Do It Yourself

16 Creature Comforts For When You Need To Bug In



Creature Comforts

How to Hunker Down in Comfort

  1. Have some warm coffee or hot chocolate.
  2. Pack toiletries.
  3. Bring shaving gear.
  4. Bring snacks and other comfort foods.
  5. Utilize board games, playing cards, puzzles, and the like.
  6. Have creature comforts at hand.

Anyone who lives in hurricane country knows that hunkering down is a way of life when a big storm is predicted.

As a matter of fact, in the southern United States, hurricane parties are common.  When a hurricane is eminent, friends and family gather in a storm proof area, bringing food, drink and amusements to help while the time away until the storm passes.

According to the Urban Dictionary, there is even a game called “Hunker Down”:

“Hunker Down game is a game played at hurricane parties. You watch the weather report and every time the weatherman or news guy says “hunker down” you take a shot. By the time the electricity is out, you don’t even care any more.”

Okay, that may be an extreme and may be making light of a serious situation but still, during most emergencies we should be able to hunker down in our own homes, surrounded by the items that we have put in place to insure our comfort and safety.

In the preparedness community, hunkering down is typically referred to as “bugging in”.  To me, staying in your home for an extended period of time while waiting for the danger to pass makes good sense.  Unless a situation is dire (and the local authorities say it is time to GO), I simply cannot imagine leaving familiar surroundings for parts unknown.

With this in mind, today I would like to share with you a list of items to include in an emergency comfort kit.  These are items that you probably already own although they are likely spread throughout your home in one place or another.  Today we are going to gather these items together and store them in a bucket, large plastic tub, or even a box so that we can get to them quickly when the call to hunker down arrives.

Note: This list assumes all of your regular preps (food, water, first aid and such) are already in place and accounted for.  With that in mind, let’s have some fun with this.

16 Items To Help You Hunker Down in Comfort

Below you will find a list of 16 items to help you hunker down – or bug-in – in comfort, whether in your own home or someone else’s.  The  list is in no particular order and most certainly is not all-inclusive.

1.  Coffee and Hot Chocolate

Can you imagine anything more comforting than a hot cup of coffee in the morning and a warm cup of hot chocolate at night.  Of course this assumes that you have emergency cooking gear in place (camp stoves, butane burners, fire pit, rocket stove).

2.  Bar Soap

If you have ever gone 5 or 6 days without a shower, you will appreciate the need for some bar soap and a washcloth to keep you fresh while stuck in your bug in location.  Liquid soap is nice – and it has many uses – but bar soap is more compact and will last a lot longer in an emergency.

3.  Deodorant

As with bar soap, some deodorant will help insure that the others in your group enjoy your company.

4.  Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Floss

Are you detecting a recurring theme here?  Personal hygiene will make you feel better and in the case of a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, will prevent dental problems from festering and giving you problems in the future.

5.  Shaving Gear (Guys)


6.  Makeup (Gals)

Ditto x 2.  But more than that, I would by lying if I told you that looking good was not important, regardless of the circumstances.

7.  M&Ms

Now we are getting serious.  Everyone loves M&Ms and they store well.  Seal them up in a mason jar and they will be consumed before they get stale.  Guaranteed.

8.  Spirits

Pick your poison.  Mine is cheap red wine (so that I can make Survival Sangria with my freeze-dried fruit) and the Survival Husband’s is Grand Marnier (he has expensive tastes).

9.  Board Games, Playing Cards, Crossword Puzzles

These things are typically buried in the back of a closet somewhere.  When the time comes, who wants to go on a search and rescue mission?  My favorites are Ticket to Ride, Mexican Train, Rummy Cube and Sudoku.   What are yours?

10.  Pen and Paper

Some of my best ideas have come from making notes by candlelight.  Create a journal, make lists or simply write for the sake of writing.

11.  Coloring Books and Crayons

Not just for children!  How long has it been since you have tried to stay within the lines?

12.  A Teddy Bear

I still have a teddy bear.  Do you?

13.  Paperback Books

Although you may have plenty of ways to charge your electronic devices and gizmos, an old-fashioned page turner will take you back to simpler times.  Plus, when you are done, you can pass the book along to one of your companions.

14.  Blanket or Down Comforter

Staying toasty warm when the heat is off requires a blanket or comforter.  It is even more fun if you have someone to share it with.

