List The Important Preps That You Have or Would Like To Have

I was sitting here thinking about my preps – something that I do from time to time while reassessing my readiness.

We all know the high level “rule of thumb” categories to be Shelter, Security, Water, Food, and… Health! But there are so many additional subsets (and other sets) that one could get into.

One’s readiness or preparedness might be as small or as large an issue that you choose to make it to be.

Sometimes there are limiting factors such as time, money, space, circumstances; but you do the best that you can, given your own situation.

I thought it would be interesting for us to list some of the “most important” or just plain old “important” preps that we own or posses (or would like to have).

Everyone has their own opinions, priorities and concerns. So don’t be intimidated by what someone else might say if it’s different from your own.

I went through an older article which similarly challenged the readers here to list “most important” preps. I captured the essence of your comments and alphabetically listed some of them as follows.

It’s all meant as food for thought.

List of Preps

Ability to learn and adapt
Alternative power and generators
Antibiotics: infection can be a killer.
Battery chargers: (best in a Faraday Cage), solar charger, electrical, and goal Zero Solar charger for electronics
Books (preparedness reference)
Bug Out Location
Camp Trailer (for minor local bugout, fire, chemical, flooding, etc.)
Camping equipment
Canning equipment
Clothing: All weather, waterproof, layer-able clothing, means to make/mend clothing
Common sense
Communications: Ham, CB, AM/FM/SW
Communications: portable 2-way radios
Community: A like minded community
Cooking: Multiple non-electric cooking methods
Cooking: portable charcoal grill with the charcoal & fluid, matches
Cooking: Wood Cookstove, Rocket Stove, any cooker without electricity
Dog for protection (and alarm)
Drone for surveillance
Emergency radios/solar
Farm equipment
Fire making sources (multiple)
First Aid and Trauma kits
Fishing rod & tackle
Food supply: Diverse: canned, freeze dried, dehydrated, frozen, jars, vacuum packed, etc…
Food: from gardens, small orchard, and forage foods
Gardening tools
Heat, multiple ways
Knives and sharpening stone
Medical, (kits, meds)
Micro solar Lights
Motion lights
Paper towels
Propane, propane tanks
Rain barrel, catchment system
Rechargeable batteries
Repair Gear, (tire fixes, house, vehicles, manual and power tools up the wazoo)
Riflesmithing and bullet-making tools and knowledge
Security and the know-how to use it
Security cameras
Seeds: seed vault – heirloom’s
Shelter: Ability to house other family members in a crisis
Silver (alternative currency)
Sixth sense (situational awareness)
Skill set and working knowledge of farming, gardening, and most homesteading needs
Sleeping bags
Soap & Disinfectant products
Social skills
Solar power system
Survival Library
Toilet Paper
Tools: axe, saw, hammer, nails, etc.
Tools: Multiple non-electric tools
Vehicle: WELL maintained, versatile vehicle with extra fuel
Water: A manual hand pump for well
Water: bottled, Berkey filter, Sawyer Minis, deep well with generator, many 5 gallon containers
Water: purifiers (several, and spare filters)
Water: storage tanks
Water: supply (well, creek, lake, spring)
Waterproof vital document bag
Weapons: (short range/quiet-cross bow, handguns, medium range small caliber rifles and shotguns, longer range-rifles)
Weather alert radio
Wood supply to feed the woodstove and wood cook-stove


  1. I’ve always said the most important “prep” to start with is…pen and paper. Write down everything. Every necessity, every wish, every plan. Then go from there.

    Secondly, you must have a true desire to become more self-sufficient. It is hard work – as we all know. But so rewarding.

    And as to what we have? Oh nay-nay! Not telling’………

    1. I agree – write it down! And for sure, “the desire” to go after your goals or a goal. Even if ultimately unobtainable, you don’t stand a chance if you’re not motivated.

  2. This is too broad a category, though it’s nice to see that list. My first thought is to say what I most want, but that doesn’t take into account what I already have. If it’s truly “most important,” then I already have it, at least to some extent. I believe that I wrote that I wanted a solar-power system for my house the last time you broached this topic. It’s still high up on my “want” list, but who knows if I’ll ever be able to afford that. (Yes, I do have some small solar panels, but that’s not what I’m really wanting.) Is that truly what’s most important to me? Of course not. If it were, I would be saving all of my money for that, and not spending it on beans, bullets, and band-aids!

    1. Wendy, like I said, it’s all just food for thought. Gets some people thinking… :)

  3. Thanks for putting your list in alpha order! It sure makes it easy to add things like:
    Bicycles & repair kits, tires, etc
    Burn barrel
    Faraday cage
    Wagon, for hauling, gardening,etc

    1. Excellent adds!
      I will add this and more to the list above upon receiving even more comments.

  4. The biggest 3 preps i would like to aquire,

    1. 1200w solar setup, (minimum)
    2. outdoor cooking area under roof with bread oven
    3. better water storage and filtration for the house (10,000 gallons?)

    i can and could get by with what we have, Lord knows we most likely will have to, but these 3 are the things that would really be helpful for a long term survival situation.

