What is it you really need to survive? Food, water, shelter, maybe some form of self-protection. Beyond these basics there are a lot of survival items are commonly overlooked. Here are 55 of the most common survival essentials that you forgot to buy. 

Every person and situation is different so you may think of a few additional items unique to your situation. 

55 Survival Essentials You Forgot All About

1. Aluminium Foil

This is the ultimate multi-tool and will be an emergency cooking staple. Aluminum foil can be a pot to boil water, a skillet to cook in, a plate to eat on, a cup, a knife sharpener, or even an radio amplifier!

2. Cash

In any survival situation cash will always be valuable, maybe not to you but to someone. Even if you can no longer buy anything at the store, you should always have cash to barter for items. There will always be people that see value in cash and think the government will regain control of the economy. People are greedy for the green and will accept cash in an emergency situation.

3. Duct Tape

This is a must have for every household.

4. Pencil and Note Pad

When SHTF happens you will want to document your journey. Paper will also once again become an important form of communication.

5. Tarps

You will find a million uses for tarps, from a shelter, tablecloth, sun shade, or a rain poncho. The list just goes on and on.

6. Safety Pins

Safety pins have many survival uses. Some of them include creating a fast fish hook, securing a bandage or compress, connecting blankets or tarp to create a shelter, and stitching wounds closed. Safety pins have countless uses and you can even start a fire with just a safety pin and a battery.

7. Fire Hydrant Wrench

A five hole hydrant wrench is a cheap tool that could prove to be a lifesaver. With this wrench you can have a large supply of water in case of a disaster.

8. Ziplock Bags

These will become in handy to keep things dry and organized in your pack.

9. Perfume Cards

These are those little sample perfume card that they give out at department stores are a fire starter gold mine. Perfume is made almost completely of alcohol, then the thin cardboard makes great tinder to help get your fire started.

10. Baseball Bat

You might not think of this right away when considering personal protect but you should always have at least one baseball bat in your camp. The more obvious weapons like firearms and knives are the first to be raided by looters. When you are in a bind you will be grateful for what a beautiful weapon a baseball bat can be. Maybe even call it Lucille.

11. Cheese Cloth

Cheese cloth is great because it doesn’t fall apart when it gets wet and it is reusable. Strain, steam, clean, wound packing, gauze, or even a dust mask.

12. Crayons

Make your DIY candles by lighting kids crayons. Crayons are made of wax and can help with fire starting too.

13. Baby Wipes

If you are a parent you already know that baby wipes are useful in all kinds of situations. When you need a quick way to get clean, baby wipes are a great option.

14. Shovel

This a tool that will be used daily. From digging a trench and building a shelter, to even laying the fallen to rest.

15. Wheelbarrow

Hauling supplies will be an important part of our daily lives. You will have to defend your wheelbarrow from looters but it will be worth it when your hauling firewood.

16. Wire Saw

Wire saws are extremely compact and are great for cutting through wood, metal, plastic or bone.

17. Dryer Lint

Quit throwing out your lint from the dryer! It makes excellent tinder to start a fire. Make a stash of dryer lint and store in a plastic storage bag so it doesn’t come in contact with moisture.

18. Axe

One of the oldest tools out there. You will use it for shelter, heat, and even carving bone and meat.

19. Old Sheets, Blankets, and Curtains

These can be recycled into a wide array of different items. When you break them down they are all just made of fabric that can be used to make new items. Traditionally a quilt is made of old clothing and other fabric items.

20. Ear Plugs

After SHTF you will always be on edge, on guard. Without earplugs every single sound or bump in the night will wake you have have your heart beating 100 miles per hour. For sanity sake take shifts sleeping and always have a good night watch.

21. Cloth Diaper Inserts

Besides using them for an infant the inserts that go into cloth diapers are incredibly absorbent and can be used to stop bleeding on large open wounds.

22. Steel Wool

Steel wool might seem a bit funky as a survival essential, but is is a sure way to start a quick fire. All you need to do I touch a bit of steel wool to the ports on a 9 volt battery. It will ignite almost immediately.

23. Sewing Kit

You will want to be able to repair clothing and fabric items because you hay not have as much access to new ones.

24. Signal Flare

Easily signal for help when you find yourself in a bad situation, also a fire starter if you are in bind.

25. Deck of Cards

A deck of cards is small and portable which is important. When the power is out, along with the WiFi a deck of cards can provide hours of entertainment, whether it is a game of go fish or blackjack.

26. Map

You will want to have a map of your local area handy if you have to evacuate. Don’t rely on Google Maps because that wont be an option. With a map of you local area you will be able to spot hazards and be able to find shortcuts back to your property or to safe evacuation area.

27. Glow Sticks

When its dark outside a glow stick can help you locate important objects in your residence. Glow bracelets can also help keep track of children while traveling during the night.

28. Pantyhose

Wearing pantyhose under socks is an old time military trick that helps to avoid the friction and blisters that can occur during a long hike. Wearing pantyhose under your pants can help to keep you warm and prevent bug bites from chiggers and ticks. They are even good for filtering water, gathering and carrying food in the wild, or even as a make shift fishing net.