15.  Warm Socks or Slippers

Like cuddling up in a blanket, padding around in warm socks or slippers is a lot more comfortable than wearing shoes. Why not?

16.  Essential Oils

The last item on my list is a selection of essential oils.  My favorite soothing essential oil is lavender (see The Miracle of Lavender Oil: 25 Amazing Uses for Survival).  Not only does it smell heavenly, but lavender, as with many other essential oils, can be a stress reliever and will bring a sense of calm to one’s soul.  Other good essential oils include rosemary, clary sage and rose.

The Final Word

Emergency preparedness is serious business.  Having the right stuff and the right skills can be a deal breaker when it comes to survival.

On the other hand, we all need to lighten up sometimes.  By writing this article I want to give you permission to indulge yourself.  Think about the things you would miss the most if stuck at home for a week or two.  These are the nice to have items, not life or death items, do it or die items.

The list I have provided is mine.  Yours may be different.  Care to share an item or two from your own list?  Here is the deal.  As soon as it is published, I will randomly select one comment to this article and send that reader a copy of my soon-to-be published e-Book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

Now how cool is that?

Read the original article and much more from Gaye here.

Want to know more? Check out these related articles on our site:

To Bug Out or Stay In? That is the Question

Disaster Preparedness: Reasons to Bug Out or Bug In

Bugging In | Why Staying Put Might Be Your Best Bet For Survival

Continue Reading


  1. Denver Kitty

    November 18, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Gaye, good article. Creature comforts, such as those you wrote about, are usually the last things we all ignore. Thanks for the informative article! Kitty

  2. Linda B.

    November 18, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Thank you, Gaye, for your article. Sometimes thinking about prepping can leave a person very stressed out, and this list is one that will be enjoyable to fill. My two additions would be puzzle books and my yarn crafts. No batteries required!

  3. Sue Trumpfheller

    November 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    A headlamp in several places. I spent 6 weeks w/o electricity and my savior was my headlamp. Candles are great but for moving around and reading it was a god send.

    • Anne M

      November 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      Excellent idea Sue. I have old fashion kerosene lamps, but a head lamp would be much easier for moving around. Thanks for sharing your idea.

  4. bonnie

    November 18, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Personally I would include my Scriptures, positive thinking kinds of books, art supplies for various levels of abilities – from crayons and scratch paper to paint and brushes, lots of music to sing, a hymn book or two or three to encourage others to sing along with me, my violin, my favorite pillows, books for kids and adults to read (depending on how much you can grab and carry, lots of dark chocolate, hard candy lasts a long time, bubble gum might get hard over time – but with effort you can chew it! Note: I keep a small suitcase on wheels packed with music I use when I go to “old folks” centers when I entertain the people there – it will be easy to grab and go when and if I need it. Everyone cheers up when they listen to good old fashioned music – especially patriotic songs! I suggest that if you have young ones you might include various kinds and sizes of balls – baseballs, rubber balls, basketballs, soccer balls, kick balls, the kind you blow up so you can toss it around and play with it – or use it with someone who has a bad back for back support, etc. Also having a box packed with toy cars, old fashioned games like marbles and jacks, lego building blocks, etc. and things younger ones like to play with could help kids of all ages in a time of crisis. Knowing how much kids need creature comforts when there is a lot of stress, a parent or grandparent might pack up stuffed animals and games and items like I’ve listed above in a storage tub or box that can be quickly grabbed.

    • snowman8wa

      November 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      AMEN Bonnie!!!! I posted a similar response a few months ago on the 8 Enemies of Survival. Take away the difference of the Books Apocrypha so we are all “apples to apples”; 66 Books of Life and uplifting reassurance. As posted earlier:

      “Boredom is like a cancer that slowly eats away at morale. It is always a good idea to keep a way to entertain you in your survival kit.”

      My Bible will be in my pack; refer to the movie ‘Book of Eli’. Even if you know the end of the movie, he read it every chance he got. It’s words brought solace to him daily. “Chicken Soup for the Soul” before there was a ‘Chicken Soup’ series.

      I take mine camping, it is soothing to be reading by a stream or a lake; anywhere quiet where you can enjoy and get the most out of what you are reading.

      Bibles can be as small as 5″ x 8″ x 1″ (fits in your pack) and there are 66 Books within. In my Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is 2014 pages long. If you just read, not study, at a rate of 100 wpm (slow) for 20 minutes a day it would take you 1 year to read the entire Bible cover to cover. Even if you read it faster, it takes years to comprehend what is contained within; giving you unlimited reading.

