When preparing for emergencies or disasters, having the right supplies can make all the difference. However, as preppers we need to think outside the box and past an item’s stated purpose.
In an emergency, the rules and structures of everyday life can break down quickly, leaving people scrambling to survive. This is where thinking outside the box, or “prepping outside the box” becomes critical. When faced with unexpected challenges and limited resources, preppers need to be able to adapt and find creative solutions to problems.
Repurposing survival supplies and everyday items, using unconventional techniques, or thinking of new ways to use existing gear is essential. Additionally, being resourceful can help preppers stay calm and focused in stressful situations, improving decision-making and reducing panic.
By having prepping supplies that can serve more than one purpose, preppers can save money, reduce their overall gear load, and be better prepared for a broader range of disaster scenarios.
While hundreds of items can be used for something other than their stated purpose, In this article, we’ll go over 25 of the most common survival tools and prepping supplies with multiple uses. Some are specifically for preparedness, and some are lying around the house that aren’t considered typical prepping supplies.
Top Prepping Supplies with Multiple Uses
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Zip Lock Baggies – The longer you have been prepping, the more stuff you accumulate. Baggies can be used for storing and organizing small items, waterproofing gear, keeping food fresh, water collection, and more.
Contractor Yard Bags (Thick Trash Bags) – Heavy-duty trash bags are an essential item for every prepper to have. They can be used for shelter in a pinch, water storage & collection, transporting supplies, a rain poncho, and basic ground cover.
Flex Seal – I admit, I was a little skeptical about Flex Seal, but it does have many uses, and I have heard good things from trusted preppers. Just like duct tape and zip ties, Flex Seal is a good addition to your prepping inventory.
Duct Tape – Telling a prepper about Duct tape is like telling a preacher about the Bible, but it wouldn’t be a proper list without it. Everyone, prepper or not should have a couple of rolls of Duct tape lying around just in case.
Cordage – The image above is paracord, but any sort of cordage (and lots of it) is important for preppers to have. With a little cordage and some Duct tape, you could Macgyver just about anything.
Salt – Salt is an important ingredient in cooking, but it also has many other uses. It can be used for food preservation, cleaning, pest control, and mouthwash, but it also has many other uses that make it a valuable item for preppers.
Baking Soda – Baking soda is a versatile household item that can be used for a variety of purposes. Cleaning, deodorizing, personal hygiene, toothpaste, and even fire extinguisher are a few uses for baking soda.
Clothes Pins – Clothespins are versatile household items that can be used for a variety of purposes. Not only can you hand clothes with them, but they can be used for closing packages, sealing bags, and holding something in place.
Cling Wrap – Cling wrap, also known as plastic wrap or saran wrap, is a great low-cost product with many different uses. Keeping food fresh, securing bandages, creating a greenhouse effect for plants, and even protecting clothes from dust & debris.
Mylar Blankets – Mylar blankets, also known as emergency blankets or space blankets are not just for retaining body heat. They can be used for signaling, shelter, ground cover, and making a solar still. There are just too many options to list them all here.
Plastic Totes, Buckets & Trash Cans – These plastic storage containers are a versatile and durable item that is essential for every prepper. They can be used for storing supplies, rain collection, emergency toilets, or composting.
Aluminum Trash Cans – Every prepper should have at least one aluminum trash can. You can make a Faraday cage out of one, convert it into a solar cooker, a washing machine, and of course waste removal.
Nylon Stockings – Nylon stockings can be repurposed in many ways by preppers. They can be used to filter water, secure a bandage, as an extra layer of clothing, carry things, or use as makeshift cordage.
Coffee Filters – Preppers can find many uses for coffee filters in an emergency situation. Filtering water, filtering cooking oil, a number of first aid uses, protecting small electronics, and even like wash rags.
Bandannas – I’m preaching to the choir here, but bandannas, shirts, and shmogs are must-have prepper supplies. These can be used for protection from the elements, water filtering, signaling, carrying gear, and camouflage.
Visqueen (Plastic Rolls) – Visqueen plastic rolls are a type of heavy-duty plastic sheeting that preppers can use in countless different ways. Waterproofing, sealing windows and doors, a rain poncho, water collection, and insulation are just a few of these uses.
Vinegar – it may smell bad, but vinegar has a number of great uses in preparedness. It can be used for cleaning & disinfecting, preserving food, insect repellant, water disinfectant, and of course cooking.
Bleach (Unscented) – You can’t consider yourself a true prepping website unless you mention having bleach in your prepping supplies. Bleach can be used for a wide range of things such as water purification, cleaning, laundry, pest control, and even in first aid if diluted properly.
Wine Corks – Corks are small and lightweight objects that can be easily overlooked, but they can be very useful for preppers. They can be used as fire starters, fishing bobbers, floating devices (keychains), garden markers, and much more.
Safety Pins – Safety pins are small, inexpensive, and versatile objects that can be used in a variety of ways in a survival situation. Clothing repair, a bandage holder, trap making, and a fishing hook are just a few uses for safety pins.
Dental Floss – while good hygiene is still important in a survival situation, dental floss isn’t just for your teeth. It can be used to sew things, used for snares and traps, emergency cordage, and even sutures in extreme circumstances.
Potassium Permanganate – Nope, it’s not a prepping gimmick. Potassium Permanganate can be used to start a fire (mixed with Glyserine), for treating wounds, and disinfect water when mixed in different doses.
Baby Wipes – It’s not just for baby anymore, at least where preppers are concerned. Baby wipes can be used for cleaning surfaces, fire-starting material, insect repellant, cleaning your gear, and personal hygiene.
Tarps – Another piece of prepping gear mentioned quite a bit with bug-out bags are high-quality tarps. Along the same lines as trash bags and plastic rolls, they can be used for shelter, windbreaks, and water collection. A tarp is preferred because of its reinforced edges and grommet holes.
Knives & Tools – Fixed blade knives & multi-tools are essential tools for preppers in a survival situation. I would argue a fixed-blade knife is one of the most important tools for preppers. Shelter building, fire starting, and many other tasks can be made a lot easier with the proper tool.
Final Thoughts on Multi-use Prepping Supplies
In conclusion, prepping supplies with multiple uses can be a lifesaver in an emergency. By being resourceful and thinking outside the box, preppers can make the most of their supplies and increase their chances of survival.
Whether using everyday items in unexpected ways or finding new uses for existing gear, the ability to be adaptable and creative is a critical skill for preppers.
Preppers can save money and reduce their overall gear load without sacrificing preparedness by focusing on low-cost, unconventional supplies that can be used for various purposes.
By combining a strategic approach to preparedness with an adaptive mindset, preppers can be ready for anything that comes their way.
As I said earlier, there are literally hundreds of items that can be used in multiple preparedness scenarios, and this only scratches the surface. If you have something to add, leave it in the comments below.