Additional Supplies & Gear (Level 2 Prepping & Preparedness)

Supplies and Gear. Enough to cover a period of time up to 1 month at home.

So you’ve graduated from the requirements of Level 1 Preparedness. You have also addressed other topic issues for Level 2 (see below for links to other articles in the series). Now lets address this one:

Supplies & Gear For 1 Month Survival At Home

Level 2 preparedness is not the end of the world. The presumption here is a regional or local event. There’s major disruption of your lifestyle and external re-supply for more than a week. And worst case up to several weeks – even a month. The power will likely be out for the duration.

This happens more than you may realize in areas around the country. Most often it’s caused by severe weather of some sort.

Though it could get ugly out there, you’re going to be alright, so long as you have enough supplies to make it through. Provided that you don’t live in a potentially dangerous area, you will likely be relatively safe at home. Though that might change if you actually reach week 3 or week 4.

In the case of a local or regional disaster, there will likely be some form of assistance and help out there. But, don’t count on it. Don’t depend on it. Rather, be self reliant and depend on yourself!

Consumable Supplies

We’ve already covered water, food, and security in other Level 2 articles (see below). So that leaves supplies and gear. Here’s how I see it…

You will already have the normal supplies for ordinary living. But simply consider additional inventory in a few categories. General priorities are to include having “enough” of the following to last up to a month:

Disposable Paper Plates, Cups, Utensils
Trash Bags
Hygiene Products


Gear that may be unique to a survival-at-home situation. Stuff that you might not ordinarily have, or have enough of, may include the following:

Portable Stove, extra fuel for it

Generator, Xtra Fuel, Xtra gas jugs (stored safely)

Portable Propane Heater, Xtra Fuel

Countertop Water Filter

Portable Toilet & Bags

Water Jugs

Wagon or Yard Cart

Sleeping Bag, Xtra Warm Blankets (wintertime?)

Buckets, Basins (washing, cleaning, sanitary)

Solar Charger for common consumer devices

Rechargeable Batteries

Solar Battery Charger

Candles (operate with caution)


LED Lantern

Battery Operated Long Range AM Radio

Portable Shortwave Radio

I could continue and brainstorm more thoughts of helpful gear unique to surviving at home for several weeks without external re-supply. However all you need to do is sit back and think for awhile. Picture your day-to-day during this period. What would you be doing and what gear might you need to help get through the period?

Remember, this is not an all out end-of-the-world disaster. But you do need to make it for several weeks (or possibly up to a month) on your own. Most ordinary people today probably could not. And a scary portion probably wouldn’t even make through Level 1 without external help.

[ Read: Preparedness Level 1 – 4 Series Overview ]


  1. Small tent you can make a micro climate if it cold outside or if you have small kids it can make it like a camping trip and relieve some of their stress
    I keep hoping for a 3-5 day event hoping it will wake up some family members

  2. Good article Ken. I’ve been reading MSB all along (excellent site), but just haven’t been posting for a while. I have a few thoughts on achieving the usefulness of the items on your home list by using other means:

    Portable Toilet & Bags – Stocking up on trash bags was already mentioned, so use trash bags in your existing home toilet that has long been flushed and no longer contains water. Secure the bag with the seat portion of the existing toilet. Double-bag or triple-bag if you think the quality of your bags is sub-par.

    Wagon or Yard Cart – Why not consider an old-fashioned wheelchair in place of a wagon or cart? Wheelchairs are great for moving things that a wagon or yard cart can move, plus, if you’re in the older crowd, they can serve as a fairly good walker to support yourself at the same time. Wheelchairs perform well on a variety of surfaces (grass, sand, mud) and climb well with minimum effort (curbs, steps, stairs, rough terrain).

    Sleeping Bag, Xtra Warm Blankets (wintertime?) – Quilters have had this covered for generations. And some of the warmest quilts were/are constructed by a quilter using a treadle or handcrank sewing machine. Get yourself a manually-operated sewing machine, make sure it works, and start quilting. (See how I worked the words “treadle” and “handcrank” into my post?)

    Most of the other items can come from Amazon, except for:

    Generator, Xtra Fuel, Xtra gas jugs (stored safely) – These items will not be on my list. Trying to provide your own grid power in my opinion may not be sustainable and could be a total waste of time, money, and energy. Instead, try hard to be prepared to make-do without 110VAC power completely. Don’t count on frozen foods for long-term storage, electric heat, or electric cooking no matter what environment you live in, and especially down in the hot south. Use mechanical and solar energy for your needs instead.

    CD in Oklahoma

    1. My neighbors and I have a wells and septic systems so a generator is a necessary to have clean drinkable water and water for flushing..

      1. Jolor
        That isn’t totally true. Look up well buckets with toilet flap online and videos. I’ve made them and that now worthless extension cord can be your rope. They can be made any size you are able to lift.
        If your not strong enough to winch it up then now is the time to get a boat trailer winch and run a board frame across the casing to pull it up.

  3. Good stuff.
    If your going to use open flame then fire extinguisher goes hand in hand. I don’t advise one without the other.