      The Bible is not a specific denomination of “religion”, it’s words and stories are no respector of “man”. You can, if you are a non-believer of God, read it for purely chronological historical fact (a diary of the ancient Middle East). It is the most sold book in History.

      Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

    • Tim Dorland

      November 18, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      I knew I wouldn’t be the only one who thought of music,I have always thought if I had to bug out and could do so with a vehicle, that the guitar would have to go too. The only thing that would keep one from playing and singing would be if you were afraid of being arrested for singing Christian music. More importantly would be the Bible, this is the most important thing one can do to show God’s love, during a crisis, helping people gives a believer the opportunity to share the Gospel, and as believers we are all called, some to go, but all to share.

  5. Sue Massey

    November 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Wow! I thought these WERE requirements! I already have all of them in my store, except the M&M’s, and they’re going in today. Thanks for a fun article. I think we preppers need that because we’re all so serious about our mission.

  6. Corie Huggins

    November 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Some peppermint – sticks or drops and bacon :-). Loved this article. Really made me think.

    • Susan

      November 18, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Peppermint is an excellent idea. Good for hot chocolate, upset tummies…and the essential oil can be used in the cocoa and water for tummies. Plus it is great for headaches and to wake up!

      Love the idea of rose essential oil she listed, but the real thing is really expensive. A good compromise (not the fragrance oil) is a rose bath oil OR rosewater (pick up at mercantile, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.

    • Eddie

      March 17, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      Peppermints and peppermint oil is a very good pest repellent. Put some on cotton balls or steel wool (better) where mice or other vermin are to be discouraged.

  7. cactusbob

    November 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I would say that this list of 16 items is an excellent compromise between everything and the bare necessities. Besides, they are such that they can be easily separated from your other household belongings in a package that is ready to take, reducing stress when that time comes.

  8. Diane

    November 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Thank you for this article. It gave me some ideas of things to have on hand for comfort. There is something about a teddy bear isn’t there. 🙂

    I can certainly testify about the value of lavender among other essential oils. I had three lumps on my ankle and I started to apply straight lavender oil to the area and though it took a while, they went away. I also get lavender flowers from the health food store to make lavender tea with black tea. It is so good. It also goes well with Earl Grey tea.

    I also use tea tree oil in my laundry, especially with my socks. I plan on getting some other oils as well. The smell of pine needle oil is very nice, too.

    And chocolate! I like the almond M&Ms the best of that kind. I also like some kinds of dark chocolate. Having a variety is a good idea.

    Another things that might brighten the scene is a harmonica and other small musical instruments. Harmonicas can fit just about anywhere and they are fairly easy to play. There are backpack versions of guitars, too, though they still take up some room in a backpack. However, if you are at home, any musical instrument will brighten the day.

    • Susan

      November 18, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Use Spark Naturals for your essential oils. they can be ingested, LOTS less expensive than doTerra or Young Living and same high quality. $4.99 shipping all the time. 10% off with code camp wander…not an affiliate or salesperson, just a fan.

  9. jo lyons

    November 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I have always kept fabric scraps, yarn, popsycle sticks, eft. Great for crafts. Simple things can give imagination and creativity not just something to do but a purpose.

  10. Chuck

    November 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Popsicle sticks are great tools. They never get thrown away in my house until they are too small to use anymore. They make good scrapers for small places no matter what you are trying to remove. They make great stirrers, not just for coffee. They make shims. You can use them to amuse yourself by making things. You can make a simple boomerang with them. I have never been able to get it to return to me, but I can’t get a regular boomerang to return either, so I suspect the problem is in the thrower.

    If you don’t eat that many popsicles, you can buy them at stores that sell food to restaurants. I think they come in a box of 1,000 which will last you a while. I transferred them to coffee cans for storage as the box is quite flimsy. What did we do before coffee cans?

  11. dodger

    November 18, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Very enjoyable article. As several have said already, we “preppers” are usually so serious about it that we don’t think of these comfort items. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Krista

    November 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Great list! Especially coffee! After a week without water after a hurricane, I would also add clean underwear and a box of baby wipes. I figure I can handle most things if i can get reasonably clean and put on some clean clothes. Both are now stashed in my “hunker down” supplies.

  13. Dawna

    November 18, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Great advice here. Especially on the M&Ms front!

