Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Poor Man's Survival list (part 1)

With the coming “dark ages” which are most certainly to descend upon the United States (and the rest of the world) sometime within the next few years it is imperative to start thinking about basic survival plans before the situation deteriorates much further. 

If at all possible you should secure a warehouse somewhere and stockpile it with every conceivable item you could possibly need for the rest of your entire life. But just who the hell can do that? If you’ve got millions upon millions of dollars it’s feasible, but very few people have that kind of money. Does that mean only the wealthy deserve to live?

Of course not. But what the hell are you to do? Here lately I’ve been looking at a lot of “list” on the internet, which people have posted, of crap you should stockpile for an emergency. There are many lists around and you should have no problem finding them. The only trouble is that most of the crap on these lists is useless! Anyone can make a list (and many people have) but that doesn’t really mean everything on it is worth a rat’s ass when it comes to survival.

I came up with my own list of basic supplies that someone with very little money can put together and weather 95% of the possible SHTF scenarios they might conceivably encounter. Of course this is just a list and you should take that into consideration when putting together your own plan for surviving the coming apocalypse. But anyway, here it is.

1.      Food. You can’t survive without food for very long so you should keep on hand enough grub to survive for at least 30 days. This an absolute minimum but a 30 day supply of food, per person, will at least keep you going through any event like a natural disaster. A thirty day supply will ensure that you don’t have to stand in the FEMA lines with the zombies for free government cheese and other GIBS. This doesn’t really cost you anything at all above and beyond what you normally consume so long as you stockpile foods you already eat, and you rotate your stock. 30 days is great, 90 days’ worth of food is better, and 6 months’ worth of food is more than 99% of people have on hand. The more the better.

2.      Water. You can survive a hell of a lot longer without food than you can water. This is why survivalist seem to overemphasize the storage of this most basic of necessity. Personally I feel it is much better to hone your skills at finding water and rendering it safe for human consumption. In fact if you can only learn one skill that will better your odds at survival then you should learn how to find water and make it safe for human consumption. As far as water “storage” goes you should have a gallon, per day, per person. 30 days minimum will see you through any local disasters but your water procurement skills are what will keep you alive indefinitely.

3.      Water filter. After you’ve consumed your storage water you are still going to need this basic necessity of life or you will die within days. A decent water filter will help you to render water you procure safe to consume. Just finding water in a puddle somewhere and running it through a filter will not make it 100% safe to drink but it will eliminate most pollutants such as heavy metals, etc. You should still boil all water used for drinking and cooking if at all possible. A good filter is still recommended and will save much time in purifying your water.

4.      Multivitamins. A good multi vitamin every day is a very cheap means to ensure you suffer no sickness due to malnutrition. A six month supply, per person, for every member of your family is pretty cheap and will go a long way in securing your health in a true SHTF situation. A year’s supply is much better but remember that vitamins have an expiration date so rotate your stock.

5.      Warm clothing. Next to food and water you must stay warm against the elements. If you have plenty to eat and enough clean water to drink it will do you no good if you freeze to death. You need plenty of warm clothing. Thick and heavy coats, gloves, mittens, head gear, and thermal underwear should all be on your list. A good pair of coveralls is great as well. You more than likely have most of these items already so just take inventory and add to it as soon as you can.

6.      Blankets and sleeping bags. Plenty of warm clothing will keep you alive but to be comfortable when you sleep you should have lots of blankets and/or a good sleeping bag. Blankets and quilts can be quite expensive but if you go with the cheap wool blankets you can buy large quantities for little money and have plenty on hand. A good sleeping bag is even more important than blankets. Buy one for every member of your household and get one rated for the lowest possible temperature you might encounter in your particular region.

7.      Flashlights. Having a good flashlight on hand during emergencies is essential. Personally I love Maglite’s. They are on the expensive side for flashlights but they are nearly indestructible. Whatever you get make sure they are durable and use L.E.D bulbs. Every member of your household should have their own flashlight. A good “Headlamp” type of flashlight is good to have as well and will free up both hands for carrying gear and supplies when needed.

8.      Candles. Plenty of candles on hand will ensure that you always have a low tech means of lighting your humble abode. Candles have no expiration date and can be stashed back for years and years until needed. Candles are relatively cheap as well. I have a five gallon bucket nearly full of candles. For several months I spent two or three dollars a week on those tiny tea light candles. A pack of thirty cost about $2.00 at the dollar store. A pretty cheap means to guarantee that you have at least “some” light during a grid down situation.

9.      L.E.D. lanterns. Candles will provide you with enough light to ensure that you don’t trip over the coffee table in the dark but for things like reading they aren’t very good. A good L.E.D lantern will allow you to have much more light than a candle or two will provide. I had a couple of Coleman L.E.D lanterns that put out 200 lumens each, and were rated at 144 hours of continuous use. I made the mistake of leaving them at my zombie hideout and they were stolen when someone broke in and trashed the place. A couple of good durable lanterns doesn’t cost a whole lot and should be on every ones disaster preparedness list.

NOTE this article is starting to get a bit long so I am breaking it up into two (or maybe three) different parts.

Tex Dakota


  1. A lot of tasks outdoors after will involve moving things from there to there. Water, wood, building materials, food, etc. etc. To me, having a tool that helps you move bulky stuff from HERE to THERE is an imperative. So a heavy duty wheelbarrow or cart would be a good idea. Steel arms that won't break, no rust bucket to , no flat tire design. To me - an imperative.

  2. Couldn't agree more with Anonymous about wheelbarrows... except that I'd suggest considering Chinese wheelbarrow designs rather than the European design we grew up with here in the USA. The Chinese wheelbarrow is a superior, more efficient design, that requires a lot less effort when moving heavy loads. Read about them here:

    Unfortunately you can't buy them at Home Depot, so you'll have to build your own. I built one using a salvaged front wheel from an old motorcycle and some scrap lumber. I have hauled a lot of 90 lb sacks of cement on it with ease, two at a time.

  3. Hey guys, thanks for the comments about the wheelbarrow. It's not on my list but certainly would be a handy item.

  4. Nicus - that lowtech web site is da bomb! Thanks for hooking us up!