Prepping: “Required Spares”

A week or so back, Elaine came wandering over to the shop.  “Got a hose washer around, anywhere?”

Whenever she comes to the shop looking for something, my first reaction is to see how big her problem is and confirm that her solution is the ideal one.  She hasn’t been wrong on a parts call yet – but I’m just that way.  Male.

“Sure…right over here in our highly organized parts area…”

This part of the shop is nothing more than a 5-foot high wire rack, three feet wide, on which there are several dozen “shoe boxes” that have been repurposed for storing this and that.  Take a look:

Reaching for the box marked “Hose/Hydropo9nic Parts” I casually looked at her with a Prepper’s Stare of Ultimate Confidence (PSoUC) and asked “What color would you like?  We have black, red, yellow, or green.”

She was impressed.  Having never figured out my organization system, it didn’t dawn on her that there would be a hose/hydroponics parts box and that would be separate from the Plumbing, General Stuff box…which is on the other side of the shop from the shelf for Plumbing, Goos and Glues where the fresh bottles of Oatley hot-set cement,, the purple primer, and more recently, the Purple Primer Cleaner-Upper live.  (Don’t ask!)

If you study that picture, you will see in the lower right a box labeled “Paraffin (hidden it says & Matches).

Living as we do, far from town (and hour round trip) we rely on Amazon and being well-stocked.

What occasioned this morning’s rap is we had a water outage Wednesday and when the water finally cleared up (*Thursday mid-day) when the turbidity settled down I discovered that I had not replaced the last of the water filters for the fridge.  A $45 click on Amazon fixed that – getting three of the necessary Pur filters for KitchenAid refrigerators.

The previous day, I had noted that we were down to a cheap spare air filter for the A/C also…so I put on my shopping list to pick up another half-dozen of those.  And a case of toilet paper, a couple of 12-packs of paper towels and such.

This it occurred to me:  We should probably have a “list of required spares” because we really do have something about like a small hardware store here.  Right down to back-up plywood blades for the table saw, band saws (metal and wood) and the various sanders and….

So, let’s go on a tour, shall we?

Kitchen Required Spares

  • Manual knife sharpener.
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Paper plates
  • Soaps
  • Dish clothes
  • Sponges
  • Vinegar
  • Baking powder
  • Yeast
  • Cat food
  • 2-cases of water per person
  • “Trading stock” small booze supply
  • Red jug wine


  • Extra BandAids
  • Neosporin
  • Hemostats and tweezers
  • Surgical kit
  • Spare glasses and contact lens crap for six months
  • Eye washes
  • Kaopoopstraight
  • Peptobismerable
  • spare tooth brushes (2 per)
  • Miles of floss
  • Soaps


  • Clorox (unscented, plain, generic)
  • 1-year of soaps
  • 1-season of pet meds (collars etc)
  • LED lights for everything in the house including the fridge lights
  • Batteries – 10 for every one in the house – stored in cool place
  • Matches and lighters
  • ZigZags (you never know…)
  • Pipecleaners (uh huh)


  • Phones that are direct dialing landlines
  • Satellite signal meter and patch cable to realign
  • Space tanks of propane for BBQ
  • A/C filters
  • Water filter spares
  • Niosh N100 Dust Marks (20 per person)
  • Plastic sheeting (Visqueen)
  • 4-rolls of good duct tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Long head push pins
  • Small sewing kit
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue
  • Super Glue gel
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Rubber bands
  • String
  • Baggies and twisties


  • Two switches
  • Two Outlets
  • Single and dual oversized covers
  • Electrical tape
  • Various twist-on connectors
  • 25-feet extension cord
  • Spare plugs with grounds
  • Space GFI unit
  • Tools to install above
  • Test meter for house wiring


  • Hot set glue
  • Purple primer
  • Primer cleaner
  • Light sandpaper
  • PVC pipe cutter
  • Assorted fittings (and end caps!)
  • Spare hose bibs
  • Hose repair  kit (2)
  • Hose washers
  • Space nozzle
  • Spare pet watering unit
  • Spare hydroponics pump, hoses, clamps

