Camping & Survival

5 Most Underrated Survival Products

Survival Products Food

Among forest fires, a global pandemic, social unrest and a slew of other global crises, many Americans are preparing for the apocalypse.

Within the last 12 months alone, 20% of the United States population has invested in survival materials.

Meanwhile, another 35% of Americans haven’t bought survival items because they stocked up before the chaos erupted.

Even as the essentials fly off grocery store shelves, many are missing necessary — albeit underrated — survival products.

Here are just a few products you should add to your bomb shelter or apocalypse survival kit before they’re no longer available.

1. Rope

In a survival situation, rope is one of the most useful items you could possibly have. Ropes have any number of uses and can quite literally become a lifeline in an emergency or dire circumstance.

For example, in a torrential downpour or snowstorm, you can tie a rope between two trees, hang a tarp and create shelter.

You might also use this handy item to trap animals, rappel down steep hills, tourniquet a wound or even build a wooden raft. Some robust nylon cord will also do the trick.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. In this case, you must know how to tie various knots in order to effectively use this survival product.

Commit yourself to learn a few basic knots — like the figure-eight and slip knot — to ensure you always know how to tie the best knot in every situation.

Blue Rope Survival Products

2. Containers

If you’ve prepped well, odds are you have a few hundred cans of beans, vegetables and fruit in your basement or, better yet, your bomb shelter.

However, in case you manage to get your hands on some fresh produce before going into hiding, it’s wise to have some plastic containers at your disposal.

Doing so may just prolong your food’s shelf life — and keep you alive longer.

Store any produce that releases ethylene in one of these containers. Apples, celery, tomatoes and bananas all emit this gas compound that naturally ripens fruits and vegetables.

By storing them in airtight containers away from other items, you can preserve your food and ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.

Plastic Storage Container Survival Products

3. Climbing Backpack

Whether you’re fighting zombies or finding more food, eventually you’re going to have to relocate.

When you do decide to leave your shelter and trek into the unknown, you’ll want to carry some supplies and resources along with you.

In this case, it’s best to strap on a backpack, keeping your hands free for self-defence and foraging.

Invest in a quality climbing backpack that fits your torso well and can withstand direct sunlight, rain and freezing temperatures.

Choose one that can carry enough supplies, too. Typically, a 70-liter bag will hold enough provisions for about a week. However, many outdoor brands sell 30 to 80-liter packs as well.

Backpack Survival Products

4. Meals Ready to Eat

Before you head out on your quest for shelter or more food, you may also want to pack some Meals Ready to Eat.

This emergency food is satisfying, nutritious and has a shelf life of 10 years, so you always have a backup to your backup food supply.

One case contains 12 complete meals, each one featuring an entree, dessert, heater, crackers, condiments and a spoon. Just add water to activate the heater before eating.

You might also stock up on dehydrated foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and sprouted grains.

By reducing your food’s moisture content, you can extend its lifespan and ensure you have enough food to last a long while — even if all the supermarkets are gone.

Enjoy these dehydrated foods dry or add water when you’re ready to dig in and enjoy. These are some of the best survival products to add to your kit.

MRE Survival Products

5. Bleach

Chlorine bleach is an incredibly powerful cleaner that kills germs and eliminates bacteria.

In a post-apocalyptic world, this chemical is incredibly essential to keeping you healthy and safe — especially if antibiotics become unavailable.

Use bleach to clean up blood and other bodily fluids and sterilize kitchen utensils and medical supplies. You can even add a few drops to your water to ensure it’s safe to drink.

Just be sure to avoid mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. Doing so could produce toxic fumes that can severely damage your respiratory system and overall health.

Moreover, remember to rotate your bleach every six months, as the chemical does tend to lose its potency over time.

Bleach Survival Products

Survival Products for Anything

Doomsday preppers know to expect the absolute worst, even if they aren’t sure how the world will end or what kind of pandemonium will rock the earth next.

Regardless, they know to stock up on essentials like toilet paper and food. This foresight demonstrates basic preparedness.

In addition to basic preparedness, it’s important you don’t overlook items that could come in handy in a survival situation. When disaster strikes, that rope or jug of bleach may just save your life.

So stock up now and rest easy knowing you’re doing everything you can to prepare yourself and stay safe, no matter what happens.

What are some key survival products you like to stock up on? Why? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Dylan Bartlett

Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about the outdoors, survivalism and similar topics on his blog. He's an avid hiker and enjoys roughing it in unfamiliar territory. Check out Just a Regular Guide to read more of his work, or follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for updates.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (21)

  1. The problem with survival is you don’t know what it is you need to survive. We just survived the SCU complex fire. We stayed, we fought, and we survived the fire. We saved our home and shop. We lost 2 wells. Being pretty much self sufficient was a massive help as no outside help was coming before, during or after the fire. We’re always stocked with food, water and the dailies to survive. We lost access to the “outside” completely. We couldn’t get out nor back in if we did choose to leave. There was no power for 3 weeks and no communication for 2. When you think your prepared, check the list and fortify it. Preparing will get you through most any emergency.

