Emergency Essentials | A Survival Gear List

Emergency Supplies List

Emergency Essentials And Survival Gear List

What Emergency?

This is a comprehensive guide and survival gear list which will teach you how to survive a disaster, and steps to preparing your own cache of emergency essentials and backup supplies. We’ll also cover a 7 day survival kit for families, and what to put in a bug out bag.

Lot’s of people now engage in some form of survival planning, and you’ll find that almost all of them will say that they are preparing for any kind of emergency or disaster that could directly affect them and their families; they’re disaster preppers. Survival prepping is the act of learning self-reliance, self-sufficiency, sustainability and self-preservation, but it’s also about preparing for potential disasters or emergencies by having “available” adequate means of survival as it relates to the basics… food, water, shelter, fire, defense and medical. It starts with a survival gear list.

I’ve spent most of my life in law enforcement, public safety and corporate security, and also served in the military, so I have a great deal of information about preparedness to share with you.

This is a very long article so I recommend that you Like or Pin it now as a future reference, or bookmark it.

Thanks to television and shows like Doomsday Preppers and great sites like the American Preppers Network , many people now consider getting ready for emergencies to be an essential and rational way of life. When you look at the increasing threats facing society, and mankind’s ever-increasing reliance on government and society for their very existence (can you grow and harvest your entire food supply, can you protect your family and possessions), it’s no wonder that there’s an increased awareness of our need to get back to basics… being able to care for and provide for ourselves. In fact, it’s really a modern phenomena that finds entire societies incapable of performing basic activities that less than 100 years ago were considered common.

Few modern people could survive in basic environments without outside assistance or modern conveniences, and certainly not in harsh or hostile environments.

There is a considerable amount to learn and know about this topic and so this is a lengthy article. But for those new to emergency preparedness I hope that this guide and tutorial will be helpful, and that you’ll bookmark it; it’s very long and detailed so you’ll want to come back, and hopefully you’ll share it. You can also like it on Facebook and share it with friends and family that you care about. Emergencies and disaster can strike in any place and at any time, and knowing how to survive a disaster can be the difference between life and death.

In this article you will learn how to make your own survival gear list and how to prepare the following:

~ 7 Day Survival Kit For Local Disasters

~ 7 Day Survival Bug Out Bag (and a discussion of aftermath)

~ Long Term “Bunker In” Survival Kit

Please share this with those who matter to you and to anyone you think would benefit from it. Many thanks. crisis preparedness

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First Things First – Survival Gear Overview

A Survival Gear List Is More Than Stockpiling Food

Food Pantry Survival Products StorageBefore we begin to discuss the reasons why a person should take serious the need for emergency essentials, and the things we consider in a survival gear list, let’s first talk about what it means to prepare for emergencies or disaster. Having this understanding is fundamental, in my opinion, and often overlooked by many people. Too many people take a “prepping SHTF” approach, meaning they aren’t thinking about survival planning on the broad scale.

There is an indefinite amount of supplies and equipment that you can accrue in your efforts to build the most robust emergency preparedness plan ever. In fact you can have the most bullet proof reaction and escape plan ever devised… but then what? What happens when the smoke clears? What happens post disaster when your supplies dwindle, have been destroyed or stolen? What happens when Murphy has his way and your plans didn’t quit work out the way you intended?

My point is that all of the emergency supplies and planning are great, and necessary in fact. However, the single most important part of survival gear is… knowledge! As I alluded to in my introduction, people have long since lost the knowledge and skills necessary to perform basic, everyday tasks that are necessary for survival when society isn’t capable of providing for you. There are a host of disasters that could occur which could threaten agriculture, manufacturing, shipping and supply, retail operations and government services. And it’s not just you that needs to have this knowledge, but everyone in your family.

knowledge is power

Yes, books are survival gear.

So with that in mind your first steps toward preparing needs to be your own education. Over the years I’ve added a lot of books to my collection, and there are a few that I believe are invaluable to every single family; books that explain and teach you how to do things that our grandparents (and those before them) knew how to do as children. In fact every generation in the history of mankind had this basic knowledge of self-sufficiency and sustainability prior to 100 years ago, and it has steadily dwindled since. I’m talking about planting and harvesting crops (large and small), hunting, fishing, trapping, homesteading, canning and preserving foods, raising farm animals… you get the idea.

When power fails, when the internet isn’t available… how will you learn, how will you know what to do? That is why you must add good books like this to your emergency essentials inventory now and make every effort to read and understand them… you may not go out and raise some cows in order to learn how, but having the knowledge is a great start should you ever find the need to do it. You should also add books on things such as basic survival skills and I’ve outlined those books below. Whether you’re prepping for SHTF type situations or simply realize how important knowledge is, these books are crucial to your survival gear list.

