50+ Basic Preps You’re Probably Not Thinking About

As preppers, we are always thinking about what holes we might have in our preps. And even if you do have a good checklist, like this checklist for preppers, you might miss something that you really need. It would be really sad to have a great bugout bag and advanced gear, only to miss some basic preps.

This list was contributed by members of the Exclusive Prepper Website Email Group. I would like to start off by saying thank you. I also shared the list with some commentary on a recent episode of The Prepper Website Podcast. You can listen to that episode by visiting link – click here.

Most Mentioned Basic Prep

One prep that came up multiple times in the list was a cellphone charger. I highly agree with this. We use our cellphones for many things now, especially in a disaster situation. I’ve written about the need for a good phone charger many times before in the past. In one article, I wrote…

One of the things that I don’t understand, is when someone lets their smartphone battery run out.  They have this great tool in their possession, but it is basically a brick since it doesn’t have power.  This happens often if smartphone users are playing games and listening to music.  I recommend everyone carry around a battery pack to power their smartphone.  A battery charger that I recommend is the Anker PowerCore 20100mAh – Ultra High Capacity Power Bank.  It holds a lot of power and is about the size of a smartphone.  You could easily carry your smartphone in your back pocket, the Anker in your other back pocket and your cord in your front pocket and not really feel weighted down.  The battery is about $50 and is rated at 4.5 STARS with over 34,000 reviews on Amazon.

EDC for Regular People and Then Some! The One Item You’ll Go Back Home For!

There were other basic preps that made the list. In fact, there were over 50 items that are listed below. But first, I want to share how some basic preps came in very useful for one prepper.

A Members Expereince

One of the members of the email group shared her experience about how her preps were a game changer for her family. Sarah’s experience is shared below with her permission.

I just went through the Derecho here in Iowa and had no power for weeks.  Your podcast and articles are what had prepared me and enabled me to thrive during that time.  While people were lining up at the community center for sandwiches, we had a three course meal and s’mores over a campfire.

We were fortunate and had a generator so we could run the fridge and freezer, but couldn’t power our well.  Thank goodness I had a lot of stored water!  We were almost out when the power came back on.  

At night when we ran the generator, we’d plug in our WiFi and charge phones.  Due to this natural disaster, we were constantly calling friends and family and talking to our insurance.  I would say first – phone chargers!!! We constantly had dead phones.  We’ve purchased solar powered ones this time. 

Tarps were definitely used to block holes in the roof from rain and broken windows in vehicles.  Initially, cell towers were down so I’m trying to come up with an alternative.  

Fuel for the generator as well.  We ran out of all LP and our local gas stations also had no power.  So we had to drive 40 minutes to get some.  Initially, it was in stock and the lines for gas were outrageous.  But as that ran out, people switched to LP.  So towards the end we were almost out and it was hard to source.  Also with the power down, ATMs didn’t operate and gas stations that opened during the day to sell shelf items needed cash only. 

So cell chargers, tarps, cash and fuel/LP…. that’s what we’re stocking up on!!!

Also it’s worth noting that our local small restaurants took turns feeding the community for free… so support them whenever you can!!

Basic Preps List

Like Sarah, your preps can come in very handy during a natural disaster or other survival situation. Make sure you have your basics covered before you move on to other prepper gear.

The list below was organized into various categories: cooking, personal, tools and building supplies and office supplies. Again, this isn’t a preparedness list, but a list of some basic preps that most forget about.

Cooking Preps

  • Seasoning for cooking bland preps
  • A manual grinder for coffee, spices, etc. 
  • Hand mixer and can opener
  • Short-term food storage, E.g. Ziplock bags, stretch film, cling wrap
  • Baking powder, lemon juice, cooking oil, etc.
  • Dry sauce and gravy mix
  • Non-perishable holiday dinner ingredients (cookie, icing, confetti, pie filling). Some of the cookie ingredients were difficult to find last year before the crazy started 
  • Stock cubes for flavouring, and even “condy’s crystals”
  • Cookbooks (Free Prepper Recipe Cookbook
  • Toothpicks
  • Pet food for your critters

Personal Preps

  • Battery operated watch or clock
  • Cordage and clothespins for drying clothes outdoors
  • Soaps, detergents, and shampoo
  • Deodorants, toothpaste, and anything you use for hygiene.
  • Allergy medicine
  • Saline
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Children’s clothes
  • Christmas presents
  • Feminine hygiene items.
  • Comfortable work shoes
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Games and books for the kids
  • Shoe strings
  • Flea medicine / flea collars for your pets

Tools and Building Supplies

  • Work gloves
  • Bulk rock salt for the winter (Don’t forget to keep some in the car when you get stuck)
  • Oil and filters for our cars
  • a/c which has quite a few years on it 
  • Building materials for desired projects  (cinder blocks and concrete, plywood, 4x4s, and construction nails/screws)
  • Replacing gutters 
  • Water catchment system
  • Hand-line fishing reel (as it has multiple uses)
  • Scotch Brite pads
  • Corks
  • Flat white sheets
  • Gardening tools
  • A good backpack
  • How-to manuals
  • House repair and building items like door hinges, screws, pipe fittings, electrical wire, extension cords and items like that
  • Silica Gel Desiccant Dehumidifiers to help protect firearms and ammunition, electronic equipment, Etc.
  • Additional Security locks for doors and windows
  • Motion detectors
  • Alarm system for your home

Office Supplies


This list isn’t exhaustive. It consists of what members of the group have considered they need for their basic preps. What would you add? Share you ideas below in the comments. You just might provide an idea that no one has thought about.