    1. Hats off to your success in planning and surviving. Positive vibes your way to getting back on track and moving forward.

  2. A ‘solar still’ is very effective. Cary two or three large (1o’ X 10′ )
    of heavy duty black polythene in your pack. Add a cup and some
    sort of small ‘entrenching tool’ or shovel (take little room,
    weighs little, and works better than bare hands–importantly a
    sharpened edge will greatly help collecting and breaking into short
    sections as much green vegetation as you can. Did i mention a very
    small (triangular) file to sharped chopping edge as needed?

    Dig a roundish hole two or three feet in diameter and about as deep,
    Put some sort of receptacle in the centre of the hole. Pile in plenty of
    green vegetative matter cut or broken into short lengths. Cover hole
    with the black polyetheylene sheet, weighted down with a small rock in
    the middle so you have an inverted cone whose tip is a couple of
    inches above the receptacle which will receive the distilled water.
    weight down the edges of your sheet with rocks and weight for a while
    whilst your still works. Sunlight directly onto your ‘still ‘ is your source
    of power–even when the ambient temperature is quite cold, the sun
    will warm the still enough to work as well as keep your precious
    water from freezing.

    In my younger days, used to be an instructor in (high) desert and arctic
    survival. Hope you never need this information but it so, may it serve
    you well and help bring you back to base safely!

  3. Bleach straight from the bottle stored for about 3 yrs for me was found to be worthless. A much more effective and concentrated option is pool shock. Lasts alot longer and takes up much less space. Just research what mix rate works for you to create safe drinking water and write it on the container before the internet is out for good.

  4. One thing not mentioned in the MRE’s is the fact that they are heavy with salt as a preservative, is that right? What is recommended for those folks who can’t have a lot of iodized salt or none at all? Not of concern for me but my wife couldn’t handle eating them if they are indeed heavily salted items.

  5. Coffee, ziploc bags, bic lighters. Besides regular sort of preps for my family, i stock things that can be traded.
    If things get bad, gold bullion will do you no good. But maybe, just maybe, you can trade some socks, or lighters, or batteries for what you really need.

  6. Another good article thx! These items cover both staying at home and while on the move. We have a top list of most useful chemicals, some are bleach, vinegar, gas, sodium bicarbonate, glycerin, potassium permanganate, petroleum-jelly. Likewise we choose the figure-8 knot as the most important and universal. MRE’s are not our first choice, but are good general purpose. Our top items for EDC are: fensel lense magnifier, titanium pen/whistle, silicone ear plugs, nitrile gloves, kevlar line, plasma arc lighter, and a flashlight – Our group has many similar articles on SubscribeStar just search for us Forlorn-Hope.

  7. As a backpacker and former Nordicand alpine ski patroller I’m very well prepared with both gear and backpacking FD and dehydrated food, but NOT with heavy MREs. I have exactly two MREs.

    Also I have the SKILLS needed to survive in terms of first aid, navigation and fire and shelter building in ALL seasons as I was once, as a Nordic Ski Patroller, an Army ROTC winter survival instructor.

  8. More companies should make WW2 items in 22lr & 22wmr.

    THEY will sell like crazy in the US !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Another addition that I see as critical is ammo. Even if you refuse to carry a firearm, ammo is like gold in a crisis, and can readily be exchanged for anything you might need. Even gold and silver may not be that attractive in an apocalypse; because you can’t eat money, but ammo plus a gun can get you food on the table if you go hunting. It may be heavy, but the boxes it comes in, or military ammo boxes make it a perfect way to preserve it, and is still relatively compact for what it is worth. It is also handy to carry ammo cans as compared to other important trade goods. Besides that you can make a crude firearm out of almost anything, and I’ve done that very successfully; even if you have to build it out of improvised junk.

  10. Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorinating Shock Treatment for Swimming Pools normally is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite which has 64% free chlorine. Keep it dry and away from any metal and it will have a shelf life of 10 years. You can buy at Walmart DryTec Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorinating Shock Treatment for Swimming Pools. It comes in 1-Pound packets and 24 Packs per case for $63. Half a cup of it will make a gallon of 5.25% bleach, the same you buy in liquid form. Use 8 drops to one-gallon water to make it safe to drink. Use 1/4th teaspoon to a gallon of water for cleaning disinfectant.

  11. While I have MREs, it’s more efficient to carry the entrees and fruit sides individually in your backpack. A Mainstay-style bar (3600 cal) is high density for your bag. I also hump a 5 gal camp shower bag as water will be where-is, as-is on your journey home – it’s tough and flat until needed.

