12 Most Unusual Items These Prepper’s Carry In Their Bug-Out Bags

Crazy super hero with beer.

Economic collapse. Electric grid attack. Nuclear attack. Invasion by foreign forces. Invasion by domestic forces. Invasion by aliens. Natural disaster. Do I need to go on? Here are 12 unusual items preppers swear by in their bug-out bags!

12 Unusual Prepper Necessities

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There are countless reasons why the world (or just America) could fall suddenly into all-out chaos. So, what will you have in your bug-out bag when it does (not if, but when)? Because a couple of Pop-Tarts and a bottle of Evian aren’t going to cut it. Besides the basics: food, water, shelter, fire, personal protection, and clothing layers, take notes from these well-equipped practitioners of the worst-case scenario.

1. Anti-Itch Cream

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A sweaty, chafed grundle can be your downfall when Walmart is looted, and showers are a figment of the past. You’ll be grateful that you had the foresight to stash a jug (or three) of Gold Bond in your prepper bag.

2. A Harmonica

Musician plays the harmonica

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Haven’t you watched movies documenting The Great Depression or the Dust Bowl? No catastrophic economic downturn is complete without a dirty-faced folkie playing the harmonica next to the most depressing campfire you’ve ever seen.

If you have room, toss the banjo in the bag, too. If we’re going to suffer, we may as well make our own soundtrack, right?

3. Hoses

Water taps and green garden hose with a sprayer isolated on a white background.

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Specifically, hoses that can serve as siphons for both water and gasoline. Does this indicate that these preppers might be siphoning fuel or water from someone else’s stash? Perhaps. But you gotta do what you gotta do when the End of Times strikes.

Keep a couple of hoses in your prepper bag, and keep those suckers (literally) handy.

4. A Rubber Duckie

Rubber duck toy for swimming on yellow background.

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One man ready for an economic collapse, energy grid blackout, or nuclear explosion keeps a rubber duckie in his prepper bag. He says it’s an inside joke between him and his wife, touching on a prescient fact. Even as the world collapses, we need stuff around us that brings us joy.

A rubber duckie, though? Not the best item to have in your bag during a stealth scenario. You may as well pack a whoopie cushion, too.

I guess you should bring some creature comfort to keep the spirits high.

5. Dental Floss

Cute girl using dental floss

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One prepper notes that they keep a couple of packs of dental floss in their bag if they need to make an impromptu zipline. Just kidding, they keep the dental floss to remove food from their teeth even in direst times. Just because the world is in chaos doesn’t mean your dental hygiene has to be, too.

6. A Manual Pencil Sharpener

Top view of red plastic pencil sharpener isolated on white

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No, writing notes with a Ticonderoga #2 isn’t a priority in the post-apocalyptic world. The pencil shavings make it worth storing a manual pencil sharpener (and a few pencils) in the bug-out bag. Pencil shavings are serviceable tinder for starting a fire, especially when rain or dew makes the tinder you’d find outdoors unusable.

7. Maps

Gorgeous tourist girl with curly hair wearing hat and backpack holding map at old European city background and smiling, traveling, portrait.

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Of course, you’ll also want a healthy grasp of gauging distances on the map. This prepper notes that they also keep a book full of valuable addresses. If the grid goes down, GPS no longer works, and you can’t access your phone, ensure you have physical alternatives.

And no, that globe you keep in your childhood bedroom doesn’t count.

8. File Folders

File Folder Against Green Background

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Even if you don’t have many documents to keep track of as you trek across post-apocalyptic America (The Road, anyone?), a manila folder can serve as a lightweight sign. Advertise your wares on the black market, notify motorists that you’re a non-murderous hitchhiker, or use the sign in some other productive manner.

File folders are cheap, portable, and worth having when the crud hits the fan.

9. Baby Wipes

Baby Wipes

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Whether you’re in dire need of a waterless shower or want a disinfectant toilet paper alternative that won’t chap your rump, an abundant stash of baby wipes might save your rear end when the world ends.

10. Playing Cards

Man Playing Cards

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It may not seem like it, but the harshest times are precisely the times for fun and games. You may need to use shirt buttons or pine cones for poker chips, but you’ll have the cards.

11. Feminine Hygiene Products

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We hear you. It would be absolutely miserable not to have a stash of feminine hygiene products – at least some to carry you over until you figure out how to navigate the new world. Ladies, don’t forget your stash.

12. A Canary

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One prepper says, “A canary. We’re in a coal mine.” Good point.

What would you add as unusual items?

This thread inspired this post.

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This article was produced and syndicated by The Happiness Function.

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Sam Mire

Sam Mire is a freelance writer who has manned a variety of beats over nearly a decade in the literary biz. He has spent weeks in the Alaskan wildlands, immersed himself in the world of Florida's homeless population, covered live sporting events, and served as a linchpin for media outlets in the legal, tech, and entertainment spaces. Sam has been published in Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, AP News, Fox News, and, most notably, Wealth of Geeks. In his free time, he enjoys boxing, woodwork, petting his dog, and reveling in good company.

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