What's Your Best Prep Item(s) Ever Purchased?

Home Forums Preps What's Your Best Prep Item(s) Ever Purchased?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Littlesister 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #4201

    Atypical Sapien

    @namelus ‘s post on tankless water heaters got me to thinking. (My first thought was oh crap, here I go thinking again!)  My top prepper investment has to do with water.

    I would be curious to see what other people consider as their best prep item(s).

    The tankless water heater and the 25 amp outside disconnect generator hookup by far has to be the two best items. Having multiple sources of water is the third. There are three top items. Plus multiple sources of power. I have four top prep items. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WJXHY2OXGE For those of you who get it.)

    The tankless water heater advantage: as long as we have water and power, we have almost unlimited hot water. Our newest well is fairly reliable now that it has been frakked, (whole ‘nuther thread on thriftiness, budget and unexpected $$$urprises)  I have a second backup well  which is another part of the story – and a way to tap onto a third.( old story)

    I believe I paid around $400 for the 25 amp box that the 6000 watt generator connects into.  I ran the generator for over 14 hours on one 5 gallon tank of non-ethanol gas. After the hurricane season, I’ll see if I can find a deal on a multi fuel 5-7000 watt generator.

    I may go with the whole house generator at some point but I can not justify it right now. Well, I could: my wife probably couldn’t and I try to honor the $200 rule.

  • #4249

    Jan Man

    My best prep item, hands down, has to be our house and land. All bought and paid for.

  • #4265

    Crow Bar

    @jan Man,

    Without a doubt, that was mine too!

    I spent nearly a year searching.  I used a USDA program called the US Web Soil Survey.  With it, you can draw a polygon around the area of interest, click a button, wait a minute or so, and it will give you a breakdown of what soil types are in that area.

    My place came back as “Agriculturally Significant.”  It was a working farm until the previous owners bought it.  Then for 30 years they let it go to seed.  Been using the livestock to bring it back.

    It also has water.  More water than I know what to do with!  At times, water will be coming out of the ground like a drinking fountain.

    After that, I dunno, there are so many books I have that taught me a lot.

    A good set of boots, or fixed blade knife.  I have a scythe that is better than the gas powered weed wacker.

  • #4302

    Atypical Sapien

    Thanks for your input @jan Man and @Crow Bar – I certainly couldn’t have the type of water heater, generator hook up or any type of long term plans without owning my property.  I may have been able to put in an apiary, plant fruit trees, grow hops,  have a garden if I had rented but it is very doubtful and no motivation for long term improvement.

    If there was a prepper pyramid based after Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a stable home would be the foundation: One that provides food, water, warmth and rest as well as contributing profit instead of costing.

  • #4307

    Crow Bar

    @Atypical Sapien,

    Thank you for posting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  I reference it often.

    When it comes to prepping, I try not to limit myself to addressing the pyramid in a strict, ridged application.  I think differing aspects of the pyramid overlap at differing times.  Kinda like morale.  If your basic needs are all met, but you have to resort to talking to a volleyball, you might be in trouble.

  • #5529

    OldMt Woman

    Renting does put you in a different position.  I don’t ever want to be forced to BugOut….or even temporarily EVAC.  But I’ve noticed in my prepping, I have done it with a certain amount of mobility in mind.  Cuz renters might have to move at any time…lease or not.  This place is so old it might fall down around our heads some day….  { I hope I’m kidding}

    I didn’t go with a Berkey.  I chose Katadyn Pocket filter….and I won’t be parted from it.  Sure don’t need it now but it would be one of my top favored items.

    ‘Course I have a lot of knives….each for it’s own specialty use.  DH and I have a couple of classic Buck fixed-blade knives.  Like when they still came in leather sheath.  [Mine’s bigger]  😉  I also have a cheap but tough fixed-blade to do the jobs I wouldn’t use my Buck knife for….digging carrots, etc.   I’ve always got my SAK on me….and usually use the scissors or tweezers the most.  Splinters, bah!  I have enough knives of various types to barter many of them.  Garage sales….folks don’t even know WHAT they have.

    I’d have mentioned my winter insulated hiking boots until, to my horror, a hole appeared in the upper part.  Wha…?  They’ve been worn a lot….light weight enough that I can actually use them.  Some composite material which has just shown it’s weakness.  Hmph.  Plan to get shoe goo and fix them.

    If I ever had to run out with nearly nothing, those would be some top items that I’d want.

    OldMtWoman  ….along with a shipping container full of the REST of my stuff!!! 😉

  • #5542

    James Mitchner

    I believe the best prep I ever made was getting out of debt.

  • #5554

    Crow Bar

    Old MtWoman mentioned knives.

    I touched on it, but this set of Victorinox Swiss Army Field Dressing kit is worth every penny!

    <h1 id=”title” class=”a-size-large a-spacing-none”><span id=”productTitle” class=”a-size-large”> </span></h1>

  • #6156

    OldMt Woman

    Oh my…just took a look at that set.  $$$$ but so beautiful.  Right knife for the right job!!