  12. In my state you can receive basic Emergency Medical Technician training for a very low cost.
    I volunteered at a local EMS service and eventually became a paramedic. The training was invaluable
    and the confidence that I gained was that one would need in a survival situation. I have noticed that the general population is marginal at best when dealing with life threatening situations. That thing that is attached to the top of your neck is the best piece of survival equipment you can get. Remember, in a survival situation you may not have access to your survival equipment so you may have to improvise, adapt and then overcome a stressful situation. Thanks, to my service and training with the U.S. Marine Corps. Bob

  13. In our routine now we use duct tape, WD40, and Vinegar(both natural cider and distilled), and baking soda, for a multitude of uses. I can see those having critical roles for survival. Vinegar is excellent for topical issues and internal. Baking soda is good toothpaste and other uses.

  14. Water, minimum one gallon per day per person in (sealed) jugs.
    Poncho..wet weather, even snow, and adds warmth especially when windy.
    Specifically, Swiss Army style knife–I prefer Huntsman, second choice, old Boy Scout Knife.
    Water-proof matches in match safe.
    Candle lantern with candles. I used the Candelier with spare bees-wax candles (brighter,
    20 % longer burner time.) Also, Candelier will hear water in metal cups.
    Accurate, scoped bolt action .22 long rifle with both hollow-point sub-sonic ammunition
    (I use Eley) and High Velocity hollow-point. I use Eley and also Winchester hollow-point,
    An alternative might be accurate scoped .22 WMR as several good full power loads
    are available (I use Hornady 45-grain and CCI 40-grain Game Point. Winchester makes
    an excellent small game sub-sonic load, X22MSUB, 45-grains at 1,065 fps. I know from
    direct personal observation that .22 WMR with Winchester 40-grain JHP
    is capable of one-shit kills on modest size deer at 50 yards.
    And, if you know how to use mils, a mil-dot first focal plane reticule.

    Amongst my earlier indiscretions, I was a survival instructor for both artic and
    high desert/desert environments.

  15. Water, minimum one gallon per day per person in (sealed) jugs.
    Poncho..wet weather, even snow, and adds warmth especially when windy.
    Specifically, Swiss Army style knife–I prefer Huntsman, second choice, old Boy Scout Knife.
    Water-proof matches in match safe.
    Candle lantern with candles. I used the Candelier with spare bees-wax candles (brighter,
    20 % longer burner time.) Also, Candelier will hear water in metal cups.
    Accurate, scoped bolt action .22 long rifle with both hollow-point sub-sonic ammunition
    (I use Eley) and High Velocity hollow-point. I use Eley and also Winchester hollow-point,
    An alternative might be accurate scoped .22 WMR as several good full power loads
    are available (I use Hornady 45-grain and CCI 40-grain Game Point. Winchester makes
    an excellent small game sub-sonic load, X22MSUB, 45-grains at 1,065 fps. I know from
    direct personal observation that .22 WMR with Winchester 40-grain JHP
    is capable of one-shit kills on modest size deer at 50 yards.
    And, if you know how to use mils, a mil-dot first focal plane reticule.

    Amongst my earlier indiscretions, I was a survival instructor for both artic and
    high desert/desert enviroments.

  16. While I agree with the items listed, a lot of thought should be put into a reliable firearm or firearms. Ideally a Handgun for self preservation (handy but also allowing your hands to be free to work on other stuff), a decent 22 rifle for hunting small game and a shotgun for hunting larger game – depending on location and available game.
    A decent axe and knife are invaluable, also tarps and other means of shelter are a necessity. One should try to understand the gravity of a real survival situation, think about everything you do on a daily basis and imagine how you would maintain that level of survival without power or being able to run to the local wallymart to get a frozen pizza. Yea, it’s a big deal.

  17. A firearm that has plenty of available ammunition. Close quarters combat will find a 45 far more dependable than a 15/19 round 9mm. And a good accurate 22 cal rifle with very light and very dependable and plenty available ammunition is far better than the typical Ar15 with all the mags and damn that ammo gets heavy. And a KBAR type knife, Remember when it comes time to leave the safety of where you have been holding up…traveling is best knowing where your going and travel as light as reasonably possible. Good Luck to all, I assure you will need all you can hope for!

  18. I certainly agree on Nr. 1, rope. Unfortunately your link only links to parachute cord. Which, while useful does not qualify as “rope”

    Fortunately there are several good sites that sell “proper” rope. Heck, even Home Depot stocks some good heavy duty rope, both hemp and nylon.

  19. Thanks for another great article. After Katrina hit New Orleans and thugs took over the city, I swore that would never be me or my family’s situation. I have prepared for every possible scenario and can confidently protect, feed and water (dug my own pitcher pump well), “Doctor to” my family and thrive should a natural or otherwise disaster take place. Wish others would do the same.

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