22 ‘Non-Essential’ Items to Stock Up on Before Things Worsen

by | Jul 30, 2022 | ,

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Food, water, shelter, medicine, and ammunition/firearms are five things that are essential for survival in a societal collapse. As the possibility of such a collapse increases seemingly every day, more people have been signing up for my Late Prepper Substack. It’s telling that just a few weeks ago, we struggled to get free subscriptions, but today they come in even if we don’t publish anything for several days.

These are the “non-essential” items we’re stocking up on now. By putting “non-essential” in quotes, I’m suggesting that yes, we can technically survive without them, but it’s a lot easier if you have a good supply of these items.

This is not a comprehensive list by any means. It’s just the things that I’ve logged as items we’re stocking up on to make sure we’re not caught flatfooted if the crap hits the fan. I made this list based on two criteria — usability and barter value. Some items we can buy cheaply today will be like gold in an end-times scenario.

One does not need to be a “doomsday prepper” living off-grid on a homestead in Montana to recognize the need for these items. Even city and suburb-dwellers may lose access to such supplies if the system fails. Being ready is extraordinarily important, especially when we look at the trajectory of the nation and the world.

1. Bleach

Unscented bleach can literally be a lifesaver as it pertains to making water potable. While we recommend the Alexapure Water Filtration System, a little bit of bleach will do the trick as well. There are many other uses, of course, and perhaps most importantly it’s very cheap… for now.

2. Batteries, Chargers

Batteries generally have a 10-year shelf life when unopened. We like rechargeable batteries, especially if you have a solar generator or other sustainable electricity supply.

3. Lighters, Matches, Alternative Fire-Starters

Fire can be the key to survival. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to produce for most people. Learning how to start and build a fire in a pinch is important, but I’m a big fan of stocking up on things that make it easier.

4. Contact Lenses, Glasses

Depending on your optical and financial situation, it may behoove you to have a long-term supply of contact lenses. Having multiple glasses is definitely a best practice. As for bartering and use, having a nice supply of inexpensive reading glasses could come in handy as well.

5. Super Glue

In a crap-hits-the-fan scenario, being able to fix things as they break is going to be extremely important. Glue is helpful.

6. Duct Tape

Like super glue, but for different purposes. I have ongoing shipments of six packs of duct tape heading to my home every month.

7. Vaseline

As a lubricant and accelerant, few things are more useful than Vaseline, even without considering the medical benefits. A little Vaseline, a cotton ball, and a stick can make a little torch.

8. Insect Repellent

Call me paranoid, but I’m very concerned about mosquitos and other insects in a post-apocalyptic world. Heck, I’m not crazy about them now. As anyone who has been to Africa knows, mosquito bites can be deadly.

9. Soap, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Hygiene Items

They last a long time (indefinitely?), are extremely important for your health and wellbeing and can be excellent barter currency if you have enough available. Besides, if things get better, it’s not like you won’t go through your supply eventually.

10. Hand Sanitizer

Personally, I’m not a fan of hand sanitizer. But every list mentions them, so I suppose a lot of people like it. Call me old-fashioned but I like soap and water.

11. Tools and Backups, Nails, Screws

Considering we may have to build or repair things in the long term if the crap hits the fan, making sure you have everything you need to accomplish your tasks makes sense. This should NOT be considered a barter item.

12. Knives and Saws

Unlike most other tools, sharp necessary items like knives and saws wear down rapidly with regular use. It behooves many of us to have plenty of high-quality sharps available.

13. Flashlights, Candles, Lanterns

I’m a fan of variety over quality when it comes to lighting. I know many swear by the high-dollar versions of these items, but I’ll take cheap and good enough quality in bulk for the same price. Some flashlights you keep should not need batteries; hand-cranked or solar flashlights can be hugely beneficial.

14. Paper, Pens, Pencils

So many uses, plus tons of regret if you don’t have enough paper and writing instruments.

15. Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, and Rags

I was extremely annoyed during the Spring of 2020 when stores kept running out of toilet paper. I railed against people who bought two-year supplies of toilet paper. Today, I have a two-year supply of toilet paper. One important note: I’m a big fan of reusable rags and towels. Having disposable items is fine but requires disposal and is obviously finite. Having rags you can use, clean, and reuse will be important.

16. Bungie Cord, Ropes, String, Zip Ties

Repairing a building will likely be required if the crap hits the fan and stays bad for a long time. Bungie cords, ropes, string, and zip ties have unlimited uses.

17. Seeds

This is a food items, but it’s one that falls outside of the realm of straight food because it doesn’t take up much space and can be stored away to be used in the distant future. If you have plenty of seeds, you may never use them, but if you don’t have them, you’ll probably need them.

18. Tarps

Cheap and useful.

19. Plastic Bags

Cheap and useful, too.

20. Kids’ Needs

Don’t forget the kids, especially babies! Diapers, baby wipes, powders… we’ve seen in our current situation how hard it is to keep baby formula on the shelves. Imagine if the crap hits the fan how other items will also be hard to acquire.

21. Baking Soda

Unlimited uses, and not just for cooking.

22. Fire Extinguishers

If things continue to go south, it’s not inconceivable that basic emergency services will be hard or even impossible to call. One does not want to lose everything over an accident that could have been easily suppressed.

Side Note

The most important thing to stock up on is hope. Read your Bible. Pray. Keep fighting the good fight. Doom and gloom are everywhere and spreading, but it’s not hopeless. Not by a long shot.

The JD Rucker Political Report can be heard on weeknights at 7 pm ET Listen on iHeart Radio, our world-class media player, or our free apps on AppleAndroid, or Alexa. All episodes can be found on podcast networks worldwide the day after airing on talk radio.


America Out Loud is the premier news network with a diverse array of talk shows that inform and inspire. A daily resource for smart people.


Christian conservative JD Rucker went from journalism into the business world for two decades before returning to journalism in 2017. The sharp rise of leftist bias in corporate media prompted him to sell his advertising company and turn to the worlds of politics, culture, and religion. Now, he and his family fight the good fight in Southern California with hopes of someday returning sanity to the state while preventing the rest of the nation from succumbing to the wickedness inherent in the Neo-Marxist mindset.

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