I have been asked to do a post about the items I store other than food. I have been struggling a bit with this one. There are many websites, blogs and videos out there telling about what folks should have in their preps. A good place to start is researching those for information and ideas. Many of those sources include things like water storage, tactical gear, options for cooking and heating with wood, etc. While excellent advice, much of it is not applicable to my living situation.
I have to make decisions based on an arthritic granny living in a three room apartment. I have no place to store the large barrels of water, so I save soda and juice bottles, wash them out, fill them and store them wherever I have a bit of space - behind my couch and other furniture, behind a door, in the corner of a cupboard. I keep some empty five gallon buckets that can be filled from my bathtub in a power outage, before my building loses water pressure. My "Need to Buy" list includes a water filter system to utilize the water from the river located a block away.
This past fall I purchased a good camping stove and a space heater, both fueled with propane. I buy the small propane canisters as I have no place to keep larger ones. These fit into boxes with lids that can be stacked, saving space.
I have several flashlights and batteries. I buy candles whenever I find them on sale and keep a large supply of wooden kitchen matches. My "Need to Buy" list includes several oil lamps. I would prefer the old kerosene type lamps, but storing kerosene in an apartment is probably not a good idea. Another lighting source I am looking into is the solar lights used in outdoor yard or patio decor. Seems to me these could be used indoors at night and be recharged during the daytime hours. Same goes for a solar charger for recharging computers, Kindles, cellphones, etc.
I have a basic first-aid kit and add to that items like non-stick bandages, gauze, tape, bandaids, etc. I also buy antibacterial creams, burn ointments, hand lotions, lip balms, etc. A couple of my favorites that I have used for years are A & D Ointment and Bag Balm. Aspirin helps me with arthritis pain so I stock several bottles of that along with multi-vitamins. I find that prescription drugs are a problem. Most doctors, including mine, tend to write prescriptions rather than recommending alternatives, and they don't seem to want to write these prescriptions for more than 6 months at a time. So the next time I have to make an appointment to get my several prescriptions refilled, we are going to have a chat about alternatives, and in the meantime, I am doing my own internet research on herbal medicines.
I have a large picnic basket with a lid that I have filled with sewing supplies - needles, threads, pins, velcro, various kinds of scissors, rotary cutters, etc. Remember Grandma's button jar? Got one of those, too. The time may come where buying a new shirt just because a button fell off the old one will not be an option. We need to know how to sew and mend and patch. I also keep darning thread for mending socks. These old skills could be more valuable than cash at some point. I buy fabric on sale - all different kinds. Some are good for clothing, some for quilting, etc. Fabric is stored in tubs in the back of my closet. Yarn for making caps, scarves and mittens is stored the same way.
I have a Kindle. I love my Kindle. I have several hundred books stored on it. But I also buy paperback books at garage sales and charity stores. And when I find information online that will be useful, I print it out and save it in a binder. I do the same with recipes and instructions for canning and dehydrating.
I often buy a few boxes of canning lids at a time, trying to build up a good supply. I have found that if I am careful not to damage a lid when removing it from a jar, it can be used once or twice more, so I save all my used lids. I suppose it would be wise to invest in Tattler reusable canning lids, but right now their price is not within my budget. I do have four boxes of them in each size and have used them with few problems so I may get more when I have the rest of my "Needs" list filled.
I have a tub of bar soap stored but lately have been looking into stocking the ingredients to make my own. Same for laundry soap. I store Borax, Washing Soda and Fels Naptha bars. Small amounts of these ingredients will make gallons of laundry soap at a fraction of the cost of commercial laundry detergent.
This list could go on forever, but I think this is enough for now. Each person needs to decide for themselves what is important to store and what is not. Parents with small children would have items on their lists that I have no need for. Those who are into bushcraft would have the need for tactical gear, where those of us that find the need for it is not practical for our lifestyles, do not. However, I can not stress strongly enough the need to be able to defend ourselves, our families and our property. Even in the best of times, there is a very real possibility that someone with evil intent could break into my apartment. I refuse to live in fear, cowering behind locked doors, so I have made sure I have the means to stop the criminal before I am hurt or killed.
The surface has just been scratched here, but I hope it will be of some little help.
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