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Born 120 years too late.
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4,273 Posts
Lately....

Engine oil and filters.
Shop sprays (penetrating/cleaning)
Chainsaw bar oil


Lay out your other prep item ideas, or what you've put back lately that you don't normally
SAVE your oil change oil and strain it through an old Tshirt then you use it for bar chain oil.
Did it for years until I got tired of crawling under my vehicles to do my own oil changes. Dead of winter, middle of summer no problems. Went through gallons of the stuff that way.
 

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I ain't doing that!!
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6,512 Posts
Anything I touch during any given day while running my home. I haven't worried much about the garage -- that is my husband's domain -- until recently. And he hasn't worried much about what is needed for inside -- that is my domain and he leaves it to me.

Now my mindset has done a 180. My recent accident has taught me that delegating ANY knowledge to just one person in a couple is a dangerous way to live. What if he got hurt and something around here needed to be repaired? We've already found out what it's like for him to deal with an insurance issue when I'm laid up in the hospital and don't know (or to be honest, am so medicated I'm not really capable) how to make a decision on the issues needing attention.

So ... Now that I am home -- and still medicated heavily but not as much as I was in the hospital -- and he is off work on FMLA so he can take care of me, we are actively working towards him learning everything that goes into our finances and the hows/whys that enabled him to come home to a clean house, animals that seem to NEVER need care, and all that was required of him was to shuck his work clothes and put his feet up in his recliner.

As soon as I start getting over the post percussive syndrome symptoms I will learn about 2-stroke engines (?? the lawn mover, I think that's what he said lol) and basic maintenance on the vehicles. I already known the basics of reloading. Now it's time to learn the nuts and bolts -- and how to clean the guns. (We joke all the time that the only thing that has saved our marriage is the fact I need someone to clean my guns. Haha!)
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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66,249 Posts
In my opinion, water should always be top priority. I can't count the number of posts I've seen where someone has 3-4 months to a years worth of food, and a few cases of bottled water.

You can live a month without food. But you can only live a few days without water.

Even if you have a well or spring, it still makes sense to store water. We've had a few posts on here from folks who didn't think it was important. But after their well pump went out or whatever and it took a week or two to get it fixed, it became clear that storing water was important regardless how much supply you have. It's always a shame to have to learn a lesson the hard way, especially one that may cost lives.

Remember the blizzard of 2011 when everything froze up? What if it becomes too dangerous to go to the river/stream/lake to get some more?
 

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Dirt Dweller
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94 Posts
We finally bought a permanent home and are able to store some things. I agree with #7 above and have bought some books and printed articles on how to fix, repair and build things. Also picked up some junk silver to use as currency. Food, water, meds and ammo are in good shape and getting better. I took my hunting bow in to get new strings and tune up. Probably get some new carbon arrows.
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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4,273 Posts
In my opinion, water should always be top priority. I can't count the number of posts I've seen where someone has 3-4 months to a years worth of food, and a few cases of bottled water.

You can live a month without food. But you can only live a few days without water.

Even if you have a well or spring, it still makes sense to store water. We've had a few posts on here from folks who didn't think it was important. But after their well pump went out or whatever and it took a week or two to get it fixed, it became clear that storing water was important regardless how much supply you have. It's always a shame to have to learn a lesson the hard way, especially one that may cost lives.

Remember the blizzard of 2011 when everything froze up? What if it becomes too dangerous to go to the river/stream/lake to get some more?
COULDN'T agree more.

One of the benefits of living in the "water wonderland" is pretty much no matter where you live, you are not more than a 10-15 minute walk to a body of fresh water. Where I sit now, I am 50 feet from a pond on the property and a couple hundred feet from 2 others. I have 5 different fresh water lakes within a 4 mile radius. right now our water table is low, meaning you can dig down to almost 6 feet and not hit water. In the spring it was up to 3 feet of surface. There are NO basements in my area.. and we are in the high part of the county. In the low lands all you do is drive a pipe into the ground and you have a flowing well. In one part of the county there is an old flowing well pipe, it is a 8" pipe and it runs full boiling out of the ground, hits the ditch and eventually gets around to reaching Lake Huron by various ditches and streams... and it has been doing it for over 100 years.

