad bacteria in the body. (Lyme disease patients, cancer patients, and HIV positive patients often take it.) It also works well as a topical antibiotic.

      A couple of starter links:

  23. Peg says

    Ok … here is a twist some people don’t consider … For me, we are in okay shape (although nobody knows … I agree … tell no one you do not trust with your life) … What worries me most … is PLAVIX. I need it to stay alive – got FOUR stints in my heart — without it I will not be gardening, canning, and taking care of business. BUT it is ILLEGAL to stock pile drugs even if they are life saving drugs … doctors don’t accommodate preppers and neither does the DEA. My point is, without Plavix, I am dead anyway. So why am I bothering? Because my hubby isn’t dead anyway. He will live. This is all for him and the next generation. I pray for him. My days will be numbered either way. If I had 30 days and I knew it … I would be looting pharmacies and taking all the Plavix I could get my hands on. Chocolate? LOL … yea … if there still is chocolate on the shelf, I will grab that on my way out the door. All that said … I also worry about the desperation of addicts at that time. You know … the ones going after the Oxycontin and methadone. They will not understand (should they run into me) that I only want the Plavix … they can have the rest.

    • Savannagramma says

      in reply to the post re: Plavix — Cayenne pepper is good for arteries and circulation. Hawthorn berry and Motherwort are also good heart health herbs. Look into herbal alternatives, they are safer for you than prescription drugs & without the dangerous side effects. Many you can grow or wildcraft yourself.

    • GMC3MOM says

      you can slowly build up a stockpile. Simply call in your refill when you get down to just a few left. The pharms/docs won’t catch it if you are refilling your script when you are down to less than 5 pills. In fact with my husband’s meds on auto refill (he must take them daily) they are usually ready to pick up a week before we need them. Keep an empty bottle, and toss those few in there and keep doing it every month.

      • notenufftime says

        Just a reminder that many of these drugs have an expiration date. Not necessarily the one the drug store puts on the bottle, but the one the manufacturer puts on the stock bottle (you can ask the pharmacist and they might tell you). That said, some medications are still safe for a period after their expiration date, but others (aspirin is a good example, the smell changes) aren’t. So make sure your rotate your stash.

    • farmergranny says

      i have an excellent relationship with my doctor and she was willing to double the doseages of my meds (heart) to read “take one capsule two times a day” instead of just the one a day I take now. This way I am building up a supply for when it won’t be readily available. If you don’t think your doctor will do that, get a prescription from him each time you go and fill it at another pharmacy; of course, you will have to pay out of pocket, but it is worth it.

      • Colleen Mills says

        I guess I am really lucky, my internist is OK with me stockpiling my essential meds. Has also written prescriptions for the highest dose, so I can take those extras and put into storage,and he doesn’tget into trouble. I told him I was practicing emergency preparedness, and he just got out his prescription pad.
        Even my insulin has been filled for the largest dose on my sliding scale.(I have never run a BS of 300) I got 3 bottles enstead of one, and I have 6 refills. I can build a zeer to keep it cool now that I know I can keep enough for a while. I will buy
        a box of syringes each payday, and keep stockpiling my test strips and batteries for the meter.
        Let’s hear it for common sense doctors.

    • diannamarsolek says

      there is other stuff you can take for your stints 1 of my best friends has them he takes natural stuff

    • imanspbeliever says

      Had an experience in the past 6 months, I was VERY VERY doubtful of this treatment, and my husband took me kicking and screaming to see Dr. John Sessions in Kirbyville, TX (we live in NC). This man can cure you…yes, yes I know, I thought all the stuff you;re thinking and more. Another quack, another get rich off the fools scheme, blah, blah. He doesn’t take insurance, but he has a house with 3 bedrooms with private bath he rents out for $40 a night or camper hook ups. Do yourself a favor and talk to him. He can cure you. I spoke with a guy there who had 4 blockages and they wanted to do surgery, he went to Dr. Sessions for treatment (it takes a couple of months) afterwards had a scan, they were all gone…no surgery, just celation treatments to open his veins. Took test after treatments to prove it. Please call

    • Sarah says

      It might be best to understand why you have heart problems in the first place, and how you can eat to reverse the effects you have (probably unknowingly) created. Years ago when my father had stents put in his heart, I began researching this subject, and it has led to a profound revolution in my understanding of the body, what to eat, and what to do for illnesses. To be specific, when it comes to chronic conditions, modern allopathic medicine leaves everything to be desired and tends to understand the body mechanically, rather than biochemically, treating most often with experimental synthetic drugs.

