You don’t need a degree in economics to realize that the frightening possibility of an economic collapse is growing more and more likely every day.
Arguably, not since the Great Depression has there been such a confluence of events so likely to capsize the average person’s way of life.
Now, if you are a prepper you probably already have it in mind to stock up on the old standby of bullets and bandages for the impending unrest and lawlessness that will surely follow. As it turns out, you might have a big blind spot in your preps.
There are all kinds of things that will disappear basically overnight as an economic collapse draws ever closer and finally goes over the tipping point.
Many of these items might seem pretty mundane, even every day, when it comes to survival purposes but each and every one of them is important.
Keep reading for our list of 21 items that you should stockpile before the next economic collapse.
five rolls of colored duct tape: gray, brown, green, black, red
1. Duct Tape
Duct tape might well be a prepper’s best friend, but despite all of the memes and jokes you hear about this stuff it really is invaluable when you need to repair or craft in a hurry.
Ubiquitous and cheap right now, it will become extra valuable and difficult to come by after an economic collapse since the processes required to make it are surprisingly intricate, and then of course it has to be delivered.
The good news is that duct tape stores extremely well so long as it is kept reasonably cool, out of direct sunlight and dry.
I’d recommend you buy a case, put it aside and forget about it until you need it. And make sure you don’t pilfer your stash the next time your workbench roll runs out!
Firewood is a chronically overlooked addition to most survival stockpiles. After all, any wood can burn and we are surrounded by wood pretty much all the time, right?
Right, but also wrong: proper firewood takes time to dry out, a process known as seasoning.
It is this firewood you should reach for anytime you need to get a fire going in your fireplace, fire pit or wood burning stove.
You can burn unseasoned wood and even treated lumber in an emergency, but it will smoke, spit and potentially emit even more dangerous gases than usual. You can avoid being forced to deal with suboptimal wood if you stock up on good firewood now.
3. Disposable Diapers
If you have young children in your care, you know that diapers are a must have. Trust me, every other parent knows this as well.
If you think you will be able to just grab a pack of diapers at the store when you need them, think again.
Diapers are one of those things that people will not hesitate to hoard and panic buy as a real depression draws ever closer. If you don’t have children of your own, you might think you are off the hook, right?
Maybe not. What you might not realize is that even if you don’t have small children at home, diapers can still be a valuable addition to your post-collapse stockpile.
As trade fodder or giving to relatives and neighbors with young children, diapers will be greatly appreciated and always in high demand.
4. Garbage Bags
It is a horrid thing to think about, but you’ll pretty much be able to count on sanitation services at all levels taking a major hit during a genuine economic collapse.
From trash pickup to sewer services, everything will be in disarray and it will take some time for things to get back on track.
In the meantime, you might find yourself having to haul or stockpile your own trash or, even worse, dealing with a full septic system.
In either case, garbage bags are an absolute must have. Anything you need to get rid off for proper sanitation is best kept in a tough, impermeable trash bag prior to permanent disposal.
I would recommend heavy duty contractor grade garbage bags as your go-to, and you are smart to have a huge supplyon hand well before you actually need them!
the Lifestraw personal water filter
5. Water Filters
Pretty much every prepper understands the importance of water filtration tech for survival. After all, water is the very stuff of life and you won’t last long without it.
Even if you have a well on your property or some other source of potable water, filtration is still vital.
Since basic life support is going to quickly be on everyone’s mind, other folks (and all the other preppers) will be snatching up everything from LifeStraws to Brita pitchers and everything in between real quick.
Whatever your chosen filters are, make sure you have plenty on hand and know how to properly use and maintain them for maximum longevity.
6. Gas Cans
Everyone thinks about having gas on hand in a time like this, but precious few have the needed amount of gas cans to properly and safely store and transport it.
No matter what you are dealing with post-collapse, you must keep your fuel unspoiled and still easy to take with you or dispense as needed. In all cases, gas cans are just the most logical solution.
You will want to get your hands on as many high-quality and most importantly safe gas cans as possible.
Even if you aren’t storing a ton of it yourself this is another item that can make for great trade fodder as the market supply dwindles.
