There are thousands of survival products on the market for everyone from preppers to Joe Everyday. But the first step before breaking out that credit card is always a realistic evaluation of your unique needs.

If you’ll be bugging in, that’ll take you in one direction; if bugging out, that’ll generally involve a different list of items. If you plan on both possibilities, there are many products that can do crossover duty. In establishing your list, prioritize and stick the most important items up at the top to work on first as funds allow. Shelter, heat, food, and water should come before any “luxury” items, and from there you work your way down.

Your physical layout at home can also be a major determinant of what you’re able to stockpile, in terms of space, and the same goes for the size and type of vehicle you’ll have available for sudden relocations. If you’re stocking up to weather a three-day ice storm without power, to migrate to your backup farm far from the city, or simply planning the contents of a 72-hour bug-out bag, you need to balance out what you think you’ll need against what you can actually and realistically store or carry.

Assuming you’ve got your shelter and heat worked out, here’s ten oughta-haves that should be high on anyone’s list.

 

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE TM Fall 2014 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.