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Essential SHTF Gear: When The World (Almost) Ends

Everyone needs a SHTF stockpile. Be it a go-bag in the closet or a shipping container in the woods. We cover everything from handguns and rifles to food, water, knives, first aid kits, and more.

Many people associate SHTF gear with doomsday preppers, underground bunkers, and enough ammo to support a small army.

Remington Factory Ammo
Give us all the brass…

The truth is that everyone should have an emergency supply for when shit really hits the fan — not the people who like to plan hypothetical zombie apocalypse-nuclear winter scenarios.

Setting aside some ammunition, extra weapons, and other survival gear is a great way to ensure the safety of you and your family in the event of an emergency.

Tornado Damage Tennessee 2020
Survival doesn’t have to be all about zombie hordes…sometimes it’s things like tornados or natural disasters.

Today we’re going to look at some SHTF gear essentials that every survivalist needs to have.

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The Essentials to Have on Hand

Above everything else, you want to have a self-defense handgun that’s powerful enough to neutralize any incoming threat.

This will be your primary pistol, so you want to make sure that it’s something you’re comfortable shooting; don’t go purchase that .50 Desert Eagle just yet.

This is NOT SHTF Gear!

Personally, I believe that the best SHTF gun is a 9mm — and this has nothing to do with the debate over which cartridge is better.

The truth is that the 9mm is one of the most commonly used cartridges in the world, so coming across ammo for it is going to be much easier than a 10mm or .41 mag.

Remember, even the best gun in the most powerful caliber in the world is completely useless if you run out of ammo.

I find the absolute best SHTF gun to be the Glock 17.

Some might argue that there are better guns on the market, but the G17 is built for durability and usability.

Glock G17 Gen 4
Glock G17 Gen 4

And in a survival scenario where you might not have the time to pamper your gun like you normally would, you want a dependable gun that will still shoot accurately and cycle through ammo, even with some wear-and-tear.  

Newst Generation Glock
539
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Another good choice is the .45 ACP, as it’s an even more powerful cartridge that’s also commonly used.

You can see our list of recommendations for good .45 ACP pistols and 9mm pistols.  

What About Rifles?

If you’re like most modern firearms enthusiasts, you’ve probably already got an AR-15 on hand.

If not, it’s a great home-defense weapon that you should consider adding to your arsenal. You can learn more about buying your first AR-15 by checking out our AR-15 Beginner’s Guide.

Pew Pew Upgraded AR-15s
Pew Pew Upgraded AR-15s

Depending on what kind of shit hits the fan, you might want to have something a little more versatile (or at least harder-hitting) on hand than an AR-15 — especially if you live outside of a major metropolitan area.

Some would say that a Scout Rifle fits that role, and it did…70 years ago. While a scout rifle isn’t a bad idea, there are better options.

Ruger Scout Rifle with Scope
Ruger Scout Rifle with Scope

The AR-10 is a perfect example.

You can get one chambered in .308 Win with a variable scope, and you’ve got a great rifle for taking down game, protecting yourself from two-legged threats, and keeping the whole thing light enough to hike with and giving yourself 20 rounds on tap in case things go really sideways.

Cloud Defensive OWL on the Saint Victor AR-10 Pistol
Saint Victor AR-10

The Pew Pew Tactical Complete Buyer’s Guide to AR-10s will help you get started off right.

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Remember, part of what makes a good SHTF gun is being able to easily replenish ammo, even in a post-apocalyptic world.

You might also want to get a .22 LR rifle if you don’t already have one. It’s not the best at protecting you against the bad guys, but it’s useful for hunting small game to eat if need be.

259
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The Henry Survival Rifle is a 3.5-pound .22 LR rifle that’s portable, accurate, and perfect for hunting squirrels, rabbits, and other small game. 

See more light, foldable, and common caliber possibilities in our Best Survival Rifles.

Vertx Commuter Bag and Kel Tec Sub 2000
Vertx Commuter Bag and Kel Tec Sub 2000

Get a Compact Backup Handgun

As the saying goes, “a .380 in your hand is better than a .45 in the glove box.”

While I recommend keeping your .45 ACP (or preferred larger caliber) a little closer than the glove box, having a backup pocket pistol on hand can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

Micro Compacts with Red Dots, Front
Micro compacts with red dots

The idea is to have a compact gun available that you can easily grab in a pinch. 

I like the .380 ACP because it’s small and lightweight but still powerful enough to neutralize a threat at close range.  

Glock 42

There are a number of excellent .380 ACPs on the market, but I prefer the Glock 42.