Know More – Need Less

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Must Have In Every Emergency Essentials Kit

Put These On Your Survival Supplies Checklist

These are my top picks, and books that I personally own and have read. These books will help prepare you should the need ever arise to do things modern people haven’t had to in a long, long time. It may also spark an interest in self-sufficiency that turns into something very rewarding. These Are Books At Amazon

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition
by Carla Emery

This book covers such a wide variety of topics you won’t believe it. It does as well as any book can in covering so many topics AND explaining them in a way so that YOU can do them, too. It’s a fairly large book, and worth every single penny you’ll spend on it. If I was taking just one book in a doomsday bag, this would be it.

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre
by Brett L. Markham

This is an awesome guide for newbies to growing their own crops… it’s specifically geared towards a smaller garden and therefore is ideal for everyone no matter where you live. For those who know nothing about gardening and growing, this is an awesome start. You’ll be so glad you took the steps necessary to grow your own fresh vegetable.


Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition

Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition
by Abigail R. Gehring

This is another awesome book that covers many of the same things talked about in The Encyclopedia of Country Living, but there are some notable differences and both are worthy of owning.

Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness

Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness
by John McPherson, Geri McPherson

This book is about the here and now, about surviving today wherever you may find yourself. It covers survival essentials such as making a shelter, fire, food and water…. this is another MUST HAVE. Unlike the other books that may simply become a reference, this book is one you must read now… these skills aren’t something that you can look up later or read about when you need them. If you’re going all in this is a great resource for building a wilderness survival equipment list.

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What Is The Most Likely Doomsday Scenario

What Does An Emergency Look Like

start preparedness with a proper list

According to the International Federation of Red Cross a disaster is “a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can have human origins.”

There are a whole host of scenarios that disaster preppers believe could befall society and for which they are preparing emergency essentials. Some are nonsensical and others… who knows. It’s beyond the scope I’ve set for this article to investigate and debate the merits of doomsday scenarios, so I won’t go into detail on them, but here are just some of those disasters or events that many people fear:

  • Super Volcano
  • Terrorists and their use of Bio or Nuclear Weapons
  • Solar Flare
  • Super Quake
  • Nuclear Holocaust
  • Social Unrest – Civil War
  • Economic Collapse
  • Global Pandemic
  • Water Shortage / Crisis
  • Polar Shift
  • Peak Oil Crisis

As you can see, the range of possible calamities is quite large, and the consequences for mankind could vary considerably. It is precisely because of that (that the threat we might face is unknown or uncertain) which leads me to believe that the most rational approach to readiness is to cover the basics of life considering a broad range of threats, and to be prepared mentally to provide for yourself and your family. This mental preparation comes from, as discussed earlier, learning all you can about self-sufficiency and independent living. And of course, writing a solid survival gear list for your situation and acting on it.

Here’s a short list of some of the acronyms you’ll hear about or read when you’re around preppers.

  • SHTF – Poop Hits The Fan
  • TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It
  • AHBL – All Hell Breaks Loose
  • BOB – Bug Out Bag
  • BOL – Bug Out Location
  • BOV – Bug Out Vehicle
  • YOYO – You’re On Your Own
  • MRE – Meals, Ready to Eat (military meals, no need for water or stove)
  • WROL – Without Rule Of Law (total chaos, anarchy)
  • FIFO – First In First Out (regarding the rotation of your SHTF food supplies)

Let’s talk about preparedness now.

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Prophets of Doom – Disasters The Experts Foresee

Why Preparing For The Apocalypse Makes Sense To Them

If you haven’t yet seen this History Channel documentary, then you should check this out. It is over an hour long so come back and check it out when you have the time. It is truly an interesting watch, to see how different experts view our future and the possible scenarios that will spell the beginning of the end.

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How To Start A List Of Survival Gear

Step 1 – Identify Your Objective

Starting a preparedness listNow let’s move in to learning how to begin preparing and storing emergency essentials for YOUR scenario. Families should be getting ready for both short-term and long-term disasters, and their plans and supplies will be markedly different for both. Likewise, the steps you take to prepare for your own defense will be significantly different depending on what you’re readiness scenario looks like. So before we dig in let’s understand the big picture of the various components to survival preparation; it’ll help you in survival planning. Three components of preparing for survival:

~ Emergency preparedness for local and short-lived disasters (think tornadoes and hurricanes),

Having lived through and responded to many disasters like tornadoes, flooding, and blackouts due to ice storms, all typically short-lived disasters (relatively), I have personal, first hand knowledge of the types of supplies and equipment which are most needed. The needs in this type of crisis are immediate and so long-term planning isn’t really part of the equation. This 7 day emergency plan is the type of planning that in my opinion is essential for every family, regardless of where they live, and it’s much more simple and specific than readiness for a large-scale disaster. In the short-term scenario your goal is to be capable of surviving for 7 days without assistance (food, water, utilities, and maybe even police, fire and medical). Your survival gear list will be based on this need.

