The Ultimate Preppers Checklist

The Ultimate Preppers Checklist

The Ultimate Preppers Checklist

So, you’ve decided to join the prepper movement, and you’re not sure where to start. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you first start gathering supplies and organizing them. There are hundreds of items available on the market.  

With so many options available, you need a checklist to refer to when stockpiling the essentials, so you know what you need and what you’ve already purchased. Here’s the ultimate preppers checklist to help you document and organize your supplies.

The Ultimate Supply Checklist

  • Water and Filtration Methods
  • Food
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Safety and Security
  • Hygiene
  • Shelter
  • Heat and Power
  • Comfort
  • Tools and Misc. Items
  • Personal Items
  • Bug-Out Bag


FEMA recommends that you store one gallon of water per day for each person. It’s not possible to carry huge amounts of water if you need to leave your house or the supply needs to last for a long period. So, keeping two ways to filter or purify water on hand is also incredibly important. 

Boiling water is one of the safest ways to make sure any water you’ve gathered is safe to drink. Boil the water for at least one minute, and then pour it back and forth between two different containers. This process will cool it and put oxygen back into it to improve the taste.

Learn where the closest bodies of water are and consider a rainwater catchment system or rain barrel. Being cut off from community resources means you’ll need a large supply of water or know where nearby sources are.


Thankfully, there are plenty of shelf-stable food options available today. You can stock up on the military’s favorite non-perishable food choice MREs or Meals Ready-to-Eat. They are the main operational food ration for the United States Military and originated from k-rations and c-rations. 

People have mixed opinions about MREs. They usually contain:

  • Candy – usually Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, or M&Ms
  • Accessories – creamer, salt, sugar, matches, spoon, toilet paper, gum, etc.
  • Entrées – the main meal such as chili, chicken tortilla, etc.
  • Flameless Ration Heater
  • Side dishes – mashed potatoes, corn, etc.
  • Seasoning or hot sauce
  • Bread or crackers
  • Spreads – such as cheese or jelly
  • Beverages – cocoa, Gatorade mixes, etc.
  • Desserts – cake or cookies

Other foods include:

  • Powdered milk
  • Rice
  • Iodized salt
  • Pasta
  • Honey
  • Dry beans
  • Canned fruit
  • Jellies and jams
  • Canned vegetables
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Flour
  • Wheat
  • Powdered and canned cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Red Feather Butter
  • Energy and power bars
  • Freeze-dried food
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Spices
  • Vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Baking powder

Freeze-dried food lets you supplement the other foods to give you some variety. You can buy them from most places that sell survival items, and there are even gourmet options.

Keep a running list of all the food and their expiration dates if you plan on storing more than a 30-day supply of food. You’ll need to switch things out periodically, so storing things that you like to eat will make rotating the food easier.

You’ll also need containers to store the food to keep it from spoiling. Five-gallon buckets are the best containers to store staple, dry, and bulk foods in. You can use mylar bags too. Just add a couple of oxygen absorbers in each bag before you seal it.

Don’t forget the can opener if you stockpile canned foods. It would be inconvenient if you forgot something to open the food you need to eat.

First Aid Supplies

You’ll need essential first aid supplies in case doctors and hospitals aren’t available. You can buy a pre-made kit or make your own. It should include:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Neosporin
  • Band-aids and bandages
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Ace bandages
  • Rolled gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Duoderm
  • Burn gel
  • Moleskin or blister pads
  • Scissors
  • Material for splinting
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Alcohol pads
  • Thermometer
  • Aspirin or Tylenol
  • Vaseline
  • Snakebite kit
  • Benadryl
  • Aloe-vera
  • Pedialyte
  • Needles and sutures
  • Syringes
  • Tweezers
  • Hand-sanitizer
  • Essential oils
  • Quick clot
  • Q-tips and cotton balls
  • Insect repellent
  • Prescription medicines, especially antibiotics
  • Chapstick
  • Charcoal tablets
  • Smelling salts
  • Antibiotics
  • Iodide tables
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • Sunblock
  • First aid manuals

Feel free to personalize this list of necessary supplies to meet the needs of your family. Everyone has different medical issues, and it’s important that you include everything you’ll need for an extended period.

Campsite built in the snow with a tarp and sleeping bag


Shelter is critical if you’re on the go. If you have the skills to make one yourself, then that’s great; most beginning preppers don’t, so you need to look at other options. If you need to leave quickly, then a bug-out bag is the first item you should buy.

A bug-out bag is a bag that you keep stocked with the necessary items if SHTF and you need to leave your house quickly. A tent is the perfect shelter, but it may be too heavy to carry. Choose a lightweight tarp that folds and stores in your bag easily. You need something to protect you from the elements because sleep is critical to keep you going during catastrophic events.

Heat and Power

Hypothermia is a serious risk whether you’re on the go or without power, even if it’s not freezing outside. Wear layers of clothing so you can take off or add layers as the weather changes. Comfortable socks and boots also keep you warm and make traveling on foot easier.

Blankets and sleeping bags are other essential items for warmth and comfort.

Stock up on disposable and rechargeable batteries or critical items such as sturdy tactical flashlights, battery-powered lanterns, and other electronics. Purchase a power inverter and solar power watt kit that allow you to power electricity or purchase things with batteries that use the sun.

Get extra gas cans and fuel for your car, as well as fuel that you use to power your generator, stove, etc. Stock up on oil lamps and candles as well. Headlamps are also excellent for getting around in the dark.

Tools and Other Miscellaneous Items

There are several tools that you want to make sure you have, such as:

  • Ax
  • Wire for repairs
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Firestarter or matches
  • Multi-tool
  • Screws and nails
  • Bleach
  • Jumper cables
  • Duct tape
  • Zip ties
  • Trash bags
  • Glass jars
  • Pencil and paper
  • Land maps
  • Compass
  • Rope or cordage

Little girl playing chess at a campsite in front of a tent

Personal and Comfort Items

There are other nice items that provide some comfort and perhaps a feeling of normalcy in stressful times. You’ll want soap and deodorant for personal hygiene, as well as toilet paper.

Board games and cards can provide entertainment while hard candy, gum, and chocolate can be treats. You can stock up on books to read and even stash some alcohol for special occasions.

In addition to these items, if you buy a ham radio, you can still have a connection with the outside world. It’s a way of communication that has withstood the test of time. Keep a list of codes, contact numbers, and radio frequencies so you have everything you need. A hand-crank radio and walkie-talkies are other great ways to communicate.

Summing Up

This ultimate prepper checklist certainly isn’t all-inclusive. When you’re stockpiling essential items to survive if you’re cut off from community resources, tailor the list to your family’s needs. Just make sure to add the essentials like food, water, first aid supplies, and shelter.

Don’t feel like you need to buy everything at once. Start stashing back a few items at a time, and you’ll settle into the prepper lifestyle in no time.

Mark Hedman serves as the CEO for LA Police Gear. Mark oversees a little bit of everything, from product development to walking the dogs from our Valencia, CA headquarters. Before joining LA Police Gear, Mark was just a kid that was very interested in programming and e-commerce. Starting from the bottom, he worked his way up through all stages of the company. Mark loves animals and the outdoors. He tries to spend as much time at the range as possible or hanging out with the pups.

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