      Contrary to what modern medicine teaches, what you eat is critically important to whether or not you develop chronic disease. A good place to start is Dr. Mary Enig:

      There is a wealth of information on that website regarding the many diseases for which modern medicine treats the symptoms of, with drugs, drugs, and more drugs. The doctors never tell you why you got sick though, do they? That is because most doctors don’t truly understand the internal systems of the body and how they work in a synergistic way. Modern doctors are excellent to have on hand in a car crash, or when you bash your head in. But diabetes? Heart disease? They are all in a dark room, each one with his hand on a different part of the elephant, thinking he has the whole picture.

    • Cho says

      How about increasing your aspirin (assuming you are also on aspirin with the Plavix)? Could you ask your dr?

    • feather jacobs says

      There are many countries that do not require an rx for plavix & other meds other than narcotics, you can stock up just be sure you are working with a reputable firm> (believe it or not an retired dr told me this!) hope this helps you see you CAN survive.
      A friend told me, you can choose to be a wolf, a sheepdog or a sheep. Personally I want to be the sheep dog!

    • Mars says

      Plavix is a blood thinner. Many natural foods and spices can thin blood. I know because I was told to stay away from them because I get a cut and can bleed for a long time. Use citrus juice to thin blood. Cayenne and other chili can help thin blood not like lemons but they work. Also Ibprofen is a blood thinner but it is hard on the stomach in the long run.

    • Denise says

      There are natural supplements that have blood thinning properties..
      .my mom uses a combination to help keep her blood thin, and the natural things do not have the side effects of plavix, and coumadin. If you start bleeding, Coumadin has an anti-dote , it is vitamin K-found in most calcium chews, Plavix does not. so if you start bleeding and are on it, you will bleed until you have no more blood left. Had a friend that developed an ulcer on it, they couldn’t stop her bleeding.
      The combination my Mom uses is 3 tablespoons of Cod liver oil, (split in an am and pm dose), each dose taken with 400mg of vitamin E..she also takes a 1000mg garlic capsule. and 200mg of alpha lipoic acid,(this relaxes the blood vessels.) All of these are available at a vitamin shop or pharmacy. You might want ot stock up on these if you are dependent on a blood event of SHTF event, you could extend your prescription medication with these by alternating,…with your rx’d meds. if you are not comfortable…with a straight change over.

  24. teresa says

    I purchase bags of potatoes on sale and dehydrate them. I have several hundred pounds of dried potato slices that are light weight and are small when dehydrated for easy storage.

    • GMC3MOM says

      it will just get a white coating on it. Many people think that means chocolate has gone bad. It’s not bad, just old.

  25. Savannagramma says

    Teresa – what pretreatment do you do for your potatoes? I tried dehydrating some once and they did not look at all appetizing afterwards

  26. Puppy_Parent says

    For great medical info, check out The doctor that runs the site (and has now authored at least two books) has a ton of great information about natural remedies and how to stock up on animal medicine for human use (and how to use it safely). I highly recommend the website. Enjoy!!!!!

  27. Karen says

    My #1 stock up item is “ICE”!!!! After Katrina, my family and I only had a four day supply of ice to use to cool our drinks. I stored containers of water and froze them in the freezer in case we were without electricity, this way the extra frozen ice extended the items in the freezer. We first used everything with a short shelf life and items that couldn’t take the humidity. It was the end of August and it didn’t matter what you did you couldn’t cool off. It was so hot I sweat coming out of a cold shower. We thought about getting a generator but a few days after Katrina I was glad we didn’t because it was hard to get fuel to keep it running. My husband’s cousin would try to bring us ice from Baton Rouge (about 60 miles away) every 3-4 days. We all would get excited to see him (or rather the ice), it was like getting gold. Poor thing, would have come every day but gasoline was hard to come by even in Baton Rouge, so you didn’t use your car unless it was absolutely necessary. Even weeks later when electricity came back on many of the places with gas just had the pumps available so you couldn’t purchase gas with cash only with your debit or credit card. I witnessed people at a gas station fighting and arguing because one person was getting a large supply of gas for his generator and people were upset with him because they thought the generator was frivolous. These two people knew each other, I dare to imagine what might have happened if they were complete strangers. My family and I were lucky we had more than enough food, propane, water (both for drinking, toilets, cleaning, and bathing) for the four weeks we had to “rough it”. This experience was a wakeup call for my husband and myself. Our experience was only an inconvienence and nothing like what people had to endure in harder hit areas. I no longer get laughed at for prepping, in fact, I have full support from my family. I’m happy I didn’t follow our government’s suggestion of having enough food and rations for three days because I don’t know what we would have done for the other 3 1/2 weeks. However, I did have enough supplies for a whole week in my car in case we had to evacuate. Sorry, I didn’t mean to ramble. This is the first time I’ve shared my thoughts about Katrina outside of my family.