~ Emergency preparedness for long-term and potentially wide-spread disasters (think pandemic, nuclear emergency or societal collapse)

In a large-scale disaster you have to ask yourself if you plan to Bunker In or Bug Out. And even within that question there are lot’s of variables that come in to play, and it’s these variables that give prepping its uniqueness… very few disaster preppers go about it the exact same way. Because of this I will break the long-term survival segment into two sub sections… bunkering in and bugging out. The notion behind long-term survival planning is that some event will significantly disrupt society’s ability to provide basic services and that retailers may be shut down for lack of supplies, and that this disruption in services will be wide-spread and ongoing for a lengthy period of time.

~ Personal and home defense.

Personal and home defense is something that you need to consider and also prepare for, no matter what your survival plan looks like. Essentially you have to match your needs, capabilities and comfort level with the various types of defenses and weapons. Defense is a truly personal and specific thing, and I’ve seen everything used from passive deterrents to full-blown military-style preparedness. In defense more than any component of your readiness endeavors, you must practice and become familiar with your weapons and systems, now, well before you need to rely on them for your protection.

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Remember that no matter what your plan looks like and how well you prepare by stocking up on supplies, unless you actually prepare by training and walking through your disaster plan you may very well falter. There’s a reason why schools, hospitals and businesses have fire and disaster drills. If you care about your family and your ability to be successful in surviving a disaster, then prepare by practicing, and certainly if your plans involve weapons then you and your family must practice regularly to become proficient and safe with the weapons you’ll use. Lastly, remember that once a disaster strikes, everyone in your area will be rushing to the stores, like you, to buy whatever they can (including gasoline) and that’s why the stores are always sold out in minutes or hours after a disaster.

Don’t wait until then… take your safety and security seriously, and make preparing emergency essentials a part of your life. Find a good survival gear catalog or browse the list of online gun stores on our resource page, many of which also stock a lot of the products you’re looking for.

Step 2 – Create A 7 Day Survival Kit

Every Home Must Have These Emergency Essentials

Disaster Preparedness For SHTF ScenarioAlaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has a great program to help families prepare for emergencies and disasters, and one thing that they offer is a free survival gear list and plan in pdf format developed to help you create a 7 Day Survival Kit, easily, by getting emergency gear in small, manageable steps over a 24 week period. This is by far the best route for those who are prepping from scratch, because the cost might otherwise be overwhelming. For example, during week 1 here is their recommended list:

Gather and store the following items (* = per person):

  • 1 gallon of water*
  • 1 jar peanut butter
  • 2 large cans of juice*
  • 2 cans of meat*
  • 1 hand-operated can opener
  • permanent marker
  • diapers (if needed)
  • baby food (if needed)

Things To Do:

  • Date perishable items with marker
  • Decide on and notify out-of-area contact who can coordinate information for scattered family members

You can get this free Emergency Essentials pdf from the Alaska DHS by clicking their image link below.

Step By Step Guide For Creating A 7 Day Survival Kit

The point of this type of short-term emergency preparedness is to get you thinking about, and preparing for, a situation in which you maybe cannot leave your home, where retail supplies are not available, where social services and utilities are not working, and where your survival depends on your ability to provide for it, on your own. This is not the same type of survival kit that is referred to as a Bug Out Bag, where it is assumed you would have to get away in a hurry with only the things you can carry (thus the term, bug out bag). This 7 day survival kit is for the family preparing to survive in their home through a temporary, localized disaster, where space and weight are not a concern.

I have personally had to live through a week-long power outage caused by a massive ice storm, and without question the greatest concern was freezing temps, so I am addressing this issue first. If you live in an area where freezing or near freezing temps are possible then you must consider heat since it’s a requirement for survival in cold situations. It must be at the top of your survival gear list. If you have a fire place supplies for survival include heatthen always maintain a large enough supply of firewood to keep you for weeks at a time when wood is your sole source of heat. For those who heat with electricity (including gas heaters which require an electrical blower), you need to consider either supplementing your heating source with something like a wood pellet or wood burning stove that you install inside a room in your house (or even garage), or that you invest in an electrical backup generator (and ensure that you maintain a supply of fuel large enough to keep it running for days).

