37 Unusual Things for Preppers to Hoard
Stuff for your survival cabinet, garage or locker
What's in your survival cabinets, garage or locker? Sure you've got shelf stable meals,
security devices, excess toilet paper and seeds for the future, but what haven't you
thought about? Consider the Happy Prepper list of the 37 most unusual survival tools
to hoard while they are still available!
Mind you, this is not the typical list and it is not the same as our other totally free
prepper lists, including the 37 non food items to hoard or the ever popular article
37 Foods to Hoard while they are still available.
This list of 37 unusual things for preppers is a bit weird because it includes some stuff
you wouldn't ordinarily think to keep: lint, for example. This prepper list may surprise
you, starting with #1.
37 Unusual Things for Preppers to Keep or Buy While It's Still Available
- Copper pennies. Many preppers collect silver and overlook a resource right
before their eyes: copper! Pennies made of copper (those dated 1982 and
earlier) hold more value in copper than the face value of one cent. Why do you
think the U.S. Government has changed the penny and in Canada they no longer
have the penny? It's because it costs them too much to produce. The value of
the copper is about double the face value. Check Coinflation.com for the current
value of copper. The melt value of copper pennies was $0.0217902 for 1909-
1982 copper cents on May 28, 2013.
- Books and magazines you don't read. Why keep old books and magazines?
Three reasons. 1.) You can cut thick books to stash valuables, such as gold and
silver, to hide them in plain sight on your bookshelf 2.) You can tear pages of
either as tinder or burn the whole book for fuel. 3.) You can use pages as toilet
paper. Yes, that last one isn't so pleasant, but it's what they did back in the day.
How do you think the "reading in the bathroom" idea got started?
- Chopsticks. Every time you go to a Chinese restaurant or eat sushi, why not
grab a few extra chopsticks? They will soon amass into a nice collection. After
using them as a utensil, you don't have to clean, Afterwards you can use them
for firestarting. Because they are wooden, they are kindling! It's the little things
you think of now, which will give you an edge.
- Safety pins. Today, you can buy safety pins by the hundreds at the dollar
stores. Safety pins have a number of survival uses (make a fishing hook with a
safety pin, secure a home-made feminine pad with a safety pin and more). You
can easily store two safety pins on your key chain, so you have them when you
need them. While you're at it, be sure to get some thread and needles, which
should already be on your prepper supply list. Thread on wooden spools are
available inexpensively at thrift shops and will serve you well into the future.
- Gadsden flag. Another unusual item for your preps is a Gadsden flag. Why?
Because it sends a message to other preppers. In a world without rule of law,
the flag will likely provide an opportunity for preppers to align and unite for the
greater good of their own communities. The Don't Tread on Me Flag is also called
a Gadsden flag, because it was named after General Christopher Gadsden. The
coiled snake represents the Timber rattlesnake or the Easter Diamondback
rattlesnake, which are both prevalent in the geographic regions of the first 13
colonies. Today, the flag flies proudly in South Carolina as General Gadsden first
presented it to the Congress of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. It
is a symbol of patriotism, and a symbol for the Tea Party movement. It has also
been widely popular with preppers and for this reason it may be wise to hold
one in your possession.
- Fire extinguishers. Fire will be, to say the least, alarming in a life without
society's current comforts and yet other prepper sites rarely if ever mention this
necessity. How are you going to defend your homestead without an adequate
water supply and without the fire department rolling up to your property? One
tiny fire extinguisher isn't going to cut it! Consider buying extinguishers by the
dozen! How else will you protect what you've got? On the topic of fires and
while you're at it, be sure to have plenty of shovels around (one for every
member of your group or family) to cover the flames with dirt the way the forest
firefighters do. Preppers always love dual purpose items, and indeed shovels will
be invaluable for working the crops. On an unpleasant topic, they will also be
valuable for burying the dead.
- Kids wheels (Razor scooters and skateboards, radio flyer wagon, strollers).