Shop Stuff

  • Set of hand tools
    • SAE and Metric Wrenches (box, open, and deep sockets)
    • Box cutters (3)
    • “Squeezies” (Pliers, ViseGrips, Channel Locks etc.
    • “Twisties” Crescent wrenches, hex keys, Torx adapters
    • Best screwdriver set you can find
    • Pocket knife and sharpener.
    • Cheap  “chip brushes”
    • Hand goo
    • 3-in-1 oil
    • Teflon spray
    • Old candles (to wax drawer slides and such)
    • Wood matches (to fill holes when screws get loose)
  • Blue tarps  (enough to cover half of your roof
  • Twine or 250 feet of paracord
  • 2x 50-foot of 5/8th’s rope
  • 25 foot trucker’s chain (pull anything)
  • Come-along (cable winch)
  • Buck saw
  • Optional:  Chainsaw and accessories and fuel.
  • Newspapers or contractor paper being messy and all.

Car Kit

  • Two rolls of TP per traveler
  • 2 per person MRE’s
  • 2-gallons of water per person
  • LifeStraw Each
  • Spare cell charger cable
  • Insurance cards, Triple A card and so on.

And for Defense

  • Long guns
  • Shot Guns
  • Handguns
  • BB and pellet guns
  • Ammo, blanks
  • Ammo, tracers
  • Ammo, franging
  • Ammo, fmj
  • Ammo, AP
  • Ammo, bird shot
  • Ammo, buck shot
  • Ammo, rifled slugs
  • Ammo, subsonics and for that….
  • Empty plastic water bottles and duct tape
  • Combat knife
  • GPS with batteries
  • Another LifeStraw
  • Evasion space blanket
  • Gun cleaning kit
  • Gallon’s of Hoppe’s #9 Cleaner
  • Billions of cleaning patches
  • One or two packs of targets
  • Slingshot
  • Bow and hunting arrows
  • Night vision gear and batteries for 6-months daily use.
  • Binoculars
  • Dozen motion activated lights to attach around perimeter trees..
  • 4 game cameras
  • Tactical gas masks (one each, two rated cartridges each)
  • Bear spray (30-foot)
  • Gunshot wound kit with chest wound equipment


  • Battery powered shortwave receiver
  • VHF UHF transceiver
  • Satcom manuals and orbital apps
  • HF transceiver with batteries or power source
  • HF antennas

Now, a lot of this can be overlooked if you believe – living in the city and in the information bubble – that nothing bad ever can or will be “allowed” to happen.

On the other hand, in the Outback, as we are, it’s only a bare start – much is left off.

We can kick this around in the Comments section this weekend – and this list is just meant to be enough to begin some serious thinking.

If you live in an apartment in an unsustainable city, your best “prepping option” is likely not spares – it’d be a fallback place to live to live with friends in a distant smaller town that is closer to sustainability.

If you’re in the woods, then it’s time to count up barrels of preserved diesel and inspect your seed bank and water resources.

Like everything in life, there’s  a matter of balance.

Write when you get rich,

author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

25 thoughts on “Prepping: “Required Spares””

  1. A couple small tweaks to your list 1,Uncle Bill’s Tweezers(the best ever made!) 2, Instead of very expensive bear spray use wasp spray that sprays in a stream works great cost way less!

    • TP – something so simple and everyday – until you don’t have it. We experienced and went through a Cat 5 Hurricane and then for a week in the aftermath…. honestly, everything on George’s list is important and critical to being in a survival situation – however, two things that went to the top of the list for us during that week’s time – water and TP.
      Food – important, but, one can survive alot longer with small amounts of fod or without food than without water, especially safe drinking water. TP – well, try using newspaper or magazine pages and see if priorities don’t change…..

    • OH essentials are always on the list so TP is on the list every time you shop.. it is an essential …TP,CAT FOOD,COFFEE,

  2. George, is your 30 ft bear pepper spray a fog type steam or a direct solid stream. I have both. Also, the fogger has an expiration date where the direct stream does not have an expiration date & the manfacturer says they don’t because it never expires.

