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10 Common Things Preppers Forget for Survival

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There are a lot of aspects to this thing we call prepping. In getting better prepared, we become a jack of all trades and a master of none.

The issue is, without mastery, you are bound to forget something. It’s easy. We’re all busy. There will always be gaps. Let’s look at the top 10 things preppers forget so we can fill in the gaps with you!

list of 10 things preppers tend to forget

Top 10 Things Preppers Forget

We try our hardest to cover all the survival bases. Some start with the rule of threes, others start with beans, bullets, and bandages. Regardless of your chosen method, we get distracted, and gaps form.

Here are the top 10 forgotten survival items for you to collect and fill those gaps.

1) Sewing Machine

manual sewing machine that doesn't need power

First and foremost, after the collapse, stores won’t be open and offering the latest fashions. At best you will be required to mend your clothes.

If the disaster is long-term you may need to make your own. You may want to have a manual sewing machine on hand in the event there is no power.

Have the proper skills and equipment with a sewing machine. Make sure to have thread, fabric, and replacement parts stockpiled. 

2) Paper Towels

Next, I bet you have a roll in your kitchen right now. Maybe two (one under the sink). And another in the basement or garage. While we will need to get used to using and washing fabric towels, paper towels are a great convenience.

3) Baking Soda

Baking soda is an under-utilized household product. Deodorant, exfoliant, antibiotic, stomach soother, and bee sting remedy are just a few. It doesn’t expire and is inexpensive to stock up on. Toss a few boxes in a 5-gallon bucket and save some for the end of the world.

4) Plastic Sheeting

After 911, the Government gave us the marching orders to have enough plastic to seal up our houses. Whether that is a good idea or not (without other precautions), I’ll leave it to you. You can use it as a garden mulch, an expedient shelter, and a greenhouse. Have a few rolls in your stash.

5) Maps

hard copy map used to navigate

Know where you are! Know where you’re going! We have become too accustomed to phones and GPSs when traveling.

Stock up on local, regional, state, and national paper maps. Don’t neglect topographic maps for your home and your bug out location.

6) Fire Starters

I know, fire starters are for bug out bags. But you may need one at home. When the propane runs out in the grill, you’ll need one to get your rocket stove going. Or you’ll need it for your wood stove.

Don’t underestimate their use.

7) Bug Out Bags for All Family Members

Ok, the prepper leader of the family usually has a BOB. How about the kiddos? Or your spouse. You won’t get too far on one bag for a family of four!

8) Bicycle

If the grid goes down, walking distance will define your circle of information. Extend your range for communication, barter, and evacuation with a bike for each member of the family.

9) Spare Eyeglasses

spare eyeglasses are an item preppers tend to forget

Ever break your glasses or lose a contact lens? Now, this is an inconvenience. During tough times, this may make life unmanageable.

Keep your old pair or get a cheap pair from a discount online outlet.

10) Bullion (Oral Re-Hydration)

We know the benefit of sports drinks when dehydrated, but how about bullion? Sugary drinks can get old after drinking them for a long time.

A change with savory chicken or beef can be a relief, especially when recovering from intestinal issues.

Overlooked Prepper Items for Bug Out Bags

Preppers love bug out bags. We cram them full of bits and bobs to where they are too heavy to carry. Then we throw everything out and start over.

If we’re lucky, we have nailed the contents in two or three iterations. Even then we still forget things.

1) Credit Cards

First, pack credit cards. These can be real credit cards or prepaid cards. Either way, there are hundreds of everyday events that can require a little extra spending ability.

2) Plastic Bags

Plastic bags keep your maps dry and keep your contents organized. Then keep a few extra plastic bags on hand for additional storage.

3) Steel Wool

Most often used to start a fire (0000 fine wool and a battery) steel wool has several other practical uses.

Two of the best are cleaning a knife and shoring up a loose screw. Wrap a little steel wool around the screw and then tighten. The wool fills any gaps around the screw.

4) Duct Tape

duct tape shoe repair

Who has room for a full roll of duct tape in their bug out bag? The good news is that you don’t need a full roll.

Place a few wraps around your water bottle or pill bottles. I even wrap my 5-hour energy bottles. Just to have some on hand.

5) Toilet Paper

Hopefully, I don’t need to remind you about TP in your BOB. If so, that’s ok. Just remember that when your feet stop running, your backside starts. Crush a ½ roll and add it to your pack.

6) Cable/Zip Ties

Just as useful as duct tape, zip ties are small and sturdy. They are also quick to deploy. Get the heavy-duty ones.

7) Underwear and Socks

underwear and socks

Hygiene is a must on a bug out. Wet feet and private areas can take you out of a fight or off the trail before you know it.

Have several pairs so you can wear a dry set, have a set in reserve, all while your others are drying.

8) Extra Storage Sack

You never know when opportunity will knock on the trail. If it does, be prepared to grab extra gear with a storage sack.

They take up almost no room, but you can fill with foraged food or canned goods if the opportunity arises. Much more than you can carry by hand.

9) Entertainment

Don’t underestimate the boredom of a survival situation. When you have miles to clock or a rainy evening to sit, occupy your mind with music or old podcasts.

My most valuable trail tool is an MP3 player loaded with over 1,000 hours of old-time radio theater.

10) Inspiration

Finally, the rule of threes starts with three minutes without air, and your life is in jeopardy.

What everyone misses is the three-second rule. You won’t last three seconds without faith or the right mindset. While your body may go a little longer, your heart and brain have already decided.

It’s a good idea to keep something inspirational in your survival kit. This may be a family photo or a bible verse. Whatever inspires you to live. Pack it.

Wrapping It Up

Prepping is hard work and takes a lot of planning and effort. That being said, we are still human. Being human, we aren’t perfect and we can miss one or two things. Or we can miss a lot.

Hopefully, you have reviewed and reviewed your survival gear and have found no holes in it yet. If so, that’s ok. You are only human. Therefore, patch the hole and move on.

As hard as we try to cover all our bases, there are many things preppers forget while packing. Check this list before it's too late!