  14. Deanne Lee

    November 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    We don’t have children , but some creature comforts of hunkering down are extendable forks and a cast iron pot for cooking in the fireplace and are even good fortoasting a smarshmallow or two! I also like a battery operated CD player for music – we have a ton of CD’s to help pass the time. Finally, I like a tripod flashlight – ( we buy them on sale on Black Firday at Lowe’s) great for hanhds-free lighting for a variety of tasks…

  15. Lisa

    November 18, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    I love this list! I don’t have children in the home any more, but I do have cats that would be very stressed. I keep an assortment of toys (throw-away items that they steal from the trash) and a small baggie of catnip to keep them happy. I have learned that when they are stressed or unhappy, I am too, so just like a child, I have to work to keep them happy or I will suffer right along with them.

  16. Lynne Clark

    November 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Great list! It got me thinking in different directions. I would add a few other games: card games don’t take up a lot of space [don’t forget the Hoyles Book of Games] but Monopoly does.

    And for those that are not addicted to chocolate or allergic [like me] there is Reese’s Pieces &/or cups [don’t forget they have white chocolate cups too]. They would store well in the Mason jar as well.

    Referencing the “warm socks”: I recommend wool/smart wool ones. By its nature wool will keep you warm even if it is wet.

  17. Lynda Cramer

    November 18, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I found out that kids can still be very creative even in today’s tech world. Mine spent a whole day making “paper doll” superheros out of construction paper and regular cellophane tape. One more thing I find really good is to take something everyone loves like the fancy chocolate popcorn that is sold by the Boy Scouts this time of year and just put that unopened with emergency stuff. Then if there is ever a time we need it that year it gets opened and consumed. If not, it gets opened and consumed when I get a new bag. everyone looks forward to a chance to eat it. And that can take some stress out of the situation.

  18. Pogo

    November 18, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Nice article. However… good hygiene (and sanitation) is not just about comfort. It is also part of staying healthy and not getting sick or infected. Using soap to wash those little cuts before they become infected or brushing your teeth to avoid cavities, especially after eating a mason jar empty, will keep you from a lot of pain and suffering when there is no doctor or dentist.
    Shaving is not just for men. Most western women shave various body parts to feel civilized or for comfort.
    Deodorant is a necessity if you live with anyone at all or if you are going to share that comforter.
    winter gear is a necessity in most areas that get cold. Not just for comfort, but to survive hypothermia. “hey! get those cold feet off of me or you will be voted out of the comforter!”
    #12 substitute a teddy for teddy bear. Now, are you glad you shaved and put on deodorant? At this point I will let your imagination think of one more thing to add to the list. wink.

    • Dee

      November 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Baking soda has many uses including deodorant.

  19. Pamster

    November 18, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I wear makeup very rarely as it is, so scratch that. CANDLES, lots of them. Ways to light them. Not only do they help us see in the dark, the ambiance is so comforting, along with the aroma.

    LIQUID soap…can be bought cheaply in the large refill containers for hand soap. Same thing.

    Don’t need a teddy bear, but a decent pillow!

    Air freshener.

    Body lotions, lots of them.

    Hairbrush. Back scratcher (or just use a household member, lol). Nail clippers.


    So many different things for all of our different creature comforts!

  20. AWKingsley

    November 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Good Article! Other essential oils that are really good are Rose Geranium and Bergamot (Orange Scent). Rose Geranium and Bergamot are in the finest natural cosmetics I have ever used, as well as the Clary Sage. Rose Geranium is less expensive than rose oil. Scent is an individual preference, so some people may like one of these and not the others.

    Another beverage that I keep in my supplies is grandmother’s favorite spiced tea – also helps with Vitamin C needs. In addition, I keep lots of wet wipes for hygiene. Adults can use baby wipes that can be purchased by the case at Wal-Mart. Sometimes one can find them very inexpensively in large plastic cans in a baby or personal hygiene section. I used these on private areas of the body while camping for a month. Worked great!

  21. Irene C

    November 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Although I don’t live in hurricane territory, our area is prone to snow and ice storms. The longest I was house-bound was three days during the ’78 blizzard. It was nerve wracking. Here’s something I rarely see mentioned. How many of you are smokers? Have extra cigarettes or a good nicotine substitute is a must. There’s nothing worse than having a nicotine fit during a stressful situation. That would be like telling me I can’t have chocolate.

  22. Adam

    November 18, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    I’m a 48 year old ex British Soldier, ex Prison Officer and prepper, and yes I still have a Teddy Bear.

