Emergency Preparedness prep prepping
Courtesy Amazon
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Emergency Preparedness prep prepping
Courtesy Amazon

Preparedness for contingencies goes a long way to turning chaos into mere inconvenience. Finding one’s self unprepared when life throws you a curveball sucks.

Hopefully, like many TTAG readers, you maintain some level of readiness for a variety of emergencies. If so, congrats. The question quickly becomes how much is “enough” though when it comes to critical itms like food, water and ammo?

Rugged independence and self-sufficiency made America great. More importantly, by maintaining your own preparedness, you can become part of the recovery after an emergency, instead of part of the problem. The more Americans prepare for emergencies and disasters, the faster recovery will happen.

Food and Water

food canned Emergency Preparedness prep prepping

Why is water storage important? Simply put, dehydration is a horrific way to die. At the Beslan School Massacre, Muslim terrorists withheld water from their hostages – children and adults alike. By the second day in the summer heat, people eagerly drank urine from shoes. By the end of the second day, the first few began to die from dehydration.

Nobody wants that for their family.

Medical issues and death from lack of food don’t happen as quickly as dehydration. Nevertheless, energy levels drop without food. Believe it or not, even with a caloric intake of 1100-1600 per day, most people will die in a matter of months. Don’t believe it? Just look at those in concentration camps during World War II.

Those with existing health issues may see those problems made worse from a lack of or insufficient nourishment. And while Americans on average have plenty of extra weight with which to exist during lean times, medical professionals seldom recommend a starvation diet.

So, how much food and water should you put away for an emergency?

Two weeks’ worth makes a great start for your personal preparedness. If you have nothing currently, seven days’ worth is a 1000% improvement over your current state of readiness.

You’ve may have heard some say you should have a year’s food at home. That’s up to you, but know that today, not even most Mormons have a year’s larder in their homes.

Looking around, it’s easy to see why. In today’s America, a disruption of the food supply lasting more than just a few days is virtually non-existent unless you live in sparsely populated, remote regions.

When it comes to clean water, municipal supplies come filtered and treated to our taps. Cities have backup systems in case of malfunctions or power outages. For them, failures come very few and far between – and even then typically only require a short boil order of a day or two.

For the average American, a two-week supply of emergency supplies will get them through 99.999+% of anything life may throw at them.

HURRICANE KATRINA Emergency Preparedness prep prepping
(AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Alternatively, with no supplies, there’s always government assistance. Just like at the Superdome in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, right? Failing to prepare translates to preparing to fail.

Food and Water Aren’t Enough

Do you have special needs or want to secure additional peace of mind? Fine. Bump your supplies up to four weeks – or three months. Or a year. It’s your money, time and storage space.

I’ve been there. Before Y2K (remember that?), I had a year’s supply and a whole lot more. I earned my doctorate in preparedness the hard way. Afterwards – and to this day – I felt like a fool, but I was a prepared fool.

Today, I’m perfectly comfortable with four weeks’ worth of food, water, toilet paper — don’t scrimp on the TP stash — and baby wipes. It’s a good idea to keep a decent amount of cash on hand, too. And don’t forget candles and batteries for flashlights and a radio. Want to be sure you can charge your phone? A solar charger could come in handy.

Are you foolishly planning to come to my house in an emergency because you think I’m all stocked up? Hah! Bring a tent and some food. You can camp in the nearby park. There’s a porta-potty out there.

What about feeding family or neighbors? If you plan to start feeding others, you’ll never be able to store enough.

Residential Security

If riots or civil breakdown occur following a calamity, how long will your residence remain safe and secure? In most cases, in the near-term, it should remain relatively safe for a few days to a couple of weeks, minimum.

You know your neighborhood and what’s beyond it. Gun owners will keep an eye out for their own homes and those of their neighbors in the days following any emergency. Know the open carry laws in your city and state. Opportunistic looters will avoid gun-toting residents for good reason.

What happens, though, a couple of weeks after your neighbors run out of food and their children begin begging mom and dad for something to eat? At that point, things will grow increasingly dicey for you, no matter your level of preparedness.

preparedness food Emergency Preparedness prep prepping

How so? How’s it going to go when your neighbors smell your grill when they haven’t eaten for a week or two? Ditto for smelling bacon and eggs in the morning. Those Porterhouse steaks and baked potatoes you’ve salted away will taste mighty good to someone else after they shoot you in the back.

Storing enough for you and yours for a year will mean little if desperate people in your neighborhood resort to desperate measures to feed their families – or provide water to them.


Emergency Preparedness prep prepping ammunition
Dan Z for TTAG

“How much ammunition do I need?” It’s a fair question. It depends.

For self-defense? For your Roscoe, buy some reputable hollow-point ammunition made by a leading manufacturer. Avoid the exotics like the plague. At a bare minimum, buy at least fifty rounds to test-fire in your self-defense pistol. Make sure it functions with flawless reliability. If it doesn’t, don’t make excuses for it. Try another brand instead.

emergency preparedness prepper ammo labels
Courtesy Amazon

The most common causes for modern pistol malfunctions are ammunition- and magazine-related. Once you’ve found the hollow-point ammo that works reliably with your gat, buy another fifty rounds for self-defense for that pistol. Repeat for each pistol you own.

Unlike well-maintained guns, magazines do not last forever. Buy extra factory replacement magazines and have at least three magazines for each pistol.

Emergency Preparedness prep prepping
Dan Z for TTAG

The aftermarket magazines for most self-defense pistols often lack the reliability of factory mags, regardless of whether they are “guaranteed” to function or not. And if you’re an experienced shooter using a 1911-style pistol for self-defense, you know which mags provide bulletproof reliability.

AR-15 magazines magazine Emergency Preparedness prep prepping

For your modern sporting rifle – such as America’s favorite, the AR-15, have at least three 30-round magazines and ammo to fill them (at 28 rounds each). Again, that’s a bare minimum.

For those of you who live in states with “high capacity” magazine limits, adjust accordingly.

For you bolt-gun connoisseurs, you can get by with a couple of boxes of rounds, minimum, once you’re sighted properly. Shotguns make great home and yard defense tools against man and beast, provided you’ve got fifteen or twenty rounds of #00 Buck and about as many rifled slugs.

Remington OO buckshot shotgun Emergency Preparedness prep prepping
Courtesy Remington

“Hogwash! You need to buy ammo by the case!”

While you can never have enough ammo on hand, two things: if you’re in a fire fight where you’re cranking off hundreds of rounds of ammo, you’re probably going to catch one coming back at you. Also, have you tried carrying a thousand rounds of 5.56 – or even 9mm lately? If things have devolved to the point you need thousands of rounds of ammo, someone else will appreciate your dedication to supplying them with ammo.

Also worth mentioning: just because a calamity has occurred doesn’t mean you have a green light to shoot every shady-looking character who crosses your path. The same rule of law applies – and will be applied once the emergency has passed.

If your homestead has a half-dozen dead folks rotting away on the periphery, you better have a good, legally justifiable reason why they got that way.

Drugs and Medications

Prescription Medicines Emergency Preparedness prep prepping

Let’s talk drugs. No, not recreational pharmaceuticals but life-sustaining or quality-of-life drugs. Always – repeat always – keep at least 30 days’ supply of life-sustaining drugs on hand. Blood pressure, heart, insulin, anti-crazy pills, etc.

You may have to pay for that extra month’s supply, but get it and keep it fresh. AllDayChemist.com is a proven, reputable online pharmacy for non-narcotic prescription meds at affordable prices if you’re in the self-pay category.


gas line Emergency Preparedness prep prepping
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

Keep your gas tank at least half full. Always. In an attached garage, you’re usually limited by fire codes to ten gallons of gasoline in cans. Storing gasoline and propane outdoors is far safer than storing even a single can or bottle of gas in your home.

