One Step Ahead: 14 Peculiar Items Preppers Rely on in Their Bug-Out Bags
As the economy takes on turbulence and our climate gets more extreme, being prepared for a national – or global – disaster suddenly doesn’t seem like a bad thing! But what do you pack beyond the basics? Here are 14 peculiar items seasoned preppers rely on in their bug-out bags.
1. A Geiger Counter
The world has changed. Who knows in what way the laws of nature will follow? With this handy instrument stashed in your bag, you can ensure you steer clear of any radiation, at least.
2. Solar Lantern
Sure, electric lights and headlamps are great, but what do you do when they run out of juice and there’s no power? As long as the sun still shines in the daytime, a solar lantern will grant some comfort after dark.
3. Anti-Itch Cream
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.
4. A Harmonica
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?
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.
6. A Rubber Duckie
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.
7. Dental Floss
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.
8. A Manual Pencil Sharpener
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.
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.
10. File Folders
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.
11. Baby Wipes
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.
12. Playing Cards
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.
13. Feminine Hygiene Products
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.
14. A Canary
One prepper says, “A canary. We’re in a coal mine.” Good point.
What peculiar items would you add to this list?
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.