A toy as a prepper tool? Yes! It's not odd when you think of a Razor or a
skateboard as a mode of transportation. It's perfect for your bug out vehicle
because it folds compactly. A Razor scooter isn't just for kids: there are bigger
wheels for adults. Instead of walking you could be scooting, which would
certainly put you at an advantage in a bugout scenario! Just pick up your
scooter and walk over terrain when need be. Pack one for each family member if
you don't already have a fold-up bugout bicycle. Consider skateboards also if
you are so inclined with skills from your youth. Many a Hollywood movie
adventure features a kid in an escape by skateboard. The little red wagon,
which was perfect for your kids earlier days, could serve you well in an off-grid
situation to haul water and supplies and the same goes for strollers (even the
kinds intended for small pets)!
- Carts, hand trucks, and wheelbarrows. Think of the wheels which cart
treasures for the homeless, and you will better value these items in your preps
for the future. Shopping carts will surely disappear when the world collapses.
The chore of hauling supplies will be easier for preppers with use of hand trucks
and carts. The use of hand trucks and carts has the advantage of smaller
wagons in that they are especially useful if you're going to be moving your entire
homestead in a matter of minutes into a truck or van. Wheelbarrows. If you've
been borrowing a wheel barrow, now's the time to get one for yourself, while
they are still available. You'll eventually want a wheelbarrow to haul crops and
firewood. You'll find this an indispensable tool. Guard it when SHTF!
- Cable ties. For tying gear (keeps bicycle wheels in place), household repairs,
camping to keep raccoons out, hanging utensils to dry), lashing sticks together,
and so much more. Get cable ties at the dollar stores.
- Perfume cards. Those little card samples from the department stores are
loaded with alcohol inside, and perfume cards offer the convenience also of
cardboard to work as tinder. For an added touch, dip the perfume cards in
paraffin wax. See our other firestarter ideas.
- Bikes and Bicycle trailers. Save bicycles your children have outgrown as they
will have value in bartering for parents of young children. A useful find at garage
sales are bikes and bicycle trailers. Just because your kids are grown or you
don't have kids doesn't mean you shouldn't grab the opportunity to have a bike
trailer. Sure the people who think you're nuts for prepping will really think you've
gone off the deep end, but the reality is that bicycle trailers are an excellent
place to store your goods if you bugout by bicycle.
- Cardboard rolls and lint. Don't discard lint or cardboard rolls! Stash toilet paper
and paper towel rolls and stuff them with lint from the dryer to make an
excellent tinder for a firestarter. Wrap in brown craft paper and you have an nice
looking firestarter to place at your hearth. This is a simple thing you can do to
prepare for your survival, particularly if you live where it snows. Cardboard is
also immensely useful when combined with a tin can to make a buddy burner.
- Cookie tins, #10 cans and old tin cans. Did you know you can make charcoal
with a cookie tin? Delicious Danish butter cookies have a long shelf life, and you
can use the cookie tin containers to make carbon (charcoal). Here's how to make
charcoal. What's more, with old tin cans you can make a hobo stove or a buddy
- Chewing gum. Chew on this: chewing gum should be part of your preps. While
having gum helps provide a sense of normalcy in uncertain times, having gum
available could help save your life in a survival situation to keep you alert or help
- Sturdy cardboard box. With aluminium and a cardboard box, you can make
yourself a camp oven to bake just about anything from muffins, to bread to
casseroles. Here's how to make a cardboard box camp oven.
- Fabric from sheets, blankets, and curtains. Anyone who has ever seen Gone
with the Wind will remember the scene where red velvet curtains were
transformed into a fantastic gown. Necessity is the mother of invention they say!
Quilts are new blankets from old materials for the same reason: resourcefulness.
- Old, worn clothes. Even though your garments have holes in them, they are
useful in troubled times for recycling. Women today craft handbags from old
jeans. Buttons are also useful, save them the way your Great Grandmother did.