Solution: buy a patio box and keep fuels outdoors if you don’t already have a shed. Keep your gas can(s) full and treated. Get yourself a 5# or 10# fire extinguisher or two as well.

Emergency Preparedness prep prepping

Have a generator? Great! Store another ten to twenty gallons of gasoline (in an outside structure or patio box) and that should carry you through a couple of weeks of keeping the sump pit emptied and the refrigerator and freezer cold.

Rotate the fuel each year in the winter months and stabilize the gas with Sta-Bil, PRI-G, or Star-Tron. Store it tightly sealed. Run the generator during the day and chain it up so it doesn’t grow legs and run away when you’re not watching.


No matter how much you practice preparedness, you will inevitably need something in an emergency. When cash may not be in much demand, you can always barter for it.

The first rule of zombies is cardio.


The first rule of barter is never trade away anything that can be used against you. Don’t buy stuff with ammo – not even .22s. And never trade away a gun.

Top three things to store for barter use: fuel, alcohol and sugar. Everyone will need fuel: treated gasoline, diesel, kerosene, etc.

In tough times, a person can trade grain alcohol for almost anything, including fuel. With about one in eight Americans showing signs of alcoholism today, booze will get you about anything you need. And with sugar, you can make alcohol.

So, consider storing a few bottles of vodka and Jack Daniels. Both will store for decades and cheap vodka sells for under $6 per bottle most places. Drinkable stuff goes for twice that.

The second rule of bartering: don’t let on that you have significant quantities of sought-after items. Doing so my attract people who are more interested in taking than trading.

In closing…

Yes, certain events can imperil civilization as a whole. However, if you’re playing the odds, you can handle almost anything life will throw at you with a little forethought and couple weeks’ worth of preparedness items.

After all, that survival mindset is the most important survival tool each of us owns.


This article was originally published in 2017.

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  1. No salt added can goods. Can drink the water in the can as well as eat the veggies. People that have survived the worst disasters usually report they wished they had canned meat. Like spam, due to lack of protein.

    Also have a skill. Can you build stuff? Can you blacksmith? Are you medically trained. Having skills besides shooting is a good thing for bartering.

    • Protein…I have containers of protein shake powder (available for cheap from the sports food section at your local Walmart). One scoop per day will give you the protein you need. Get a few containers for about $15 each. Well worth it. You can also get some jugs of similar powder (probably on the same shelf) that’s high calorie, used by bodybuilders to gain mass. A heaping scoop of that stuff per day will help with the family’s caloric needs.

      • That stuff is Chock full of soy. And soy is estrogen. Just keep that in mind. For men side effects are breast development and impotence. For women, it can cause miscarriages or a host of other issues.

        • Perhaps…if you consume the stuff by the pallet load over an extended period of time. But if you’re only having one scoop per day in a SHTF survival scenario that will hopefully last only a few weeks, does the soy content matter?

          I think I’ll be fine, considering I already drink mostly water and eat chicken, green vegetable, and healthy foods on a daily basis instead of the candy, chips, pizza, and soda most people gobble down. If we ever have a survival situation, God forbid, I’ll be HAPPY for the blessing of having some supplemental protein in my cabinet for my family, as compared to my neighbors who will undoubtedly be starving.

        • Nice try, Bully, but not only is your “Boomer” tag more than a generation off, you’d be more believable if you wrote and spelled English like an adult. Your comment above is at about a 3rd-grade level, so the opinion of a 10-yr-old isn’t really considered applicable.

          Unless you’re new here and are simply trying your hand at trolling and getting someone’s hackles up. If so, you need more practice. Your best bet is to emulate a Russian bot and start wordcrafting lengthy comments that are in opposition to common sense. That will get you some responses.

          Go back a few weeks and read the comments from classic trolls such as “Vlad” or “Miner49er”. Now those are some dudes from Mars. Or Russia. 🙂

        • There is NO soy even in the cheap bulk protein at Wal-Mart or Aldi. Body Fortress. Duh…Great advice haz. I’m fairly well prepped for guns & ammo. A great YouTube channel is Sensible Prepper from Sootch00. Lot’s of- well -fsensible suggestions. I pretty much quit the prepper groups I was in. One said GUNS were meaningless…😖

        • Just read the label and get whey or casein protein without soy. I used to drink a whey protein shake first thing in the morning and post workout, and a casein shake before bed while trying to gain weight. No I try to lose it. Protein bars often have soy.

        • While there are some that does have soy protein many of the brands sold in Walmart are pure whey protein. I get Body Fortress or Muscle Milk and they are either Whey Solids or Whey Isolate .

        • While there is some that does have soy protein many of the brands sold in Walmart are pure whey protein. I get Body Fortress or Muscle Milk and they are either Whey Solids or Whey Isolate .

  2. Well…I think I need at least a little more than i have.

    I hope i need a little less……

    The best answer is have what you can muster….. you’ll be better off than 80 percent of the population. Seen it after Camille, Frederick, Ivan, Katrina, and Michael.

    Dont be a dumbass riding around rubber-necking….burns resources and let’s people know you have stuff.

  3. It is a very bad idea to stack more ammo on closet shelves than they can support. So, after all that lead and brass yanks the anchors out of the wall and you clean up the drywall dust and debris, just stack it all on the floor.

    Or, buy serious shelves that can handle the weight.

    • Way ahead of you. Years ago I moved all my loaded ammo to the ground level where the metal cabinet which contains it sits on a hardwood floor installed over a concrete slab. Weight of my empty cases still didn’t reach the critical level, so they still live in my reloading room on a second floor. Lead is dense.

      Some musing on prepping:
      There is a lot of clean potable water in a water heater. Thousands of gallons of not so clean water in my backyard pool. I live in Chicago suburbs, so I like to keep some firewood around in case the utilities get cut during wintertime. Two grown spruce trees on either side of my driveway if that’s not enough.

      Stuff you saved for a dark hour is fine, but people are much more important. Do you have friends/family around, on whom you can rely? If the emergency lasts longer than few days or weeks, there is no way you can make it by yourself.

  4. Pro tip: Short rations of 1 MRE per day will keep you ok for a month or two. You won’t be happy, but you will be alive. Fortunately, MREs come in cases of 12, which means for a couple hundred bucks you can stock up a three month supply of decent food that doesn’t require any serious preparation.

    Yes, I’m one of the mutants that actually likes MREs, but that’s mostly the nostalgia talking.

    I keep about another month worth of lifeboat survival rations around. They taste like chalk, but last forever and are a great way to pad out your available food supply significantly. Especially if you’re expecting to sit on your ass rather than go out zombie hunting or some such nonsense.

    Water is easy. A few dozen one gallon jugs, a handy gravity filtration system and enough chemical purification tablets stashed away will keep you hydrated almost indefinitely. Throw 3-4 purification tablets in each jug after you fill it up from the tap. The residual chemicals will make the water taste like ass, but will keep it potable almost indefinitely provided you store it properly.

    • MREs. Yes, and yes. I have those, too.

      Water. I have two weeks’ worth of water at the ready in gallon jugs, rotated every two years with new water. This is valuable when you have short-term SHTF such as a broken county water main, or major earthquake. I’ve lived through both, and both times there was no water in my entire side of the city for a full week.

      If something bigger happened and I knew we’d need more than 2 weeks’ worth, I’d go for the water in the nearby community pool, and filter it for drinking. Keep using it as long as possible until depleted (when your neighbors see what you’re doing, they’ll start taking from the pool as well, and consume it quickly to flush their toilets).

        • Excellent! I have two of them in my vehicle as well, and two in my wife’s trunk BOB. Because twice in my lifetime I have been stuck in my vehicle out in the middle of nowhere due to unforeseen circumstances. One time many years ago, a freight train literally derailed from the track that runs parallel to the HWY 101 in Central California. Shut down the entire highway, both directions, and required everyone to turn around or bug in their vehicles right there. It can happen. Having two days’ worth of water and vittles to get you through it unscathed is worth gold.