    The fogger is like a shotgun approach & the direct stream is more of a precision rife shot. I have experimented with both types & prefer the direct stream. The direct stream gives a higher concentration directly into the bears eyes & is not as wind sensitive when you spray. With the fogger if you spray into a high wind it will filter back into your face.

    I started carrying it after I ran into a bear while walking my dog in the woods in NY long ago.

  3. Okay, very comprehensive list, but specifically, what items might occur to be in short supply due to the potential trade embargo with China that should be scapped up?

    • Dont forget hydrogen peroxide for scratches that become infected. Advice from the Balkans

  4. When jeans wear out I always cut the legs into strips the width of TP. You can use the strips, place in a bucket, and clean with bleach water to be reused. I need to place the bedside commode, the two buckets filled with strips, into the fall out shelter.

  5. “Propane and propane accessories”..(Hank Hill used to say).. a used 300 gallon tank of LP, along with a LP fueled small 3500 watt generator will run for a long time. And no fouled up carburetor….AND the fuel never gets old.

  6. pestilence vs. the prepper. dr. tichenor’s mouthwash…non diluted,you could perform surgery. 50lbs. sulphur and a few bottles of chigg away. triamcinolone acetonide cream 0.1% will tackle ant bites. wally now carries cleaning strength vinegar. yes, this could be an all weekend thread, lol!

  7. Re: amount of soap for the Bathroom: When TheLovelyMrsWizard’s aunt passed on, we got to clean out her basement pantry… which included a bit of Palmolive Gold bar soap. Enough to fill (neatly stacked) a standard paper shopping bag. Yeah…. that bag lasted me for 10 years worth of showers.

    I have to admit it was more fun cleaning out her vacuum… a good bit of currency wrapped in aluminum foil accompanied the dust bag.

  8. And I would argue with your choice of Hoppe’s #9 as a gun cleaner… I always thought Shooter’s Choice made Hoppe’s look broke.
    But I don’t want to start a religious war here…

  9. What’s those yellow strips for? WHere’s the adventure if you already know what’s in the box.

  10. Extremely good list, George, and thanks!

    …And yes, since you extended the invitation, please accept these as ADDITIONS TO your fine work:



    Bleach (pool shock – half the price, twice the strength)

    Olive oil

    Baking soda




    Ammonia (counterirritant for bug bites)

    Boric acid (use as eye wash, ear infection treatment, ant & roach killer, and lots of other stuff…)

    Colloidal silver, both as ointment and as mouthwash

    Cling and Ace bandages

    Tons of gauze

    Lollipop sticks*

    *(remember a couple years ago when I broke a finger 200 miles from civilization and couldn’t get to a doctor for several days? I had to cut my own splint one-handed — never again!)

    Superglue (for cut injuries)



    Washing soda


    OUT! (Biocide – eats bodily secretions and excretions, great for removing work indicators [blood] from clothing and eliminating all traces of pet boo-boos)


    Spare SATphone

    Packaging tape

    Pallet (stretch) tape


    Silicone stretch tape

    Liquid tape

    Extra heat-shrink

    Copper washer kit


    Tubing cutter (for copper, works great for PVC/CPVC and SCH80, too)


    Bigassed first aid kit


    Sleeping bag

    Wet (or cold, or both) weather gear



    Compound bow


    and sufficient bolts and arrows


    Every 12v and 24v vehicle I own has a shielded inverter (‘Thought about buying or building a vibrator for the old Jeep, but running the values made me realize 120v on a 6-volt system was unworkable.) ‘Never know when one might need 120VAC, and even the cheapo “400W” inverters, like harburr fright’s will do 280RMS continuous, and charge a lot of Makita batteries…

    • LOL – I didn’t remember. But after standing in the bathroom for 10-minutes it came to me


      Glad you asked…showed me how close dementia is getting…

  11. A few more medical supplies would be good. Quick Clot and tourniquets come immediately to mind.

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