29. Books

Since you probably won’t have a 9-5 to go to after SHTF you will have quite a bit of free time. It will be a great opportunity to catch up on some classics.

30. Flat Steel File

Dull tool are dangerous tools. Use a flat steel file to keep the edges of knives, axes, and shovels sharp.

31. Tin Coffee Cans

Old tin coffee cans can be made in a hobo stove or a buddy burner. Also, you can use tin cans to make chunks of charcoal, which is great for cooking.

32. Sandbags

Sandbags can be a major asset when it comes to building and strengthening your shelter. Even today there are entire homes build from sandbags and grass. Use sandbags to block doors, windows, and gates to help keep your home secure.

33. Dental Floss

If you don’t floss regularly now then consider starting when SHTF. Just imagine the possible scarcity of good dentists and numbing medications and that may make you reconsider. Dental floss also makes excellent fishing line and suture material in a desperate situation.

34. Nails

Consider nails as the ammo of creating new things. Nails will be essential when rebuilding and creating new structures. Nails will become a highly prized and bartered item after SHTF.

35. Mountain Bike

Once your gasoline has been depleted you will still need a way to get around. You will still be able to manage over some rougher terrain with a mountain bike. Also a small air pump and extra tire tubes will be useful to have.

36. Hair Ties

Think of these like supped up rubber bands. Plain rubber bands will stretch out quickly and break, but ladies hair ties are very durable and will come in useful in many survival situations.

37. Cast Iron Pan

Cast iron is the only way to go when cooking over a fire. Regular household cookware will not hold up to the elements when cooking outside.

38. Plywood

When disaster strikes plywood is the first material that starts to bring things back to working order. Use plywood for fixing broken windows or closing off extra entrances to help guard against pesky looters.

39. 5 Gallon Buckets

Even in today’s tech driven world there are a hundred uses for 5 gallon buckets. After disaster strikes you will find that there are actually a thousand ways to use 5 gallon buckets.

40. Clay Pots

Beyond growing food in, clay pots can be used to keep food cool, or even cook in.

41. Zip Ties

Zip ties, or cable ties, are a great item that has a ton of uses. Use it to secure tarps or grommets, secure a door or window, or fasten gear to your bag.

42. Shoe Laces

In a world where you can’t run down to the local department store an extra pair of shoe laces will come in handy, not just for extending the life of your footware but also for many other uses.

43. Condoms

This will probably not be the best time to get pregnant, but you will still have needs. Be smart and use protection.

44. Solar Headlamp

Stop carrying around a bunch of extra batteries and start using the power of the sun to light up the night. Don’t come to rely on batteries for light after dark.

45. Soap

Sanitation will quickly become a problem after a disaster and you want to have a stockpile of soaps and detergents available so that you can keep clean and therefore healthy. Homemade soap requires rendering fat and you don’t want to sacrifice those valuable calories for bar soap.

46. Rubber Hose

Rubber hoses can be used to siphon water or fuel and get it to where you need it quickly. Keep a few different lengths on hand and a separate one for siphoning fuel.

47. Bungee Cords

After a disaster bungee cords will prove to be the ultimate extra hand you are looking for. Bungee cords will help you secure your valuables to your bugout vehicle or motorcycle. Tie down your propane tanks and extra camp supplies quickly with super strong bungee cords.

48. PVC Pipe

Extra PVC pipe will come in handy for constructing or repairing water and sanitation lines. You want to be able to divert water from springs or rivers into a more convenient location. Also PVC pipe can be used to make a hand water pump or storage caches for food and ammo.

49. Tampons and Maxi Pads

Don’t roll your eyes here men. Besides from the obvious uses for women tampons and maxi pads are the best for stopping a bleeding wound. They can be used as a sterile dressing then secured with your duct tape or a bandanna and safety pins.

50. Bug Spray

Cleanliness may become a thing of the past, especially if there is no longer running water. Our own stench will draw in more bugs and pests, stock up on bug spray to use until you can find a place for a good bath.

51. Gas Shut Off Wrench

In case a gas line breaks during an emergency have a gas shut off wrench handy and know how to use it.

52. Chopsticks

Collect your used chopsticks and they can become a great multitasker after a disaster. Keep some for utensils and turn the rest into kindling. Chopsticks are easy to split and make great fire starter.

53. Bailing Twine

Bailing twine has been used for centuries for fixing fences, mending bumpers, and holding the chicken coop door shut. Bailing twine can almost fix anything just like duck tape.

54. Rubber Totes with Lids

Rubber totes with water proof lids will prove to be a real asset when trying to store food, camp gear, fabric items, or weapons. Also, rubber totes are a great way to keep ammo dry and out of sight.

55. Musical Instrument

Whether is be a harmonica, a ukulele, or your old recorder from middle school. A bit of music can provide entertainment and a boost of moral in hard times.

There you have it! The 55 survival essentials you forgot about, but will need after a disaster! What other weird survival items do you stock up on?

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