    • elli says

      I am new to this site and I thank you for sharing. First hand knowledge is priceless. This site is giving me info I had not picked up elsewhere … GREAT SITE Guys !!

    • teabag says

      yes, thank you for sharing. it must have been difficult after so much time.
      it was katrina and its aftermath that started me on prepping; the government totally failed those poor people, and is still failing them. i thought at first it was purely racism, but now i suspect it was mostly classism. the victims didn’t matter because they were largely the poor who couldn’t evacuate the city. since i am also financially challenged, i realized that it was time to take some responsibility for my own survival. i can’t do everything, but even i can sure do more than nothing!

  28. says

    Essential oils and non-gmo seeds. I make all-natural bug repellents and anti-virals/biotic sprays from the oils. Considering contamination by gmo, organic seeds are a no-brainer.

    I also love my EasyGreen sprouter, but it won’t do me much good when the power goes out, lol.

  29. rainy says

    I would stock up on chicken or live poultry which I already have. I can grow anything and have the room, but life without some comfort meat would be a living **ell.

  30. joe says

    Confidence that we can survive, It may sound cheesy, but without it you will over stress and do more harm than good to you and your family.

    If I have to choose a product, it home protection.

  31. Shirley Toney says

    Lots of great ideas. I recently found a solution for the time when toilet paper runs out. A portable bidet. They are used to wash the “nether regions”. You can find them on ebay or amazon for about $14.95. Or better yet, a wash bottle that is very inexpensive. As a retired science teacher I used them during lab clean up. All you have to do is cut off the inside tube so water can be squeezed out when it is upside down. For the ladies after urination, I suggest some cheap wash cloths. They can be used once or more than once and then washed.

  32. Janet says

    One item? Clean clear safe drinking water. Even with filters and replacement filters and boiling, or using a well on your property, or treatment with bleach or purifying tablets, the majority of people are not educated on maintaining a hygenic latrine or waste system, so the water quality would likely to degrade quickly. Dysentery or Typhus, and other similar illnesses would be rife. Dysentery and dehydration can be fatal within 3 days or less, without treatment

  33. says

    Great comments by all! Thanks as always for your insight Lisa.

    *** Note: Liquid unscented bleach only has an effective shelf life of 6 months. Storage conditions such as light, heat and humidity affect everything. Even bleach. Sodium Hypochlorite (pool shock, read the ingredient label for the correct product) is your best bet. No shelf life and far, far cheaper than liquid bleach. Costs about $3.00 for 10,000 gallons worth of water purification. Great barter item. I posted a free article on my blog at about different methods of water purification.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  34. tessie says

    Para cord, fishing line and hooks. With that I can snare small game and catch fish. That takes care of the protein needs and adds fluid to my body. I can always scrounge wild veggies, fruit, berries and nuts.

  35. Caitlynn says

    For my husband and kids that all have sweet teeth (there sweets addiction is way too serious for it to just be one tooth) I would stock as many long term shelf stable sweets as possible… for myself i would buy any book left on my list i hadn’t gotten to yet, learning beforehand is of course ideal but having the information available to figure it out after the fact is sure better than nothing.

