When you get together with prepper friends to compare notes on stockpile supplies or survival practices, it is highly possible they will introduce you to something you did not think of on your own. The supplies and practices of other preppers may actually have quite the impact on you. It could be that they leave you wondering how you could overlook certain things or you may find yourself standing there scratching your head at the bizarre survival scene before you.
One of the great things about prepping is that we as preppers are able to learn quite a bit from the ingenuity of other like-minded individuals. What may seem odd to some preppers may actually be the survival jackpot to others. Even if you are baffled by some of the items you may see or read about, it is important to keep an open mind, especially when it comes to strange survival supplies such as the five below.
1. A small item with big purpose is a safety pin. They are easy to carry in that you can snap a few on your key ring or BOB without even noticing they are there and they can be relied on to accomplish many tasks. Don't have a fishing hook? Use a safety pin. Need a way to secure freshly washed clothes while they hang dry? Safety pins have you covered. Got a broken zipper pull tab that's driving you crazy or a zipper that won't stay up? Fix it with a safety pin. Did your tent spring a leak? Seal it with a safety pin. The list goes on and on.
Photo: School of Style
2. Although throwing parties may not be a priority after the SHTF, there are still plenty of reasons to have booze on hand. For starters, alcohol with a high proof can help keep your fire going due to its flammable nature. Then there are the first aid purposes it can serve being that it carries anti-septic properties. Alcohol can also be used to sterilize tools and prevent them from rusting. Booze is even able to disinfect questionable water to make it safer for drinking which, combined with its lengthy shelf life, is all the more reason to have a few bottles on hand.
3. You probably have a box of baking soda in your fridge, but the truth is you should have much more than that on hand. One of the more common uses for baking soda includes oral care in which it is used in place of toothpaste to keep mouths fresh and clean. Baking soda can also help clean pots and pans as well as launder clothing. It even has health benefits in that it can help with the removal of pesky splinters, serve as an antacid, and even works great as a soak to knock out any foot funk you may be accumulating in a less than hygienic new world. Best of all, it is cheap so there really is no excuse to skimp on baking soda.
4. Though safe sex may not be something you are planning your post TEOTWAWKI future around, non-lubricated condoms should be present in your survival stash. Other than the obvious purpose which is to prevent pregnancy at the spread of STDs, condoms have many more uses from a survival perspective. Since condoms have an incredible ability to stretch, they can be used to transport significant quantities of water. It is also possible to store items you wish to keep dry inside of condoms such as tinder for a fire. Condoms can also be placed over the muzzle of a rifle to prevent moisture accumulation that can lead to rust. You can even make a slingshot with a condom such as in the video below.
5. Even if you are not set up to reload spent ammunition shells, that doesn't mean you should discard them. Since each shell retains a little bit of gun powder, it can actually be used to start fires. You will need some sort of small tinder to insert into the opening as well as a hard surface upon which to whack it, but that is all it takes to spark a potentially life-saving flame. Check out the video below for a demonstration using a firework.
One of the basic concepts of prepping is to find items that can be used to fulfill multiple needs in order to limit the amount of different items you need to buy. When considering items with dual purposes, don't be too quick to write off something just because it may strike you as weird or odd. Sometimes good survival preps can be found in unexpected packages.
What is the strangest item in your survival stockpile? What have you unexpectedly found invaluable? Let us know in the comments.