And the materials will also be useful as rags. You've heard the expression,
"She's on the rag again"? Well, where do you think that term came from? Cut
the materials up into squares and you have toilet paper.
- Children's clothes and shoes. Children's clothing will be fantastically valuable to
new mothers at the end of the world as we know it. Save the best items,
particularly sturdy shoes, and think of your children's old things as bartering
- Sandbags. Sure, sandbags are great for helping you mitigate flood damage, but
for a prepper, sandbags are ideal for security and shelter fortification. Sandbags
can help you fortify your home to block intruders at gates and entrances. The
more mass the better to shield against radiation or bullets, too.
- Tarps. Lay out a tarp and you can collect rainwater, camouflage a bugout vehicle
or temporarily patch a window. Here are some clever uses preppers have for
- Nails and screws. Lots of preppers pack in the bullets for security, but nails are
more practical because they have so many applications for creating new things
and fixing others. The great thing about nails is they don't take up too much
room to hoard them. Nails and screws of various sizes will be an immensely
important trade item. Buy extras for bartering.
- Plywood. Preppers will find plywood useful for such things as fixing broken
windows and fortifying entrances and windows to discourage looters. With nails
and plywood a prepper can also make a bed of nails to make a painful inside
entrance. The element of surprise may be all you need to distract enough to
save your life.
- PVC pipe. PVC pipe has many uses. Of foremost value to preppers is using PVC
for plumbing. The day will come when you'll need to fix repairs yourself. Many
preppers also use PVC pipe to make underground cache compartments to store
food and ammo. Learn to make your a hand pump water well using PVC pipe.
- Heavy-duty grocery bags and totes. Consider stockpiling reinforced grocery
bags or buying a few of polyethylene or canvas totes. The large tote, pictured
immediate right, is an incredibly strong and rugged storage bag, made from
polyethylene tarp material. The tote will not crack under extreme cold, it is tear
resistant, extremely flexible and water resistant. Consider also the canvas log
carrier, also pictured right. You will be hauling lots of wood and gear and edibles.
These bags could help you transport your fuel for the fire or crops home.
- Dental floss. Believe it or not, Dental floss could save your life! Discover why you
should stock some dental floss in your preps, and particularly in your bug-out
- Hair bands. Rubber bands break, but hair bands are more durable. Whether
building a fire or tending to the gardening, having a hair band tie hair will
certainly prove useful. Rubber bands have several other uses.
- Board games. For the times you're boarded up in the bunker and bored, you'll
need some entertainment and family board games. Board games will help
provide normalcy in difficult times. These unusual board game ideas will provide
necessary stress release.
- Expired bleach (that's right, the expired kind). It's not unusual for preppers to
have bleach, but many preppers don't know that bleach expires. Yes, check the
bottle and you will see that bleach indeed has an expiration date! Bleach is
good for about six months because it breaks down and becomes less potent.
Even though you'll have expired bleach on your hands, don't dump your rotation
of it. Just add a big X on the bottle, so you'll know that it has expired. You'll still
find the liquid useful for flushing your sanitation.
- Nail polish. Nail polish is another unusual prepper item, and not for vanity's
sake! Sure you can fix a cracked finger nail, but you'll find loads clever uses for
nail polish. Clear nail polish will help you smudge-proof your canning labels or
the labels of your garden plants: just layer a coat on top of the important words.
Thread a needle by coating the end of the thread with polish before going
through the eye. Stop a window crack from getting worse by applying a dab of
nail polish (we suggest using clear, but any nail polish will do)! Colored nail
polish can help you color code keys or help you identify uses for buckets, mark
levels for how much water you need, or mark funnels for use in food or gasoline.
You'll find an endless amount of uses, including keeping shoe laces from
unravelling, tightening screws (coat the thread groves), plugging a cooler, or
mending holes in window screens. It's just another clever item for your fix-it box!
Never mind what others may say.
