What’s On Your Panic Button Shopping List?

Do you have a “panic button” shopping list?   This would be a list of items that would be invaluable in a collapse situation, but you haven’t purchased yet.  If you are like me, it is probably because you can’t afford it yet…  While this may look like a crazy divergence into fantasy shopping, it has value in generating some interesting ideas for investments or perhaps resilient small businesses.

So here is the scenario; you can see the signs and realize that collapse is about to occur very shortly (don’t know how to predict that?  LOL, down below, I’ve got a link to an article that will help).

A quick word of warning, I met a couple that impulsively loaded up their credit cards just before Y2K.  It took many years of hard work to straighten that out.  So I am only advocating this discussion in the spirit of fun.

Capt’n Dave and I were tossing around our top items and we would love to hear about yours.  Everyone has different situations of course but we all might learn something from everyone’s viewpoints.

What do you do?  What last minute items would you try to acquire and why?  As Capt’n Dave says – what would you order and then pray the little brown truck of happiness arrives in time?

Capt’n Daves top item is night vision goggles.  Being able to see at night gives you a huge tactical advantage.  The night patrol can be done by one person at a high point with night vision.  Without night vision, it would be much less efficient foot patrols and most likely by two.  Not to mention that hunting game would be a lot easier.  Here is the model that Capt’n Dave is lusting after….  We are talking the $3000 to $4000 price range here.  Night Vision equipment from Robert Henry http://www.jrhenterprises.com/

I think night vision might be on the top of everyone’s list.  So here is my ‘topper’ that is different.  10 sets of soft, luxurious, high quality, merino wool, thermal underwear.  I am not joking.  Think of how many cords of wood you would save if everyone in your group had really good thermals?  The most efficient way to keep your body warm is right next to you skin – versus heating up an entire space.  Not only can you reduce the heating for your locale but outdoor chores become a lot easier.  Also, less bodily stress means less sickness and happier people.  I’ve been experimenting with different cold weather clothing over the years, and these are by far the best I’ve found.  I like to think of them as my own personal snuggle suit…  LOL.  I’d get the expedition weight, and even though I am a woman I would order the men’s as they are thicker.  http://www.minus33.com/.  A set with a top, bottom, and beanie costs about $230.

So what is on the top of you panic button list?  Put your comments down below – we want to know!


PS:  Oh, before I forget.  Here is the link with ideas on how to predict when collapse is immanent.  http://www.growyourowngroceries.org/6-red-flags-that-collapse-is-immanent-indicators-you-can-watch-yourself/).

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  • Dave W says:

    Depends on what the disaster would be.

    For a Yellowstone eruption I’d order 5 or 10 of the AeroGarden systems and a nice selection of edible seed pods, then I’d order more of the N95 filters for my gas masks. Finally I’d head to the local hardware stores and clear them out of grow lights and plastic sheeting to keep windows covered. I’m far enough east that I wouldn’t get buried in ash, but fresh food will be hard to come by with the midwest getting buried and there will still be enough particles in the air to warrant wearing a mask for months when outdoors. Already have the electrostatic air cleaners and some HEPA air cleaners too.

    For a Gamma-Ray Burst I’d still get the AeroGarden stuff and the grow lights, but I’d also stock up on sun screen and order a lot of long sleeve shirts and some wide brimmed hats. Not sure if I could do a panic buy of a glass greenhouse, but if the opportunity arose it’d be great. Of course this is predicated on the GRB hitting the other side of the planet, if it hits our side then the EMP would preclude any Internet ordering, but I might be able to pay cash at the local supermarket for sunscreen and some hats.

    For a Cumbre Vieja collapse I’d head to the supermarket and buy up all the rice, tuna and other canned meats/soups that I could carry. Then I’d go back for more. Then I’d buy a few more gas cans and 20lb propane tanks to top off supplies. I’m at a high enough elevation to probably be safe from the tsunami, but I have friends and relatives that would be evacuating in my direction.

    For something else, I’m sure I’d think of something to order last minute… 😉

  • John R says:

    I think I have the basic items (water purification, a garden, critters to lay eggs and critters to eat, ability to cook and heat off grid), but the limits I have is the shelf live of some foods. If I know the crap was about to hit, I would go for more of the short shelf life (canned foods)items to use for barter and for the drop in friends and relatives. This is an item that I cant stock up with before hand.

  • Jim in Va. says:

    I’d like to get some mobile solar panels and solar generator as most fuels would run out over time. Night vision would be on the list and expanding my first aid kit would also be on the list. Canning supplies would be there and getting books on do it yourself topics including military manuals,etc.