I know people who have bought old stoves like this one pretty cheap (though perhaps not so old as to be an expensive collectible), and installed it in their garage; it serves the purpose of heating and allows them to cook and warm water if necessary. It’s a great investment and wood as a fuel source is relatively inexpensive for most of us. If you want to go the extra mile on your supplemental stove you can add a hot water heater like this one that installs rather simply onto your flue, and then you’ll have plenty of hot water, heat and cooking capability.

Your 7 day survival kit should include at minimum 2 quarts of water, per day, per person. It’s better to assume 1 gallon a day so that you have extra water for cooking, brushing teeth, etc… The food is obvious, whatever gets you through 7 days, but it should be shelf stable foods because it’s being stored in a pantry somewhere to be used in an emergency. The best, most prepared among us keep a list of their stored items and then rotates those items out of the survival kit (like peanut butter) in order to keep the kit fresh and up to date. Make certain that you have a well stocked first aid kit (remember, circumstances may preclude a trip to the hospital or doctor, or even an ambulance).

Here’s a great video which highlights many of items to include in a basic home kit.

Here’s a basic survival gear list that you should include in your 7 day survival kit:

  • Food (Easy preparation, 2 week supply is optimal)
  • Water (1 Gallon, per day, per person – 2 quart per day minimum)
  • Prescription Medications
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medical Supplies (syringes, glasses, contacts and solution….)
  • N95 or surgical masks (in case fumes, smoke or chemical irritant becomes airborne, such as train derailment)
  • Baby supplies (if needed)
  • Pet supplies (food and medicine)
  • Flashlight (use an LED light for longer battery life)
  • Matches and lighter
  • Dual Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (with NOAA Weather)
  • Extra batteries
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene products
  • Cell phone with chargers (if you can, get a small rechargeable backup battery pack for cell phone)
  • Names and contact information for all family and relevant friends
  • Copies of all vital documents (medicines, birth certificates, drivers licenses, home ownership, passports, insurance, etc…)
  • Cash (you may not be able to withdraw money for a period of time)
  • Emergency or extra blankets (sleeping bags are fine)
  • Maps of the area in case you must coordinate with others

Additional emergency Items to consider adding to your essentials kit:

  • Games and activities for children
  • Two-way radios
  • Manual can opener
  • Whistle
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes for each person
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach (disinfectant and water purification)
  • Entertainment items (could be a long, boring wait)
  • Gas Masks if you live near train yards, chemical plants, nuclear power plants, etc…

I believe this will be a good resource and starting point for most people. You can certainly add any items you think you would want or need; it’s a home kit so space isn’t as big a concern. For more information on developing your 7 day survival kit I recommend you visit the American Red Cross and their site titled “Prepare Your Home and Family”. Having the kit is one thing, but being familiar with what to do in an emergency is just as crucial. So please follow-up on this 7 day survival kit at the Red Cross link I provided.

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How To Start Doomsday Prepping

A Quick Look At Emergency Essentials

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Step 3 – Build A Bug Out Bag – Survivalism 101

It’s The Very Heart Of Building A Survival Gear List

Alps OutdoorZ Bug Out BagTo be fair, the most die-hard end of the world preppers are truly ready for almost any eventuality and they have plans that allow them to bunker in during a crisis, and they also have the capability to bug out should the need arise. So whether you are willing to go that far in terms of preparation is up to you, but I’ll provide the information on both scenarios for your consideration. I personally think that everyone should have a bug out bag because of circumstances that could occur in every day life… train derailment causing a chemical spill, nuclear power plant disaster, epidemic outbreak locally, etc… It’s truly the basics of survivalism. So let’s talk about this bug out bag, why you need it and what to include inside.

First, give the bag itself careful and full consideration… it’ll be on your back a lot and carry everything you need to live.

You’ll notice from the image here that I’m not showing the typical military, hardcore MOLLE-type bag that most people do when discussing a bug out bag. In case you didn’t know, and if you’ve ever asked yourself what MOLLE stands for, it’s pronounced like the female name Molly, and is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, of military origin and use of course. MOLLE bags are awesome for attaching all sorts of things to the outside.

I own over 10 different backpacks / bags in various styles (including MOLLE) and have used them in almost every conceivable way. Some were used in law enforcement as my trunk bag, others as a range bag, and the rest on various types of hiking or backpacking excursions. They’ve seen rain, mud, snow, sun, rock cliffs and most things you would expect them to endure. I’ve found that no military type bag will serve mymolle style backpack straps purposes as a bug out bag. Sure, they look really cool, I love them. This photo on the right shows a close up of the MOLLE straps that allow you to attach all kinds of gear, which is a quite useful feature, especially for the military troops they’re designed for. But they’re more suited for a range or scout pack than anything else, in my opinion. Here’s why.