- Declaration of Independence and Constitution. The day may come when, as an
American, you need to assert your second amendment rights. Pictured
immediate left, you can have your book to aid you in your defense for your right
to bear arms. The Fourth Amendment is another area of concern for preppers
who hoard food. This amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.
Defend yourself with knowledge of your rights!
- Large clay pots. Clay pots has uses beyond planting. Buy clay pots of varying
sizes and with the sand you've stored, make a Zeer Pot Refrigerator. A clay pot
oven is another versatile option when you have clay pots. You can also use
organic pots of clay that have tiny holes in the bottom, and sides to make a
- Old plastic bins. Learn how to make a worm farm with what you have. Take
time today to declutter and get rid of the things you don't need and make
something that could prove very valuable: a worm farm!
- Glass bottles. Preppers stash mason jars in large supplies for canning;
however, something often overlooked is glass bottles, which can be recycled for
any number of purposes from brewing beer, and making wine and moonshine, to
canning your own sauces and juicing. Ideal for making iced tea as well.
- Cheese cloth: Yet another random item with multiple uses is cheese cloth
because it doesn't disintegrate when wet. Preppers love items with dual
purposes and this one goes beyond. Cheese cloth uses include straining,
steaming basting poultry, leaning and polishing, making spice bags, and, of
course, cheesemaking! As a strainer, cheesecloth can help keep bones, fats, and
solids out of the clear broths. What's more, cheesecloth is excellent for
protecting young trees from cicadas (a winged insect that feeds on sap). Other
bizarre uses include making a dust mask to help mitigate a biohazard.
Something you may have thought of is using cheese cloth as a gauze for first
aid. Cheese cloth might also be useful as a makeshift fishing net.
- Bailing wire, safety wire or hay wire. Dandy for makeshift repairs, bailing wire
will "bail" you out in a fix. From fixing fences, chicken coups and cars, you'll find
baling wire immensely useful, and yet this is another item preppers overlook. In
addition to automotive uses, fixing farm equipment, bailing wire can be used for
bailing hay. Be sure to have a heavy duty, side wire cutter in your preps as well.
Then of course, there's always your duct tape, paracord and super glue to get
you out of a fix.
- Bungee cords. Okay, don't jump off the deep end on this strange idea: bungee
cord! A rarely mentioned necessity with preppers, a bungee cord will have an
immense value and it is a great match for a paracord. With fierce and
unimaginable strength, a bungee cord will help you secure your valuables to
your bugout vehicle or motorcycle. Use a bungee cord with your hand truck or
tarp. Secure a propane tank or a bicycle with a bungee cord. You'll find
numerous uses with your camping equipment too. Bungee Cords are one of the
99 Prepper things to buy at the Dollar Stores.
- Kitty Litter. Not to end on a crappy note, but kitty litter is the final weird prep to
stockpile. A basic use is sanitation to help keep smells at bay. In Winter, kitty
litter can help you get your car out of the snow. Rodents abhor kitty litter, so
ideally you could store your supply near your food storage, particularly grains
and canned goods. Kitty litter will also keep plants moist.
So now you know the 37 things you might not have otherwise thought to store.
We're happy to hear your prepping ideas and link to your site. Please drop us a note on
Twitter or Facebook at HappyPreppers.
Remember, our family survival system is free! Learn how to store food, water, fuel, and survival
medicines. Get tips about sanitation, self defense and more at happypreppers.com
------------------------------------------------- Revised 11/2/13
(C) Copyright 2012-2013 by HappyPreppers.com. All rights reserved. The site happily targets concerned
citizens who are self-reliant survivalists, preppers and homesteaders with original content on survival
following societal collapse. You may link to our site, but you may not reproduce any part of our content, or
store our content in any retrieval system to represent it as your own. Further, you may not transmit content in
any other form or by any means, including (but not limited to) electronic, photocopy, mechanical, or recording
without written consent. HappyPreppers.com makes no warranties.
"The future belongs to those who
prepare for it." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
SEARCH more articles for preppers,
survivalists and homesteaders here: