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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm brand new to this forum, so I haven't had a chance to read through every post yet. (I will try, though!)

I'm wondering if anyone has a ready list they can post which indicates which survival gear is the most important (in decending order) since I've been trying to follow preparedness guidelines on a shoestring.

I can only pick up a few items here and there as I find them or have resources to buy them. Obviously there might be some conflicts between what is most affordable and what is the most important to procure.

Can anyone help me out here, especially since I don't exactly know all what I'm preparing FOR, I don't know what is most important. A quandry, for sure.


Looks like rain to me.
41,431 Posts

Welcome to the forum.

First I think would be 30 days food that can be moved quickly if need be. Second is a way to protect it. The caliber should start with a 4.

Next, sit down and look around your area. What disasters are you most likely to have. Fire, earthquake, tornado etc. What gear do you need to get through that. Most likely you have tht around the house.

Next. If you had to leave the house, work or area with 10 minutes or so notice, what fits in a pack? Your 30 day supply might fit in your vehicle, but what could you carry to get along for a week or so.

That's a start.

Again, welcome.

Freedom isn't free.
6,204 Posts
The survival rules of three will help you to find your priorities.

You can survive three minutes without oxygen.
You can survive three hours without shelter.
You can survive three days without water.
You can survive three weeks without food.
You can survive three months without hope.

Oxygen: Can you stop bleeding, got lung disease?, any alergic reactions?, survive air polutants?, can you swim or keep your head above water?

Shelter: That also included protective clothing.

Water includes: Sources of water, water storage, being able to make questionable water safe to drink, medications to stop digestive issues and vomitting which dehydrate you.

6,847 Posts
There is no one specific piece of gear that is indispensable. Decide what you are prepping for first, then worry about getting what you need to meet your needs.

The place you are sheltering in.
Your neighbors and your local community.
Food and water, cooking and purification gear
Medical supplies
News and information from the outside world.
Reliable local transportation
Cold weather gear and heat source where appropriate
Probably firearms

Most important: Knowledge of how to use what you have to its greatest utility.

The order varies with what kind of emergency you are prepping for and whether it is short, medium or long term.

Firearms are probably least important prep for disasters less serious than TEOTWAWKI but some people consider them essential at all times. YMMV.

3,812 Posts
The basics are always the same: shelter, food, water, fire and weapons. Those don't change regardless whether you're bugging in or out. The list that's best for you is the one you create yourself.

Lux in Tenebris
6,914 Posts

Before we get into the "stuff," you need to be prepared, as you said, you don't know what you are preparing for, so I have included for your reading pleasure what I am preparing for mainly, Truck Stoppages and the cascading effects....

I don't care why they stop; Martians, EMP, ChiCom Para's, Martial Law, Middle East War, et al, for if they stop for an extended period of time, 5+ days (IMHO) that is a SHTF moment...

That said, start off being able to go 72 hrs per the Red Cross/FEMA guidlines, then build upon that to a week, then two, then a month, and it will snowball from there....Trust me....

As many have said, cover the basics: water at 1-2 gal per person per day, food at 1200 cal minimum per day, shelter you probably have covered, way to clean water, cook food without power, etc...

Buy and read the book: Dare to Prepare...

Remember, you prep for you and your anticipated scenerio and resources available..

A Timeline Showing the Deterioration of Major Industries Following a Truck Stoppage

The first 24 hours • Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.

• Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters
within hours. Radiopharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become
• Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
• Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component
• U.S. mail and other package delivery will cease.
Within one day • Food shortages will begin to develop.
• Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing
prices and long lines at the gas pumps.
• Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery,
assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.

Within two to
three days

• Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and
consumer panic.
• Supplies of essentials—such as bottled water, powdered milk, and
canned meat—at major retailers will disappear.
• ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process
• Service stations will completely run out of fuel for autos and trucks.
• Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
• Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted,
eventually coming to a standstill.

Within a week • Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel. Without autos and
busses, many people will not be able to get to work, shop for groceries,
or access medical care.

• Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.

Within two weeks • The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.

Within four weeks • The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for
drinking only after boiling. As a result gastrointestinal illnesses will
increase, further taxing an already weakened health care system.

This timeline presents only the primary effects of a freeze on truck travel. Secondary effects must be
considered as well, such as inability to maintain telecommunications service, reduced law enforcement,
increased crime, increased illness and injury, higher death rates, and likely, civil unrest.


Capability, not scenarios
11,964 Posts
There are stickies at the top of this section of the forum, and they are an excellent place to start.

As far as what you're preparing for, that's easy: It's some event or circumstances that cuts off your water, your electricity, your food supply, your heat. The name of the game is to prepare substitutes for the normal ways in which you access those things.

Does it matter why the water stops flowing? No. What matters is that if it does, I have my own supply.

The only two exceptions I can think of to the above advice are defending your stuff from attack or confiscation, and an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). If you intend to account for those, then you need some way to defend yourself, and you may wish to protect your electronics in Faraday cages.

