Here’s part two of the list I posted earlier.
Soil – I know people that have tens of thousands of seeds but no soil. What happens if you have to plant inside? Or if the soil where you are is too sandy or too much clay? A couple bags of decent quality potting soil are a good idea to keep around. I recently got 10 20 liter bags of soil for $10.
Pets- please don’t forget your four legged friends! Make sure you have food and water put aside for them. You can put aside a couple of bags of kibble that your animals usually eat but you can also make your own dehydrated pet foods. I have also begun to see dehydrated animal food at the specialty pet stores. Just remember if you’re using dehydrated foods to have enough water to rehydrate. Which brings me to the next point.
Water – Yes, most of us have enough to drink but a lot of preppers have dehydrated foods. You need to consider how much water these things will take to rehydrate. What about gardening? There’s really no way to calculate how much water you would need for gardening but using a rain barrel can offset that. But keep in mind, there could always be a drought and if you’re counting on a garden as a large part of your food you better have a back up plan.
Garbage Bags – most people plan to burn their garbage, which is fine. But how about disposing of a body? You don’t necessarily want to be handling that. Or if you have lice, you can bag your clothing and bedding for a couple weeks to kill the lice. You can also use it for quarantine purposes. Make your ill person strip down, bag the clothes and get them into something clean. How about blacking out windows? Using a heavy duty garbage bag taped over windows can help to hide any light showing through (you may have to double up though)
As I talk to more and more people about their preparations, I’ve noticed some things that a lot of them seem to have over looked. (This, of course, is no judgment on them). Here’s a bit of a list of the ones that I’ve noticed over and over.
Entertainment – there is no way I can express how important this really is. It doesn’t matter if you have 30 years of food and water in your location, if you have nothing to do, you WILL go stir crazy. Put a book in your back pack and have everyone in your group do the same, or stock up your retreat location with some books you’ve never read. You can get books cheaply at garage sales or for free on websites such as freecycle.org. Get a deck of cards or some board games. If, for whatever reason, these things are not feasible for you, make a routine as soon as possible in the situation you’re facing. People thrive on routine. (example: wake up, make breakfast, check traps, have lunch, tend garden, make tools, etc). The last thing you need to deal with in a SHTF situation is cabin fever.
Oven mitts/Pot holders – almost everyone I’ve spoken to has the plan to cook over fires but none of them have oven mitts or pot holders to protect their hands. While this isn’t necessary and there are tools that you can fashion out of sticks to do the same thing, pot holders will protect your hands from the burns that you ARE going to get. You can get a pot holder at a dollar store or use a bandanna or scrap of fabric.
Burn care- this goes with the pot holders. People will get burned; a lot of people are relying on fire to cook, clean and heat. There will be burns. I see the med kits people have and most of them focus on cuts or illness. While living in a SHTF scenario, yes, there will be a lot of cuts too but burns require care to prevent infection. Get a tube of burn ointment and bandages or whatever your preferred method of burn care is and have lots of it! (I use straight lavender essential oil for burns, more on this in a later post).
Water additives- it is easy to get diet fatigue when you’re drinking nothing but plain, sometimes boiled, tasteless water. I recommend, especially for those of you with kids, that you stock up on some additives such as Kool Aid, Crystal Light or whatever your favorite drink crystals are. These don’t take up much room and can add a sense of normalcy to your situation. (We use these in our bags, the kids love them)
Again these are just some of the things I’ve noticed and I’m sure I’ll add to the list. Make sure you think of how you’re going to survive and all things required if you had to start from scratch. A big part of prepping is planning!