It is one of the reasons why I stayed in Michigan and in the north. Unless you are dead, you can always access fairly clean water. The rest, food and such is easier to manage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
SAVE your oil change oil and strain it through an old Tshirt then you use it for bar chain oil.
Did it for years until I got tired of crawling under my vehicles to do my own oil changes. Dead of winter, middle of summer no problems. Went through gallons of the stuff that way.
All of my engine drain oil goes in a plastic 55g barrel. Mostly used as drip oil, dripped into the shop woodstove.
Good idea on the bar oil though. I once knew a guy that used used engine oil all the time in his chainsaw. It was rather messy looking, but worked.

We store quite a bit of water, both in and out of the house, in gallon and 5 gallons containers.
Keep bottled and canned for drinking, plus filters.
I want to eventually add a hand pump to our well, but price and availability of a deep pump right now, and modifications to the well house has that stopped from going forward.
So back to the generator if we have to resort to that. Also have 2 ponds as a last resort.
 

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Clothes. You’re going to be losing weight and you need clothes that fit. Kids are going to grow so they need clothes that fit. Same with shoes.

Books on hand, not electronic. We have the entire Foxfire series, wild edibles,

Clothes patterns and bolts of fabric plus ways to sew.

Socks. We buy 2 packs every time we need socks and stock one pack.

Washcloths. We buy the 12 packs from Walmart.

Clothes pins and line.
 

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Indefatigable
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19,903 Posts
Hubby took a day off and we got some medical stuff done. He went to the dentist, I went to the eye Dr and got 2 new pair. We both got our flu vaccine and I also had the pneumonia one. We filled all our prescriptions for 90 days and topped off OTC meds. We ordered ahead and picked up a box of power bars, a few packages of slippery elm throat lozenges and Kratom from the health food store.
On the way out for the day we had dropped all 4 dogs and 1 cat off at the Vets for their yearly check ups, pedicures, baths and any vaccines they needed. No health issues there.
On the way back to pick them up, we stopped at the feed store, bought an extra bag of dog food and cat litter, flea/tick and heartworm meds for 6 months and topped off the OTC vet meds.
 
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Water is #1 I think. I'm on a year round creek with 3 wells. Recently all of my wells broke due to various reasons all at the same time. Hauling water from my city house I realized how much water we actually go through just for drinking not to mention cooking, shower, washing clothes. Living without water is absolutely miserable. I also recommend some kind of manual water filtration and many extra filters or filter media. Even a big counter top one that runs on gravity. I'm saving for the Aqua Rain. We would go through 5 gallons every couple days as a family of four for cooking and drinking. That's a lot. Over weeks and months it adds up to hundreds and hundreds of gallons. If you add in washing cloths and dishes and showers it's 1,000 gallons in a couple weeks just for that. The bigger you can make your storage the better. In ground natural storage is the best. Have a way to manually get quantity ideally. Have backups and redundancy. Have grid and solar and manual options. You can't be too careful or paranoid here imho!

The other things people maybe don't always think about:

Vitamins. If supply chains break down you will be eating rice and beans or some other simple fare unless you grow your own so vitamins could give your body the strength to pull through some illnesses caused by malnutrition.

Manual tools. If supply chains break down there is a good chance you won't have fuel or electricity and manual tools could get you by for a bit.

Heavy blankets. If supply chains break down there is a good chance you will go without as much firewood, natural gas, electricity, there could be brown outs or larger outages. Heavy blankets can help you conserve energy and calories. You burn more calories when you are cold.

Tarps. Tarps are just super useful for keeping materials dry. Covering broken windows. Temporary roof cover. Freezing and thawing and moisture will mess up a lot of good stuff in a hurry.

Medical supplies. One of the biggest causes of death back in the day was infection. Stocking up on alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, high strength vinegar in covid times is hard but I feel it should be attempted. Bandages and bandaid. Keeping. Wounds covered so dirt doesn't get in them is important.

Traps & bait. You might have to resort to eating game if you are in an airid region. Stocking bullets for large game is likely a waste as the large animals will be pushed to the brink of extinction almost immediately after any situation where law & order breaks down. Some animal traps will make it easier. A lot of small game is nocturnal. Peanutbutter is a good bait that keeps well. Most of these small game animals are sick so cook the heck out of them and emergencies only. You might consider a way to harvest and breed insects as well, those are safer. Grasshoppers and crickets can live almost exclusively on cellulose and water. Worms can live on compost. And they all make good eating if made into burgers. Consider beekeeping, honey is good energy.