Companies that make real “backpacks” know that they’re competing in a very crowded market. They also know that if their product does not carry the load well it won’t survive in that market. That means it has to protect the cargo, and your back, for long periods of time in all conditions. Outside of the most expensive ones, none of the military packs I’ve worn or tested have had the capacity of a traditional backpack or carried the weight as well, and few of them have the considerations a true “backpack” will have.

For example, this Alps OutdoorZ Commander Freighter pack shown at top has externally accessible pockets designed for stowing and accessing things on the go, padding designed for long-range and long-term comfort, stowage for a rifle, a removable frame that can serve as a freighter frame for hauling meat or other heavy items, a top that detaches to be used for a day hike or scouting run. Basically it’s perfect for everything on my survival gear list. In the end you’ll pick what fits your needs and wallet, but for around $100 this particular bag simply cannot be beat, and I have hundreds of miles on mine to vouch for the usability. I also own more expensive bags but this is the one I take on the trail, every time. You can read more here about the ALPS OutdoorZ Commander FreighterDenali Survival Backpack. Also, I just found that Amazon has the ALPS Mountaineering Red Rock External PackAlps Mountaineering Orizaba Pack on sale; for those wanting a smaller but load-worthy pack like the Commander for family members.  Alps Outdoorz is a sister company to Alps Mountaineering… quality is synonymous with both.

If I have to bug out, meaning I’m leaving in a hurry with only the gear I have already stowed in the bag, and I have no idea if or when I’ll return home… then I want plenty of room and I need to know that I can stand the load; a pack does me no good whatsoever if it’s causing serious blisters due to wear, or causing me such back pain that I can’t walk. So whatever bag you start your kit with make sure you give way to performance and capability over the desire to look like a Ranger. While no one knows what a Doomsday scenario might bring, it’s unlikely that you’ll be engaging squads of zombies while on the run. More likely is that you’ll need to move your gear form point A to point B, which could be a long, long distance.

Some people plan to leave their home for a shelter or cabin elsewhere, out of town. And they make Bug Out Bags for that trip. In reality, the concept of a Bug Out Bag came about by military crisis readiness - learning how to build a fireunits being always on the ready and having the gear they need handy so they could grab and go if their position was being overran or they received orders to bail the position.

My Bug Out Bag will allow me to live off the land with only those items I have on me for a considerable amount of time. I can fish, hunt and trap for food, construct shelters with my tools, and provide for my own defense. If your plans involve leaving in a vehicle then your doomsday bag will look considerably different, and in fact your plans will be different. Instead of just a bug out bag, you’ll have a larger stash of supplies, and be able to take more gear and supplies.

In fact, if you are almost certain to be bugging out to a specific location then I would suggest storing caches of survival supplies there now, it’ll mean less you have to carry later. I recommend something like the Stanley 50 Gallon Mobile Chest, which will hold a lot of gear. Get some cheap rubber gaskets and line the lid so that when you close it you know its water tight. You can add an open bag of dry rice in each box, and it’ll absorb any moisture that might accrue and you can eat the rice later, too.

Wrap each chest in a tarp and bury it in a shallow hole, making certain that you cover and camouflage it well with leaves and debris to match the surrounding area, and make VERY certain that you know the area well and that your caches are marked clearly on your map, and that every member of your party knows where they are. Note: Pack and seal the container at home and then wash the outside of with soap and water to remove food scent. Do not open the container at the bury site to reduce the scent trail and the likelihood of rodents or animals trying to get the contents.

Don’t rely on the lists in this article as your “written in stone” survival gear lists. It’s just a template off of which you build YOUR perfect Bug Out Bag. I’m a fairly big guy at 6′ 2″ and so what I consider a manageable load may not work for you. Add to or remove from the list as necessary to meet your requirements.

So what should you put in this Bug Out Bag? Let’s take a look.

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Contents Of The Bug Out Bag

Prepping & Emergency Essentials Are About Common Sense

Note: There is a big difference between a Get Home Bag and a Bug Out Bag. Your survival gear list for each will be different. For me, the Bug Out Bag is meant for a scenario in which I may have to live for an extended period of time with only the resources I can carry. A Get Home Bag is what I carry in the trunk of my car and contains a much smaller inventory intended to give me support as I make my way home in whatever scenario. It could also be handy for instances where weather or local disaster keeps me from getting home right away. I have another article all about the Get Home Bag and so check it out when you have time. On to the Bug Out Bag.