Like most Glock models, the G42 is a functional handgun that’s designed specifically for performance. 

Most Reliable .380
399
at Brownells

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In other words, it’s not flashy and it doesn’t come with extra features, but it is durable and extremely dependable, which happen to be the two most important things to look for in a backup handgun.

As the smallest of the Glock models, it should go without saying that the G42 is an incredibly easy gun to carry in your coat pocket or strapped to your ankle. 

PPTGel4
Finding ammo that will get the job done in any caliber is key.

One more thingAmmo is everything when it comes to the .380 ACP.  Unlike some of the harder-hitting cartridges that’ll stop any threat dead in its tracks, the .380 ACP is only as effective as its ammo.

Using it effectively in a high-stress situation means shooting premium, self-defense ammo.

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What do you think of Hornady’s .380? Rate it below.

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Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38

If the .380 ACP isn’t your style and you’re looking for something a bit more tried and tested in the field, you can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned .38 Special.

.38 Special Round
.38 Special Round

The Bodyguard 38 is a modern take on a law enforcement classic .38 snub nose.

While the Bodyguard 38 and other .38 specials may not be popular services pistols in today’s generation, they’ve more than proven themselves to be dependable and more than capable of acting as a backup pistol.

394
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Keep in Mind When Choosing a Pocket Pistol

Overall, the pocket pistol makes a great addition to your SHTF Kit because it’s small enough to carry on your person at all times. 

I recommend a .380 ACP or a .38 Special because both of them are small and lightweight yet powerful enough to take down a threat at close range.

Ideally, the pocket pistol is something you’d only want to use as a last resort, like if your primary gun jammed or it ran out of ammo.

Storing Your Ammo Safely

The last thing you want to do is stockpile ammo for an end-of-the-world scenario, only to discover that it’s corroded or non-functional when it comes time to use it.

Plano Ammo Can Open
In addition to your food and water, ammo needs to be stored properly as well.

A lot of people tend to forget that ammunition has a shelf life. However, that shelf life is completely up to you. 

Store it right, and it will last long enough for your grandchildren to use, store it wrong, and you can kill your stock before the next deer season.

Remington Factory Ammo
Probably don’t want to store it like this…

One of the easiest ways to extend the shelf life of your ammo is by storing it in safe, secure containers where it’s protected from dirt and moisture. You can learn more by reading our guide on long-term ammo storage.

A simple ammo can will go a long way towards preserving the life of your ammunition.

20
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Honestly, every SHTF prepper should have at least one ammo can lying around. They’re cheap, easy to come across, and are worth their weight in gold if you ever are in a situation where you actually need to use your ammo stockpile.

Keeping a Silica gel packet in your ammo can will help ensure that your ammo lasts almost forever.

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at Amazon

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Get a Good First Aid Kit

Ideally, every home and automobile should have a first-aid kit. For most situations, the standard first-aid kit found in most workplaces will get the job done.

Surviveware Large, Small, and Mini First-Aid kits
Surviveware Large, Small, and Mini First-Aid kits

But if you’re in a situation where you really have to use your SHTF kit, there’s a greater likelihood that you won’t have easy access to medical facilities or professionals. 

For this type of scenario, you’re really going to want to have a little more than a burn kit, some gauze, and antiseptic ointment.

89
at Surviveware

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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The Survivewear trauma first aid kit has the basic items needed to stabilize wounds until help arrives, including pressure bandages, dressings, and a tourniquet.

If you’re looking for something a little smaller and easier to tote in a bag or backpack, we recommend the Mountain Man Medical kits.

Mountain Man Medical Yellowstone
Mountain Man Medical Yellowstone

These lightweight, compact kits come with all the necessities you’d need for a trauma situation.

18
at Mountain Man Medical

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We also cover how to build the ultimate Range Med Kit if you like customization. In addition to a first aid kit, you need the training to back it up.

Take a look at the Best First Aid Classes to find the perfect first aid class near you.

Heavy Metal Equipment

You’ll be surprised how much use you can get out of a good quality knife.

Not only does your survival knife act as your last line of defense, but it can also be used as an important tool — especially if you’re stuck outdoors for an extended period of time.

85
at Amazon

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Prices accurate at time of writing

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Food prep, shelter building, making tools, and even first aid (cauterizing wounds and cutting bandages) can all be done with the help of your survival knife.

The Ka-Bar is a tried-and-tested survival knife that’s been a long-time favorite among survivalists – partly because it’s also the combat knife issued to members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Another popular knife for your hunting trip or bugout bag is USN-1 Survival Knife by the Ontario Knife Company.