  • It may sound odd, but I think a good item to have would be a high quality fruitcake, such as what unwise people shun at Christmas. If not that, then B & M Brown Bread, with or without raisins.

  • txcowdog says:

    Solar Panels along with the accompanying inverters and a battery bank.

  • Leslie Parsons says:

    My maternal grandparents were extraordinary farmers. My grandfather was raised in a multi-generational farming family and my grandmother was the daughter of a governess. She spent her days in the kitchen, of great Victorian houses, with the professional cook. In those days, most of these houses had conservatories where they grew fresh vegetables and sometimes even fruits. A great variety of meats – some of it still alive – came into the great house and was processed right there in the kitchen.

    I grew up on stories of life on my grandparents farm. The great bounty that emanated from Grandma’s and Grandpa’s hands raised 8 children and fed the many field hands that were needed to harvest the largesse. But then, The Great Depression came. People in the cities were hungry. Some even died. Today, we are fed images of dust bowl victims looking thin and forlorn, but the situation in urban areas was dire. On the farm, my mother and the other little ones had no shoes, so they couldn’t go to school in the Winter. BUT, THEY WERE NEVER HUNGRY. They couldn’t sell their grade A, prize peaches, and dumped them out in a great pile, when the middle men offered only the cost of the baskets that held them. That’s why the city folks were hungry.

    My family had a farm and they had ANIMALS. Even when World War II came along and rationing along with it, Grandpa declared: “No government man is going to tell me when to butcher!” So, his barefoot children were eating steaks and hams, while city folks were coping with malnutrition. That explains why the top of my wish list is several head of beef cattle and maybe a milk cow. A fine fat hog would be yummy, too.

    Survival can be desperate or it can be bountiful. Let’s be like Grandma and Grandpa. They had a beautiful life.

    1. Hi Leslie,

      My mom was born in 1920 in New York city and when she spoke of the 30’s she siad “at least the people in the country side had food”.

      1. Leslie Parsons says:

        Yup! Hunger generally boils down to greed on the part of someone with the power to wield it.

        1. Dave says:

          Leslie, I’m afraid you missed it. Hunger boils down to lack of preparation. Someone who prepared to take care of their family does not owe you anything if you failed to prepare to take care of yours.

  • Panic buying…

    As much fuel as I can get.
    2KW of solar panels, chargers and a two dozen 100+ AH deep cycle 12V batteries.
    Night vision Scope and goggles would be nice.
    Any holes in my seed or livestock preps.
    Hershey’s chocolate bars and kisses.

    1. Yes Richard! How could I have forgotten CHOCOLATE?

      1. Ha. Yes. In a real SHTF scenario, he with the most chocolate wins 🙂 A bag of kisses would probably be worth an OZ of silver, or a box of bullets after a while.

        1. Richard,

          I’ve been looking into how to grow chocolate here in the US. Other high dollar items too – tobacco, other unmentionables… check out this link for the first on the series with chocolate

  • Carolyn Freeman says:

    There seems to be quite a few of us who would like to have some solar panels. I think they would be especially helpful if the grid were to go down. Have they even come down to any manageable price?
    Is there any place that sells them at a more budget-conscious price? I would definitely feel more secure with those on my roof.

    1. Mary Anne says:

      My friend is an executive at Ikea. she said they are going to be carring solar panels in the US stores this summer. The goal is to give everyone an opportunity to off set their energy needs.

      1. Deb says:

        I feel so unprepared reading this list! But it is worth thinking about. Its funny how sometimes different things pop to the top of your list.
        If there were really short notice on a disaster, I would try to get fuel ( gas, diesel, and propane). And more animal food. We dont have really any long term storage of that yet. And we cant grow our own here.
        More advance notice, i would get a solar charger, and more batteries, and manual tools, like a two person cross cut saw ( we already have a manual hydraulic wood splitter and an axe ). And a solar oven. In fact I am slowly replacing all tools and kitchen gadgets with manual versions.

        Meanwhile, I think I will teach our very large mutt to pull a cart, so he can help with the water hauling!
        I do like the idea of barter booze!

