Must Have Prepping Essentials in 2017
Kevin Felts 01.05.17
With a new year upon us, let’s take a few minutes and talk about essential prepping gear.
Hang on a minute, in the grand scheme of things, what would be considered “essential?” This is an subjective term. The definition depends on who is reading this article.
To someone is a rural area, a 22 rifle is essential; you never know when an unwanted pest will go into the chicken house. To someone in an urban area, they may want a bug out bag or fuel stored for their vehicle.
Let’s talk about items that will serve preppers well, regardless of their setup or location.
Water, water everywhere but nary a drop to drink. The timeless words from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge ring true to all. It does not matter how much water you have, if the water is not safe to drink, you might as well have a single drop.
There are the classic iodine water tablets, Lifestraw, Sawyer, MSR, Katadyn, and water bottles with built in filters. There is a ridiculous amount of water filters on the market. Do your research and buy wisely.
Portable filter: Every prepper should have some kind of water filter in their prepping gear. What about a purifier? A purifier is for viruses. If you live in an area where sewage runs into streams, lakes and rivers, get a purifier.
When the water I filter is in doubt, I use a two step process. First, the water is cycled through a Katadyn hiker water filter. Second, a SteriPen is used to kill anything that made it though the filter. The SteriPen uses ultra-violet light to kill bacteria and viruses.
Home filter: My home filter is a Royal Berkey. The Royal Berkey is made up of two stainless steel tubes, which are stacked on top of each other.
Pour the water in the top tube, and gravity pulls the water through the filters. The Royal Berkey can have up to 4 filters with each one filtering an estimated 3,000 gallons. The filters remove 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.
Something like the Royal Berkey is family sized and portable. Going to a remote camp for a weekend? Bring the Berkey along for the trip.
Solar Powered Radio
Everyone needs a radio in their prepping gear. It does not matter if they live in a rural area or big city, The public needs a way to get information when the power goes out.
When the power goes off, I find myself doing three things:
- Flipping the light switch on, which is a habit.
- Turn on an AM/FM radio and tune it into a local station.
- Get a book.
Even when there is a complete grid down situation, chances are radio stations will be in operation, at least for a little while. After hurricanes Ike and Rita made landfall in Southeast Texas, the local radio station was operating on a generator backup and was able to provide locals with important information.
The built in solar cell keeps the radio going when the batteries run out.
Radios like this are not “just” for emergencies. Use them when there is a family get-together, cook out, or anywhere you may want music playing.
Freeze Dried Food
This is something we covered in another article – stockpiling freeze dried food. This stuff has a shelf life of up to 30 years. Freeze dried food is available in pouches and #10 cans. Pouches serve one or two people, while #10 cans are for family sized meals.
The #10 cans are perfect to store at a bug out location, deer camp, or in a closet. Since they are made of metal, rodents are unlikely to chew through them.
Pouches are perfect for camping or hiking. Just add boiling water and wait until it cools to eat.
With regular canned foods, you have to keep up with rotation and expiration dates.
Freeze dried foods, just remember to eat it sometime in the next 30 years.
Well Rounded Prepping Stockpile
There is so much to prepping it would be impossible to cover it all in a single article. I decided to pick three topics that I thought would fit just about all prepping needs. These are water, food, and communications.
Even in a complete grid down situation, with these three items hopefully you will have safe drinking water, something to eat (if you can boil water), and be able to listen to a local radio station for news.