71
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Functionally, it’s similar to the KA-BAR except that it comes with a gut hook for cleaning game, as well as a sawback.

Don’t forget a Whetstone for keeping your blades sharp without damaging them. A dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one and can lead to wasted time or serious injury.

Sharpen Knife
Gotta keep that blade sharp

Some other tools you might want to consider for your survivalist kit include:

If you ever find yourself away from your toolbox, each of these compact tools makes it significantly easier to set up shelter, make fires, or work on anything that needs tinkering.

Leatherman Skeletool CX and Friends
A quality multitool is nearly indispensable in a survival situation.

Gun Equipment for Your SHTF Cache

As you already know, good gun maintenance is essential to ensuring that your gun is accurate and dependable. 

It’s not guaranteed that you will be able to trek to the nearest outdoors store and buy more equipment, so having it on hand is important.

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at Brownells

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For this reason, I recommend keeping a few extra cleaning kits around. Preferably one for your SHTF Bag and another for the trunk of your car.

I also recommend picking up a few packs of Break Free Weapon Wipes. They will go a long way in keeping your guns, knives, and tools clean, lubricated, and protected against corrosion – especially if you’re ever in a situation where you have to use your weapons and tools daily.

8
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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And if you don’t already have one, you should think about getting a holster so that you can carry your handgun on at all times. You can check out our article on the best concealed carry holsters.

For a survival scenario, I recommend something lightweight and effective without any frills. Concealment Express has a number of lightweight holsters for around $40 that are durable and comfortable.

Food, Water, and Air

This really should be self-explanatory. You need food and water. You also need a way to get food and water after your stores have run out.

Water Storage, Food, & Ammo
Water Storage, Food, & Ammo

Getting food is where your firearms will come in handy, but water is a little more complex since you can’t just drink any water you find laying around – that is a quick way to get all kinds of nasty sicknesses.

For water purification, you need two options at least one for you to get drinking water right now and one method for you to purify a lot of water. Don’t forget — water isn’t just for drinking. You’ll also need it for cooking, cleaning, and treating injuries.

Life Straw
This is the real deal, but many knock offs are just as effective at a lower price point.

To get drinking water right away, I love my LifeStraw.

But when it comes to purifying larger amounts of drinking water, you’ll need something like the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System.

Better Than a LifeStraw
22
at Amazon

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Stocking up on food and water before disaster strikes is always a prudent course of action.

I know a basement full of MREs is the classic prepper thing to do, but anyone that has had to eat MREs for an extended period of time can tell you that almost any other option is preferred.

180
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Each of these pails is a 30-day food supply for one person. That is a lot of food! Throw in the fact that each of these only weighs 23 pounds, and what you have is a fairly lightweight option for long-term food supply.

Long-term water storage is a little more complex than food, but a water preserver can help with that.

Combine these two so that your water supply will last long enough for you to get you through an emergency situation.

Check out our Complete Guide to Water Storage for the best containers and ways to purify your water.

Water Storage & Purification for Emergencies
Water Storage & Purification for Emergencies

Prepping for air isn’t something that you may have thought of before, but it should be on your list.

If you really want to be prepared, then you’ll want to find yourself a full biological suit, but for more run-of-the-mill applications, a good mask will do the trick.

Wearing the MIRA CM-7M
Wearing the MIRA CM-7M

Our favorite reusable is the Mira Safety CM-7M.

249
at Mira Safety

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Check out our full article on gas masks and respirators, which covers everything from disposable masks to radiation-resistant ones made for rifle shooting.

Hands-On Tested Gas Masks
Hands-On Tested Gas Masks

Other Essentials to Have on Hand

Being stuck in an emergency situation means that you could be forced to pack up and move at a moment’s notice.

For this reason, you need to have a dependable backpack large enough to carry your essentials like water, knives, tools, and first aid kit.

Bug Out Bag
A bug-out bag is essnential to being able to easily transport all the SHTF gear you may have.

I recommend a 60-liter backpack because it’s large enough to hold your necessary equipment but not too large that it starts getting bulky and in the way.

The CVLIFE Tactical Backpack is a popular 60-liter backpack that’s durable and comfortable enough to withstand long hikes and hunting trips.

40
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Aside from looking cool, the Tactical Backpack has a number of extra compartments for maximizing your storage capabilities. 

Here are a few things that you want to keep in your backpack to keep you prepared for the unexpected:

You should also think about buying a Shemagh from Condor Outdoors.

