Recently by M.D. Creekmore: 14 Lessons I've Learned About Survival
You may remember my post “10 things to do now!”, if not go read it before continuing – go on I’ll wait… Done. great. Now let’s go back to the shopping center with another survival food and gear list and ten more things to do now. Ready? Great.
1. Go to the grocery department and pick up 5 lbs of powdered milk or the equivalent of canned, now go over to the next aisles and throw in 5 lbs of rolled oats and a case of Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles aren’t the most nutritional food but they are cheap, add bulk to the diet and store well – just don’t rely on them to provide all your nutritional needs. And don’t forget a good manual can opener.
2. While you’re in the grocery department be sure to pick up an assortment of spices to taste, such as Basil, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Garlic, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Black Pepper. Spices can go along way toward making unfamiliar foods palatable. Also, while you’re in that area add 5 or more lbs of salt to your shopping cart, as you know salt has 101 uses.
3. Okay, counting what you bought during our first trip to the shopping center, that should do it for the grocery. Now go over to the area near the pharmacy and pick up 3 large tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes, 100 double edge razor blades, (note: if you don’t have a razor you’ll probably have to order one from Amazon.com and don’t forget a brush and bowl), I’ve used this type razor for years and think it is a cheaper long-term solution than disposable.
While your there, add the most comprehensive first-aid kit that you can find to your cart and don’t forget over the counter pain meds (Tylenol, aspirin etc.). If you’re a woman (or have one in your life) go over a few shelves and pick up enough “feminine” supplies to last three months or longer.
4. With all that food in your pantry it’s only a matter of time before you have to poop. I know, it’s shocking but we all do it. If you have a water source such as a stream or lake nearby you can still use the toilet in your bathroom, all you have to do is manually fill the tank in back and flush as usual. If this isn’t an option, you’ll need to look for other alternatives such as the Portable Toilets sold in the sporting goods department or making a sawdust toilet from a five-gallon bucket.
5. What’s next? You guessed it toilet paper. If you poop you need to wipe, if not you probably need to start. You could use a corncob, cloth, Roman sponge on a stick or paper from discarded books or newspapers but I would wager most of you prefer the softness of Angle Soft. Get enough to last at least a month, more if possible and remember women need more than men so plan accordingly.
6. While you are in that area of the store pick up a supply of disposable plates, bowls and plastic utensils. Don’t go overboard here but having a small stockpile of these items on hand can save a lot of water that would otherwise be used to wash dishes. Also add two or more gallons of regular, unscented bleach to your cart.
7. This is a biggie and can’t be done (legally) at the department store pharmacy without the signature of a doctor – that is stocking up on prescription meds. Getting more than a 30-day supply, at least in the U.S., can be difficult if not impossible. But there are ways to get most of what you need for long-term survival. See this post and this one and this book (note: some of the information in the book is dated but there is still good advice to be found).
8. Now push your cart (man this thing is getting heavy) over to the hardware department of the store and pick up a carpenters hammer, vice grips, adjustable wrench, screwdriver set, duct tape, electrical tape, axe, pry bar, crosscut saw, hacksaw and large can of WD-40. This is your bare minimum survival tool kit.
9. After you get your tool kit, go over to sporting goods and in the camping supply aisle pick up a propane camp stove and 5 or more 1 pound propane cylinders or a bulk 20 lb tank and hose adaptor – yes the pressure in the small bottles is the same as a 20 lb cylinder or even 100 lb tank, just be sure to get the proper adapter and hose assembly. Another alternative and the one I prefer is the Volcano Stove because I can use propane, wood and charcoal.
10. Okay, we are just about done for today – only a few more steps pushing the cart and you’ll be out the door. You’ll need a way to keep in touch with your group so go to the electronics department and pick up the best two-way radios that you can afford – I have these. Don’t forget a battery-powered radio and extra batteries for both. While not necessary, I prefer a radio capable of receiving AM/FM and shortwave broadcasts – I have this one.
This shopping list will have you better prepared than probably 90% of the U.S. but it should not be signify the end of your preps only a good start. There’s always something to do and learn never become complacent – remember the quote “On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of those who on the very threshold of victory sat down to rest, and while resting died.”
What did I leave out? What would you add? Let us know in the comments on my site. If you enjoy this list you might also like to subscribe to my email updates to keep up to date on more posts like this on prepping and survival. Also, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
M.D. Creekmore [send him mail] is a full-time blogger and preparedness consultant. He currently lives completely off-grid somewhere in the Appalachian mountains and is currently working on his upcoming book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat for Paladin Press. To connect with M.D. Creekmore please visit his Survival Blog.