11 thoughts on “50+ Basic Preps You’re Probably Not Thinking About”

  1. Sandi helman

    How do I find some tool so I may wash clothes without any utility?

    1. Depending on family size and budget –
      I am single and use 3 5 gallon buckets and a plunger! I have holes in the bucket lids that will accommodate the plunger. Bucket #1 is the washing “machine” where I add a little soap, water (hot or cold) then plunge for a few minutes. I then take the clothing out, get as much soapy water off as I can, then into bucket #2 for the first rinse with clean water; then into bucket #3 for the final rinse. After the final rinse, I again wring out as much water as I can then hang to dry on a clothes line with clothes pins.

      Another suggestion is to check with companies like https://www.lehmans.com or cumberlandgeneral.com – they both sell non-electric items. Originally, I believe, they were geared toward selling to the Amish but anyone can purchase from them. The sell wringers and other laundry essentials that are non-electric/non-gas.

      1. Thanks for sharing!

        I think we underestimate the importance of washing clothes in a grid down scenario.


      2. poorman

        Instead of wringing out the cloths it is easier to use a rolling pin over a cutting board in the sink

    2. Kathleen Rumfelt

      In addition to the other suggestions, I keep some antique washboards on hand, they are inexpensive and take up very little room. You can use them in your bathtub. I bought a cheap little plastic one for travel. If nothing else fits in your space or budget, just put them in your tub (or shower with something stopping it up to hold a little water) and stomp on them in your clean bare feet with a little laundry soap, and rinse. Once they’ve soaked for a little bit, it doesn’t take as much work to get them clean. I’ve also seen directions for wringing clothes, with 3 5-gallon buckets. Drill a number of good sized holes in the bottom of one bucket, and put it in another bucket. Put your washed garment inside and put the third bucket inside, on top of the clothes. Apply pressure to squeeze water out the clothing and through the holes. Empty the bottom bucket, or re-use the water out of the bottom bucket as needed.

  2. I am a primitive camper and sometimes out in the woods for upwards of 2 weeks at a time. I have 3 solar chargers that are about the size of a cell phone – perhaps a bit larger as well as a high capacity non-solar charger. Always take them with me when I am camping. I always make sure they are charged as well!! even when I am not camping.

    I am a single woman living in an apartment in a city – wish it were otherwise but it is what it is!! I have been prepping for many years and felt very comfortable with my preps when COVID-19 hit. I didn’t NEED to go out and get groceries and other things but I did. I decided that even though I have my cupboards and closets well stocked, I didn’t want to deplete those stocks as long as I was able to continue to purchase what I needed. When all the craziness of TP and cleaning items ran out, I was not in a panic because I have all of that on hand in bulk. What I did do, however, was as things like TP and cleaning items, etc., became available, I made a list of things that I would purchase EVERY time I went to the stores! My cupboards and closets are bulging at the seams but still I keep to my original thought. If nothing comes of this mayhem, I can always donate to the local foodbank or to my neighbors if I want. Believe me, though, I am not going to deplete my preps to the point that I might have to panic buy!

    I think that something I didn’t see listed here was barter items – I have packages made up with things like instant coffee vacuum sealed, tea bags vacuum sealed, small (airline sized) bottles of booze, instant soups, and that sort of thing in ziplock bags; I have toiletry bags in ziplock bags all in a bin that I can pull out if a neighbor were to come knocking and want/need some items. I will barter those bags for something they have that I might want or need.

  3. Sandi helman

    I can’t seem to find an item I saw that helps wash clothes without any power needed. Can you help?

  4. Michael

    When I was in the sandbox we used a Rubbermaid janitors double mop bucket with a mop squeezer. We removed the wheels so we could put it on blocks as so not to do the hunchback of Notre Dame act. We used a rubber toilet plunger with some half inch holes drilled in it for an agitator. Worked very well. Clothes dried before they were caked with blowing sand.

    We washed the underwear-socks first, then the shirts, then the pants and then the nasty stuff. We rinsed in the second bucket of the mop bucket. We used a siphon hose to drain it the nasty soapy wash water and filled it with rinse water BECAUSE the rinse water was clean enough AND soapy enough to continue washing. , NOW I would drill a drainage hole and use a hose bib and bit of water hose.

    Do folks know how to handle “Grey Water” as not to create a nasty swampy bug breeding zone? Might be a second post as even in the desert soapy water would not soak in as fast as you wanted.

  5. Ron Brown

    I noticed lighting was not on the list. But from delivering a baby at midnight to finding the car keys you dropped in the dark, lighting can be very important. “How-to manuals” ARE on the list. So check out “The Non-Electric Lighting Series” on Amazon. Lamps that burn olive oil or vegetable oil date to biblical times . . . and you likely have everything you need already on hand. You just need the know-how to make it work. Here’s a link to get you started. https://www.amazon.com/Book-Olive-Lamps-Non-Electric-Lighting-ebook/dp/B00KB7F9SU/ref=pd_sim_nf_5?pd_rd_w=tJ3Jt&pf_rd_p=cb3486e5-b7ae-445b-a528-26b35ac6293b&pf_rd_r=638RVCQYH6E2A8EW2CFV&pd_rd_r=0824cfc4-02d6-4a75-b883-94444056cbd5&pd_rd_wg=wQrhC&pd_rd_i=B00KB7F9SU

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