    • Joel

      November 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      That’s awesome. Who doesn’t, right?

  23. Al

    November 18, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    I ve got everything in the box except someone to share the comforter with, my girlfriend says she is not getting in that box what should I do LOL

  24. Charlie

    November 18, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    As an 81-year-old Eagle Scout with a semi-invalid wife, leaving home is not really an option if the house is still standing. So, my focus is more on the “bug in” than the “bug out”.

    I keep the outdoor gas barbeque bottle at least half full, and have collected a group of small gas bottles for my tabletop. That’s for when the local natural gas lines go down. Discount warehouse clubs often have 2-fer or 4-fers on the little bottles. If you see one in a catalog, grab one of the refill connections for the little bottles from a big one.

    A tool almost as handy as your old Boy Scout hatchet is a shingeler’s hammer. It has a 2-inch axe on one side and a true hammer on the other. Won’t cut down a tree, but would split firewood, or cut an offending branch.

    Sam’s Club, and probably Costco have adult wipes that are larger than the usual baby wipes, and by the case. Also, bulk quantities of 3-A and 2-A batteries (they do run down!). Harbor Freight now has bulk quantities of batteries on sale (till 12-2)for a very reasonable price. I’ve also seen battery-powered electric shavers, which if you have a way of recharging could be handy for both sides of the gender divide, or could keep you presentable for a 3-day(or so) hunker.

    Look for sales on big plastic boxes at Dollar stores or Big Lots or home centers. They can store a lot of stuff, and still let you see what’s in them. As a general rule, every time you are in a discount or home center store, spend a few extra minutes wandering the aisles looking for normal things that can be converted to a “bug in” or “bug out” situation.

    • Don Richey

      November 25, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Consider a butane stove, they run between $15-$25 and are safer indoors. You still want some ventilation though.

  25. Roy

    November 19, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    Heck, even if you’re not a musician, just playing around with a simple musical instrument is very soothing to the soul. Some small instruments that would be easy to play around with: harmonica, jew’s harp (that thing that goes boing boing), kazoo, slide whistle, small bongos, pan pipe, ukelele. That’s all I can think of for now.

  26. Mari

    November 19, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Deodorant might be convenient, however, plain old alcohol will do the trick nicely. Very cheap, kills bacteria, which are the cause of odor, and does not contain unhealthy ingredients.

  27. ellen

    November 19, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Pop corn, tea and sugar. You can get several different flavors of tea, pop corn in the small pan ready for a stove or campfire.

  28. Krystal Quinn

    November 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    My husband and I were just talking about this. How I’m going to miss having brushed hair in a “bug-out” situation. He said he’d whittle one for me. Sweetheart he is.

  29. Doug

    November 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    There are many things that are beyond useful to keep your sanity. We used to carry survival blankets in our cars as part of our 72-hour kits. One night we were headed to my sister’s wedding and had been delayed by a traffic accident. It was 1:00am, we were lost in Chicago, it was cold, the car’s heater wasn’t keeping up with its draftiness, and the kids were cold – no problem, we had our emergency blankets! We found that the sound of the mylar blankets was almost as bad as freezing. Our nerves were stretched pretty thin from being lost in a strange, and not necessarily safe town, and delayed by hours, so when the kids started rustling around in the mylar blankets, it didn’t help the nerves much.
    On the next rework of our 72-your kits, we kept mylar blankets, but added (in a more prominent place) some fleece blankets – far easier on the nerves.
    Other things I would recommend having have been mentioned by you and/or others (in no particular order):
    Fleece blankets – even if you’re warm, there is something comforting in snuggling up in a blanket.
    Chocolate/Cocoa/candy/other comfort foods – Chocolate is something I have referred to as “God’s gift to married men” – while it may not be a true necessity, I don’t want my wife or daughters in a stressful situation without some of it.
    Reading material – both of the sacred and profane genre – for both escapism and for spiritual strength.
    Music – instruments, a radio, CD player, hymn book, or show tunes sheet music – help keep up spirits and foster camaraderie.
    Writing/drawing material – again, something to help keep your sanity.
    Games/packs of cards/sudoku – as you stated
    Hygiene – as you mentioned, having some semblance of normalcy in the face of an abnormal condition helps keep your sanity – it also is important for health and safety
    One of the key things I can think of is to actually try a hunker-down night, drop the thermostat (or raise it in the summer to simulate a power issue) – light the candles, and see what it is you might be able to live without, but you would rather not.

