As preppers, we often focus the vast majority of our attention on the big things- the so-called “bullets, beans, and band-aids.” I want to give a little thought and mention to the more minor things that make daily life easier, but may slip off your mental radar.
To come up with this list, I went through a day jotting down all the “little things” that I use that I would prefer not to do without. Some of these would be easy enough to put in a supply of. Others would be items I would likely have to improvise over time if they were just no longer available. A few (like all soap products, paper products, and re-usable canning lids) need future posts of their own to list alternatives, recipes, etc.
My List So Far
- Dental floss, toothpaste, & toothbrushes
- Rubber bands
- Hairbrush and ponytail holders
- Nail clippers
- Pens, pencils, & paper
- Soap & detergent
- Tissues & toilet paper
- Plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and ziptop bags
- Batteries & flashlights
- Spatulas & bowl scrapers
- Dish scrubbers/cloths & towels
- Hand cream (especially in winter)
- Lip balm
- Canning lids
- Work gloves
- Rain gear
- Bungee cords
- Cable zip ties (these are useful for so many things!)
- Flyswatters/fly strips
- Knife sharpener
- Cleaning supplies
- Wire (on a farm, we use pieces of wire to fashion lots of things)
- Pliers (probably the tool I reach for most often)
Some of those (like ziptop bags) are really luxuries and I can do without them, but realizing now that I need to prepare for that will help me in planning to find alternatives (beyond washing them for reuse). As I use each item, I am considering if there is a durable alternative I could acquire instead (for example, handkerchiefs vs. Kleenex). Things like nail clippers and dish scrubbers will last a long time, so I can get a couple extra of those and check them off the list quickly.
Flashlights are a topic unto themselves really. LED lights will last longer and are probably a better choice than standard ones, but the crank-style or solar rechargeable ones would be even better still.
Please think through your own day and help add to this list in the comments section.