You’ll also be a sight for sore eyes when you ride to the rescue of a stranded friend or family member with your gas cans in tow!
a gas generator
I trust that I don’t need to impress on any long time reader of the site just how important generators are for survival.
If you have ever been through a prolonged power outage, then you understand just how much we rely on electricity every day to get by.
From keeping the lights on to powering medical equipment and cooking dinner, generators are an absolute must have in any long term SHTF scenario.
But once again, bear in mind just how intricate the process of making and delivering a generator to market is.
If the usual flow of goods and services is disrupted, you might find yourself waiting months or even years for a new generator to come available between the market conditions and the demand.
And then the price will in all likelihood be eye-wateringly high- much higher than even today’s already high prices!
This is why it is so important to buy one now, gas, propane, solar or whatever while you still have the chance, and stockpile fuel for it if required.
Coolers are one of those chronically forgotten items that will come back to haunt you when you really need one.
If you have ever had a power outage lasting more than a day or so, then you know how quickly food in your fridge and freezer can go bad.
A cooler, loaded with ice, can greatly extend the “good” time of your refrigerated and fresh foods, and make them easier to transport.
More than this, coolers might prove to be vital for keeping vital medicines at the proper temperature, and can also be used in reverse to prevent sensitive items from freezing if the power is out for an extended period during cold weather.
In short, if you don’t have a good cooler or two on hand already, make it a priority to get some ASAP.
Home (pressure) canned and dehydrated long-term pantry meals and sides.
9. Canned Meats and Veggies
Convenience or low-cost staples now, canned meats, veggies, and fruit will quickly become a valuable resource in an economic collapse scenario.
Canned goods have a long shelf life and can provide you with the calories and nutrients you need to survive when other food sources have dwindled or become unsafe. Even eaten right out of the can, they are safe and pretty tasty.
These are one of the very first things “normies” will scarf up when things really turn bleak, and you won’t be able to count on regular resupply of your usual grocery spots.
If you don’t have them on hand from the outset you can probably kiss them goodbye.
cans of peanut butter on pantry shelves
10. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a topping, an ingredient or a food group unto itself depending on who you ask, but what isn’t an opinion is that it makes one hell of a great survival food.
It is shelf stable, relatively cheap, calorie dense and packed with protein, making it the perfect food to have on hand when things go south. It is also delicious and a comfort food for many.
Like many common comfort and snack foods, it is among the priority items that everyday people will wipe out in times of trouble or stress.
Good for them, but if you don’t want to miss out then you should get your hands on as much as you can now, while the gettin’ is good. Don’t forget to rotate, it will last a long time when sealed, but not forever.
Another classic survival staple that will be bought in bulk at the first sign of trouble. Rice is a cheap, calorie dense food that can be stored in large quantities and will keep you alive in lean times.
There won’t be a grain left in town to be bought when things get really bad economically.
beans and rice with hot sauce seasoning
Beans go with rice like, well, rice and beans! Bad jokes aside, dry beans, bought in bulk, will be snatched up by the informed and uninformed alike when the economy tanks.
Beans are a nutritious and filling food but also one that is known as fare for the economically challenged.
One of the single best staples available for its cost, beans will be the only thing on the menu of some people, and you should not count on being able to acquire them in quantity when the economy starts to grind to a halt.
Honey is a delicious topping, yes, but it has special qualities that make it a wonderful survival food, namely its long shelf life and total lack of need for refrigeration. This all-natural sweetener will become valuable indeed when scarcity really kicks in.
Concerning supply of honey post-collapse, the good news is that bees make it and they don’t need our help: they will keep right on making it despite what our society is going through.
The bad news, though, is that you are going to get your ass kicked trying to get it from them if you don’t have the training and equipment of a beekeeper!
The honey supply will continue to flow after the collapse, yes, but it will flow very, very slowly. Get some now and save yourself some welts.
A fundamental staple, flour is taken entirely for granted right now. It is one of those things that you just assume will be there when you need it.
So cheap, so plentiful, and produced in such immense volumes that the mind cannot even conceive of the number.
Will flour run out during the new depression?
It is certainly possible: remember, despite how simple it is on the surface flour production is dependent on the availability of heavy industry, farming machinery, cheap transport, and a colossal workforce.
