Earlier today, I showed off my new generator. Even if you never have to use it, a generator is a vital piece of survival gear for a home owner. No one should be without.
One other thing no one should be without is real money. I’m talking gold and silver. If you’re not sure what to buy, just do like I did and start with non-numismatic coins that are mostly silver and will be convenient for use in a post-collapse economy. After the dollar loses that last little remaining scrap of its value, the only practical unit of exchange (short of barter) will be real money. I prefer pre-1965 dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. These values will be the closest to the actual cost of the things you’ll need to buy after a collapse.
For a rough estimate of what I’m talking about, imagine this: a 90% silver (pre-’65) dime will have the purchasing power of its silver content. For the sake of argument, let’s say that’s five dollars. Everything you now use a paper $5 Federal Reserve Note (“FRN”) to purchase – a satisfying lunch, a dozen farm-fresh organic chicken eggs, or a gallon of gas – you will need a silver dime to buy in the future. A 90% silver (pre-’65) quarter will have the purchasing power equivalent to a $10 FRN, and a 90% silver (pre-’65) half dollar will be roughly equal to a $20 FRN.
OK, so coins aren’t really gear. How about this then?
Oil lamps are just about the best collapsitarian light source available. You can use a wide range of fuels from citronella oil to lighter fuel. They throw a surprising amount of light, are stingy with oil, and are safer than candles. Oh, and they are very affordable as well. Get one for every room!
For a walking around light, I can’t recommend the newest generation of LED flashlights highly enough. If you still use an ’80’s vintage Mag Light or worse, one of those plastic fantastic disposable candy colored jobs like they sell three for $5 in the checkout aisle at the hardware store, you are doing it wrong. What you see here is a Defiant 550 lumen LED flashlight on the left (<$20 at Home Depot) and an 860 lumen Nitecore EA4 on the right (<$60 on amazon.com). Either one is excellent enough to be the last flashlight you'll ever need. The best part is that both use "regular" batteries (the Defiant takes C cells, the Nitecore uses 4 AA's). Get a solar battery charger like the C Crane model pictured between the flashlights above and a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries and you’ll never need to fumble around in the dark ever again.
Enough gear yet? No?
Here’s a random assortment of tools you might overlook while equipping your prepper’s toolbox. A pry bar is absolutely essential – not just for demo – but for getting through a locked door or window. Bolt cutters will make quick work of padlocks and cable locks. And the siphon kit is a healthier way of getting gas out of a gas tank.
But wait, there’s more!
I picked this strap wrench up the other day not really having a specific need for it. But I can’t think of a better way to get a LOT of torque onto a frozen oil filter or some other large piece of hardware that refuses to come apart.
Finally there’s this:
The land line telephone. You already know how I feel about cellphones (unhealthy, unreliable, and totally useless in a real emergency) so you won’t be surprised when I recommend keeping at least one land line telephone in your home. Calling 911 should never be your first course of action but you probably will need to call them eventually. Why not do it on a proven piece of 20th century technology that never needs charging and radiates zero electromagnetic energy?
Last but not least, I am starting to see evidence that the current year-and-a-half long national ammunition shortage is coming to an end…or at least, easing somewhat. 22LR is still unobtanium and all the most popular calibers (9mm, .45ACP, 5.56, .308) remain as rare as pink unicorns, but if you are lucky enough to own an SKS or AK-47 type rifle, you will be glad to know that your caliber is suddenly very cheap and very plentiful. Stock up before it disappears again!