32 Must Have Items for Doomsday – Here is our SHTF Prep List
No one can be prepared for everything, all the time. It’s mostly a question of having the items you need to survive on standby should all hell break lose. Part of preparation is finding that perfect combination – what you need to immediately escape and survive and that which can help you sustain.
Here are thirty two items we think need to be in every person’s survival kit. If you find something missing, please include it in the comments below.
The recommended consumption of water is a minimum of a gallon a day. Keeping a regular supply of clean water is difficult when either on the run or cut off from regular water sources. That’s why it’s important to be able to store at least a full day’s water requirement and supplies to treat the next day’s.
1. 2.5 L hydration pack (Camelbak or similar)
2. Empty gallon milk jugs (x2) for untreated water
3. Chlorine tablets
4. Activated charcoal tablets
5. Plastic gallon ziplock bags (x1 package)
You may be able to carry a lot in your pockets, but it’s hard to keep everything you need to survive on your body at all times. That’s why having a 65L capacity backpack is essential. It can hold everything in this list and give you the advantage of near-instantaneous mobility.
A general rule of thumb is you want to carry no more than half your bodyweight in supplies for long distance. For instance, 170 lbs body weight means no more than 85 lbs maximum pack weight. Your feet, joints, and ligaments have to hold up for the long haul and you’ll find that the longer you’re on the road, the more you can do without.
1. 55-65L backpack
2. 20L emergency/patrol pack
3. Waterproof bag (5-10L)
4. Mesh bag (5-10L)
First Aid Kit (Sanitation/Medicine)
First aid, in a survival situation, is about two separate aspects – immediate treatment and sustained treatment. If STHF, there is no way of knowing when these supplies will be replaced and when an actual injury occurs, you can’t operate sparingly. Resupplying these materials should be close to a top priority at all times.
Baking soda cannot be understated. It is a space efficient cleaner which can be used as toothpaste, deodorant, and cleaning wounds to the mucus membranes.
1. Baking soda (0.5 kg)
2. Isopropyl alcohol (300 mL)
3. Hydrogen peroxide (300 mL)
4. Ibuprofen/pain relievers (60 capsules)
5. Sterile supply of gauze and wraps
6. Antibiotic ointment (x1)
7. Surgical stapler (x1)
8. Suture kit (x1)
What’s the bare minimum you need to navigate across land? For most people, that would be a compass and map. A basic road map is sufficient to get a rough approximation of the lay of the land. More detailed relief maps can help plan for elevation and estimate possible water sources but they also take up more room in your pack. Waterproofed or laminated maps are also extremely helpful. Lensatic compasses are the most reliable for little money. If possible, a compass and protractor are also extremely helpful for route planning. Obviously, not as essential but nonetheless useful.
1. Lensatic Compass (Bearing, Azimuth)
2. Local road maps (at minimum, laminated if possible)
3. Notepad, 3 pens/pencils
It’s impossible to carry all the food you will need for a week unless you’re eating very high density proteins like nuts. Nuts and dried meat are two of the easiest off-the-cuff meals. Canned food has a lot of water that is wasted during the cooking process. Stay away from heavily flavored or salted nuts. The amount of salt present in the unsalted nut mixes is still sufficient enough to replace electrolytes.
Shelter can be as simple as two tarps with bungee cords or a 2 man tent. Items like a sleeping bag can help you retain body heat. A poncho is the cheapest, easiest way to make yourself and your equipment water resistant.
1. Rain poncho (thick polypropylene)
2. Sleeping Bag (0°C rated)
3. 2-Man Tent/Tarp
4. 6 bungee cords or 100 ft cord
5. 1 pound nuts per estimated meal (5 lb bag)
6. Wide brimmed hat
7. Polarized sunglasses
Personal defense items – such as rifles and heavy firearms – are going to be increasinly hard to manage the farther you move from steady supplies. Ironically, it’s firearms that help acquire more food, provide personal protection, and deter others from attacking. In a SHTF scenario, heavy armament is only good within fortified areas. If you want to stay highly mobile, switch down to a .22LR polymer rifle such as the Savage survival rifle or similar. Lightweight, collapsible, and perfect for hunting game. Loaded with subsonic rounds, it can also be a lot more efficient than heading off a target with a loud 30-06.
Utility knives that incorporate many smaller tools can be a lifesaver. One equipped with a pair of pliers and a few types of screwdrivers is essential. A good combat knife and pistol is also a good idea. If you’re able to go out on patrol, you’ll appreciate both instantly.
1. 9 mm Handgun (due to availability of ammo)
2. Inside the Waistband Concealed Carry Holster ( we recommend AlienGearHolsters.com )
3. .22LR Lightweight Hunting Rifle
4. Bore brush, 1 oz. CLP
5. Utility knife (Gerber or similar)
James England is a former United States Marine Signals Intelligence Operator and defense contractor with over two tours spread over the Al Anbar province and two more operating across Helmand and Baghdis. He is presently a writer focused on Western foreign policy and maintains an avid interest in firearms. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, he presently resides in New Hampshire – the “Live Free or Die” state. He is finishing up his first novel, “American Hubris”, which is set to hit shelves in Fall of 2015.