  5. Water
    Sense of humor
    Be humble
    Magic 8 ball
    Ouija board
    Tarot cards
    Crystal ball
    The last 4 are facetious, but you should try to have enough foresight to see the writing on the wall.

    1. Grits said, “Try to have enough foresight to see the writing on the wall.”

      I really like that one!

    2. ooo boy, leave that Ouija Board alone. Have a story on that one. Burn em all!!!

  6. Two preps at the top of my list right now: solar setup and meat/egg source (for me it’s gotta be quail so they can count as “pets” to my HOA).

  7. Doing good on most of the above…on my list for wants is a gen 3 or 4 night vision.

  8. My humble “List” of things I’d like to add to or increase my preparedness, I want to emphasize “Things/Stuff”.

    1. Like many… Solar, Some do not see the writing on the wall on what’s coming with the price and availability of Gas/Diesel/Electrical.
    2. An outdoor cooking/canning area, much like Tommyboy, I need a place outside to process and cook using local sources of fuel.
    3.Root Cellar, other than under the house.
    4. A large water storage tank, 1000+ preferable underground
    5. Would like to increase my “Long Term Foods, FD stuff” but the prices now-a-days is ridiculous
    6. Ham, always one of those things that just never got done
    7. Need to double the stockpile of Firewood. Need to get to around 30 cords
    8. Would like to increase the Garden buy about ½
    9. Build a better Seed Bank of Heirloom Seeds, Hybrid are good to have, but…
    10. Gin, ya can NEVER have enough Gin

    1. NRP & Blue pup,
      I thought you already had #10 all wrapped up? Or are you only counting the stuff in those little squarish bottles? Hope you have all that gin and those 600 rolls well separated. Would make for one hell of a conflagration.

  9. What I would like?
    a bunker setup like a small house at least 20″ below ground in/on a property that has a good fence to keep those nasty people out.

    I would like to upgrade my solar setup to produce and store a min of 2kw
    including adding 2 small wind turbines.

    To some extent I have almost everything on the above list.

    vehicle/fuel will forever be an issue and long distance comms.
    guns are big evil, can’t have those and a security system would be nice.

    1. Did you mean produce and store a min of what energy that 2 kw of power production equipment would produce per day ? That is variable.

      For instance if your wind and solar equipment combined at 2 kw output ran for an average of 4 hours per day then you would have 2 kw x 4 hrs = 8 kw-hrs of energy to store (ideally).

      There would be a practical maximum given the limit on sunlight and wind for the 2 kw system with the obvious max in the Summer for the solar equipment.


      1. I know that above, tend not to bother with it as most people can’t understand.
        Just say max 2kw output with an average use of around 200w to 800w continuous.- small items.
        8 to 10 kw hours storage is about right but it’s unlikely I’ll ever get there.

        solar panels are getting very affordable the last couple years at less that $1 per watt

  10. I would love a true root cellar.

    I see someone else listed wagon…yes to wagons and wheelbarrows (plural) and patch kits for the tires.

    Also, lots of empty buckets, pails, and totes (the kind restaurants use for taking dishes from the table. They are great for putting meat in as you are harvesting, laying your cuts in before packaging, or carrying veggies from the garden. We use them for all these purposes,

    Animals water pails break, especially in a cold climate so have plenty. Same for TSC buckets as they can be used for so many different things, not to mention storing food.

    1. Oh wow.. you’re exactly right about LOTS of various size buckets, pails, etc.. ! Sometimes I just buy another one at Tractor Supply (a different form factor or whatever) and then later on I discover that I’m glad I bought it! Many uses…

    2. DAMAedinNY
      Each time I am in the restaurant supply outlet, I purchase the totes & lids which are designed for carrying dirty dishes. These units are sold separately, well worth the cost to have these for storage of various supplies.

      I have used these for storing medical supplies: band aids/gauze/surgical medical tape. Left over medical supplies from acdh’s trips to the hospital which would have been tossed when he was discharged.

      Since the fish need their own medications, I use one which have been noted it makes easy to locate when the ‘ick’ arrives. 🙄 😉 In our area the tote & lid run about $5.00 each[+/-], or at least they did last time I was in there.

  11. I think suppressors for your firearms and night vision both IR and thermos, we’ve learned from our time overseas that he who owns the night wins.

  12. Self use and availability to a pharmacy.

    Life substantial and availability of such scripts.

    But then again,
    Who wants to continue on, in a world so screwed.