  • Roxanne B says:

    We are pretty well prepared, but I think it depends on if it is a month’s notice versus a day’s notice on TEOTWAWKI:

    Longer notice, I’d like:
    A way to detect infrared
    Another large diesel tank and gas tank, filled
    More kerosene
    More medicines
    Pri G
    Pri D
    A way to convince my grown kids to prep (might be a good future topic)

    Shorter notice, I’d run for more:

    Gas and Pri-G, Diesel and Pri-D (or Stabil products)
    Gas and/or diesel cans
    Kerosene for my Aladdin lanterns
    Medicines again
    Fats, like Peanut butter, olive oil, butter, Crisco (shorter shelf life)
    Toilet paper
    chicken feed
    cat food

  • NolaM says:

    The LIST

    I have a collection of Barter Booze.
    Was reading a blog that told of an aunt that visited from the Soviet Area when money collapsed and went back with bags stuffed with them. A mini bottle bought/bartered for 1 bag worth of groceries. About all you could keep without refrigeration.

    Look up Rocket stoves and clay pot refrigeration. Just bought a couple of Large milk pails. You need 2 to balance the weight. Without electricity you will be packing water.

    I have filled in my list by going to our local restore weekly
    Local swap meets are great places to get good old steel tools. Axes, saws, hand drills etc.

  • Cheryl says:

    Grow lights! I figure I could grow a lot of food in the house with enough grow lights. I do have cold frames and hoop houses on my outside garden, but I am limited on what I can grow in the dark winter.

    1. Cheryl says:

      I should have mentioned a way to power the grow lights too 🙂 I’ve been debating solar, but not sure about it.

  • Grant says:

    I think I would try to get my neighbors to get some food and water filtration. Having them be even slightly prepared, would take the load off me.

  • Glenn says:

    In a pretty SHTF moment I would purchase 4 more 250 watt solar panels at $2.30 per watt. ( $2300.00 ) I would also purchase 6 more truck batteries at $ 130.00 ($ 780.00 ). That would give me enough power to be comfortably off the grid. In addition to what I have I would be able to charge phones, notebooks, radios, lights ,and power tools for people in my ” community “.

  • faultroy says:

    Digging a well would be high on my shopping list because the water is bad where I am in Northern MO just on the Iowa line and we use rural water.

    Putting in wood heat if you do not have it already would be the second most important thing.

    I have a “safe room” in my basement that is double insulated in which I can (I currently use it in the winter) live very comfortable without hardly any heat.

    It was minus 10 the other day, and I was fine with just a light heater rather than heating the whole house. Easy to build and not all that expensive.

    The third would be putting in a working garden and root cellar and a means of keeping your produce over winter.

    I don’t own Merino wool, but I do own wool. Many people are allergic even to Merino wool. But used military surplus cold weather clothing is a lot less expensive and almost as good–and it is 1/6th the price.

    While I realize that this scenario is a fun exercise, I’m not sure why it should be since the reality is that natural disasters are a lot more realistic than the TEOTWAWKI scenarios.

    I tell everyone to not by guns and bullets, but to invest in the ability to deal with natural disasters in your areas. In mine, we would be dealing with Tornados and winter loss of power. In both cases, the ability to use a chain saw and learn building skills and tree climbing and rigging skills are a must.

    Since I built my own home from the ground up, I am really big on people being able to repair their home. That includes basic knowledge about Major construction, Plumbing and Electrical. If a tree falls into my home, I have the skills to safely remove it and make the necessary repairs–both structural and cosmetic. Larning how to fix vehicles and electrical and outside machines is also invaluable. You’re not going to be able to get stuff done when the SHTF.

    I belong to a prepper group and it amazes me how they are always talking about guns and these completely unrealistic scenarios, but completely miss the ones that are most likely to happen–ones that are literally guaranteed to happen.

    And everyone wants to buy junk. How about “making” things you need or retrofitting things. If you think about it, the idea of survival is thinking on your feet. Every time you “buy” something you are undermining your survival IQ. The time to learn about surviving is NOW not when you need to know it. Then it is too late.

    The idea of a natural disaster is not an unlikely scenario, IT WILL happen–we just don’t know when. Why not deal with a likely scenario rather than an unlikely scenario?

    I’ve learned tree trimming techniques because that is the most likely scenario that you are going to have. You need to know how to properly dismantle a tree. Do you have a number of Come-Alongs to do that? How about a large enough Chain saw to cut down a decent sized tree on where your property is and the proper rope and rapelling equipment to do so? What about rated tree trimming rope–I’m not talking about home center junk, but professional tree trimming rigging.

    We should all be growing a garden whether we need one or not. Learning how to garden is not a “last minute” exercise–LOL!!! We KNOW there are going to be food shortages in the near future–just look at the prices in the grocery store.

    1. Hi Roy,

      Lots of good points you bring up.