There are so many survival products that a person preparing for disaster could want and use… the problem is that in the case of a bug out bag your space is limited and your carry weight restricted. Do you want to know who the best disaster preppers are? They’re backpackers. People who regularly spend days outdoors, in often very rugged and harsh environment, surviving with only the things they are carrying. They know what they need and they pack reasonably. In fact, my bug out bag looks very similar to my pack when I’m going on the trail for 5 – 7 days. The only notable exception is that my bug out plan includes firearms (a pistol and small caliber rifle), a light weight pack axe, and of course some copies of personal documents (a must for all emergency preparedness kits).

Here’s a list of survival gear that you should include in your Bug Out bag, at a minimum, but never more than you can safely carry for the distance required according to your plan. Each person in the party should have a bag of their own.

~ Freeze Dried Meals (see my note on this below)
~ Energy bars that are designed for emergencies and long-term storage
~ Source Of Life Caps (much more than multi-vitamin… take a bottle or two)
~ Water containers (such as Nalgene bottles and water bladder)
~ Water purification filter (i.e. Katadyn Hiker Pro or UV system like SteriPEN Handheld)
~ Water purification backup (tablets or drops) in case your primary system fails
~ Medicine, contact lenses, solution, etc…
~ Personal hygiene (toothbrush, feminine products if needed, etc…)
~ Tent or other shelter system
~ Section of very lightweight tarp (used as quick shelter, collect rain water, etc..)
~ Sleeping bag rated for the coldest temperature you expect in your environment
~ Clothing, In mine there’s only undergarments, socks, thermal pants, gloves, knit cap, cold weather and rain gear
~ Work Gloves
~ Bandana, large (for sling, contaminate mask, filtering water, etc…)
~ Cooking stove like the Jetboil Flash (mine goes everywhere with me)
~ Cooking container and utensils (can also boil water for purification)
~ Camp knife and axe (I opt for a very reliable knife and a lightweight camp axe)
~ Fire kit (I have flint and steel, matches, lighters, and home-made tinder)
~ Hunting, trapping and fishing supplies (rod and reel, lures, braided fishing line)
~ I’ll take a handgun in .40 caliber and a .22 rifle, you may choose not to
~ Multitool like the Leatherman Skeletool CX (my personal favorite)
~ Map of bug out area
~ Good compass
~ Paracord (make sure it’s 550 cord)
~ All batteries used are rechargeable
~ Flashlight, I take a lightweight led in handheld and headband
~ AM/FM/Weather Radio, small, lightweight model
~ Solar recharger – Since you don’t know how ling you’ll be out, off the grid
~ Small Survival Guide
~ Copies of vital documents (Drivers license, passport, birth certificate, bank records, etc…)
~ Cash (cash is king when there is no bank near or none open)
~ Permanent marker and notepad
~ Whistle
~ Travel size sewing kit
~ Name, address and phone number of ALL important people in your life
~ Photos of every family member

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Let’s look at some of these in more detail because a discussion is important to clarify some important points. First, you’ll notice that I listed freeze-dried food and not MRE’s or canned foods, like I’ve seen listed at other prepping SHTF sites. To me, carrying hydrated meals as survival gear is silly, and they aren’t on my list. down is great for survival clothing and sleeping bagsWhy carry meals that are full of water (and weight) when freeze-dried meals contain virtually all of the nutritional value at a fraction of the weight? Just add hot water in the field and within a few minutes you can eat a tasty meal. This added weight savings means I can take more SHTF food or supplies.

When you’re choosing cold weather clothes and a sleeping bag, always opt for those made out of down fill. The down will compress more (saving a lot of space) and it will keep you much warmer than synthetic. Yes, down is more expensive, but it’s a long life purchase and the difference is huge. Finally, if I’m truly bugging out I want both a camp axe and a camp saw so I can more easily construct shelters and tools, and of course gather fire wood. The axe and saw I use are relatively light weight but very high quality and more than capable of serving their purpose. If you’re really concerned about long-term survival then you can add an extra saw blade for only a slight bit of extra weight.

Tips for your survival gear kit:

I save all of the lint from our dryer in a zip lock bag (I have several bags of it). It is the most awesome fire tinder, and free.
Wrap some Duct Tape around something in your kit. You can take 10 feet of tape easily, and take up no space.
I “re-pack” my first aid kit with items I know I need and remove what I don’t. Tylenol or Advil is essential.
A bug out bag for a small person or child will obviously be much smaller, but “everyone” carries something. Look at the smaller Alps Mountaineering pack on my Amazon link above… it’s a great smaller pack.
I have a down coat that packs up very small and is very warm, that is a permanent part of my pack.
Get a down sleeping bag because they will pack down really good and keep you safely warm.
When you’re planning for a potential bug out, mark water resupply points on your area map.
Dip white tip matches in Finger Nail Polish and make your own waterproof matches, cheaper.
Socks and underwear in my kit are merino wool because they help prevent blisters and chaffing, and they wash/dry really easily.
Use ziplock bag for clothes, matches, tinder, medicines, etc… They’re light weight and protect from water.
I take a .22 rifle because it and the ammo are much lighter and I can take more ammo.
I advocate freeze-dried meals because I can get water in all but the most remote spots. Even if it’s nasty water, I can clean and treat it. What I don’t want is to have 20 pounds of food in my pack and have to leave something else behind. And most of the water you use to prepare these meals will also nourish your body with the liquid, so it’s a win win situation.
You can take a small amount of household bleach (unscented) in a waterproof container, and use it to disinfect and also as a method of making water safe to drink. Here’s a link to the Washington State Department of Health and their article on Purifying Water During an Emergency. They write:

“If boiling is not possible, treat water by adding liquid household bleach, such as Clorox or Purex. Household bleach is typically between 5 percent and 6 percent chlorine. Avoid using bleaches that contain perfumes, dyes and other additives. Be sure to read the label. Place the water (filtered, if necessary) in a clean container. Add the amount of bleach according to the table below. Mix thoroughly and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before using (60 minutes if the water is cloudy or very cold).”

I have an in-depth article on how to purify water that you should check out when you have time.

survivalist water treatment products

treating water with chlorine
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SHTF Antibiotics


Step 4 – “Bugging In” Survival Gear

List Of Prepping Supplies And Emergency Essentials

Your list of survival gear may be for nothing if you cannot protect it. If you’ve made the decision that it’s more practical for you to prepare for a long-term disaster by fortifying your home than trying to live outdoors, in the woods, or you don’t have a cabin or other place to go to, then you’ll need to understand that in a true crisis situation, where society is falling apart, that people will be aggressively looking for opportunities to loot and steal and so every home they come to will be a potential target. When people are hungry, thirsty or cold they will do some very bad things. Even people who aren’t normally inclined to violence will be moved to it in the face of personal hardship. You have to be as ready and capable to defend your lives and your emergency supplies as they are to take them… anything less is just a waste of your time.

You’ll hear “Bunkering In” also referred to as “Bugging In” but they’re different names for the same thing. In the bunker in scenario, your first priority has to be security. If you stockpile all of the survival goods necessary to survive, they become useless if someone breaks in and steals them from you. So start by identifying and listing the weaknesses of your home and the most likely points of entry; in most cases these are the doors and windows, and the sheer number of them makes the job of home defense a difficult one. But there are things you can do. The first thing I recommend is replacing the screws in the door hinges with longer and sturdier ones. At Amazon they have the FastenMaster GuardDog 3 inch Exterior Wood Screws which work well for this. Is the glass on your home ready for a crisisFrequently I’ll find that someone has 1 inch screws mounting the hinge to the door flange and the screws barely penetrate the door jam. A 3 inch screw goes deeper into the studs and provides much more support and makes forced entry difficult. Of course add deadbolts to all doors and consider something like the “Doorricade Door Bar.” In the end, the doors and windows are and will remain your weakest link to securing your home.

Because of this weakness I recommend that you choose one room or area to reinforce (providing basic upgrades to the rest of the house) to keep the cost as low as possible. For example, there is a window covering that you can apply to all windows that make them shatterproof or shatter-resistant, thereby making entry through the window much more difficult. Amazon has the b>Remlor Safety / Security Window Film, 12 Mil, Clear, which is pricey but very effective. For windows in the secured area you’ll need to add some kind of window bars or other covering (you’re essentially making a Safe Room or Panic Room). Check out SecurityWindowBars.com for some more ideas. If you have a basement then that is of course your best option for a secured area. Replace the doors to the secured area with heavy-duty security type doors, hinges and locks and use the proper hardware (screws).

Once you have secured your house from physical intrusion you can begin to think about stocking up on the emergency essentials and your survival gear list. First, as in the other discussions we’ve had, consider heat and water sources because if things really get bad, you will have to provide for your own. In almost every case you can install a wood burning stove in any room of your house, or basement. If that stove is also one that allows you to cook and heat water it’s even better and eliminates the need to worry about a cooking source. Make sure that you also consider the wood supply that you’ll need and that you can secure it… firewood will also be in high demand and so a target for thieves.

For water you will need to have large storage containers ready so at the first sign of trouble you can begin to fill them. A good choice is the Drinking Water Storage unit by AquaPodKit which holds 65 gallons (you get two in case you have two baths, or simply fill the other in a sink) and is essentially a bag that fits into your tub and then seals after you’ve filled it with tap water. In addition to that, I recommend having quite a few other water containers which you can fill when needed… water will become one of your biggest priorities and could be hard to come by, depending on where you live. So you can get 55 gallon drums or 5 – 10 gallon jugs.