This traditional Middle Eastern headdress was made popular in the western world by the British SAS. It’s a versatile cloth that can be used for face protection, as an emergency sling or bandage/tourniquet, as an improvised bag, and much more.

8.50
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Final Thoughts

When you’re building an SHTF bag, your goal should be to anticipate and prepare for any situation.

This means thinking past the apocalypse and to more common emergencies such as an earthquake, tornado, fire, and other natural disasters.

Choosing good survival gear isn’t always about maximizing your firepower. It’s also about making sure that you’ve got clean water, shelter, and enough supplies in the event that you have to gather your things and leave at a moment’s notice.

Are you a prepper? Do you have a store of SHTF gear? Let us know all about it in the comments! Still not sure where to get started? Check out our ultimate guide to Prepping 101 for Beginners.

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28 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    PhilD Iowa

    How to prepare for the coming crisis.
    Approach every day as if it mattered in the long run. Strive to have your s__t squared away. Keep all the tanks filled, keep the place free of trip and slip hazards. Have a year of this, six months of that, and at least 3 months of those. Keep the options open. Be ready to put your kid through college. Check the mousetraps and re-bate them once in a while. Keep your word. Get exercise. Show your appreciation. Don't complain down, suggest up.

    February 18, 2022 6:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    SoundWarrior

    Stock up on medication if/when possible. In my case insulin and the necessary refrigeration is a big issue. OTC anti-inflammatories, anti-biotics, Neosporin, Aleve, Advil, aspirin, etc.

    September 10, 2021 9:06 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    David F

    Learn to make and use a slingshot.
    Ammo is literally laying everywhere

    April 27, 2021 6:44 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      destruya

      You can also buy lead shot balls for this and have them be dual-purpose. Slingshot ammo as well as something that could be melted down wholesale and cast for bullets.

      September 28, 2022 9:22 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Steve B

    Don't forget your rocket stove. :-) I built one last year out of bricks and high-temp construction adhesive, really makes a lot of heat and helps to eliminate smoke.

    April 16, 2021 5:08 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Zephead69

    I have a lot of respect for everyone's tips and comments. I bet a lot of people read those and thought you guys were just paranoid. Fast forward to Oct 2020 and we are about to have an election and no matter who wins half the country is not going to take it lightly. With that said, to all of you that prepared for a rainy day......looks like there might be some showers in our forecast. God bless us all!!

    October 8, 2020 6:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Greg

    A semi auto depends on the scenario,and I don’t mean a 44-magnum vs 9mm in Alaska (6-rounds vs 15+ rounds)Ny brother lives in California(yes I know gun laws are ridiculous)But that being said the Glock-17 is(legally only allowed 10-round mags.So I believe in that kind of situation,all states with ridiculous firearm laws.If it be Glock a Model(21 or 30)10-round equivalent is better.

    June 22, 2020 12:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bo

    Right know with the run on guns and ammo whats left on the shelf, not 9mm. Plenty of .38, .357, .41, and .44. My Saiga 12 is a lot more versatile then any 9mm, oh yeah, 12 ga ammo is on the shelf too.

    June 17, 2020 9:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    M.

    Two words: toilet paper. Actually hygiene supplies generally. Read factual accounts of situations where civilization collapsed in modern times, and the importance of supplies for hygiene is clear and right up there with guns and ammo.

    82nd_ABN is right. You need other people. And since you'll be needing a community, best to know something to make yourself valuable and enhance the survival of your community. Learn how to make stuff people need like food or fuel, and/or how to fix things or people. .

    January 6, 2020 9:15 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Daniel

      Two more words. Feminine products. Talk about something worth its weight in gold.

      January 26, 2020 9:06 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        friend

        Menstrual cups...

        May 29, 2020 2:14 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Daniel S.

      To (possible loosely) quote Chuck from Supernatural, "horde all the toilet paper you can. Treat it like it's made of gold, because it is."

      September 27, 2022 7:30 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    balisong

    I cannot believe that after being available for 40 odd years, people STILL dont know about the .22lr conversion unit for the 223 AR-15. That makes the gun a fine small game -getter, It's ideal for training novices and snapshooting practice, and with a silencer for the 223. You need lumninous iron sights, a scoped option, subsonic Aquila 60 gr 22lr ammo, 60 gr 223 softpoints. Forget about long shots, You'll just miss and tell everyone where you are. You have no evac chopper, no attack choppers, no cavalry coming to help you., no supply drops. Best just stick to darkness and be discrete. The animals will all be gone 2 months after shtf. You'd better have night vision, concealed armor and a hole in the ground.,, with 6+ months of food cached near your BOL. All above ground shelters, vehicles,etc will be searched, many times and people will shoot you on sight. You dont want any noisy gun, nor anything that cant' be taken down and concealed in your pack. You dont want anything that can't pierce cars and soft armor, or which doesn't offer lots of rapidfire. It has to take 9mm, 223, or .22lr ammo. It has to have night sights.

