Whether you’re a novice, intermediate or long-time survivalist, these 32 prepper gear items are an absolute must-have!
Getting Started: 32 Must-Have Prepper Items
When getting started, it’s important not to break the bank by rushing out to get everything at once. If you have the finances to do so, then great!
But otherwise, you’re going to want to start small with the most essential items.
Unfortunately, figuring out what those essentials are isn’t always a piece of cake. It seems every website and blog that has anything to do with being a prepper has its own list. And not all of them make sense.
Luckily, we’ve got a list of essentials that really can (and will) help you in any survival situation:
1. Trauma Kit
Trauma Kits are far more extensive than your basic First Aid Kit, which can be woefully inadequate in most situations.
However, unlike a First Aid Kit, you will need to build your own Trauma Kit. This can become quite expensive, so start with the basics and move up from there.
Additionally, be sure to maintain and update your kit when necessary.
The bigger the bottle, the better. In most emergencies, you’ll need at least 3 gallons per person (1 gallon per person per day for 3 days), but don’t feel the need to limit yourself.
You can get gallon bottles cheaply at the store, but you’ll need to drop about a quarter-teaspoon of regular household bleach into each gallon to prevent the water from going sour over time.
Every time you go grocery shopping, grab an extra can or two of non-perishables and add them to your stockpile.
Keep a careful eye on the expiry dates though: they don’t last forever. Rotate your supply so you don’t waste money.
You can also supplement your canned foods with MREs from an army surplus store. These don’t require any effort on your part, but again: keep an eye on the expiry dates. MREs generally last about 5 years.
Finally, stock up on freeze-dried foods, rice and beans. They do require a cooking method for consumption, but they tend to last longer.
4. Portable Stove
A small gas burner capable of supporting your cooking pot or pan will suffice and can be bought for relatively cheap. Just make sure you have enough gas to last. Alternatively, make sure you know how to build a campfire.
You’re going to have difficulty lighting your gas stove and/or cooking fire without a lighter. Buying in bulk makes it cheaper to stockpile lighters for the long run.
Alternatively, you can get a large refillable lighter and a couple canisters of lighter fluid.
6. A Firearm
If you’re able to legally purchase and own a firearm, a 12-gauge pump action shotgun is one of the best-recommended models for preppers.
Pump shotguns are less likely to jam and can be used for taking down small and large game, as well as defending your home.
However, when asked about what gun type is the best for any person, the correct answer is always: “The one you use the most and know how to use best.” Be mindful of what others in your house are able to use as well.
Whether for bugging out or staying put, lighting is paramount to survival. An LED torch is a must, and a small headlamp is perfect when working on a task that requires both hands.
You’ll also need a kerosene, battery-operated or (even better) solar-powered lamp for a better distribution of light.
Naturally, you’ll also want enough kerosene or batteries to prevent running out of power. Take care to store these properly.
8. Crank Radio
The ability to communicate with the outside world is key to surviving any kind of emergency.
A crank radio is powered by kinetic energy (hence the name). If you have some extra cash to spare, invest in one that’s also solar-powered.
A walkie-talkie makes for an acceptable alternative, but make sure to get one with a good range and stock up on batteries.
RELATED: Prepper Mistakes To Avoid
9. A Multi-Tool and Fixed-Blade Knife
Well, a multi-tool is mostly going to help you out in your shelter, whether that’s at home or elsewhere.
And if you need to build a makeshift shelter because you get caught without your tent (or it’s stolen or damaged), then a multi-tool is your best friend.
On the other hand, when out in nature, a fixed-blade knife is just as important. Whether it’s for defense, dressing a kill or any number of other uses, a knife is easily one of the most versatile tools any prepper can have.
10. Sleeping Bags (and a Space Heater)
Sleeping bags are your number 1 defense against cold nights. Try to get the best possible quality available for your local temperature ranges.
And if you’re planning on taking a trip somewhere especially cold, a space heater is a definite necessity.
These also become vitally important if you or anyone in your group gets wet in cold climates. Raising the body temperature properly is going to be key to preventing hypothermia.
11. Fire Extinguisher
This should be a common-sense item. It’s especially important to have a fire extinguisher if you’re going to be using any kind of fire at any time.
Whether that’s a campfire, gas stove, BBQ grill or even candles, fire is a volatile thing that can quickly spread and decimate your house, shelter and surroundings.
Make sure to keep it up-to-date with its safety checks.
If you’re left without running water, you’re not going to be able to use the toilet.
A Luggable Loo is essentially a toilet in a bucket, which you can keep in your shelter or garage in case of emergency. And if push comes to shove, you can also make a DIY Outdoor Toilet.
Multipurpose Prepper Gear Items Everyone Should Have
In addition to the above 12 must-haves, there are a few more multipurpose prepper gear items you’ll want to stock up on.
Similar to canned foods, you can just add an extra one or two of these to your cart every time you go grocery shopping – that way, you won’t break the bank. Make sure you have some of everything on the list, though some you’ll want substantially more of.
13. Duct tape
15. Vinegar (apple cider vinegar and white vinegar alike – but if you have to choose, go with the apple cider vinegar)
16. Isopropyl alcohol (70% is the norm, but go with 99% if possible – especially if you plan on using it for its flammable properties)
18. Zip ties
19. Used tea bags
21. Cayenne pepper
25. Baking soda
26. Dental floss
29. Wristwatch (analog – unless your digital watch comes with a built-in compass)
30. Soda cans
32. Cellphone (your old one, if still operable, can be kept in your bug-out bag)
Want to know more about how to use these items? Check out these related articles: Multipurpose Items For Survival You Need To Stock Up On and 7 Unexpected Items You Can Use As Urban Survival Tools.
Don’t use this list as an exhaustive shopping list: there are many other prepper gear items you could and should be adding to your stockpile. These are just our suggestions on how best to get started.
Did we miss any of your favorite must-have items? Let us know in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 1, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.