    OldMtWoman  …love a well-balanced knife

  • #6162

    Old Goat

    My best investment was a book called Poverty Prepping, How to Stock up for Tomorrow When You Can’t Eat Today. by Susan Gregersen it cost 2.99 on Kindle. I gave or recommended it to all the kids and several relatives who thought they couldn’t afford to prep or didn’t know how to get started. Kind of a prepping starter which helped them to start thinking differently and in the right direction. It helped get more relatives on board.

    The second one cost more at 99 bucks and was a sun oven which could feed the whole family, not one of those back packer specials for one. So that was a no fuel needed except the sun and even works somewhat on cloudy days (for warming things) a nice safety issue since there is no smoke for unwanted visitors to zero in on and using a plastic bag and turkey roaster no smell til you open it.

    Of course those were purchased, the very best Items cost nothing and were given freely on forums like this by people willing to help others with their own knowledge and experiences over the years. Thanks.

  • #22900


    First time seeing this. guess I need to check around forum more.

    I think my best prepping was 29 years ago when we paid off the house. We have never borrowed against it.  Then in 2013 we had to buy a new car as the van blew it’s second engine. That was one big lemon.  the payments were set up for 76 months and that was way to long. it took everything I had but got it payed off in 24 months.  That was a big relieve.  Other than that the best purchase we have made first was the whole house generator. It is duel, so can run on either natural gas or propane. We have it on natural gas right now.  I think then it would be the big berkey and I have bought over the years about 10 filters for it as they went on sell. Then maybe the grain mill. I have been trying to stock both red and white wheat that I have to grind into flour for bread. Non electric and works great. Other than those things right now, it is all I can think of at the moment..

  • #22924


    Missed this one also.

    Best prep purchase?

    The first can of food I bought “extra”.

    Why that instead of a rifle, knife or something else?

    Because it was the first step into the world of preparedness.  Everything started there.

  • #22930


    A good question but somehow I missed it too.  It would have to be my house- I live in BOL.

    Oldmountainwoman mentioned garage sales.  People really don’t know what they have.  I scored an excaliber dehydrator for five bucks for one thing.  Bought lots more canning jars lately.  Hate the new lids.  I keep putting pertinent info in a notebook.

  • #22935


    I guess my best prepper investment was in a sturdy 1000 sq ft house with an outside solid tool shed in a small rural community. Taxes are minimal, utilities are reasonable, neighbors are friendly. My second son and his family live within 25 minutes of my location. Assuming I stay basically healthy, eat responsibly and stay active, I should be able to live here comfortably and independently using a modest amount of my resources. Finding this web site has helped focus my efforts in stocking up on food supplies and starting a gardening hobby so I don’t have to ask others to shop for me. At my age, things look a bit different to me than they would have when I was a single mother years ago.

  • #23154

    John Park

    After the land and house, the best purchase was a Bison hand pump (Simple Pump makes a very similar product), it goes atop the well head and can draw water from way down deep.

    Second would be the woodstove with somewhat working cooking surface (but not a small cookstove, just a regular stove with cookable surface).

    Third would be defensive arms & hunting equipment (lots of 22 ammo for small game).

    Material to produce firewood (chainsaw, maul, splitting axe, crosscut saw), along with all sorts of other hand powered tools like crank drill, scythe, etc.

    Augason Farms dehydrated rice and beans (and a few other things).

    Fish antibiotics.

  • #29573

    rob stef

    My mind, bought with decades of study and experience. anything else can be taken away. This hasn’t stopped me from getting the other stuff. main weakness is water since i live in the desert. OTOH I’m over 100 mi from the nearest city so I don;t have to worry too much about refugees walking up on me. =P

  • #30304


    Interesting how everyone has done things to prep.  We paid off our house about 15 years ago. bought a new car in 2013 that we didn’t want to buy. but the van blew another engine and it wasn’t worth putting in a third one. But we did get the car paid off in 2 years. Things were tight but well worth it. so we are debt free. Other than taxes and insurances. That just never goes away.

    Some of my best items have been a sun oven, some solar panels, grain meal, a camping stove that can be used indoors, I am still stocking up on the small propane tanks for it. I bought that from Daisy’s blog a while back because it could be used indoors with no issues. Amazon of course.  Lots of other things as well that will be needed.  We do have a whole house generator but it runs on natural gas. We also have a small one that takes gasoline.

    I would think water would be the most important thing as we need it for so much. We do have a well that I want to get a hand pump for but not sure what to get. It is just a pipe in ground but has an electric pump on it. I want something that doesn’t take electricity. I have 15 or more 5 gal. water containers already filled that I rotate out. We also have a 40 gal hot water tank and for our hot water and another 40 gal. tank in shed incase the one we are using goes bad. I can fill that with water as well and have another 40 gals. Also have water bobs and another bob that is reusable for storing 150 gals. of water that I can put in garage, but need to fix up something to put it on so it wouldn’t be on cement floor. I want to buy the 1500 gal. one but would need to figure out where to put it. I have plans to figure out.

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