All of those components will be disrupted when the economy tanks.
You might be lucky enough to get your hands on some right after things go south as people are still panicking and buying up other, ready-to-eat foods, but the smart ones (and eventually everyone else) will start to buy and hoard it.
If you want bread, you’ll need flour. If you want it to rise, you’ll need yeast.
Baking your own bread at home will once again become the norm in the new economic reality, and yeast is a vital part of that process- at least for most kinds of bread!
Like flour, it is taken entirely for granted now, but it too requires industry to produce it on the scale and in the convenient way that we have become accustomed to.
And while yeast will all but certainly continue to be produced after the economy collapses, it won’t be anywhere near as readily available as it is now. So, get it while you can, and stock up.
Also, make sure to take good care of your stored yeast, and rotate your stock; it will last for a long while, but it is rarely still good more than 3-6 months after the sell- or best-by date on the package.
Also, keep in mind that opened packets of yeast require refrigeration to last!
16. Canned Milk
You might be surprised to see how many services in the wake of another economic catastrophe are “rolled back” to the bygone standards of yesteryear.
But I am calling this one now, milk deliveries won’t be one of them. The dairy industry will do its best to keep the milk flowing to store shelves, but it will be a struggle.
The need for refrigeration at all phases of delivery and stocking alongside skyrocketing prices might well see milk turn into a new luxury good.
If you want milk for your cereal or coffee or just to drink, you should get it in a shelf-stable form while you still can.
Store-bought powdered milk is an option, too, though it lacks some of the nutritional benefits of the real thing and does not quite taste the same.
Another similar choice is powdered milk. Both have their own merits, and both are good to go as part of your economic survival stockpile.
a assortment of seeds
Not sunflower seeds; seeds for your garden. Whether they have the skills or not, some people will immediately think of growing their own food as things start to get bad. But unless they happen to have a stockpile of seeds, they will be SOL.
Expect to see all the seed packs of usual garden staples vanish from store shelves within days of the economy taking a turn for the worse.
If you want to be able to grow your own food when things get tough, you need to have seeds on hand now.
A 2-burner Coleman propane camping stove.
18. Grills and Camp Stoves
Whenever access to electricity is threatened or just unaffordable, people are going to lose the use of their electric stoves, ovens, and microwaves.
Most will turn to alternate cooking solutions, and the common backyard grill or camp stove is the most convenient and widely available option.
All will be in they will be in high demand and short supply once things start to unravel, and considering that they are not strictly a “necessity” you probably won’t see store shelves restocked anytime soon.
activated charcoal in glass jar
Goes hand in hand with grills. Plus, many will associate charcoal with an easy source of fuel for cooking in any other situation.
Several large bags put back in storage will last basically forever, and if you ever need it you will have it.
Again, when the electrical grid and access to it is imperiled or just too expensive, people will need an alternate method to keep the lights on.
Enter the humble candle: from the cheapest of cheap tealights to the most expensive luxury scented candles, all will disappear before you can count to three.
Now, candles are actually an item that is easy enough to make and I believe they will indeed appear on shelves again. At least they will when made at the local level.
However, the days of cheap-as-cheap-can-be candles will be over. So, for now, you know what to do. Buy them cheap and stack them deep.
21. Fishing Tackle
While most people think of stocking up on food, few think of stocking up on the means to get their own food.
Compared to hunting, fishing is far easier and less intensive and if you want to be able to fish when the supermarkets have been emptied of everything edible, you will need to have fishing tackle on hand. Lots of others are going to have the same idea, believe that!
This one is easy enough; just go down to your local sporting goods store or department store and buy a few basic fishing kits with rod, reel, lures and line. They won’t cost you much, and they will last indefinitely if stored properly.
Yes, a rudimentary rod is easy enough to make from just about anything, but the good stuff will greatly improve your chances of success and improve your chances of success.
If You Wait it Will be Too Late
The items on the list above are probably not the very first things most preppers and other people think of for stockpiling for an economic collapse, but they are nonetheless important and will disappear from shelves all the same, some never to return.
By the time some folks realize they need them, it will be too late; they will all be gone or so expensive as to be unaffordable.
So start stockpiling these things now, while you still can get your hands on them at a fair price.
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