  4. Good stuff, aside from the “how much TP is enough?” unanswerable question (enough is hoping to never run out!).

    A woodstove in the basement is the final backup for no power cold weather events. Worse case sleep in the basement.

    For the portable loo buckets, I bought a privacy tent in case we are forced to use them.

  5. Ken;
    Glad to see you bring up the “Levels of Preparedness” again
    Tis a good series.In response to Grey’s question.. “how much TP is enough?”
    That’s an easy one…. “One sheet more than you need”…..

  6. NRP, Just ONE SHEET!!…surely you jest, right? Don’t you mean one roll?

    1. Blackjack22:
      Hey, if I get my job done and there is only one sheet left…..
      What can I say, I’m an azzhole.. LOLOL

      1. NRP, LOL, thanks for joining the club, now I’m not alone. But, remember, when you use the last sheet, use your LEFT HAND LOL.

      2. Sounds like someone is feeling better… good to “see” you sounding like your old self, NRP!
        Hope Blue is doing okay, too!

        And it would have to be one helluva an emergency for you to be down to your last sheet :)

  7. For a month – laundry supplies: more water, tubs, hand washers or plungers, washboard, soap, bleach, clothesline and clothespins or drying racks. If you’ve got folks in sleeping bags, extra sheets for liners; much easier to wash a sheet than a sleeping bag. Laundry wash and rinse water can be used like other gray water, including black water uses like cleaning out the overnight bucket.

    I’ve asked my group to get together two weeks of underwear and socks, a week of outerwear, shoes, and a winter coat, hat, gloves, boots. It can sit here in a labeled tub until needed. Having folks show up with just the clothes on their backs would mean frequent time and materials for washing.

    Enough tools so folks can get garden and firewood work done, as well as other chores to make the place comfortable and safe. I’ve also laid in battery powered hand tools, and a multiple battery quick charger. Absolutely worth the cost.

    I like this series too.

  8. Ken,
    Thanks so much for bringing back this series… very helpful for me!

    One of my favorite items that I stock in both suburbia and not-suburbia are solar re-chargeable, collapsible mini-lanterns. They are compact, put out a lot of light for their size, are safer than candles (no open flame) and can be set down on practically any surface to free up your hands. And, being solar re-chargeable makes them perfect for everything from quick level-1 power outage to a long-term (level 2 or longer) outage. If I set them out during the day, and I have plenty of light after dark without having to use consumables such as fuel, matches, batteries, etc… and they are affordable so I can keep a few charged up and ready to go when needed.

    What I don’t have is a good porta-potty set-up… I need to look at some options that don’t take up much storage space. I know they have the seats that can go right on top of a bucket, which is obviously better than nothing, but maybe something more like what is pictured in the collage above. I need to do some research.

  9. Here is my challenge, my wife comes from what I would call leaning left family. I really don’t care what people do as long as I don’t have to pay for it. Rather have 50 experiments vs one big mess. That said, we are both 40 and our son is gonna be 3 in November, any suggestions?

    1. I also failed to mention I was active duty USMC, followed by army national guard as a medic. I could hurt or help.

        1. Hey Ken. Thx for the info. Long time follower of your site and a big fan.

    2. Food For Thought not sure what you mean by 50 experiments?

      But if your asking how to get your spouse on board with prepping then when I first started bringing my spouse into prepping she came from a Vote for a Yellow Dog Democrat family.

      I showed her how useful it was for small emergencies having solar lanterns and battery back up for her Mom’s medical needs was. That brought her on board for small preps. As situations occurred in the Real World(tm) according to MSM I pointed out gently how that could happen around here. That brought her onboard for food storage and such. Fun games like shooting a thrown ping pong ball with a non threatening bb gun brought her into cowboy shooting. Today she can reliably hit a thrown ping pong ball at 7+ yards several times as impacts alter the path of that ping pong ball.

      Frankly family is who treats me well and will protect me. Blood-Marriage relatives may turn you in to the PC Police for a few social points. Evaluate those around you for their strengths and weaknesses. I protect my true family.

      1. Thx for your input. I think it’s a good thing to get perspectives from a similar experiences. Also, I was referring to 50 states deciding what work each one individually vs a “one solution” for everyone per the federal gov.

    3. Preparedness can be disguised as camping. Take the family camping and practice the skills. A 3 year old will love it.

  10. Check on everything but the portable toilet. Not as concerned as others might be about the extra blankets and sleeping bags as I heat with wood and have a 2 year supply stacked. I am with Anony Mee on having a way to wash clothes even though we could go for a month the article talks about as I have a major fetish about socks and underwear ( worse than NRP with his TP) so I have more than 30 days worth of each.

  11. During a SHTF situation, a simple infection can bring an otherwise healthy human being down quickly.

    I recommend plenty of antiseptics, isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic cream and medicinal honey if you can get it. Also bleach. Rotation is necessary on most of these items so keep them rotated.

    Bandages, gauze, clean wrapping items etc.
    Also consider Fish Antibiotics for extreme .

    1. Slippy, Isopropyl alcohol is made from wood and should only be used on the outside of the body (will cause infection in a wound). If you need to clean a wound out with alcohol then, use Ever clear 190 proof grain alcohol (will not cause infection in a wound).

