The Ultimate Prepper and Survival Supply Checklist

I have compiled an extensive list of prepping and survival supplies to help you get started preparing for a SHTF situation. Some of these items seem to be a no-brainer for seasoned preppers, but some items dive deeper into the essential gear that make us preppers. I hope this list motivates you to stock up or add to your already growing prepper supply.

Types of Shelter for Survival


Shelter is more imperative than sustenance and water because, in a survival situation, you will need to shelter yourself from the cold, rain, wind, snow and ice. You could succumb to the elements of weather way before you die of thirst.

  • Tent
  • Waterproof Tarp
  • Poncho
  • Emergency blanket
  • Large Trash bags (when filled with leaves, can also be used as bedding)
  • In a bug out or get home situation:
    • Bushcraft shelter
    • Abandoned buildings

Water Storage Options

The general rule is, you can only survive three days without water. That is why I put it toward the top of the list. It isn’t as fun to talk about as tools, knives and other gear but it is a lot more important. Check out our article on long term water storage.

  • Bottled water
  • Water filters (Sawyer Mini, LifeStraw)
  • Large water storage such as 55-gallon drums
  • Smaller more manageable water storage containers such as the WaterBrick and the AquaTainer
  • The Water Bob (store water in your bathtub in an emergency)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Boiling water
  • Gatorade

Long Term Food Storage Options

Food is important especially in a long-term survival situation. It is a good idea to keep at least three days of food in your bug out bag or get home bag. It is also a good idea to keep three months to a year of stocked food in your bug out location. Check out our tips on the perfect foods for long term storage.

  • Dry beans
  • White rice
  • Canned meat (Spam, DAK, Tuna and Salmon)
  • Honey
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta
  • Oats
  • Freeze dried foods such as (Mountain House, My Patriot Supply)
  • Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
  • Manual can opener

Bug Out Bag (BOB) or Get Home Bag


This is usually where a lot of survivalist or preppers start. When many begin their journey into prepping, their first thought is bugging out. Although you may be in an area or situation where bugging out will be necessary, I also included the get home bag (GHB) which may be more likely.

  • First aid kit (FAK)
  • Water filters (Sawyer Mini, LifeStraw)
  • Fire starter (Strike anywhere matches, Ferro Rod, lighter or magnifying glass)
  • Food that is easily carried (Candy, energy bars or freeze-dried foods such as Mountain House
  • Cooking utensils such as spork and pots and pans
  • Small stove (Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo)
  • Area maps and topographic maps
  • Backup communication such as HAM radio or satellite phone
  • Emergency radio with fresh batteries (preferably with NOAA weather capabilities)
  • Paracord
  • Dry tinder bundle
  • Stainless steel cup or canteen
  • Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
  • Duct tape
  • Sleeping bag or wool blanket
  • Gloves
  • Fishing line
  • Gatorade
  • Extra cash

Surivival Clothing


Clothing is all too often overlooked in a survival situation. We spend most of our time in our comfy home or car and tend to forget that it can get real cold at night. If we find ourselves having to get home or bug out during a disaster, you will be glad you chose the right clothing for the situation. Never leave home without the necessary clothing to keep you comfortable for at least the next three days of weather.

  • Good Boots
  • Warm weather clothing
  • Cold weather clothing
  • Water proof clothing such as a poncho or water proof jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandannas (can also be used as a tourniquet or a bandage)

First Aid Kit (FAK)



The first aid kit also ranks high on our list because an untreated injury can make survival much, much more difficult. This is another are where buying quality components could save your life in an emergency.

  • Bandages in assorted sizes
  • Ibuprofen or Aspirin
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Wet wipes
  • Splints
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Gauze
  • Steri-strips
  • Moleskin with padding
  • N-95s Masks
  • Nitrile gloves – hypoallergenic
  • Alcohol pads
  • Antiseptics
  • Different sized safety pins
  • Thermometer
  • Ammonia inhalants
  • Snake bite kit
  • Tourniquet
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Eye wash
  • Eye pads /eye patch
  • Vaseline
  • Bandage scissor/trauma shears

Light Source


I am still amazed sometimes at friends and family that leave home without some sort of light source. If you find yourself stranded at night, you will never leave home without a light source again. I recommend a good LED flashlight as well as a backup headlamp. The headlamp is great because it keeps your hands free to do what you need to.

  • Flashlight (LED preferred)
  • Head lamp with fresh batteries
  • Candles
  • Fire
  • Oil lanterns and clean oil
  • Propane lantern and Coleman 1lb propane tanks

Survival Tools


Survival tools are a bit more fun to talk about than water or clothing. When you begin stocking your survival tools, it is best to buy quality. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to depend on crappy tools that may not do what you need them to do. If you have to save a while to get quality tools, it is worth the effort.

  • Fixed blade knife such as the Morakniv Companion or Buck 119
  • Pocket knife
  • Multi tool
  • Axe or hatchet
  • Machete
  • Map & Compass
  • Limb saw such as the Corona Razor
  • Fire starter (Strike anywhere matches, Ferro Rod, lighter or magnifying glass)
  • Manual can opener

Security and Self Defense


You can have all the latest and greatest survival food or the best clothing and tools in the world but if you can’t defend it, it’s worthless. In a get home situation, bug out scenario or just defending your home and your preps, you will need some sort of personal protection item. If you are not comfortable with firearms, I suggest you get some professional training and keep on hand. If you are absolutely against having a firearm in your home or on your person, there are other choices that could save your life.

  • Pepper spray
  • Firearm with ammo
  • Collapsible baton
  • Taser
  • Survival Whistle

Backup Communications


It is extremely stressful and aggravating to not have a way to contact a loved one in an emergency. During hurricane Katrina and super storm Sandy, many cell phone users found that they could not contact family due to overloaded systems and whipped out cell towers. Having an emergency way to contact loved one will give you piece of mind.

  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Cell phone with extra charged batter if possible
  • Solar charger for phone or HAM radio
  • AM/FM radio (Battery-powered or hand-crank)
  • CB radio
  • Portable HAM radio
  • Two-way FMR radios
  • Compact Mirror

Survival Personal Hygiene

It may not seem like a necessity in a disaster, but it goes a long way to boost morale.

  • Soap
  • Tooth paste
  • Extra tooth brush
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Compact Mirror
  • Dental Floss

Other Prepper Items to Keep on Hand

Here are a few items that are often over looked.

  • Multivitamins
  • Medications
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Vaseline
  • Toilet Paper
  • Extra batteries
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Deck of cards

I hope you found this list of prepping and survival items to be of some help. It is by no means a detailed list, but it will get you headed in the right direction. If you want a printable list, you can down load the Prepper’s Checklist of Supplies.