        • For those not used to having to subsist for extended periods on MREs drink water. Lots of water and if needed use the gum. Otherwise discomfort may be experienced after several uneventful days. With that said rice beans water canned everything as well as frozen fruits/vegetables if practical for the typical at home stash.

        • In addition to MRE’s, i suggest Mountain House freeze dried foods or similar. Once in a while Amazon, Costco or some online prepper store will have a deal on a box of pouches or cans. Just make sure you store it all in the same bin with water, long spoons and a means to boil the water. Having that 30 year shelf life decrease the frequency of rotating stock before food spoils.

        • Another good youtube channel that is not really geared for preppers but has great info on how to do things without todays tech is the Townsends.

    • Pro, pro tip.

      If on the go, 3 MREs, will fit inside one single MRE pouch, if you remove the cardboard packaging of the individual meals. Save the big brown plastic package, as it can be used for water storage.
      The bag can also serve as your toilet, which, to keep things sanitary and to keep the scent profile low when on the move, is pretty valuable.

        • They are so much better now. There’s dozens of different meals, with a wide variety, although they all still taste like the Vitamin Bs they stuff them with. Oddly enough, the vegetarian meals are usually the best.

      • Fortunately, somebody at the DoD already heard of this trick and they stopped packing individual meals in cardboard boxes quite a while back. Now everything is in a handy secondary pouch inside the main pouch.

        I am having the the hillarious mental image of some durka durka stumbling over JWs literal shit bags in the mountains of Afghanistan.

    • Another type of purification method is to buy the big commercial jugs of unscented plain jane chlorine bleach. I don’t remember the exact ration but it is like 1/3 cup per gallon. Stir it in to the water thoroughly and let it sit for an hour.
      It tastes enough better than Iodine pills that you can alternate to get a break from that “Ass” taste that Iodine pills have.

      • “I don’t remember the exact ration but it is like 1/3 cup per gallon.”

        *NO!* *NO!* *NO!*

        That will KILL YOU!

        Maybe 3 *DROPS* bleach per gallon, stir and let sit…

  5. Don’t forget toilet paper and baby wipes. So you can clean your nasty ass when there’s no plumbing.

    One thing I’ve learned after going through a few hurricanes… I can go fine without electricity. No A/C, phone, internet, TV… whatever… but no running water, that’s a motherfucker. Be ready for weeks without it.

    • “toilet paper and baby wipes”

      Indeed. I myself have – in addition to the usual food, water, ammo, sundries – three months’ worth of toilet paper (family) and feminine hygiene products (wife). No way in Blazes I’d ever want to be in a situation where we run out of these.

      • I learned it the hard way my first hurricane. I had plenty of food, water, batteries, weaponry ect… but then in the summer heat with no running water I was sweating my ass off and dirty as hell, wiping my ass with old clothes. Now I devote an entire stockpile to TP/baby wipes all on its own.

    • Ron,

      Do yourself a favor and purchase an inexpensive “camp shower”. Those are a simple 3 gallon bag with a short hose and a nozzle that you can easily turn off. I thought they were silly until I actually tried one. It is amazing how little water it takes to get amazingly clean. And you can heat the water up basically as much as you want on a sunny day if the outdoor temperature is at least 70 degrees.

      Of course you would have to keep enough water on hand to fill it and use for however many family members and showers you want to accommodate. That could be as simple as keeping 10 full 5-gallon buckets with lids in your yard.

      Pro tip: wet your hair and shampoo it first. Then, as you begin rinsing that shampoo out of your hair with such a tiny water volume/flow, it runs down your body while you rinse it out and does a reasonably decent job cleaning the rest of your body.

      • That’s a good idea. Water amount soon won’t be a problem as I’m planning on installing a hand pump addition to my well.

      • That works well when it isn’t 14 degrees outside….LOL

        Seriously though, its a good way to get clean even if you have to haul water.

        • Michael in AK,

          The solution for cold temperatures is pretty simple: heat your water in a pot over a propane or wood stove and fill the camp-shower bag with the warm/hot water. The only shortcoming to that solution is suspending the bag up in the air if you plan on using it inside your home’s shower/bathtub — you better have or install a sturdy hook near the bathroom ceiling ahead of time!

        • “… heat your water in a pot over a propane or wood stove and fill the camp-shower bag with the warm/hot water. ”

          Don’t folks in Alaska have water heaters hooked up to the exhaust flues of their kitchen-camp stoves?

          Scavenge that waste heat…

      • In a short term event if u have a way to collect ur dirty water u can use it for the john like a ghetto grey water system.

      • When growing up (humorously I am a millenial) we didn’t have runing water for several years. We were a poor rural family, so a hand pump well and one of these showers is really amazing. Pro tip: do it over a bin to catch your soapy water and use the caught water to wash small clothes like socks and stuff.

        • And after you wash your socks, that water can be used to flush…

    • Downunder the coronavirus panic has caused a shortage of toilet paper, of all things. People are panic buying bulk (24-30 rolls) packs. Currently in the shops there is no toilet paper, paper towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, bulk rice or pasta. Shortages of paper napkins, pasta sauce, and some other basic staples.

      The local factories of loo paper are now running 24 hours to keep up with demand.

      And this is not a joke. Just as well I have adequate supplies of most of the above items I need.

      • Southern Cross,

        I was wondering when people would start buying bulk rice. About 7 days ago I checked on the inventory at a local grocery store and they were already looking low. I had actually gone there to purchase dry beans and the store’s inventory of dry beans was really low. I checked again two days ago and they appeared to be restocked.

        Note sure if you have “warehouse” stores down under — our “warehouse” stores around here appear to be very well stocked with 20 pound (9 kg) bags of bulk rice.

        Oh, and I was wondering if everyone purchasing bulk rice was going to purchase anything to make that bulk rice actually taste good. I purchased a nice quantity of salt, onion powder, black pepper, and chicken soup base (a really thick paste in a container that adds wonderful chicken flavor to soups, stews, and casseroles). Add in cooked beans and that actually tastes pretty good on top of providing plenty of calories and a respectable amount of protein.

        • I live in SW Pennsylvania and my local walmart as well as the one in Greensburg were out of the great value brand 20# of rice and various beans. Still had some fancy rice in large bags but you cant beat 8ish bucks for the Wally World idk if it was a fluke or not. Didnt look at the Tp as we are good to go.

        • guy, try the Sams in Greensburg, they seem fully stocked. As does the one in Monroeville.

    • One important tip I learned growing up in Gulf coast hurricane country… Fill up any bathtubs and buckets you may have prior to imminent extreme weather. Keep a bucket or pitcher in each bathroom to fill the tank of the toilet. This was invaluable several times to ensure we could flush. Even on a well power loss can disrupt water supply.

      Our rule was males urinate outside away from the house.to conserve flush water, but we were way out on the country.

  6. John D. Rockefeller purportedly answered a journalist’s question of “How much money is enough?” with the now-famous reply, “Just one more dollar”.

    With this in mind, when I’ve been asked those few times by others (whether supportivew POTG or hostile anti-gunners) how much ammo is enough, I smile and say, “Just one more box”.

    • Thank you for making this point near the top of the thread. By the time I got down here there were about 180ish posts…. How much is enough? “Just one more” is always the answer. “How many guns do you need Richard?” “Just one more dear.”

  7. When it comes to food. Learn how to can your own. I grew up on canned food. Everything from fruits and vegetables to even meat. Stored in the root cellar it can last easily a year and in some cases longer. Water concentrate on storage but, more importantly the ability to purify. Fuel as a long term issue is a waste of time. Concentrate on short term and be prepared to use wood for heat and cooking. Medication is possible the most difficult. Simply because of availability and long term storage issues. If you are able keep at least a 30 day supply of each. Perimeter security has many options. From firearms to many techniques learned from “Charlie”. Don’t forget the Tannerite. It has multiple uses especially for perimeter defense. Guns and Ammo. Simply put there is no such thing as enough when you need it to survive. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  8. Remember to have a lot of fire-starting capability on hand as well. Imagine what you might be able to trade for a 300 count box of kitchen matches or a single butane lighter!