  13. As a loner (or maybe lonely) we should have on the list company/companionship,
    not just for those cold nights, but someone to watch over the home or basecamp while out hunting, checking the trapline or simply to the (hopefully) nearby stream or creek. And this doesn’t take into consideration the increased security benefits. ,

  14. Reading this I realize a lot of others might not know how to glean information off the internet; how to download it in a pdf format to view or print out. It’s not easy or intuitive but very worthwhile to know.

  15. what I’d like? oh….how much time have you got?? (I live in a city, and moving is not an option at this time)
    larger water containers
    wasp spray
    any kind of solar battery system
    power station
    an omnia pan/baker thingie with accessories, to use on a gas burner
    improve my container gardening skills
    new computer or ipad-like thing, where the battery still holds a charge!
    larger first-aid kit
    plunger for laundry
    …. I will stop here, for my sanity’s sake. The truth is that I can only do my best. I have come a long way in the last year, and it’s good to have a list to work towards. The extra benefits sent out last year were such a blessing to me to help me get this far.
    Blessings! And prep on!

  16. I would say: knowledge wisdom and foresight all under a single category in that the knowledge that comes from someone that has been there and done that and lived to tell the tale afterwards.
    Since I graduated in Economics and have since paid attention to the market and the economy, I have observed numerous times where the market corrected itself ( typically called a recession.) since the day I graduated. ( back in the 1980’s ). I see this as a transferable skill to other areas that go boom or bust cycles to include the housing market in California, the current shortage of ammo we are now going through. I like to read financial journals even though my day job is in health care.
    What I like to read in this website are the articles on gardening, herbal medicine, experiences with solar power, generators and other forms of alternative energy to keep the home powered, warm and happy. What I bring to this web site is my prior knowledge of hunting and shooting around the farm, ranch or homestead to manage the critters that come out of the hills to eat your garden or kill your livestock. Reloading ammo is part of that skill set because most trappers cannot afford new ammo.

  17. A close second is the ability to learn, adapt and overcome just about any new skill set. Add this to hard won knowledge and the ability to learn from the successes or mistakes of others and you are on your way. Self reliance is a journey. passing on knowledge within a community of like-minded individuals is why I have stayed a part of this web site for over 10 years now.

    Recent events of 2020 have brought more new readers to this site. I hope we can be welcoming to the many people who have taken the red pill.

    #3. Keeping records and journals are helpful to retain that body of knowledge for future reference.

  18. As I write it I lose it – Anonymity
    You mention heat, I’ll add a way to keep cool.
    My spouse.
    What I need to live is less than the big list of preps, but how I want to live is far greater than the list. Learning to be satisfied.

    1. Prep your souls with Jesus !! All of us will face eternity one day. It really should be first on everyone’s list.

      1. It is not even on my list. No one needs to get ready to experience oblivion, or waste time trying to “get right” with dire contradiction.

  19. Some kind of a clothes wringer, like the old timey one grama had. Sure is a godsend with a broken washer full of wet towels!

    1. Gopher
      They sell those at Lehman’s, but they’re pricey at $250 and got mixed reviews, so I never bought one myself. I’m thinking maybe a mop bucket with a good mop wringer might be just as good and more affordable.

      1. Chipmunk, I hunted in the bush in my younger years. A good hand wringing will get out an amazing amount of water. Grab both ends and keep twisting. But your idea would get a lot of water out of clothing. Thanks for the idea.

      2. Chipmunk in the Sand Box we used Rubbermaid 2 bucket mop buckets with a mop squeezer, a toilet plunger with a few 1 inch holes in it as an agitator along with 550 cord twisted and well tensioned to act as clothes pins. Did an excellent job washing and drying clothes before the wind blown dirt got them grubby again. Wheels removed on a table so you don’t have to do the hunchback of Notre Dame and your good to go. Adding a hose bib or two and a length of hose to drain it would be nice.

        Side one was wash water, side two the rinse water. You start with your underwear, socks and such, then your shirts, then the pants. When the water was too nasty then dump and start again.

        I DO suggest a good way to eliminate nasty soapy water as biting bugs LOVE it and breed like crazy. A 4 foot X 4 foot dump pit works well with daily back fill.

  20. My top priority is insulin for DW. With recent EO’s I am worried about the cost.
    I have mutiple canners but I need to build a fire pit or rocket stove with an adjustable grate to have better control of the heat. Canning on an open fire can be dangerous without good heat control.