    January 2, 2020 9:11 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Josh

    As far as being prepared it's a good idea for people to be. And as far as guns go on your list it depends on were you are living glocks are awsome I like them I have one a little sub compact in 45acp that is my edc get home gun/back up for shtf situations. My home defence handgun is a 9mm a sa mod 2 service model which doubles as my handgun of choice for shtf I love that gun fits great in the hands reliable no ftf no jams no problems it is also a soft shooter. Yea probably not going to finde a lot of spare parts like the glock but if the situation is that bad your probably not going to finde much for spare parts for any gun. As far as rifles go ar15 a good choice but as far as ar10 go's and bigger calibers my self personally ones again were you live I would take a bolt action rifle with iron sights and a internal mag. It won't hold as much ammo as an ar10 but I already have an ar15 with a

    July 5, 2019 9:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Craig Childre

    Something I believe that went overlooked. A small fishing set up. While a 22 can get dinner, it's loud, and may attract unwanted attention, plus it's limited to the ammo supply.. A pocket fisherman is wildly compact, silent, and can perform indefinitely with a supply of hooks and some extra line. Very minimum you should keep a little spool of fishing line and basic hooks. Someone mentioned a needle and thread... which can apply to catching fish too. Just add some fur and feathers so you can tie your own fly. Last thing, don't forget to carry a small supply of salt. It makes food better. Plus in a survival scenario, if all you can drink is plain water, you will eventually need to replenish your electrolytes. Probably get all you need from what you eat, but times I hydrate heavily and really crave salt, your brain needs it to communicate.

    March 12, 2019 3:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    B.

    dont forget... a way to sharpen your knife. also a small sewing kit with thread needle and buttons is good. if you are going to have electronics get batt. charger and a roll up solar panel. para cord for making a bow drill when matches/ lighter runs out. most important of all is ammo. you need a ladle to melt lead and pour, a mold for slugs and buckshot or whatever caliber you use.... this is not good for glocks as will foul and go kaboom. and a small screwdriver to remove wheel weights from car wheels or some other prying device.. ;)

    May 21, 2018 5:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ken

    Portable generator, extra gas cans, gas siphoning hose, portable rechargeable handheld 2-way radios, hand cranked portable A.M./fm weather and international band radio, 12 gauge short barrel and a 20 gauge long barrel with bird shot, 00 buck, and slugs, lightweight tent and sleeping bags, rain suits, boots, gloves tactical and for warmth, leather holsters for handguns, portable propane stove, propane bottles, adapter to siphon propane from larger tanks to portable bottles, small denomination silver and gold pieces for barter. Also, I have read that bottled water, that has not been opened, and is stored in a cool dark location remains good drinking water virtually indefinitely. Thoughts?

    May 19, 2018 3:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      David

      Bottled water will still go bad. Not the water itself but the plastic it is stored in, after a long enough time the plastic will degrade and leach chemicals into the water. Stored in a cool, dark location will keep it from going bad longer (sunlight degrades plastic much more quickly) but it will still go bad eventually no matter what.

      Normal bottled water bottles really aren't designed for long-term storage. If you want to store water for years then you'll need to invest in some high-grade containers that are designed for the task.

      Personally, the tap water where I live is fairly bleh tasting so I actually use bottled water for 99% of my cooking/drinking to start with. Because of that, I just keep a large store of those on hand at all times and simply use/replace them as I go. This makes it easy to keep a fresh rotating supply of good water all the time with little effort and none of my water is more than a couple months old at any time. Having that water supply on hand is part of my earthquake plan and doubles as a decent SHTF plan.

      May 19, 2018 4:37 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Bobby O

      If you have a pool then find a way of distilling over a wood fire.

      April 16, 2019 5:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mr. Mark

      I read that the expiration date on bottled water is for the bottle. Water itself will evaporate, but not "expire."