    I would also recommend a LOT of candles or (even better) oil lamps. The last thing you want to do is burn batteries with lights all evening and night, even LED lights.

    Finally, how about purchasing an automotive-sized marine deep-cycle battery and keeping that charged? Those cost around $90 and a nice charger (to keep it continuously charged) will cost about $60. That battery will hold about 70 amp-hours of capacity which means that you could supply 12 volts at 1 amp continuously for slightly less than 70 hours. And if you also acquire a good-size solar panel, you can recharge that battery every day if there is enough bright daylight. The possibilities are endless.

    • Lighting…you can get small garden path LED solar lights for $1 apiece from Walmart. I have about twenty in a box with my supplies. You can let them charge during the day, and place them around the house in the evening. The rechargeable batteries should last thru daily use for about half a year. No worries about open flames or lamp oil.

      • I Haz a Question,

        Unfortunately, many of us live in locations where nights can be pretty long and sunshine can be exceedingly scarce for several months of the year. Those inexpensive LED yard lights will not recharge in those conditions. Thus, candles and oil lamps are a good alternative — and can even be a benefit since they provide some heat as well as light. (Those locations with long nights and scarce sunshine are usually quite cold as well.)

        Or go the marine battery route like I listed above. That single marine battery will run a LOT of LED lights for a LONG time even without recharging. (The downside: you would need the where-with-all to mate that marine battery appropriately with LED lights.)

        • I hear you. Everything in moderation. I have the solar LEDs, plus candles and oil lamps of course because they have their place. And USB rechargeable flashlights with a solar charging panel.

        • Also have a wind up flashlight, radio, usb. Can wind it for flashlight, charge a phone or another flashlight too.

        • “The downside: you would need the where-with-all to mate that marine battery appropriately with LED lights.”

          You can build it or GoalZero makes such lights you can just buy. They even have a daisy-chainable version of orbs that are pretty damb bright.

      • Get a large supply of olive or other vegetable oil. Besides using for cooking can be used in lamps. There not real bright if you keep them low enough so that they don’t smoke but a couple give plenty of light for a room.

    • Chem lights. Full stop. I bought a few hundred on sale a few years back and still have a case full sitting at the bottom of my closet with a few stashed around instead of candles.

      • Chemical lights? I have never heard of those. I will be researching them.

        If you are referring to “glow sticks” as I like to call them, I personally would not stock them for a survival situation. They do not provide much light. They are large for the meager amount of light that they provide. (Meager brightness and duration.) And they seem to loose potency after a couple years of storage.

        I would rather stock 10 AA batteries and two LED flashlights with a “low intensity” setting which they claim will provide light for over 100 hours on the low setting on a single set of AA batteries.

        • I have candles and kerosene lamps. But I keep led headlights that run off aaa batteries. They last forever and they give you the ability to work with both hands and still have a focused light.

          I do have hand held flashlights but my go to is the headlights. I keep them in my house and my vehicles and I have one in my hunting vest.

        • Uncommon,

          I have several glow sticks in my emergency car kit, and they came in really handy when the wife and I were on vacation at a seaside hotel when the power went out to the entire region for two whole days. A semi truck hit a power pole, which caused a cascade that knocked out all power to 3/4 of the surrounding down. With a Cyalume glow stick on the included lanyard, you can hang it in the shower stall to give you plenty of light to wash, without any fear of batteries, flames, or other water-sensitive components of alternate light options.

        • To people whose eyes haven’t adjusted to pitch blackness, yes. When you just need enough light to not run into things, they work just fine.

    • Good advice.
      If you can’t find the powdered packets of calcium hypochlorite, get a bucket of the tablets. They’re the size of hockey pucks but can be beaten down with a hammer. The chlorine will dissipate if the water is left to open air, but heat and boiling is an added bonus.
      The next option? A Berkey water filter. Absolutely recommended.

      • A Berkey is next on my list. I have smaller camp-style filters, but I want to get a household appropriate Berkey so I can grab water from my community’s swimming pool to augment my existing two-week bottled water stash. That pool serves about 90 homes in my area, and it was being depleted pretty rapidly when the county-maintained 10″ water main failed a few years ago and we had no water service for an entire week. Most of us were bucketing the pool water (in 5-gal Home Depot buckets) to our homes just to flush the toilets.

        • I’ve got a Berkey and recommend it (though it is a bit expensive). Not only is it good for emergencies, but it is also good for daily use. Get the flourine out.

  9. I’ve lived and worked in many areas. I’ve been snowed in. Cleaned up after a tornado. Ran from a hurricane. Was in the bay area for the 89 quake. I’ve got food, water and other supplies at home and in my vehicles.

    One thing I’ve learned in my life experience is that getting through a disaster is better as part of a community. Lone wolves are just making their own lives shorter.

    And I will never turn a hungry child away.

    • Was in the 89 quake also, on Nob Hill. One of last sections of city to have gas and electric restored. Lots of roof top cookouts. In retrospect, was more pleasurable in many ways living without the gas and electricity.

    • Good point about community. Getting neighbors to stock up on emergency supplies. Its easy to convince folks to stock up when we live in earthquake country.

  10. Lol why the heck does this article tell you to load your 30rd mags with 28rds? Lol gtfo here with that bullshit.

    • It’s a philosophy difference. A lot of people swear by tactical reloads which are made significantly easier when you download your magazines. I can take it or leave it. Lancers (my preferred magazine) are designed to be loaded on a closed bolt at full capacity. You can even do it with a GI mag if you remember the push-pull trick, which with a tactical reload (as opposed to an emergency reload) you can easily do if you train properly.

    • Because a common feed problem is the first round refusing to reliably load from a full-packed mag. I typically load them at 29 rds, while others choose 28.

    • That’s actually just an old school SOP from when magazines weren’t as reliable as they are today. In Vietnam US soldiers often loaded mags two/three rounds short, and in WW2 German soldiers usually only loaded their 32 round MP40 mags to 25-28.

  11. Stock up on what you need and like then rotate everything.
    Cans are great for bugging in. Chicken, chili, ham…etc. Lots of stuff goes with rice…beans, peas, chicken, gravy. Rotate them.
    Grill everything in the first week and freeze it. Don’t want the smell getting out after that.
    Rotate gas 2-3 months. Having a F250 6.2L means I always have a place to rotate the gas into. I don’t bother with gas preservative. Made a siphon plan using 5 gallon cans that makes it easy so I will not mind doing it.
    Lots of diapers, toilet paper, baby wipes and formula. Somebody will buy diaper, wipes and formula we don’t use.
    All bathroom supplies, soaps, razors, deodorant…everything.
    Dog food too

  12. Well Elroy… Start by getting an education and you will know the answer! Those magazines will not always properly feed when loaded to max capacity. Load 28 to reduce spring tension in the mag and allow the bolt to seat the round properly. Training you need young padawan!

    • If your magazine won’t feed when fully loaded, you need a stronger buffer spring or a new magazine. I chuck magazines that fail on me on general principle. It pays to get top shelf mags. Never had a problem with my Lancers and I used to run several tactical courses a month.

      • “I chuck magazines that fail on me on general principle. It pays to get top shelf mags.”


        Serge, you keep the junk mags to hand in when the knock at the door comes… 🙂

  13. Last but not least, you might be really happy to have a nice stash of propane on hand. A new 30-gallon cylinder is surprisingly affordable and not all that expensive to fill if you shop around. Two of those cylinders would provide enough propane to cook with a small propane stove for months.

