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Lesser-known essential items to stockpile for when SHTF

Good preppers are ready with their bug-out bags and survival gear in case SHTF. These are all basic supplies and no prepper would be caught dead without them. However, some unconventional tools could be just as useful for long-term, off-grid living. (h/t to


A crossbow is not a typical weapon but it is no less convenient or useful. It can provide for two areas of preparedness, namely security and food. It can be used for protection and for hunting food just as easily and effectively as a gun, and it makes no noise. You can hunt in complete silence and even reuse your arrows as an added bonus, so that you won’t have to worry about running out of ammunition. For long-term survival, a crossbow makes for an ideal weapon.

Clean soil and seed bank

While hunting is a good way to find food, you will not always be able to rely on it to have something to eat. Growing your own food is an excellent backup, which can also help provide a more balanced diet. You can grow your own garden of fresh fruits and vegetables with some clean soil and a variety of non-GMO seeds. You can even plant some herbs to use as natural remedies. To keep your seeds fresh and viable before planting them, make sure they are placed in an air-tight container without any moisture.

Solar oven

Now that you have a reliable source of food, you will need a way to easily cook it. Solar ovens require no electricity or fuel to operate. As the name suggests, solar ovens simply harness sunlight as a source of heat for cooking. You can buy a solar oven or build one yourself. They are simple and effective devices that are both portable and convenient. You can even use them to purify and pasteurize liquids. (Related: Understanding how a solar oven works, and how to use it.)

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Food canning equipment

Now that you have a food source and a way to cook it, all you need is a way to preserve it for later use. Having a proper canning system does not require a lot of materials. As long as you have the basics, you can easily learn how to preserve food that can last for months. All you need are some glass jars, the appropriate lids, and some easy-to-follow canning recipes. You can even include a jar lifter and a wide-mouth funnel, but if you are careful enough, you can still make do without them.


When SHTF, it will be difficult, or even impossible, to get your daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals. You will miss out on a lot of nutrients if you don’t have a diverse and balanced diet from the different food groups. Even if you do have enough food, you can still use multivitamins as a great asset for trading and bartering supplies.

Solar camping shower

Here’s another solar-powered item, and this time, you can use it to take a hot shower. The ability to take a hot shower can easily be taken for granted but hot showers will be real luxuries when living off-grid. Good hygiene will still be important even when SHTF. As long as you have a nearby water source, you can fill these expandable shower bags and hang them somewhere that will give them direct exposure to sunlight. As the bags are made of a heat-absorbent material, it should only take them around two to five hours to heat your water up for a warm and refreshing shower.

If you want to learn of other items you should have when SHTF, you can read more by going to

Sources include:

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