  • randy says:

    There are lots of good ideas here–it’s really making me rethink my plans. Two items I’d want more of are heirloom seeds and fats–lots of fats. I’d buy butter in the hope that I could preserve it. For fats without refrigeration I like coconut oil and olive oil, but I’d like some butter to improve the taste of XXX pounds of rice. 😉

  • Allan says:

    I have changed my mind about the greatest threat. I thought it was economic but now I think the greatest threat is Fukushima. All they have to do is have another earthquake or even drop a fuel rod while removing it and boom, the west cost and maybe the whole northern hemisphere will become uninhabitable and have to be evacuated. China Syndrome on steroids. I think the best things to have will be geiger counters, potassium iodide and radiation suits along with duct tape, air and water filters. It might be good to have a prepaid ticket to South Africa to get out before the planes stop running. It might be good to read Revelations in the bible again. There is something about 2/3 of the water becoming wormwood(poison). Lots of other bad stuff. Maybe the battle of Armageddon will happen when a couple of billion radio active starving zombies want to trample across Israel to get to Africa. I am pretty sure that the best way to prep for the future as it looks now would be to move to Africa south of the equator, or maybe Argentina. There is a lot of information about Fukushima on You Tube and everywhere except on the corporate news media. Most Japanese cannot afford to leave their homes and I am afraid it will be like that with us. I could go now but I can’t because of family.

    1. Allan, yes Fukashima is a huge problem. And it does get worse with the 200 other power plants around the world to think of.

      I wrote about it here if you are interested.

  • Karen B. says:

    On the night vision, I am a retired rehab. social worker and teacher, and there is a thing called either facial vision, or echolocation which is used by totally blind people to get around or to find stationary objects. This is done through methods like having another person put their hands by your ears and with your eyes closed, you must tell them where their hands are. This takes much practice over a number of months to achieve maximum effect. A lot of practice is required to make this work. It is only good for the most part for above your waist. This training was done with me when I was about ten because they felt I would lose vision. First, take something solid like a book and have your friend hold at least six inches away from your ear and say which ear he has his book by. Then, once you have mastered this, the next step is to go around your home on the inside in the dark. There are protective techniques you should practice when doing this as not to bash yourself on tables and chairs. At your waist hold both hands forward fingers towards the floor and palms outward not towards you but away from you. At head height or chest height, put your arm across your body and palm towards you to protect you from hitting a door. Next, with a cane or tree limb, in hand venture outside. When finding steps keep your “cane” sliding across when left foot is forward the cane swings to right. and vise versa. Make sure the cane has contact with the ground. Now, feel with your hands all objects in your yard without looking..no cheating. Where are you?
    Try this in the woods when you think you can do this without mistakes.
    The next thing to try is drop your keys or a cassette box and with concentric closing circles try to find it. Make sure you are conscious of it leaving your hand and listen to where it goes then locate it. This sounds easy, but isn’t. Have your friend throw the object and you locate it. Take turns.
    These techniques were practiced with me over a matter of months, and I got better at it. My x-husband who was totally could locate a stationary car with no engine running, at ten feet. With partial vision I only have the ability at about four feet away.

    1. Nice description of techniques Karen. I regularly practise walking around my place at night without lights. After a while it is amazing how much you can see with a little starlight.

  • Joyz says:

    As for the chocolate. I wait until after Holidays and then buy the 50 to 75% off candy. Pour the candy into mason jars. Then dry can it with the Food Saver attachment for canning jars. Waa-lahh

  • elizabeth says:

    I think I would choose skills over stuff. Things are important, but I think skills are even more important, added to which, they can’t be taken away from one. There could be a long list of skills, and those more adept at living in the woods (or desert or arctic,etc.) could prioritize them better than I. But stuff without the skills would last only so long.

    As for the cost of gaining the skills, I think that would take a nice independent income with enough discretionary money to actually go on camps and workshops to learn.

  • Dave says:

    Realistically, unless we knew with 99.99% certainty that “this was it”… Nothing. We just don’t have the money to throw at stuff, and we’ve got the basics covered. If I knew with 80% or better certainty, a whole lot of seed and as much fuel as I could lay up. I’ve got several 15g containers that I could fill. The DVD on rocket mass heaters would be nice, but probably require a 90% certainty (of disaster) to pass the budget committee meeting. 😉

    We have a list of things we want (index cards actually), and as we get money that doesn’t have to be allocated elsewhere, we get items. I think a Rocket stove is next but haven’t looked at it in awhile. The cards are nice because it’s easy to arrange them and to change that arrangement if needed.

    1. Hi Dave,

      It’s all just in fun and the spirit of exploration.

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