    • Absolutely. I have a standard tank for the BBQ, and about 15 of the little ones for use with a heater and/or camp stove indoors (in the kitchen, of course, with the windows cracked open for ventilation).

      • I Haz a Question,

        You can get adapter hoses for the large 15, 30, 40 pounds tanks which enable them to run stoves and heaters that are designed for the little one-pound tanks.

        I discovered all of this when a natural gas pumping station failed in my region during extremely cold weather and we were looking at losing heat for our home for multiple days. Now I have a couple tanks and portable propane heaters available so that I can at least heat a small area of my home for several days if/when natural gas is unavailable again.

  14. Can we move past the 28/30 rounds in mags? Magazines made in the last decade (minimum) are all made to function reliably with 30. Why would you download? To make magazine changes on a closed bolt easier. Not to make it possible, but easier. Leave your mags loaded. Springs wear out from use, compressed, decompressed, over and over. Loaded vs not will not damage the springs. Polymer mags with polymer feed lips could break after extended pressure from loaded mags, hence those little plates Magpul used to give out in every package.

    • People do still have stockpiles of the old stuff. I have metric tons of old AR mags and G3 mags from the Cold War. They still work so no need to throw them out. 10 years really isn’t that long of a time.

  15. evil part of plan….get to know those LIB neighbors that have stuff planed for and abhor guns…..easy pickings!

    • You might want to re-think that course of action.
      Where I come from, regardless of political leanings, getting caught thieving from defenseless people might earn you an assfull of buckshot for your trouble.

      • “””assfull of buckshot for your trouble.”””


        Like I said unarmed gun grabbing LIBS…who is going to stand up for them?

        • “Decent people will shoot looters.”
          I’m a bit cynical if less viscous. The unarmed libs are good canaries. Viscious oportunists will always pick off the weakest first and that will make them easier to identify. The price of saving the libs is that they will come to depend on you and ultimately resent you in their weakness….. but they do make good canaries.

  16. Skills. They weigh nothing, take up no space, travel with you and are always tradable.

    Be worth more than your gear and even ruthless fucks will think hard about just offing you. Even in Africa.

    • “Skills. They weigh nothing, take up no space, travel with you and are always tradable.”

      True, but a gang might kidnap you for those skills, and hold your family hostage so you won’t ‘quit’ on them…

  17. I gather COVID-19 is in the background here.

    There are two things you can never have enough of: TP and Ammo.

    If you aren’t packing it then nothing beats SPAM and beans.

    Water is heavy, Lifestraw weighs a couple of ounces but your water supply isn’t in danger when you are quarantined or in self lockdown.

    • Lifestraw is something but difficult for a family or cooking. There are reasonably inexpensive filters used for backpacking or camping that can filter a lot of water fast. At least they were inexpensive, not sure now…

  18. If you can stay hydrated fasting for a few days will probably be good for you. I do 3 days twice a year and it’s not that bad. Only thing is caffeine. Going cold turkey off caffeine is easily worse than not eating for a couple days.

    • Yep. I intermittently fast, and typically do a 24-hour fast once per week. Eat nothing on Saturday until dinnertime, which would be 24 hours since Friday’s dinner. Helps to keep your GI tract healthy, too.

    • Caffeine is easy, buy a couple of boxes of pills. I think they come in 50-200 per box, depending on brand. Just um….take them one at a time.

  19. “Concentration camps”

    Uh- the prisoners were emaciated from Typhus- not caloric restriction. I know we want to dehumanize the Nazis, but we shouldn’t lie.

    • The fact that there were concentration camps at all is enough to dehumanize the nazis. Poor sanitation and medical care is what you’re saying was the cause of death. Not starvation.

      Neither matters. The nazis own the results.

      • How well do you think the Japanese would have faired in their concentration camps in the US had we lost the war and had our supply lines destroyed?

        • Give it a rest dan. Making excuses for the nazis does nothing but paint you as of a kind with them.

        • The Nazis were obviously monstrously evil, but were certainly not unique. Their kind is far too common in human history. Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot were peas in a pod. They all starved or otherwise murdered multitudes. Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot were all enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ, and will suffer His eternal condemnation.

    • @Bully,

      I can’t really add to what jwm said. He’s absolutely right…the Nazis already dehumanized themselves. Discussing *how* they mistreated and killed other human beings is splitting hairs.

      • You TTAG peoples’ heads explodes when someone who isn’t an SJW liberal criticizes you.

        You POTG are some of the biggest snowflakes of all. All he said was that something wasn’t historically accurate and you people loose your minds.

        The US put Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. The US dropped nuclear weapons on civilians. The US fire bombed Dresden. The only reason you care about Jews in camps is because you’ve stopped going to church and you’ve watched too much TV.

        • “The US put Japanese-Americans in concentration camps.”

          Sure it was wrong…for the majority of them.

          “The US dropped nuclear weapons on civilians.”

          Necessary to convince Jap leaders to give up the fight. Instead of a protracted battle in Japan Proper, which the Japanese leaders were hoping for in order to gain a negotiated peace, the introduction of the ultimate stand-off weapon convinced them to surrender.

          “The US fire bombed Dresden.”

          A city that had 110 factories and was a major rail and communications center.

          “The only reason you care about Jews in camps is because you’ve stopped going to church and you’ve watched too much TV.”

          That is a strange assertion.

    • Yeah, well, my dad was in a German POW camp for 3 months and lost 30 lbs. Steady diet of rice and moldy bread. You think Jews received that largess?

  20. People need to read about Selco in Bosnia. He lived through a long city siege where neighbors turned on each other. He has lots of crucial advice. Also, One Second After, which was a rehash of Alas Babylon.

  21. Get skills and friends.

    With skills and friends, you can overcome a world of crap. Without either, you’re in for a rough haul.

    Most modern people are seriously lacking in skills – and I don’t mean shooting skills. I mean “repair this,” “wire that,” “run plumbing over here,” “repair a roof” and so on.

    In all things you depend upon, simplify, simplify, simplify. You could buy a brand-new genset and propane stove as your backup… Or, you could seek out a Lister type of diesel engine. They’re incredibly simple to repair, and you can work on them with basic tools. Diesel fuel can be stored for a very, very long time with some bactericide in it.

    The other advantage of Lister-type engines (or old-fashioned hit-miss gas engines) is that they’re so heavy, that they won’t “grow legs” so easily. You can build or buy a survival stove that burns paper, wood or BBQ briquets that has no moving parts to break. Water purification can be handled with Chlorox and settling tanks. You can purify a lot of water with five gallons of Chlorox bleach.

    • Correct. As usual. I will add that propane can store for decades. So long as the bottles are good, the gas is good.

      • Propane is a good fuel, don’t get me wrong.

        My issue with propane is twofold, and somewhat situational. First, it’s too easy to steal 15 to 100lb bottles of propane. I like my stuff to stay in one spot.

        Second, there comes possible times in our winters here in Wyoming when it is so cold, the propane won’t vaporize and come out of the tank fast enough to keep up with demands, in the case of an above-ground tank. This is rather something of a problem – in the weather when you need the fuel the most, the fuel won’t come forth from the tank.

        For those who don’t live where it can go down to -25F or lower, let me tell you: it makes you something of a survivalist every year. Once every couple of years,, the power will go out when it is bitterly cold. Suddenly, your natural gas or propane furnace won’t run without power, your pellet stove or other modern appliance-like heating equipment won’t run without power, etc.

        • That’s why I like the climate here in CA. I’ve been snowed in without power. Did not care for it.

          One of the dumbest things I’ve done in my life was walk across the Ohio river when it was frozen. Young and stupid.

    • As a side note, make absolutely sure that you are buying pure unscented chlorine bleach.

      Also, bleach starts gradually losing potency from the day it is bottled and this degradation accelerates over time.

      Be sure to rotate and use bleach along with your other supplies. Write down the proper dilution ratios for drinking water NOW. Don’t count on being able to look it up online in an emergency scenario.