  30. Pogo

    November 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    If you are stuck inside without power. Some form of physical activity. Calisthenics, weights, stationary bike, manual treadmill, other manual machines, etc. will help with cabin fever and relieve some stress and help with sleep.

  31. Douglas Dobson

    November 19, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    You can kinda tell this writers idea of of a natural disaster is turning the thermostat down to 58 degrees while a thunder cloud rolls through. Don’t forget your teddy bears and your cozy slippers, you wouldn’t want to be buried under a pile of rubble that was your house before the tornado without slippers and a teddy bear. And you apparently are going to survive on M&Ms and dry coffee for days until help brings you real food. Yeah I think my survival bag will have darts and a dart board, legos for the children, several lawn chairs, a boom box, a Jimmy Johns menu, a pipe, pipe tobacco and a nice comfy hammock. I’m sorry, it kills me people think “roughing it” is going without power for two days. I really think people need to worry about getting water and starting a fire, what good is a teddy bear and a nice comfy pair of slippers going to do in a real emergency? I don’t want to be the entitled jughead begging for food while wearing a $40.00 pair of cozy slippers. There’s survival for children, what this article is about, the premise is basically nothing really bad ever happens, then there’s adult survival preparedness where you are as prepared as you can be for the worst crisis that could possibly happen. It’s easy to throw a feel good survival article together, but what happens when a major earthquake destroys everything except your bugout bag, and it’s full of cozy comfy slippers Jack Daniels and teddy bears? It’s a major disservice to draw a picture of a survival situation being anything other than life and death, a pure fight for survival under hostile circumstances. You’re planning on surviving a mild inconvenience with your slippers and teddy bears, and you’re going to be begging my children for their food and water when a real disaster hits. Don’t be naïve people, pack the things that will keep you alive, not things to keep you busy during kindergarten activity time or cozy snuggly nap time. Sorry author, but it all sounds too much like a block party from your perspective, I don’t think you grasp the meaning of the term DISASTER. Just because you don’t think a flood is going to happen where you are doesn’t make you prepared for a flood. Save your lives, prepare for every eventuality. Prepare for the nations infrastructure to collapse, prepare to survive war, flood, famine, looting, people eating people, meteors falling out of the sky, earthquakes, everything. You are never fully prepared for everything, but if you sit back and pack your teddy bears and your Jim Beam and your cozy slippers, you’re chances aren’t good

    • Cory

      November 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      I think you missed the point of this article. It’s an “ok, you’ve reached the ‘Prepared for most likely contingency X, what would be some comfort items to have so you do more than just survive?’ scenario. Every locale has the ‘will certainly happen, will likely happen, might happen, unlikely to happen, and highly unlikely to happen’ disasters. Once you’ve prepped for the first two, it’s fine to take a short break and store some comfort items for those short-term disaster situations.

      And as far as ‘a couple days without power isn’t a disaster’, I’d disagree. It’s not a large-scale or long-term one, but it is one nonetheless. Ever spent three days without power in an urban location? Many cities need power for their sewage systems. You prepped a bucket toilet? Great. If you don’t have anything to deal with the smell, you won’t be happy. Is it NECESSARY? No, but I’d much rather have it.

      Finally, getting through a disaster requires a good mindset. Those $40 slippers that keep your morale up, or the bag of chocolate covered popcorn that lifts the spirits after a few days of basics cooked on a camp stove are a big deal. Nobody is saying don’t prep food or other necessities, we’re saying after you have enough for a short term (I call it 2-4 weeks based on ice storms and nor’easters growing up), put aside some things to help you and your family relax and stay sane.

  32. Hipockets

    November 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Gee everyone seems to have candy on their list’ At my house
    it would’nt last long enough to make it for, a survival situation’
    (3 adults’,no kids,all chocaholics’)

  33. Jodi C

    November 20, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Mine would be my Kindle Fire HDX and its accompanying solar charger. With an overcast day it’d take a little longer to charge but it’d still get ‘er done. And I HAVE HAVE HAVE to have my 2×2, 3×3, 4×4, and 5×5 Rubik’s Cubes!!

  34. Cory

    November 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    My comfort items vary depending on the situation. For a blizzard/ice storm/nor’easter I add food dye ao I can take the kids out after the storm to draw in the snow. It’s a way to take their minds off a crappy situation.