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A good greenhouse can extend your growing season. Learn how to use them. Victory gardens were a thing, and they may be again one day soon.

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Fertilizer Producer
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Poking my head in after a multi year hiatus.

I'd say that water is, as others have noted, the first priority. Not just for drinking, but for food prep (unless you like eating dry rice and beans), sanitation (cleaning yourself, dishes/utensils, clothing, etc), and maybe even for flushing toilets if you have enough water. Short term, we have water storage, and long term we are within walking distance of an urban creek - we're about 2.5 miles downstream from the source, which means that the possibility of contamination is somewhat reduced. There's a large pond on it about a downstream from us. It flows year-round where we are, which can't be said a few miles downstream. We have the capacity to filter water and transport it from the stream to our home water storage. Wouldn't be fun necessarily but we would be able to keep the tank full.

Power generation of any sort - not batteries, but the means to actually generate power - would be another important one. Foldable solar panels are the cheapest, easiest, and lowest footprint way to achieve this, but that's more for charging small devices and batteries/solar generators. Right now we're using foldable solar panels and deep cycle batteries. I'd like to get whole-house solar (rooftop panels, battery bank, wired into the home's electrical system and breaker panel, etc) set up, but there are multiple factors that are postponing that upgrade.

Toilet paper and large plastic trash bags. Toilet paper for obvious reasons as 2020 showed, trash bags because - as we saw this year in New York - in even relatively benign circumstances garbage collection systems can break down. We may end up needing to bag up weeks worth of trash before it's collected. In a pinch (roof leak, window break,etc) plastic trash bags can also be stretched and taped as a temporary waterproof (and windproof) barrier.

Lighting would be my fourth and last suggestion. It gets dark here now at about 4:30 pm and we don't have a sunrise until about 7 am. Having any kind of light source in a power outage is basically mandatory. We've got a couple USB-powered lights that can plug into small battery banks or laptops (a laptop in standby mode is functionally a battery bank), we've got solar lights (notionally for outdoors but why not use them indoors), we've got an oil lamp that we bought years ago (it's supposed to burn kerosene but vegetable oil or melted crisco will work too in a pinch), and we've got the usual candle and flashlight supply.
 

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Check out root cellars & canning too, if you have the space, I feel like they are super useful skills and allow to cheaply store cycles of root veggies. There's books on it. Areas in basements can work. It would be more painful learning mistakes during emergency situation.

Keeping livestock is great food security, or a small flock of chickens. The smaller the animal the more efficient it is. Backyard chickens is easy eggs are great. Have the land capacity to support a small herd if you have the skills. There are easy books on animal husbandry. Sheep can provide milk, wool, and meat, and don't take much land. Same with goats. They are great companions too. Usually just shoot for breaking even on feed.

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Swirl Herder
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3,615 Posts
The prep items is too long a list (and is also quite situational).

It is important to understand that skills that combine with items to provide capabilities are also preps.

It is best to consider items in the context of the capability they provide.

The following are some of the main capabilities:

Shelter
Water
Food
Financial independence
Fuels and lubricants
Security
Defence (and where it is the best form of Defence, Offence)
Mobility
Demolitions
Concealment
Impact protection
Eyeware
Hunt, fish, forage
Food production, agriculture, livestock
Food cookery and preservation
Rope, rig, rapel, load suspension/lifting, ladders
First Aid
Medical
Offgrid, mobile and renewable electrical power generation, storage and processing
Communications
Knowledge storage
Maps & Navigation
Remote Sensing and surveillance
Construction, fabrication, repair, manufacture
Equipment maintenance
Timber harvest and processing
Blacksmithing, metal recycling and casting
Clothing, footware, wet/hot/cold protection
Nutritional supplements
Hygiene
Trade goods, aid items
Network, Mutual Assistance, local skills and information network
NBC detection and PPE
 

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Extra fertilizer, mulch and soil amendments. Anything you need to produce a useful food garden. Soil needs attention every year to remain healthy enough to provide healthy food.
 

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Pool shock. Shelf life of years in a mason jar with a plastic lid. Make your own bleach or purity water. If you already have plenty of filters, think about it as something you could give away.
 
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