  36. Annie says

    Hmm, so a luxury item. That question got me for a few minutes bc my husband and I try to always live without alot of those bc quite frankly we are pretty poor and I would rather give my 2 daughters a new outfit or toy when I can rather than go out to eat or buy something I can live without. I think food wise my one thing would be chicken bouillon. I love the stuff and it always takes away my tummy aches:) Also it can mimic poweraid. A non food item would be baby wipes! I have those all over my house and in my purse and truck. Buy them in bulk and they could save alot of water when it would be ok to just wipe something down instead. We have cistern water so I always try to save water so hubby doesn’t have to haul as much. And since I could live without these things I could barter with them too.

  37. Jen Bur says

    When the last hurricane came though the thing I wanted most and did not have was mosquito spray the kind you hook up to a hose so that I could fog the yard with; we had the water for the hose but could not find the mosquito spray in the store. After a Hurricane mosquitos are a real pest. My daughter had just finished antibiotics and could not find yeast infection medication anywhere. The store clerk said all feminine supplies are gone. There was no looting, just people buying up things.

    • Jen Bur says

      Oh, BTW, gentian violet is antifungal and works very well on yeast infection. You can use a tampon soaked in gentian violet for that. Gentian violet is also good for athletes feet and thrush mouth. It stains and is messy. Use to be used all the time by doctors many years ago before stuff that does not stain came around. Garlic wrapped in gauze is good for bacterial infections of the vagina. If pregnant go do not use garlic for bacterial infections of the vagina unless under a doctor’s care and he she is ok with it or the poo hits the fan.

  38. linda sordillo says

    I am new to this site have gotton so much information.thanks to everyone.I am trying to get my family prepared for the unthinkable.can anyone tell me the best way to store dry beans and rice.

    • kirsten h says

      well, survival mom has a pinterest, and if you search pinterest for “prepper” or “preparedness” or “food storage” i bet you find a lot…

      “best method” is going to depend on your circumstances, what tools you have, etc.
      i , personally, buy #10 cans (the big cans) from an LDS online supplier (no i am not Morman, and no they dont care) because i know they are solidly packed and long term stable.
      i also have smaller storage in mason jars (other folks use soda bottles) . i use mason jars because i have a vacuum sealer and i can vacuum seal the mason jars… which adds years to the storage life of beans and rice.
      many people also like mylar bags and plastic buckets… and i am fond of that too, but once you open a bag you have to re pack it somehow

  39. colokaz says

    Water, wind-up flashlights, thermal blankets, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice. A solar cooker, I saw one on you tube which during the day could be used as an oven, and at night due to its design could turn into a freezer. Also a thick sheet of plastic. It can be used as a water distillery, used to keep things dry, and if placed over wood with water put on top of it, the midday sun creates a solar cooker.
    And of course food.

  40. laura says

    During the summer, we had just a 24 hour period w/out any electricity. Do you know what I missed the most? communication from the outside world! Our crank radio was a luxury!

    There have been a few posts about meds and I want to add something for those interested. I stockpile grapefruit seed extract. NOte: not for chilren under 6

  41. Kris Philpot says

    Although everything everyone has talked about would be great in an unlimited supply I would stock my medication. Without my meds anything else becomes moot. Second though, because we are talking what we wouldn’t want to live without, would be ice. But only because with that ice and some of my other storage items I can make French vanilla ice cream!!!

  42. kirsten h says

    well, obviously the big 4 (whole grain, salt, honey, beans)
    but in the “often overlooked” category?
    real vinegar, i mean the distilled white stuff is OK…. and you can clean with it or pickle if you had to, but get yourself some LIVE enzyme apple cider vinegar (i like Brags) and you have enzymes, antiseptic, electrolyte drink… teh works
    plus you can cook with it

  43. Zembar says

    Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. With those essentials I can make anything. I also would stock up on spices and health care items and emergency health items, ie gauze, antibiotics, first aide cream etc.

  44. Zembar says

    We raise chickens, and are in the process of getting milk goats and rabbits. We also put in an outdoor privey (outhouse), so that field is covered. We have a dual well, One side is the electric pump and on the other side is the hand pump, so water is not a problem unless contaminated. We have put up over 2000 gallons of water for just such a contingency. We also put in rain barrels, so that we can water the garden is need be.

  45. colleen rivard says

    Excedrin for migrains and for bartering to people with migrains. Also my essential oils which is of the utmost importance when the kids get the croup. Learn how to use them now while there is still time.

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