You will need to have some passive security deterrents for you home, which can also serve as alerts. One man saved glass instead of throwing it into the trash, and then broke it into pieces and stored it in a box. Then, if the time to secure his home ever arrived he would pour that glass around the main entrances inside the home. Anyone coming in would 1) have sharp glass shards to deal with, and 2) wouldammunition and self defense weapons make considerable noise and thereby alert him to their presence. Another passive deterrent is actually something you don’t do…. don’t advertise your presence with candles, lights, etc… The squeaky wheel gets the grease and the noisy prepper gets the thug. If at all possible you would prefer that no one know you’re home at all.

How about some actual home defense? I would highly recommend that everyone own a shotgun for home defense if their laws allow for it and they are comfortable with handling one. I am appalled at the thought of having to shoot someone, but I’m more appalled at the thought that my family is injured or killed because I couldn’t defend them. A shotgun is the best choice for home defense in most cases, and few weapons offer the same scare potential. A 12 gauge pump like the Remington 870 is a good, affordable choice. I also have pistols and pepper spray in various locations, and if I were bunkering in I would do the same, and make sure that every member of the house if familiar with their use and locations. Have an active plan for intrusions… who does what, when, and how. Have signals that only your family knows about… perhaps a whistle or knock.

Now, what kind of supplies should you store? The survive gear basics are the same in this scenario as they were for the 7 Day Survival Kit, just the quantities are changed. You can store much more food, water and supplies because you don’t have to lug them around or move them. As before, shelf life of the goods you’re storing is important, so opt for the food supplies made specifically for long-term storage, like those from Legacy Food Supply.

By the way, Legacy Food Supply is one of the very few to be GMO free and to not use MSG’s or artificial flavors. They also flush out every pouch and container with Nitrogen to remove every last bit of oxygen and put oxygen absorbers in every pouch… there’s a LOT more reasons why I like this brand over others. Legacy Food Supply is one of my favorite places to shop for supplies; they have a great selection and great prices, and they’re one of the top sites favored by everyone who is preparing for emergency survival, from seeds to food to containers… whatever you need..

If you apply a little planning and common sense to your doomsday prepping, SHTF efforts you’ll find that it’s really not too difficult and that it can even be fun and rewarding. By now I think you have a pretty good understanding of the survival gear basics and from here you can expand on your knowledge and take your survival planning to whatever level you are comfortable with. In the end, though, everyone should have at least some form of an emergency or disaster plan so that they can provide short-term care for themselves and their families.

Refer to trusted sites like Survival Spot for gear and equipment reviews. There are also some really great communities at these sites (more listed below at the bottom of the page).

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Freeze Dried Food Super Source

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Cheap Emergency Essentials At Amazon

A Great Start For Your Survival Gear Checklist

Food prep and storage is the first step in starting to prepare for local disasters or full-blown apocalypse. In fact, everyone could benefit from learning how to prepare and store foods themselves, saving money while prepping at the same time. Here’s is a great video on how to use this FoodSaver to seal jars. Be sure to add an oxygen absorber as needed before sealing.

This video shows you how to seal jars with your Food Saver and the Jar Sealing attachments… it’s on sale at Amazon RIGHT NOW!

Take a look at some of my favorite items…

Quick and Easy Dinner Mixes in Mason Jars or Mylar BagsQuick and Easy Dinner Mixes in Mason Jars or Mylar BagsRead Reviews

FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer KitFoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer KitRead Reviews

FoodSaver 11-Inch by 16-Feet Long RollFoodSaver 11-Inch by 16-Feet Long RollRead Reviews


FoodSaver Regular-Mouth Jar SealerFoodSaver Regular-Mouth Jar SealerRead Reviews

Oxygen Absorbers - 100 Count Sealed PackageOxygen Absorbers – 100 Count Sealed PackageRead Reviews

1 Gallon (10x14) Mylar Bags & 300cc Oxygen Absorbers1 Gallon (10″x14″) Mylar Bags & 300cc Oxygen AbsorbersRead Reviews

Your Survival Starts With A Plan & A List

Do You Have The Emergency Essentials?

Hopefully you’ve found a few good nuggets of helpful and useful information that will help you on the long journey towards self-reliance and preparedness. In the end, what you get out of it depends on what you put in to it, so don’t take this matter lightly. Above all else, as I mentioned, I believe that knowledge will be the most valuable resource to possess so start learning all you can and be sure that your loved ones are also knowledgeable and understand at least the basics they could need in order to survive… without you. I’d love to hear from you and any ideas you have to make this survival gear list even better and any emergency essentials I may have left out.


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