Prepare, Sustain, Thrive and Survive Simply

12 Things Needed to Prepare for Uncertain Times Ahead

Can We Really Live Off the Grid?

We should and can live comfortably off the grid. The American mainstream does not consider what humans really need to live well on this earth. Instead, their minds are filled with a profusion of senseless b.s. while they rely on the government and corporations to keep them alive. It has only been this way for one hundred years out of thousands on this planet. People have gotten lost in the smoke and mirrors, and this scenario will be coming to an end somewhere between 2012 or beyond.

Simple Self-Reliance is a Worthy Goal, Hard to Reach

I lived very simply in semi-remote rural areas, without conventional power or running water, on and off for fourteen years. I was able to cut back reliance on the mainstream energy/food/consumer system by more than half, all things considered. I still worked in the system, used its fiat money, and relied on certain energy/food/consumer goods that were useful to pursuing low-impact, low-cost living. As a result of this practice, and because of the items I have accumulated, I’m not scared of the system going down.

Oligarchy is Ruining Things

What I am worried about is all the stupid stuff the oligarchy does to ruin the earth, air, and water, which ultimately makes it impossible for any of us to survive. Luckily, the Bible says, “Woe to those who are ruining the earth,”* so it’s not a matter of if they will be brought down, but when. Universal justice requires it. Meanwhile, everyone, especially Christians, should be seriously thinking about their complicity via their lifestyles, but that’s another article.

Are You Interested in Preparedness?

These days many of you are starting to get interested in preparedness. You wonder what you need to accumulate to be okay during shortages, outages, and even complete collapse of society. Reading my book, The Truth About Simple Unhooked Living, will help separate the pepper from the fly droppings when it comes to what you really  need to live. If you start from the simplest basics, it’s easier to hone in on what items are necessary to survive a shtf scenario and, most importantly, how to efficiently and effectively use what you have.

I would like others to benefit from my years of figuring out what is needed to survive and thrive simply, so here is a list of 12 things to think about for preparedness.

Twelve Preparedness Things to Think About

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Shelter
  4. Heat
  5. Light
  6. Hand Tools
  7. Health and Personal Care Supplies
  8. Communications
  9. Hunting, Fishing and Security
  10. Hobby & Craft Supplies
  11. Transportation
  12. Barter

Below is a list of items I like to have in my survival cache. I made this list from my experience of living very simply and cheaply in safe rural places with trees, near water, on private acreage where it was okay to build a shelter. This is obviously not a fleeing to the wilderness with a “bug out bag” during complete societal collapse scenario. I know some of you are planning to move out of the city before the shtf. This is a list for living long-term on the fringes of the system in the north country.

You can use this list as a solid starting point to figure out what you really need to survive. I know that if I have these items I can maintain a reasonable level of comfort if the supply chains unravel. People who can take care of themselves during an outage, shortage, or other emergency, allow emergency personnel to focus their energies on helping those who are unable to fend for themselves due to ignorance or disability.

Self-Reliance Checklist

How many of these survival items do you have on hand?


  1. 10 four or five gallon plastic buckets with lids
  2. Water Igloo(s)
  3. Mesh strainer and cheesecloth
  4. Gravity water filter(s), extra filters
  5. Wireless pasteurizer/distiller
  6. Garden hose(s)
  7. Rainwater barrel(s) and screening
  8. Pump


  1. Plastic buckets with lids, filled with bulk dried foods, i.e. beans, grains, corn meal, oils, seeds (sprouting and growing), nuts, yeast, vinegar, baking soda, fruits, powdered juices, supplements
  2. Canned goods
  3. Metal food storage containers (quart to gallon sizes)
  4. At least two large glass sprouting jars with screen lids.
  5. Canning jars and tools
  6. Glass bottles with lids/corks
  7. Screens for food drying
  8. Netting to protect drying food from flies/bugs
  9. Hand cranked food grinder
  10. Wheat grass juicer
  11. Metal plates and cups (One setting per person)
  12. Eating utensils
  13. Good all-purpose knife, filet knife
  14. Mortar and pestle
  15. Wire whisk
  16. Cast iron pot/pan/Dutch oven
  17. Baskets (for gathering wild foods)
  18. Can opener
  19. Towels, wash cloths, scrubbers, hot pads
  20. Wash basins (two for dishes)
  21. Camping coolers
  22. Propane refrigerator or ice house


