Top 21 Things Preppers Forget

I don’t care how experienced you are, you’re not perfect. I guess that’s the sum total of the wisdom I’ve managed to gather in over 50 years of life. No matter how much I learn and no matter how many experiences I have, there’s always something I overlook and there’s always something new to learn.

I just recently went through my survival cache and Bug-Out-Bag with that in mind. I last did it about a year ago, so I figured it was time to take another look at it. Even with as long as I’ve been learning and writing about survival, I find that my understanding and my ideas keep on evolving.

One of the things I’m always looking for is things I might have forgotten. I don’t care how carefully you build your Bug-Out-Bag, your home stockpile, or how many times you go through it, you’ll always find something missing, or something you should replace.

Here’s a list of items that you might want to think about for your own bag and home stockpile.

1. Small Bungee Cords

Small Bungee CordsBungees are one of mankind’s greatest inventions. With them, you can strap anything onto anything, even if it looks impossible. I carry several of the small 12 inch cords attached to the outside of my pack.

That way, if I find or make something that I need to take along, I’ve got a ready way of strapping it on. This is also the normal way my coat is strapped onto my pack, so that it is readily accessible.

2. Compressed Towels

Compressed TowelsI found these recently and was glad to add them to my kit. They’re about the size of a commemorative coin; but when you put them in water, they expand to their full size.

That’s about the size of a large paper towel, but a whole lot stronger. Great for washing yourself and your equipment. Can even be used as emergency TP, if you run out.


3. Emergency Cash & Credit Card


We tend to prepare as if all economic infrastructure is going to collapse – and that’s a good thing.  But cash will always rule and in many cases credit cards will still work.

It’s a good idea to have at least a month’s worth of expenses on hand in cash and equivalents and to have a seldom-used credit, gift, or debit cards on hand.


4. Tire Repair Kit


This is something I had forgotten until a friend mentioned it to me.  If there is a collapse it’s likely you’ll need to prepared to fix virtually everything you own, including tires.

These kits are easier than you think to use, and are good to have in your vehicle regardless of whether you think a survival situation will arise.


5. Family Photos


This one isn’t quite as intuitive.  But the reality is that when the SHTF you’re likely not going to have time to collect valuables and mementos from around the house.

So go down to your local copy shop and make high-resolution copies of the ones you really want to hang on to.  They’ll also lift your spirits if you separated from family and out of contact.


6. Hand Warmers

d121b343-f592-4b47-9115-619c1d57fc19Just because we’re going to prepared for the world to (at least temporarily) return to the 18th century, doesn’t mean we can’t use some 21st century tricks.  You’re going to need your hands for virtually everything you do and if they aren’t functional you might as well try to dig a grave with those icy nubs.

Make sure you have plenty for the family, nothing is going to cause more fighting than if only one person is comfortable.


7. Extra Prescription Drugs & Supplements

gettyimages-462760362This one can be tricky.  Doctors have been instructed by insurance companies to keep a tight grip on prescription drugs.  If you can’t live without a certain prescription, it’s a good idea to tell your doctor you’d like to stockpile a few extra bottles.

And don’t forget your supplements.  I started buying 2-3 at a time and keeping an eye for sales on my favorite vitamins and herbs.


8. Collapsible Bottles

Collapsible BottlesSpeaking of water shortages; I’ve decided that my two, one liter water bottles aren’t enough. I live in an arid area, so finding water can be difficult. So, I’ve added a couple of collapsible bottles to my bag.

They weigh almost nothing and don’t take up a lot of space when rolled up. But when I need to, I can carry a liter of water in each of them, greatly increasing my water capacity.



IFAKInjuries are dangerous. While most people put a first-aid kit in their BOB, I’m not all that impressed with what most people carry. What I’ve seen is more on the order of dealing with a scraped knee or a cut finger.

But what if you or a member of your party have a major injury? That’s why I like the military IFAK (individual first-aid kit). It provides the ability to deal with much larger injuries, without having to take up a whole lot more space.


10. Plastic Bags

There is no end of uses for plastic bags in a survival situation. More than anything, they allow you to store food that you hunt or find along the way. You can also use them as emergency canteens.

I carry an assortment of sizes, all made of heavy-duty plastic. The extra strength is worth paying for.



11. Travel Bible

a61977783ac28fc8165eff78178326edDuring trying times, if you’re a Believer, it’s going to be difficult but critical to keep faith.  Carrying a large heavy Bible can be tricky.  So I like to keep a small version around for times when I need some inspiration and don’t want to carry a heavy book.

You might consider a nice case for it too so it can withstand weather and water.


12. Several Fire Starting Devices

survival-fire-acclaimimages-400x263I know several preppers that throw some water proof matches into their bug out bag and think they’re prepared.  These folks are well intentioned, but obviously have never actually used water-proof matches.  They are temperamental at best.

Considering a plasma lighter, a sparking tool, a magnifying glass, and even a handful of Bic lighters take almost no room, it’s best to start collecting them and get as many as you can.


13. Dental Floss


Dental floss is a great tool for a variety of tasks.  It makes good fishing line, is great for small repairs, and can be used for small snares.

Of course it is very valuable for hygiene as well.  There is a correlation between infection and disease and dental hygiene and you’re going to be on your own for dentistry for a while in the case of a major collapse.


14. Clear Plastic Sheeting

Clear Plastic SheetingIf you live in an arid area or anywhere near the desert, you need to be ready to build an in-ground solar still or two. That means having some clear plastic sheeting (visqueen) and a piece of tubing with you. With that, and materials you can find on-site, you can extract water from the ground, as well as from plants and other sources.


15. Colloidal Silver

If there was one single supplement I had to choose to carry and stockpile for an emergency this would probably be it.

It’s a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral.  Colloidal silver soothes a number of skin ailments, including soothing burns, minimizes scarring, relieving herpes sores, and medicates
boils, ringworm and warts.


16. Entertainment

il_570xn-508485288_h4fdWe tend to think our time during a survival event will be filled with ‘survival’.  But if you are properly prepared, and hopefully you are after articles like this one, you’ll likely have some time on your hands.

Resting your mind and distracting yourself from the chaos around you will raise your spirits. So I include some playing cards in my bug out bag.


17. Guitar Strings

Guitar StringsThis one might sounds a bit strange, but I’ve never found a better wire for making snares than guitar strings.

They can also be used for fishing line and hanging equipment.



18. Sewing Kit

Sewing KitYou never know when your clothes might be torn or a strap on your pack might start coming loose.

A needle and thread could be all that keeps you from running around the woods naked, trying to figure out how to keep yourself warm.

19. Spare Pair of Prescription Glasses & Sunglasses

Spare Pair of Prescription GlassesIf you wear glasses, this can end up being a critical piece of survival gear. I can’t see very well without glasses, so I always carry a spare pair along.




20.  Small Laundry Kit

make-a-travel-kitMost preppers know how to wash themselves in the event of a disaster.  Soap and disinfectant are standard items.  But can you wash your clothes if you have no electricity or facilities?

It might seem like a luxury but you might be forced to clean wound dressings, and let’s just say living for an extended period with dirty underwear is unpleasant at best.  You can fit everything you need in a Ziploc bag and a 5 gallon bucket makes for a great washing machine in a pinch.


21.  Fast, Easy Nutrition on the Go

images-1_fotorMost survivalists have MRE’s or survival food for an emergency.  But ask them what the nutritional content of this food and you’ll get blank stares.

That’s why it’s critical to have fast, easy, NUTRITIOUS food that will keep your body fit and your mind sharp.

You can do that with this simple little mixture RIGHT HERE.



Dr. Rich Murphy,

Self Reliance Association