      1. Correct blackjack22

        Mrs Slippy is a type 1 Diabetic so she preps her skin with alcohol prior to an insulin injection. Insulin dependent diabetics is also a good topic for discussion post SHTF and something that my wife and I think about regularly.

        But Good advice on the useage of alcohol for minor cuts and abrasions.

  12. I think planning for a month of anguish requires more preparation for self-reliance. That means more medical and safety supplies… And books. Medical diagnosis and treatment information. Lots of fire suppression equipment whether that means extinguishers or 55 gallon barrels of water with a 12v pump and sprayer.

    A lot of makeshift building supplies to do emergency repairs. Tarps and clear plastic. Same for basic plumbing repairs. Anything that would make life even more unbearable.

    At the 1 month mark I’m going to still be trying to live a semi-normal life. I’m just going to treat it like a staycation so I’ll just be doing normal work around the compound.

  13. One can purchase really cheap underwear and socks on sale and, if needed, dispose of them after use. What about water-less laundry detergent? As for haircuts, one can shave one’s scalp, women with long hair can cut their own hair length and bangs. I would recommend that younger women do not keep long hair as it could be safer to not be seen as female especially for teen girls and young women as the threat of sexual assault will be greater. Or at least wear it pinned up under a baseball cap. As for lack of sanitation I would advise ladies to keep long tunics or a few long skirts (even worn over slacks and leggings) which make relieving oneself in nature more private (think Little House on the Prairie era). Tons of wet wipes should be on hand for kitchen and sanitation hygiene. What about wool or acrylic yarn to create new garments after all the clothes are used up and are too gross to wear until power is restored and the washing machine can be used. A newly knitted sweater may be the best birthday or Christmas gift when the power is out.

  14. Books and games that don’t require electricity would be essential. More than likely, there will be some down time. Are all of your books on your e-reader, or do you have a good selection of printed material? Do your kids know how to play board games or cards, or do they only play video/computer games?

    1. The great thing about card games, board games, books, etc is that they cure boredom without burning a lot of calories.

  15. Given that it’s fall now, I value long johns. Makes getting in/out of a sleeping bag less of a cold-shock when surviving without heating. The days and nights will only be getting colder from here. I also think it’s wise to have some food handy that doesn’t freeze easily such as crackers. Cookies are better than crackers because they have more sugar usually, but you have to watch out for fruit, nuts, or chocolate chips because they’ll turn into lumps of ice.

  16. – For hand washing, look back to hospitals in the fifties or you can occasionally see the stuff in movies about the era, Korean war, etc. Two basins, side by side, soapy water in the first, clean water in the second, a community towel hung at the end. everyone washes their hands, first in soapy water, then shake as much as possible back into the first basin. Then rinse in the second, repeat as above. Dry your now clean hands on the community towel. Change the water and towel daily or when they begin to appear dirty.

    For haircuts, see if you can locate some hand shears for men’s haircuts. These can do as good a job as a barber’s electric shears and were commonly used in the military and even commercially into the fifties. Look in tag and garage sales, antiques, and even in veterinary sources.

    Good scissors should be kept for both men’s and women’s haircuts. You can still buy thinning shears easily at beauty supplies and even at Walmart, drugstores and such. A couple of pairs won’t break the bank.

    For the short term (i.e., a month or less) a simple bucket-type toilet seat and a supply of plastic bags will work in whatever building or tent you might be staying in. If you are in your own home, the bucket is still useful and the toilet lid won’t take up any additional storage space. Just follow CD’s instructions above.

    The solar re-chargeable, collapsible mini-lanterns like the Luci lights work easily, last a long time, and require nothing more than daily moving from where you use them to where you can place them in the sunlight.

    I have a well and a septic system. For water, a hand pump (or windmill for the deepest wells; a windmill will work to as much as 600 feet) and a cistern will still supply water for flushing, gardening and drinking. You may still need a Berkey or the like for drinking water, but you have to have water first.

    – Papa S.

    1. – My homemade hand pump will pump to a depth of 50 meters (call it 55 feet) and cost me less than $80. To see how it works, watch the Flo-jak videos. To make your own, look at the EMAS hand pump videos on Vimeo. The instructions are in English and Spanish, are designed to be easy to follow, and you might learn some other interesting stuff.

      – Papa

      1. – Sorry, left out a number. 3 times that, or 165 feet. That’s a pretty good ways down for a hand pump. A half-inch inner PVC pipe is manageable by a seven-year-old girl, and will provide about a gallon per minute.

        For cleaning wounds, don’t use alcohol of any kind in the wound; only around it. Research has shown that clean, drinkable quality water and plain soap are as good for 99% of non-surgical wounds as the best sterile saline and surgical soap. Alcohol will damage the still-living cells in the wound and increase the chances of infection and scarring at the site.

        Anony Mee, what can I say? Great minds think alike. The bleach water will definitely not hurt as far as regards daily handwashing. Just enough so you can smell it.

        – Papa

    2. Papa Smurf

      I do the same for washing but add a third basin with bleach water. Just a bit, and adds extra sanitizing and an extra rinse as the day wears on and rinse basin is used up.

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