    For a warmer-weather disaster, bubbles, and also some white clothes or fabric (did sheet sets growing up…) and dye so they can tie-dye or otherwise create their own masterpieces.

    Like I said above, this is all in addition to survival preps. I’m not going to focus on this stuff exclusively, but I got it before starting on the 6+ month preps

  35. Joel

    November 22, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Three thoughts…
    1) People mentioned the value of having a Bible. Well, I just learned that there exist waterproof Bibles, and so I had ordered a couple (a great idea for all sorts of scenarios…bug-ins or bug-outs.)
    2) Also, if one has kids, you might want to have a tub of ‘gifts’ in the event that someone’s birthday occurs during the course of some extended crisis. That way you could just retrieve an item or two and wrap them up (if you have that luxury of paper and tape). And in a time of stressful crisis, a birthday gift would surely be more appreciated than normal times.
    3) Similarly, having a box of cards for all occasions (especially for ‘encouragement’, ‘birthday’, ‘thank you’, and even, ‘sympathy’) could prove to be priceless and very comforting to family and immediate neighbors as you share your heart and thoughts.

  36. Don Richey

    November 25, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Chocolate is fantastic but for those of us high temperature areas, like Arizona, those M&Ms will turn into a messy blob. Hard candies and mints work great in a variety of temperatures. Also if you have to hike a lot, or while patrolling you area, a piece of hard candy can keep you mouth from drying out.
    Otherwise the list is similar to mine, but one additional treat, some canned fruits.

  37. Kim Martin

    December 9, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    I was ticked off at the makeup comment. I’m sure there’s some girls who love to look pretty no matter how bad things get. But the way it was presented sounded sexist.. Plus someone’s perfume, or hairspray could trigger asthma, or an allergic relation in someone forced to share tight quarters when bunkered down.

    As for what I would add.
    Socks: warm fluffy socks. I love having fun socks for my days off.
    Plants: there is a psychological benifits to green growing things, I have found that visiting an indoor garden helps beat the long winter blues. Being cooped up in a bunker could be less confining with a bit of the outdoors inside

  38. Paula Kungel

    February 17, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    There are no greater creature comforts than a Bible and a flashlight when you’re faced with losing “everything.”

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    May 27, 2014 at 1:09 AM

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  40. Leanne LaBare

    June 20, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Being the ‘Master Life Coach’ and a woman as well, I have found a couple of things absent from your list, but sure improve your time while cooped up, if only for a couple of days.

    1. A hairbrush and comb…a no brainer IF you remember your purse. But to keep a clean, new, unused one tucked into your supplies sure has made my family feel better. As well as some dry shampoo and some rubber bands, hair clips, etc. Keeping up some sort of normalcy and routine in this type of situation seems to hold things together for all.

    2. If you have pets, you always remember the food, but what about their favorite treats or their favorite toy to pass the time. Teach old Fido a new trick or two. And, don’t forget the leash, ‘just in case’.

    3. Crossword puzzle books, cards, trivia books, audio books, dice, big book of good jokes, or read aloud short stories..anything to keep the mind engaged in something other than what might be going on outside your abode.

    These are a couple of my ‘must have’s’ and they apply to any age, young or old. And, seem to draw folks together closer.

    • Lauren J

      June 24, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      I agree, Leanne. These would all be very beneficial to have around in case of a bug in. Thanks for your contribution!

  41. Joana Lehman

    December 16, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    In addition to a Bible (a “given”), I would suggest bringing a hymnal. Singing old familiar hymns, with others or even by yourself, is comforting. If you sing off-key, it can also be funny–and laughter is good for the soul.

    This is something to do when there is nothing to do. An ancillary benefit is that your favorite melodies will keep running through your head and heart; you’ll be humming to yourself long after the singing is over. God’s rerun messages will keep you focused on Him at a time when He may seem far away.

  42. Rene

    May 25, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    MAKE -UP? Looking Good is important no matter what the circumstance? Some body needs to check their vanity at the Door! Females soldiers do not wear make-up in the field, during combat, or during drills and training. What is going to be a HUGE issue when Shit Hit’s The Fan, are young women who are so used to caking it on thick and then prancing around with their ass checks exposed and breasts nearly fully bared, that they will have hissy fits when they CAN’T show off and draw attention to themselves. Who in the Hell does she think she is going to impress? Hot Looking Survivalist is an oxymoron. ” OH wait, let me check my make-up, take a quick selfie, post it to my Facebook page – before I shoot you!? WTF?