      You don’t want to drink undertreated or overtreated water.

      • That’s why the granular form or tablets are better for survival situations.

        “You don’t want to drink undertreated or overtreated water.”

        Putting 1/3 cup of bleach in a gallon of water like suggested early in the thread is an example of *lethal* over-chlorination…

  22. As one of the group who need insulin to stay alive my plans probably are not the same as many of you. I live in an area that has been hit by hurricanes so number one for me is a second small refrigerator to split my insulin into along with a small Honda inverter generator to power it. That way I have it in two separate buildings so odds are some will be usable if the storm does a lot of damage. I have a slightly larger one to power the house fridge and freezer and a large loud generac to power the well pump. The small inverter units can run the couple hours a day needed on small amounts of fuel and the larger one for the pump only needs to run maybe an hour every other day total. Plenty of propane for the grill and small stove and enough food and medical supplies to hold out for a few months of needed as well as items to do repairs like tarps, duct tape assorted plywood pieces, nails and 2×4’s and such.
    Last time generator theft and people rummaging through homes was an issue so I did carry but did not find the need for it to ever leave my pocket.

    I’ve been asked before what I would do it things changed for the worse for maybe years and my answer to them was I’ll die. Simple, sooner or later I’d run out of insulin and the odds of me figuring a way to make my own that would be safe to use are slim to none so I’ll ration as long as I could then resort to earlier methods to try to stave off the inevitable and then die. So no I have no plans for teotwawki. For stuff that might happen like hurricanes where I might be cut off from the power grid and reliable supplies for a few weeks or months I am ready.

    • Cooluli makes fridges that can be swapped off regular power and be run off the interior power sources in a car (old school cigarette lighter or USB). I have one for my insulin.

      I would also point out to you however that there are some trials currently in FDA Phase II clinical trials that are fairly promising as an actual cure for T1. Essentially they’re copies of a study done by the University of Toronto where they snag some cells from inside your femur (ouch) and culture a set of “blank” beta cells. These are injected subdermally into the outer layer of one of your kidneys (so it’s subdermal to the kidney). Your body can and does control them just like your pancreas and your immune system ignores them.

      The original study was done about five years ago. 88% success on the first try with 12% requiring a secondary treatment at 1 year. Total 5000 patients, overall success 100% with a rejection rate of 0. The current FDA study uses anti-rejection drugs for the first six weeks and since lab work found it to remove that 12% of people who required a secondary implantation. Estimated time to market: 2-4 years depending on FDA approval.

      The only sketchy thing is that you have to wear a CGM for the first year (if you don’t already you should anyway) because as this whole thing starts to take over the potential for a lethal hypo incident is really, really real so you have to be really on top of your sugars and your insulin dosing. Kinda like the “honeymoon period” but in reverse.

      • I remember that honeymoon. Probably had diabetes my last year in the service as I was having problems and had gone in a couple times as I was losing weight. A year and a half later I was down to under 130 lbs and ended up in the hospital. After I started on insulin I quickly got to a point where it seemed I needed very little and thought maybe they were wrong. Sadly they were right. I do wish I had re upped, a choice of assignment would not have meant much but affordable treatment sure would have. I probably could have used the VA but never considered it. They can have my corpse when I’m gone to stick in a cemetery 😉
        I follow the news about diabetes too, I was excited when the inhaled mealtime insulin came out, But wow is that stuff expensive !!! Since I’m in my later 60’s and have a few other autoimmune conditions odds are they would not consider me for an implanted pancreas substitute.

        • Yeah, late onset T1, same deal here, sucks and is quite odd. Often misdiagnosed. They told me originally that I was a T2 even though I was completely fit. It was almost as though the doc didn’t know what T2 actually is. Of course lots of docs figure that if you make it to 16+ it can’t be T1.

          I’d keep an eye on this one, some of the study participants were nearing 80 with a wide range of other conditions on top of T1 and it seems to have worked quite well for all of them. Might have to leave the US to get it but… I’d be more than willing to do that considering what insulin costs in my state.

        • Back when I first was diagnosed of course I did not have insurance and quickly discovered treatment was expensive even with insulin not near as expensive as it is now. And as far as insurance, most jobs would not even considered hiring you so I had no insurance. I lucked out and found a company that was into hiring vets and offered insurance and even though it really was not what I had planned for my life ( wanted to go into forestry ) I stuck with them until retirement.
          In the meantime insulin dramatically jumped in price so it surprised me at first while I was looking at options for medicare. Luckily I use a pump so most is covered by a combo of B and a F plan. Some of the manufactures offer discounts too. But I understand how some have to decide whether to eat or buy medicines . If I was not using the pump and used pens my cost would have been considerably higher.
          But when you consider what we have was a death sentence less than 100 years ago and still is in some countries we are lucky.

        • I think it varies from state to state.

          Not to get super deep in the weeds but I find vials to be more expensive because of the waste.

          I go though 450u of Lantus a month and about the same of Humalog. Vials, I know from experience, are pretty well shot by the time I get to 550-600u if I refrigerate them when not in use. So if I buy them I’m paying for 400-450u I can’t use. Pens can travel with me and still be good by the time I’m done with them.

          So the price per pen is a bit more but I’m also not throwing out nearly half of what I bought. Without insurance the vials are about $1000/month in Colorado and the pens are about $1500. Well, they were that price before the 1st of the year, now it’s $100/each per month because the state government price-capped it. Which is fucking stupid and will distort the market, particularly for Lantus, but they’re not going to change it back.

          Regardless I can’t bring myself to waste 400u or more of that stuff when someone else actually needs it. Fuck, I’ll go for a run or lift just to do my part and cut a couple units off a meal.

          My endo suggests a pump for times when I’m sick or super busy in life, to use for a week or two at a time. I have a hard time justifying the $8200 price tag though. Pens have held me steady at ~6 on my A1C so I can’t really see needing one.

        • Running an A1C of 6 with pens I can’t justify the price of the pump and I use so little of the stuff that I can’t justify the waste of ~550u of Lantus and Humalog per vial to run with vials. Pens actually cost me less because they don’t waste half or more of the product.

          People have told me that the vials last longer than 30 days. Yeah a few days but not long enough for them to make sense for me. At best I get to around 525u used before the vial is shot and I can prove that with data I’ve generated that comes damn close to the lab data on the topic.

          I don’t GAF what those idiots on the interwebz say. Statistically 80% of them aren’t even hitting 7 on their A1C and most of them that I’ve talked to have no idea how to actually record and track data. They say Lantus and Humalog last way, way more than a month after being opened. I say bullshit and I have the data to back it up not just some “Well, I don’t really track my numbers but…” horseshit.

          For me they work just because I can’t fathom the idea of essentially pouring half a vial of the stuff on the ground.

        • Ken and S9. You two bring up a sensitive subject about a long term shtf situation. I’m not trying to be crude, crass or funny. Death may well come as a result of these events. Modern society in a first world country is shielded from the reality of death.

          How do we deal with the death of a loved one without those modern first world mechanisms in place for our support? How do we react when we realize there is nothing we can do but watch that person die? Once that person has died, what then?

          As a first world society we are accustomed to being able to freely travel from coast to coast. We have given up living together as families in one region. We relocate for jobs and other reasons knowing that we can visit our loved ones regular.

          In a long term shtf we may not have that ability to travel freely. Our family members may be out of touch, lost to us, for years or forever.

          I guess I’m rambling. But we talk about beans and bullets and meds in these situations. What about the long term ramifications for our loved ones and our peace of mind?

