If you’ve begun the journey to become more self-reliant you’re probably stocking your pantry and freezer with food. If you haven’t started storing food, you can begin now with just $5/week. If you already have food storage that’s great! But food is only one part of what should be in your storage pantry. Whether it’s a weekend blackout or a true emergency, here are 10 essential items that will help you stay comfortable and safe until things return to normal.
10 Non-Edible Food Storage Items You Need
1) Aluminum foil: Aluminum foil is a multi-use tool that every pantry should stock plenty of.While it has dozens of household uses, aluminum foil is especially helpful during a prolonged outdoor or off-grid situation. Shape it into a funnel, a cup or bowl for transferring water, crumple it into a ball for scrubbing pots and pans, cook foods inside a pouch of foil buried under hot coals, create a moisture barrier for outdoor sleeping or use the shiny side for signaling. It’s light and easy to carry, be sure to include a roll in your bug-out bag too.
2) Food-grade Buckets: Storing bulk food is pointless if you don’t put it in a moisture- and pest-free container. The American Preppers Network suggests collecting free frosting containers from the bakery at your local grocery store instead of paying for new food-grade containers. Simply ask at the bakery if they have any empty frosting buckets—the store doesn’t keep or reuse them—and you’ll amass a great collection of storage containers without spending a dime. Just don’t forget the lids.
3) Duct Tape: You know it has a million uses, don’t forget to stock it. Use duct tape to make rope, repair tears, build a shelter, set a snare or weave a fishing net – just to name a few ideas.
4) Garbage Bags: Plastic garbage bags are another multi-use tool no well-prepped pantry should be without. In addition to hauling food and water, garbage bags can be worn as rain protection, used to build a rudimentary tent or a sleeping bag.
5) OTC Medications: It’s just smart to stock up on medications you use all the time. Take advantage of coupons and sales to fill a shelf in your pantry with everyday items like diarrhea medication, pain relievers, bandages and antiseptic cream.
6) Water Purifiers: We don’t think much about water until it’s not available. If a power outage or natural disaster left you without potable water for more than a day or two, what would you do? Stockpiling bottled water is impractical for most people, but there are smart alternatives.
Keep water purification products on hand. Items such as purification tablets or the Lifestraw personal water filter are needed if water sources may be contaminated. If the water from your tap is safe, use a bladder like the WaterBOB to save fresh water in the bathtub when you’re bugging in