    • KSV

      May 29, 2015 at 8:38 AM

      Imagine you are a woman of a certain age with a husband who helps others. You have invested in survival food, goods, a great bug out location. And a sweet young thing, perhaps with a young child comes begging your husband for food, and help, and she sees him as her ability to survive, And that means alienating him from you and kicking you out of your food and shelter. Looking good is a self defense move.

      • Rene

        May 29, 2015 at 5:12 PM

        NO – it isn’t. Anyone who has been in a war zone and seen and dealt with refugees is well aware that young women try to sell their favors for food and shelter, and maybe a ticket to the States.

        It will not be any different here in the USA either. As soon as women and teenage girls are hot, tired, hungry, thirsty, cold, afraid, separated, abandoned, they will look for anyone who’ll take them in – for – a warm wet ride. The wartime enemy has known this for millenniums. As a woman, I am well aware of just how fast a female sells herself if she thinks it is to her advantage, and using the V.J. as a means to an ends is part of it. Look Hot gets the attention, and then giving sexual favors seals the deal – she hopes!

        In a SHTF survival situation – if you and your mate are NOT an absolute impenetrable unit that has each others backside come hell or high water – then you won’t make it. We have a rule in place – NO ONE- no matter how desperate, crying for help, begging, pleading, bleeding, beat up, screaming, with or with out children – can get within our agreed 50 to 100 foot radius safe zone of self protection. We’ll warn you not to approach, if you continue or disregard the warning – you get double tapped without blinking an eye. And if that means a young hot looking Mommie with babies get killed, so be it! That’s war,that’s self defense and survival of the group. Ask any soldier whose ever fought in a combat zone –

        People have yet to grasp just how ugly and terrifying a shit hit’s the fan – the end of the world as we know it , scenario is going to be. Far too many still think, they could just be nice, smile, share, be friendly, say; ” I’m A Christian”, play fair, obey the law, avoid conflicts, stay out of the way, etc… and they will be hunky dory! HA! Think again.

        Too many think it is going to be like a big summer vacation and camping out, with roasting hot dogs, burgers on the BBQ, heating porky-beans, having home made macaroni salad, `Tato-Chips, toasting Smores, and singing Kumbaya! – until everything is nice and happy once again in the city and they can go home. What a bunch of IDIOTS!!!!

        When Shit hits the Fan – it’ll mean death and destruction unlike anything American’s have seen in the homelands. When they say the Zombies will be out in force- that is only a cartoonish idea of how bad it will really be. What will be out there looking for any one they can reap for supplies, information, and rape of all female no matter the age – with be Hordes of Death Dealers with no souls, no remorse, no empathy, no moral’s, no rules, no cares, JUST PILLAGE and KILL. They’ll be a plague worse than the black death sweeping the nation. This is who’ll you’ll be dealing with. And the government and military knows this and they have a final solution- Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear warfare to wipe the land clean…

        This is why the international globalists and Banksters have been creating a network or conglomerates that does not depend upon US workers and all their Union demands, and health care issues.
        The US government is a International Business Organization that only cares about profits and does not give a shit about “We the People” and is going to sell out the nation to the Globalists and Foreign Interests at the full expense of the American people. This is what GHW Bush called the NEW WORLD ORDER – A big idea – whose time has come! The Million Points of Light – being muzzle blast from military rifles and artillery!
        The days of the good life in the USA are about to came to an abrupt ending – beginning this summer in select areas..( JADE HELM ) then after 2016 and the NEW globalist Dictator is in place- SHTF!

        The Government has already put into place – No escaping to other countries as well. When it hit’s, we’re sealed in with no way out.

        We expect to survive SHTF maybe 12 to 18 months – if we’re lucky, and then our “GIG” will be up. If not killed by an attacker, then the environment will get us. There will be just too much disease, plague, half dead and dying people, dead zones, toxic waste lands,vermin, Zombies, Death Dealers, Government Hunter Killer Forces, pollution, radiation, depletion of food and medical supplies – Plus the forced prison labor camps, concentration FEMA camps, mass graves as well , and our ages – that will be the end of us! We just might one day say to each other – this is bullshit and what’s the point to continue on like this, We’ll douse the house with gasoline, ignite it, and then take a cyanide capsule.

        Then the zombie hordes can feast on our charred poisoned carcasses.

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