        • I didn’t realize this was still active!

          strych9 I have dipped into the 5’s before but usually stay in the low 6’s as it is easier than trying to deal with the problems of maintaining ultra tight control. I also have crohns and the latest treatment seemed to increase insulin resistance so my usage climbed from about .5u per kg to just under .8u. Normally I do go through a bit more than 1 vial of novolog a month so I am not throwing any away. . I weigh 174lbs and am 6’1′ which often causes “huh! your diabetic?” when people notice. I guess they do not realize not all are T2’s. I do not use a basal like lantus, novolog is all that is used with the pump. I keep a box of syringes handy just in case of pump problems. Recently did a couple months of prednisone , I’m sure you know how that went. Felt like one of those supposed brittle diabetics we always heard about while I was on it. Had more lows from trying to lower the high blood sugar caused by the steroid and was getting concerned that I might become unable to sense lows if it kept up. Thankfully that is passed and my usage is dropping again to more normal levels.
          I went on the pump when I worked for the power co. 80% was covered by my insurance. When this one fails I might have to reconsider if it comes more than 4 thousand to replace the unit. Insulin is not capped here so it would quickly become a major expense if I were to go the basal/bolus method with lantus and novolog.

          jwm , we will do like we do now with family and friends who have a terminal condition or pass suddenly from a stroke or heart attack.

        • JWM – Quicklime. Sacks of quicklime you keep sealed up and dry until needed. Use when deep burial is not possible. The quicklime keeps the unpleasant part of decay at a minimum.

          International Red Cross :



          Personally, I think you are on the right track. This pandemic may easily overwhelm the funeral industry, and if need be, you can take care of business yourself (with a few friends).

          Check California’s rules on homestead burials…

        • Geoff a funny story about lime.
          We were looking for opal at a pay to dig site in Canada and my wife used the outhouse. When she came out her hands were dusty so we asked her what that was. She thought the lime was to clean her hands with.
          Yeah she was teased a bit about that.

          I misread his post and did not think about what to do with bodies. Hopefully we will not need to find out.

  23. I lived through two hurricanes and worked everything from Opel to Katrina. The author gave good advice. I had three young ladies knock on my door about three weeks ago. They were from the USF and some state health agency. They were conducting a post hurricane Michael survey. We’re still recovering. They wanted to know if I had been affected. I laughed and said anyone within 100 miles radius was affected. Then they wanted to know about a hundred other things. Do you have food in your home? About a year’s worth. Do you have a generator? Two. Were you concerned about looters? No. Why? Because I would just shoot them. Did you suffer depression? No. Not my first rodeo. I knew what to expect. It went on. Those girls left looking, well, stunned. Bottom line. Stockpile all you can. Three spare rifle mags? Ten is my minimum. I like to rotate loaded magazines. Ammo? Yeah it’s heavy. If I have to bug out I don’t intend to hump it. That Chevy PK doesn’t get tired. My philosophy on supplies is the same as money. Never too much. Always not enough.

  24. Bicycles. Pedal power can replace a lot of the need for stored fuel for us city dwellers. I realize, having lived on a farm, that needs are different in the more rural parts of the country. But for us living in the cities there’s no reason not to have a quality bike or 2. Mine has saddle bags on it for carrying supplies in.

    • And if you push the bike it is still possible to carry a few hundred pounds of stuff on a bike. Worked for the VC in ‘nam.

    • Completely agree. I recently dropped a bike trailer from my stash. One of those canvas and aluminum framed kid haulers, I needed the space for other items.

      When I had property I would use a bike to get my deer out of the woods. I would tie the front legs to the handlebars, put the chest cavity over the seat and use the rear legs of the deer like a wheel barrow.

      • Now that would have been funny as hell to come across in the woods. It proves the old saying, ‘if it looks stupid but it works it ain’t stupid.’

        I live in the city. Adding one of those lightweight two wheel carts to my garage for my bike would not be a bad idea. We’re coming up to yard sale season…..

    • “Bicycles. Pedal power can replace a lot of the need for stored fuel for us city dwellers.”

      Puncture-proof bike tires I consider a necessity. They are not cheap, but good ones are nearly impossible to flatten. I ride a *lot*, and get flats maybe once every few years, they are that good. You need to find them at good bike shops, *not* WalMart.

      Here’s a few :


  25. If you can only have 200 round in total what would you go for.
    And before you ask yes i live in NYC and yes i am not moving i will keep fighting.

    • A reloading setup and a shopping spree in Delaware for materials assuming you have your license in order. If not 12 gauge and shush.

    • 200 rounds, that’s it?

      Others offered some good ideas, I’ll offer a longer-term strategy :

      Join a class-action suit and sue their ass for your constitutional rights.

      Oh, and what about burying a stash somewhere, like in Central Park?

  26. The worst part is disruption in communication. Imagine sitting for weeks without knowing how the Kardashians are holding up.

  27. There are also plastic containers designed to sit in your bathtub that you can fill with potable water. Easy to store until you need it. You should also have several well-stocked med kits (with tournequets). I would recommend, if you have the means (and especially if you live in a hurricane prone area) solar panels. They don’t work if the grid is shut off, which is why you would need a battery backup system. Or a natural gas generator could be integrated into that as well. Even a smaller solar panel that is portable is very affordable and can charge smaller devices.

  28. If you are trading and bartering after a collapse then you did it all entirely wrong. The whole point of preparing is to not have to go out into the unwashed masses. Keep your place *DISCRETELY* fortified, with good line of sight to all possible avenues of approach. Use nasty plants to funnel people where you want them and claim an even greater home team advantage.

    I don’t have much in the way of material preps, most people know I’m always whining about being broke, but I do have prickly pears, cholas, and agaves that require no monetary cost. Humans usually take the path of least resistance, a few will take a slightly more resistant path out of caution, and I personally will not waste my time trying to get through a nasty, 5’+ thick, infection risk. If I have to, I’ve already looked for a more suitable way. Hence, I’m planting happy go stabby plants up and down fences and trouble areas. Even a barbed wire fence will keep people out when it has a 6′ tall hedge of cactus growing on it.

    Even if someone came along with some round up and killed the plants, the pads and props will probably send out new roots and keep right on growing. Oh, they are edible too, can be pressed for oil, etc. Of course, its hard to prepare for everything, so spiritual preparation trumps all.

  29. Rotate your 30 round mags every 30 days or so(half empty/half full). If you don’t the last 8 or so rounds might as well not even be loaded.

    • I have shot magazines that have been fully loaded for decades. Springs wear out from cycling, not being compressed.

      • This is a myth as well. Wearing of a spring comes from a combination of factors that aren’t easily controlled. The quality of the spring and its material is a pretty big factor in how long it will last. A cheap mag may show deterioration as soon as a year, while a quality one will be good for five, or even twenty years.

        Follower springs will wear out constantly compressed or used over and over again, its just a matter of time with the former and uses with the latter.

    • Mags are hit and miss in terms of can they be left loaded for years and years. The true answer is both yes and no. Some USGI mags will work fine after 20+ years loaded, some will malfunction. Some internal mags, tube mags, will work fine after being loaded for years, some won’t. Pmags and Glock mags will probably be fine but I still like to keep a few mags ‘New In Box’ along with some new ammo, just in case.

      I would not sweat leaving GOOD mags loaded for years; just have some new, unloaded extras set aside. That said, I’m probably going to download all of my go-bag’s magazines sometime soon and keep the ammo loose. Things simply aren’t even close to the point where I need to keep a dozen or so loaded mags in my pack.

      • Load the magazines when you think you might need them in the near future. Have the ammunition on strips and have a strip loading tool for the magazines handy.

  30. For anyone interested I have found that mypatriotsupply has the best price and calories for the money. Also I just ordered some tobacco seeds from another source. I’m gonna attempt to grow and cure to make chewing tobacco it’s a good thing to add to your seed stash and can be used for bartering.

    • Peanut butter and cold pressed olive oil also make for good emergency calorie boosters to food. I brought summer sausages to the MWTC in California since its good mountain food and doesn’t require refrigeration until after opening, they also have the benefit of helping to replenish lost salt.