      September 28, 2022 9:35 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Beebe

    I would add solar recharger given the large amount of items these days that need their batteries recharged

    May 18, 2018 6:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mitchell

    I harp on my one friend 8 boxes of ammo for a society crash of each caliber. I stock 800 17hmr incase of a crash along with other ammo for defense. If you don't have a full emergency kit with tourniquet your already in trouble in emergencies. As well as 2 water filtration system per person. A face mask should have micron and chlorine gas filtration abilities to protect against the worst case of situations. You can't be stingy either on quality of what your going to rely on. A 22lr is better than nothing in a disaster situation.

    May 18, 2018 12:10 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Craig Childre

      Our crew pushes a minimum of 1500 rounds per individual weapon. Our standard per weapon is 2500 in reserve, and 500 in operation. Usually the new stock goes straight into reserve, moving my oldest reserve up into service. Don't think you are doing it wrong... but you could tell you buddy what you've recommended is only a half measure to others. A friend once told me "you don't want to get into a gun fight... you want to WIN a gunfight..." and running out of ammo is high on the list of ways to lose.

      March 12, 2019 3:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tactifool

    Really good piece, here! A *lot* of great stuff on this list--I would add that folks should really consider CERT training (almost certainly available in your area, if you have a fire dept or a community center--and it's FREE!) as well as Red Cross CPR/basic first aid training that you can also get for free.

    One point of contention:
    >>"You might also want to get you a .22LR rifle...It won’t protect you against the bad guys, but it’s useful for >>hunting small game to eat… if need be."

    I still don't buy the idea that .22LR is somehow an inherently inadequate tool for home defense, self defense, and nearly anything else. The oft-cited chestnut from the '89 DOJ study (direct quote: "Probably more people in this country have been killed by .22 rimfires than all other calibers combined...") has been argued about 'til the cows come home, but a few truths remain:

    * 22lr is way CHEAP, and readily available practically everywhere--a substantial SHTF consideration if there ever was one.

    * it's STILL gonna intimidate would-be attackers--and (especially fired from a rifle) kill them just as dead, if necessary, as something that makes a bigger hole.

    * yes, while--strictly speaking--it may *incapacitate* less, it is just as lethal as any round when applied properly. (Citation: .22LR causes the "2nd highest percentage of hits resulting in a fatality and the 3rd lowest rate of incapacitation," from Greg Ellifritz, "An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power," 2011).

    P.S.: I'm not saying it wouldn't be NICE to have something that punches bigger holes and provides more decisive knock-down power... :-) but I'd debate the idea that "it won’t protect you against the bad guys." At least with my .22, I'd practically never run out of ammo!

    May 18, 2018 10:43 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Good tips, especially on CERT training!

      May 18, 2018 1:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    82nd_ABN

    I look at having extra food and water as insurance. I have paid for car/home insurance yet in 30 years I have never been in a car accident..... One thing I did not see mentioned is a heat source. Most of these 25 yr dehydrated/freeze dried foods require warm water to reconstitute. Also know your local climate. especially those is cold weather areas. 6 months of food, and cases of bullets do you no good if you freeze to death... I don't think there is anything wrong with being prepared/prepping as long as it doesn't take over your life and budget... Just do a little each month. It took me a couple of years to stockpile a large variety of things. I also stored extra for some extended family. for those that refuse to do it. The more people you can join with in a bad situation the better you will be.. Lone wolfe "Rambo's" will not do well... You cant be awake 24/7 if things go bad. Plus other people will have skills you wont.. Be it a doctor, nurse, mechanic, soldier... Strength in numbers.... When I started out I just took some time with my wife and made of list in a notebook and added to it when we thought of something.. Then started slowly buying things... And just like insurance I hope I never use it.. I love going to Disney, and eating Pizza on occasion .. One final note is physical fitness .. You don't have to be Sylvester Stallone, But you better be in decent shape in the event you need to use this stuff. Good Luck

    May 17, 2018 6:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    For Reals?

    I love all the advice I see on SHTF post about “finding common ammo”. Where, in this kind if situation, are you “finding” ammo? Really life isn’t Call Of Duty and ammo boxes arent hiding behind trees. Stores are closed, homeowners shoot on sight, police stations are choas... if you want more ammo, BUY IT BEFOREHAND. Youre not finding anything other than store-brand diet cola and Q-Tips when things go wrong. So carry what you want but stock up what you have.

    Oh, and clean air, water, food, and shelter are still WAY more important than a gun.

    May 17, 2018 4:54 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Scavenger perk, bro! But in all seriousness you are right. I at least try to coordinate with my friends in the area to buy/stock roughly the same calibers.

      May 18, 2018 1:45 pm
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