Renaissance Man
7,503 Posts

Water (storage, but consider other sources like creeks, ponds and rainwater. Also includes at least two methods of purification, one should be small, light, and portable)
Food (include fire making, cooking, and cleaning)
Shelter (appropriate for location and environment... something small, light, and portable is a good idea for backup in case you have to leave your main shelter)
Security (all that stuff won't do you any good if you can't hang on to it. OPSEC is part one, weapons is part two)


16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow! Thank you, SgtBooker44, CrypticCRICKET, TMcArthur, wyldflwr, Tidelander, PSYOP Soldier, goose3, and azb! Since I cannot "thank you" for your post any other way until I have three (or five, depending upon what I read) posts, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your quick responses!

I'm eager to get to all the links and info you've all provided and get more prepping done for the unknown. I have so many questions, but I'm trying to read the gazillions of posts on this site too, as many of them are answered already, I've discovered! I'll try to be patient and look for already-answered stuff before rehashing old topics on here. If something is really eating at me though, I may have to just bug you guys, as the whole uncertainty of our world is so stressful, and it is hard to function, let alone tackle something as big as prepare for survival!

To SgtBooker44; I have a question of you regarding the 30-day supply. If I had the money, I'd think the protein/energy bars that supply all you need for a meal would be the way to go, since it would be less weight/bulk to pack. Do you have any other suggestions? Thirty days of stuff is a LOT of stuff, and in an emergency, I'd guess I could live on light-to-carry packages of beef jerky and nuts. I'm trying to collect canned-goods for sheltering-in-place, but it would be way too heavy to carry them, I'd guess. Being in central Wisconsin, the only disaster I probably don't have to worry about is tsunami, unless the New Madrid causes the Mississippi to run backwards again and it flows way inland! Just thinking about storing things in my basement to be safe from tornado, and then considering flooding might happen so I need to haul them out of my basement, or thinking about earthquake crushing my house and all my supplies (so where to store them in that case?) I haven't been able to procure anything to generate my own electricity, so that's high on my list, or buying solar or hand-crank stuff would be great but that requires $$. I could go on an on through the types of catastrophes I'm imagining, so you can see why my mind is reeling.

Thank you, CrypticCRICKET for your helpful info as well! I'm going to work on your excellent prioritized suggestions as well. Sort of a Mazlow's Heirarchy of Needs for Survivalists! Lots of stuff for me to gather in just those priorities!

To TMcArthur, I agree I need to pick what disaster I'm trying to survive, but doesn't it seem that many of the scenarios would have me prepare in a totally different way than in others? I just think of the earthquake/tornado/flood differences of where I'd want to be when it happened. I am going to work on gathering the stuff you've mentioned in your list though, and just hope I have it stored in the right place. Do you or anyone know how to get my pharmacy to sell me three-month's-worth of prescriptions? I am guessing the only way is to have to pay full-price cash for them all, as insurance companies refuse to allow it. Any suggestions? Regarding knowledge, I have already downloaded just about every FEMA, Red Cross, USGS, etc. organization's preparation information so far, and I can't wait to check out the information on THIS site!

Thank you wyldflwr and Tidelander for your info too, as I am working on my own list since it does need to be personalized for my own medical needs, for example. I'm checking out the link you've kindly provided for me too.

To PSYOP Soldier, I'm shocked at that timeline! How scary! I'm going to find the book "Dare to Prepare" too, as you suggested. Very informative stuff you've provided too. I desperately need to find a used amateur radio, as I've had my license for several years but can't afford one. That would be really helpful in many of these emergencies.

Thank you goose3, too, for your help. Regarding the water supply, I live just outside of a mid-sized city in a rural setting and we have well water. I've been pondering if it's possible to install a hand pump (and pipe) on top of our well casing so it could be manually operated for those no-electricity times? Otherwise, if sheltering-in-place in the most extreme cases where I could not exit my home, I was wondering if trying to drill a small hand-pump right in my basement would be silly? What if I hit bedrock? I'm sure I can't be punching holes in the concrete floor all over, looking for the right place? What do you do to ensure a water supply? I also have to study Faraday cages, and saw a post a moment ago whether a car can serve that purpose. (I don't know anything about that subject yet, although I've heard of it)

Thank you to azb, for your help. I live about a mile from a creek as well, but depending upon the emergency, or the weather, it might not be feasible to rely upon. Security is lacking, as I'm not sure how just the two of us would be able to defend our home against "zombies" or food-seeking intruders. Those fears make me think that it is fruitless to prepare, as I worry that hoards of people will start to roam from home to home, looting supplies for themselves. What do we do to prepare against that?

Whew! This a long thank you and reply, but I wanted to be sure to respond to everyone that took the time and effort to help me! I appreciate you all! Thanks for the welcome to the forum too!

530 Posts
On a shoestring, try to get as many items as possible used. Garage sales, Salvation Army and St. Vincint De Paul, Craig's list, Amazon, ebay, in-person auctions.

Obviously not everything can be purchased used, but do what you can. I am amazed at what is being given away for free every day on Craig's list; lumber, construction supplies, wood (for burning), even truck campers.

For your food; only buy on sale (one exception is the LDS cannery; they don't have sales and their prices are always low). When there is a sale buy up to their sale limit.

I made the mistake when I started of just going out and getting everything NOW. I could have save a lot by following the advice above.
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