      They weren’t sold at MWTC, and after getting plenty of shit for my bag of sausages, I was enjoying salty sausages from Hawaii while everyone else was stuck with Ramen and MREs.

  31. I read through the comments, and unless I missed it, I didn’t see anything about coffee. I get that this isn’t a need, but it’s a serious daily want for me. I could learn to live without it, but I wouldn’t want to.

    • “I read through the comments, and unless I missed it, I didn’t see anything about coffee.”

      You missed it. Way up early in the thread…

  32. Job loss.

    It’s far more certain, at some point, for a larger subset of men spread across the USA.

    Preparing food, supplies, etc for 3 months would alleviate your checkbook if you lost you’re source of income.

  33. At one time in the evolution of the human species fire was not required.and water could be obtained by drinking from a mudhole..Humans are much smarter now. They’ve learned to bring an extra can of gas.

    • I have never drank water from a mud hole. But hey that would have been an improvement because, like this guy, I have in fact been down to getting water from a hoof print … filtered thru two bandanas and a couple layers of paper towel. Did not get sick, tho hafta’ say I expected to!

      • How many critters upstream are crapping in it? 🙂

        (That is a nice resource to have, if moving fast enough, could even generate some electricity…)

        • Actually, it runs through some pasture upstream. But it does have salmon during spawn. I can also use it to water my livestock and gardens.

  34. One thing about solar chargers, there are ones nowdays that output 120VAC power “wall outlet power”. They are much more useful than a solar phone charger. They work great if you need power, but don’t want to go all out with a generator.

  35. Good call on keeping enough water on premises. I think water is one of the most overlooked emergency items for many non-prepping types. Even the folks who think to store up dry goods and canned food often neglect having a water cache, much less the folks who run out for the “french toast diet” (bread, eggs, milk) whenever there’s a snowstorm coming.

    I was always told to figure a minimum of 1 gallon per person per day (drinking, washing, etc.) I generally have about a 7-10 day supply of stored water, plus the ability to purify/filter more as needed.

    • Year round water in the creeks, water purification on hand in multiple forms. Life straw, camel back filter, iodine tablets, bleach, if nothing else, I can dig a hole 15′ deep and get water from the shallow table.

    • For Y2K I refilled every soft drink bottle with tap water and put them in the cupboards. Post Y2K I used the water in the washing machine.

  36. Well, I live in a Constitutional Carry state, so that part is good under any weather conditions.

    I have my Kroger Foods discount key-fob hanger thingy for sale prices, so there’s that.

    Got my Cabela’s Bass Pro Club Card, still has 800 Club Points on it after recent gun buys. So good there too.

    And recently heard in local news of a In-N-Out Burger being built in the immediate area.

    Yup, on the whole, the topography is looking fully survivable alright.

  37. Fill up bathtubs with water, it can be used for drinking or flushing toilets.
    As noted before, your water heater can provide water too.
    That lesson learned in SF Bay area, nice place to be from!

  38. There is a point reached where what you store up gets old and spoils before getting used. If you store so much that properly rotation still leaves things expiring and becoming too old before it can be used…..that’s enough.

    For hunters, a single deer (or various game) can often provide quite a bit of meat. You just have to be able to store and freeze it all so it doesn’t go bad. If the power is out then freezing is not a viable solution, so salt becomes a thing. But salting things for preservation isn’t something people are likely to know how to do.

    I see no reason to spend the money on having wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling ammo in my garage. But I do want more than is there to be comfortable with it. Paper/dry goods last a while and bottled water is certainly cheap enough to have by the case.

    Anything can be takin to an extreme. Even a crazy extreme. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with having extras of things. Anything can happen and it often does. I’ve been through enough hurricanes in life to know that plenty of extra water can mean everything.

    • “For hunters, a single deer (or various game) can often provide quite a bit of meat. You just have to be able to store and freeze it all so it doesn’t go bad.”

      Sacks of coarse salt, then?

  39. My two pre-‘82 pennies:
    -With 12 hours of night per 24 hours over a year, you NEED NODs and an IR laser.
    -Secure with C-wire and trip alarms when SHTF
    -1 year calories/nutrition per person/year minimum
    -ammo, guns, food, AU/AG, NODs, etc are all hedges against inflation, properly applied ARE an investment/insurance. (Re insurance, you don’t pay for the ‘what if’, you’re paying to sleep well at night)
    -your neighbors will become your security, or the thing you secure against (read: be good, be kind, but/or have a plan to bury them)
    Remember: life is a gift, the future is unwritten yet predictable. Enjoy yourself, build wealth and be good to others, especially with your surpluses.
    Be well.

  40. If you live in a house like ours, instantaneous water heater. We have some bottled water plus 100 gallons in two blue 50 gallon food storage barrels from Walmart.

    Disagree on the ammo. The end game is now to work on ammo makers, gunpowder and primer makers. Get a lot and start reloading. I shoot Greek Army ammo from the 60’s and 70’s, no problem. MRE’s are tough after two/three weeks.

    I’ve got 11 months of asthma med’s (could stretch to 20 or so) by slowly over the years filling the scripts 5 days early, no problem.

    Read “One Second After” by William R Forstchen. It gives you a good feel for things, fiction but engrossing and good ideas.

    My understanding is there are only 4 barrel manufacturers in the US……..TWO IS ONE AND ONE IS NONE!

  41. More…. the govt will support cities over rural, more bang for the bucks.

    I have extra guns as investments, could be passed out to my neighbors in a pinch. Gives us a small village as we live in suburbia and have found like minded people in the neighborhood.

    The vast majority of our scripts come from India, the majority
    of ingredients come from China.

  42. Two spring-fed ponds full of fish, solar panels and batteries, well water, free-range, egg-producing (and reproducing) chickens, peacocks, guineas and turkeys, goats, surrounded by thousands of forested acres full of deer, turkey, quail and all sorts of small game. Home sits at the top of a hill half-mile off the ONLY road, only one way in without EXTREME effort, more ammo than I could ever shoot and still acquiring. Stacks of canned goods, pallets of rice and beans, Vienna sausages, spam and canned bacon. Several full 100-pound propane tanks, diesel, rotate the non-ethanol. Major vegetable garden, muscadine, blueberries, orchard with apple, peach, persimmon, pear, and plum trees all producing. Smokehouse full of hams. Stores of jerky. Can grow tobacco, poppies and weed if I need to, and know what to do with it.
    A country boy can survive.

  43. You can never have “enough”. Too many variable for random scenarios that are not worth ranting about here. Just be prepared to leave the comfort of all that stockpiled shit.

  44. You shouldn’t feel foolish for having a years worth of food. Worst case scenario you are set for 1 year. Best case scenario you buy groceries a lot less for a year. Big deal.

    1600 calories will NOT kill the average person ever. The average person would prolly be healthier on 1600 calories a day compared to their current diet.

    If you’re a woman 1600 calories and moderate activity will get you the figure you had in high school. 1200 will get you that figure , if you aren’t active ( like cooped up in a shelter all day).

    If you are a man who’s healthy weight is 150 1600 calories will Only allow for sedentary activity without losing weight.

    If you are a bigger guy then you need more , but not much more. Somebody 6 foot is healthy at 175 pounds. And if you are carrying an extra 20 pounds that 1600 Cals a day will keep you losing only a pound a week pr so for 20 weeks until you are a healthy weight again. And then it would take you a LONG time to starve to death. Zero calories a day will take you a month to starve to death. 1600 is more likely just to make you lose muscle mass

    Everybody freaks out about water. But look are you living in the desert ? If so store lots of water. If not store a few bottles and a water filter. Or learn to distill water.

    See we have this stuff called rain. It’s water that falls from the sky. In most places you can collect enough to last a long time. You Amy have to filter it or distill it however. Also swimming pools are great water storage devices. So are water beds.

    • “So are water beds.”

      Water beds are ‘spiked’ with the chemical Bromine, and some folks are sensitive to that…