Gear: Supplies, Tools, or Clothes needed for a special purpose.
That’s the definition we’re using as it relates to gear for prepping & preparedness.
Level-1 preparedness only covers periods of disruption lasting from hours, days, or perhaps up to one week. So, the topic of gear won’t be too overwhelming.
That said, there are some specific recommendations to consider while setting out on the road of preparedness.
Note: Some of the gear that you might consider is already discussed and overlapped in other Level-1 topics which you can view here:
Flashlight & extra batteries
You do have at least one of these, right? It is an LED flashlight, right?
LED flashlights will operate MUCH LONGER on a set of batteries compared to the flashlights of old. It’s actually difficult to find one that’s not LED these days, but for some of you old-timers maybe you’ve never upgraded?
There seem to be similar numbers of flashlight models as there are grains of sand on the beach. That said, if you’re looking for quality and longevity stick with the well regarded brands such as Streamlight, Surefire, MagLite.
Note: The brightness of LED flashlights are rated in “lumens”. To give you a general notion, a 100 lumen flashlight is not very bright but will suffice for many ordinary applications. A 200-400 lumen flashlight is good and bright. A 600 lumen flashlight is VERY bright. A 1,000 lumen flashlight is crazy bright. The higher the lumens, the shorter the battery life.
Household bleach & Medicine dropper
If you need to purify water from organic contaminants for safe drinking, one way to do it (besides boiling or a quality water filter) is with ordinary household bleach. Without repeating myself, here’s an article on how to do it:
Bleach-Water Ratio For Drinking Water
(basically 8 drops per gallon)
Sleeping bag | Warm blanket for each person
How many of you have a sleeping bag? It’s a great way to stay warm and sleep warm if the heat’s out (power outage during cold weather).
I’ll bet that there are lots of people who have overlooked having a fire extinguisher in their home. You really should have several. One in the kitchen, and others in different parts of the house.
Related: How To Put Out A Grease Fire
Firemaking | Matches, Lighter
The means to make fire. You never know when you might need to, right? If you’re not a smoker, you’re less likely to have a handful of lighters or matches. So, go out and get what you need.
You might need to light your campstove or the charcoal grill. Maybe the electronic ignition on your bbq grill isn’t working. You might simply need to build a regular fire.
Related: Fire Starter Kit
Paper | Pencil
To right stuff down… Ordinarily in today’s modern world we communicate via electronic devices. If those gadgets aren’t working (dead batteries, power outage) then consider the old fashioned way with paper and pencil. You might need to leave a note.
A hand operated can opener. Again, we’re figuring that the power is out. I’m assuming you have some canned foods.
Need to get someone’s attention? The sound of a whistle carries a very long way. Further than you can shout. Great for rescue.
Can you get from here to there without a GPS? I remember the days before GPS and we all had something that you called, “maps”.
Finding local street level detail maps is harder to find, however you should at least have a road atlas for your area.
Related: Road Atlas Map For Each State
4-way Spigot Key
If a water spigot does not have a handle, this little tool will open the valve. Many industrial building water spigots do not have handles, so this Spigot Key will open them. You never know when you might be looking for a water source…
Utility Tool for emergency shut-off of utilities
In an emergency this handy tool will shut off your gas valve and water mains. I have one of these, and purchased it years ago when I lived in California (earthquake concerns). Hurricanes, fires, or floods would be other concerns.
Lots of disasters happen due to severe weather. Chances are that you may be outside dealing with the situation and a good raincoat may be a very good thing to have. There are big differences between good quality raincoats and cheap one’s. Breath-ability is one of them! This is one thing that I paid more for, and I’m glad that I did.
The aftermath of a disruptive event may involve some heavy lifting and handling. Maybe you will need to move debris. Cut tree limbs. Things like that. I cannot overemphasize having good gloves to protect your hands.
Rugged | Heavy Duty Work Clothes
Some people work and live in environments that do not demand heavy duty work clothes. Most jobs today are not labor intensive or in rugged environments. That said, you may one day find a need to wear heavy duty pants, shirt, etc.. due to the work you may face during a disaster.
A post like this could be filled with lots and lots (and lots more) suggestions for “gear”. I could be typing this for days while trying not to overlook something.
That said, some of this has already been discussed in other topics of Level-1 preparedness (“Water & Food” — “72-hour Kit” — “Without Electricity”). And since this is prepping and preparedness for short term, we can keep the list fairly light.
So with that in mind, save me the additional work and comment below with more suggestions for “Level-1” gear (up to 1-week max downtime).