  21. Knowledge comes first. It can’t be taken away, and if you write it down you don’t need to worry about forgetting.
    Water catchment. If you can’t get water catchment then store all the water you can in the soil so it doesn’t need to be watered as much.
    Anything passive. Passive heating, passive cooling, passive watering–if it takes equipment, it might break down.
    Seeds you can count on. Heirloom or equivalent, but things your family will eat and you know how to save and grow.
    Tools and replacements for tools.
    Medical equipment and knowledge

    What I wish I had:

    A rural location (at least 5 acres, preferably with a house, a well and/or a running stream)
    Solar for that house
    5 years of wood (fuel) stored
    An underground root cellar (i.e., cheese cave, meat curing area)
    5 years of food stored

    1. Old man gave me a good bit of advice several years ago. He said a dull pencil will always be better than the sharpest mind. It stuck with me, and I wrote it down in my journals for my kids to read.

  22. Along with more medical, I would have a complete solar system. We have a south facing roof. Can’t get Mr. to budge. “Someone might see the panels”,,,sigh oh well. At least my bitching has brought forth the propane and the well. Know how women are, we just keep a bitching cause we know what should be done and eventually the barrier is broken….:-)

    1. Consider the information in Ken’s recent article about mounting the panels. If your house faces south would it be possible to locate them in the backyard with the house making them hard to see?

  23. Got remote, good land, reliable water, mild weather, livestock, an orchard, and wild meat sources already. Most desired is a reliable way for my group to be able to get here should things go south. Some are not too far, but others are about 800 miles away. Would like to give each of them an e-bike and trailer, JIC, but that’s awfully spendy. Guess I’ll buy a lottery ticket.

  24. Most important prep,is maybe not a bunch of stuff , or social security and 401k money ,that are about as secure as a snow flake in the wind ,as I look forward I see a end to SS and retirement plans coming ,savings will only last so long with time and inflation eating away at it ,, what are you doing to provide food and money on a recurring cycle independent of the system ,?? One only needs to look at Venezuela to see what’s coming ,,,,life as it was is going away ,,, bit by bit ,chip by chip ,faster than you realize, the young people won’t miss what they never knew,i see talk that insulin prices are going up now that Joe has had his pen out,talk is maybe as high as 1,000$a bottle ,tuff times coming for folks that need it,but then weight loss will help lower the need for insulin for some , ,, ,
    Don’t you just wonder what coming September will be like ??
    Ever think about Ellis Wyatt the character in Atlas shrugged,??what if that’s happening around you now ?
    Time for tea

  25. One thing I have done for years is to print articles/wisdom/how-to from the net and put them in sheet protectors in big 3 ring binders. If I read an article in a magazine that is helpful or handy, I cut it out and put the pages in the sheet protectors. That saves from trying to keep a bunch of magazines stored when you really only want to save a few pages. It the article is small, sometimes I just type it out and print it. I then add it to my binders in the appropriate tabs. If information seems conflicting, I still keep both articles and write down what I found on further research and add it. I sure have added a lot of things from this website. Thanks to all of your for the wisdom.

    1. It would be interesting to hear how you sort topics. i.e. What are the tabs titled? I find so many articles cover multiple subjects it’s hard to categorize.

      1. MamaLark,

        I try to keep it simple.

        Food Prep/Recipes (canning, dehydration, smoking, curing, recipes. Biggest tab)
        Natural/Herbal Remedies (got a lot from this site!)
        Cleaning Hacks
        Garden/Orchard (probably my 2nd biggest section)
        Animal Info (usually feed mixes, treatments for common problems, and Vet/Vaccine info)
        Construction/Fabrication (thinks barn plans, fencing info, tips on construction layouts)
        Hunting/Fishing/Trapping (usually articles or tips from magazines)
        Mechanical Repair (Trucks/Tractors/ATVs/Mowers)
        Home Repair
        Farm Repair

        I also have another binder for my kids on how to run the farm. They know most of it, but there is always something that changes for the ones not living here. It reads like a how to manual. The first section is every day stuff.

        I hope that helps!

  26. The one item I would like to have is a large capacity pressure canner, like the All American. I’m good on other items under canning supplies category. No reason not to buy one just too tight I suppose.

  27. I’m continually seem to add contents of my shtf bags. My main goal was emergency medical needs as well as prescribed medication for myself and my group. If the economy does collapse medical attention will be hard to find nevertheless a way to fill your prescription.

  28. Heckler and Koch G3, i love this gun, throw it into the mud, take it up, NEVER will have malfunctions, fantastic ar (and “special ammo” ,against non armored targets, cause the diefference to standart ammo is HUGE, and the only armored targets (police , US army , cause we have no army…), i definetly not planing to shot at…)
    (but cause iam out of europe, i would really take ANY ar, i could get, but i dont know violent criminals, iam no violent criminal, and over the inet, its nearly 100% sure scam, or a gouverment honeypot, but iam afraid soon we could be at a point, where defending your property must be done by everyone by himself.

    I NEVER could understand , why the sentence : “a gun transforms a victim into a civilian!” is for nearly all europeans not understandable…

    and i already have, and i planning to buy more full-light-spectrum-growing light, for indoor farming

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