If you’re new to prepping, remember that it’s better to stock up on supplies and miscellaneous items that you may need before SHTF. Don’t wait until it’s too late to fill your pantry or stockroom with useful items. (h/t to Survivopedia.com)
Most stockrooms are filled with food and water, but wise preppers know that you also need to keep unconventional materials in your pantry.
Here are some unusual but useful items that you can repurpose when disaster strikes.
- Chopsticks – Chopsticks aren’t just for Chinese takeout. You can use chopsticks as extra kindling, so stock up on them whenever you can. Alternatively, you can use chopsticks to build efficient fires, for minor supports and building, or for craft projects.
- Egg cartons – Egg cartons can be used as makeshift starter kits for herbs or other plants. To make starter kits, fill each egg section with a small amount of rich soil then plant your seeds. Water the seeds lightly, then place the carton by a window. Use egg carton starter kits to start several small seeds at the same time. Alternatively, you can use egg cartons as fuel for a fire.
- Female hygiene items – These items are crucial, especially if you have women in your family or survival group. Stock up on items like menstrual cups, pads, and tampons. These items can also be used as makeshift firestarters in a pinch.
- Leftover lumber – Lumber is an essential SHTF supply, but it has several cons: they’re usually large and heavy so you need to find a secure place to store them, or you may have problems taking them with you if you need to leave in a hurry. Consider stocking up on leftover lumber only if you have secure storage space for them. When disaster strikes, you can use lumber to make repairs around the house.
- Plastic grocery bags – A single plastic grocery bag is flimsy, but if you save up a hundred or more of them, you can use these bags as insulation materials. When the weather gets cold, stuff grocery bags in cracks, in shed walls, or anywhere else where you need extra warmth. The only downside is, you’ll need lots of plastic grocery bags to fill up spots before you can trap tiny pockets of air for effective insulation. Take note that you can’t use plastic bags near fireplaces, furnaces, and other sources of heat.
- Small wheels – When you’re in a hurry and short on storage space, you may have trouble bringing a cart, scooter, or wheelbarrow with you. But small wheels don’t take up too much space, and you can use them if you need to create a cart or platform for transportation once you find basic scrap materials.
- Socks – Socks are essential supplies to have, especially if you live in an area that is prone to cold weather. When SHTF, you can also use socks as bartering supplies.
- Tin cans – Put some curled cardboard and leftover wax in a tin can to make a mini heater. Alternatively, you can use tin cans to make perimeter alarms or weapons. (Related: Prepping to barter when SHTF: What skills to learn and items to stockpile.)
- Wax materials – This includes anything waxy, such as beeswax, crayons, or melted candles. Once you gather enough leftover wax, you can melt them down again to make a new, recycled candle. All you need is a wick and a heat-resistant glass jar.
Learn useful skills, secure your home, and stock up on these supplies so you’re ready before disaster strikes.