  1. Home on wheels
  2. Good quality canvas and/or plastic tarps
  3. Plastic sheeting
  4. Tent with good zipper, extra zipper(s)
  5. Rope, cable, wire, bailing twine
  6. Bungee cords
  7. Strong clips
  8. Screen or fine mesh net material
  9. Lumber & plywood (Recycled is fine)
  10. Windows and doors
  11. Carpets
  12. Sheets or light cotton throws
  13. -30 Sleeping bag and pillow (for each person)
  14. Wool blankets
  15. Several leather hides (fur on and off)
  16. Appropriate clothing
  17. Sewing kit, incl. good scissors
  18. Waterproof boots, work boots, moccasins
  19. Rain poncho
  20. Gloves (warmth, work)
  21. Hand, foot, body warmers
  22. Solar cooling drapes


  1. Wood heat stove, extra stove pipe, extra rope sealer
  2. Wood cook stove, stove pipe
  3. Propane tent heater
  4. Propane camp stove
  5. Propane canisters (small)
  6. Propane bulk tanks and fittings
  7. Solar cooker
  8. Solar heat drapes
  9. Kerosene heater
  10. Kerosene and wick cleaner
  11. Clear plastic tubing
  12. Funnel
  13.  Hand saws, splitting maul, axes
  14. Chainsaw, tools, extra chains, fuel


  1. Kerosene lanterns, extra wicks, extra glass chimneys
  2. Candles, or wax, stearic acid, extra wicks
  3. Flashlights, solar, battery, hand crank
  4. Lighters, matches, fire-starter


  1. Draw knife
  2. Utility knife and blades
  3. Shovel(s), rake, and hoe
  4. Pitchfork or potato fork
  5. Scythe
  6. Hammer and nails
  7. Screwdrivers and screws
  8. Pliers and wrenches
  9. Nuts and bolts
  10. Clamps
  11. Level, plumb bob, chalk line
  12. Tape measure
  13. Gorilla tape
  14. Glue(s)
  15. Rubber
  16. Washboard, clothes line, clothes pins
  17. Metal buckets


  1. Bandage supplies
  2. Tweezers
  3. Sharp needles
  4. Nail clippers
  5. Colloidal silver making kit
  6. Rubbing alcohol
  7. Peroxide
  8. Witch hazel
  9. Oil of oregano
  10. Vitamin E oil
  11. Homeopathic remedies
  12. Feminine supplies
  13. Soaps
  14. Hot water bottle
  15. Toilet paper
  16. Fabric towels
  17. Cotton blanket
  18. Wash tub
  19. Huge pot (to heat water)
  20. Plastic buckets w/lids (for humanure compost toilet system)


  1. Paper and writing implements
  2. Digital media, i.e. cell phone, laptop, I-Pad
  3. Radio(s), i.e. am/fm, short wave, HAM
  4. Rechargeable batteries
  5. Solar panels and small solar battery charger(s)
  6. Inverter(s)


  1. Firearm, ammunition, and cleaning kit
  2. Bow and arrows, or other weapon(s) of choice.
  3. Fishing gear


  1. Bicycle, tire pump, tools
  2. Wheelbarrow
  3. Hand cart
  4. X-country skis
  5. Sled
  6. Snow Shoes
  7. Paddle boat/raft
  8. Pick up & low mileage commuter (’til the shtf)


  1. Musical instrument
  2. Books
  3. Hobby hand tools and materials (i.e. knitting needles and yarn, wood carving tools, leather tanning tools, leather craft tools, hand weaving supplies, wine making supplies, blacksmith tools, etc.)


  1. That’s up to you. The idea is to be able to stock or produce an item/service people need.

Did I forget anything?
*This is not a direct quote from the Bible, but was mistakenly attributed as such, for which I apologize. Please see the comments section for the actual verbiage.

2 comments on “12 Things Needed to Prepare for Uncertain Times Ahead

  1. missybowers
    May 23, 2012

    My husband and I are starting to head down this path as well. We are figuring all this out as we go. Its great to hear of someone else who is likeminded. I have found that bartering is the most important thing. As long as you can barter, you can get anything you need. Get to know other people who either think like you do, or produce their own goods… This helps a lot.

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