• Home /
  • A Basic Prepper List For Beginning Prepping

A Basic Prepper List For Beginning Prepping

When you first make the decision to improve your emergency preparedness and survival skills, it can seem like there are dozens of items to gather and hundreds of things to learn about.  It can all be very over whelming for the beginner prepper.

This article will help you identify the basic items necessary to improve your emergency preparedness.  It focuses on the essential items which you absolutely must have and skips the ‘luxury’ survival items that other lists contain. 

This article will also provide some great tips for building a prepper list for new preppers who may be a little short on money or time.

Essential to life, securing a source of clean water is crucial.  To ensure reliable access to drinkable water, you will require some water storage, water transportation and water purification tools.

Water Purification and Filtration Tools
You will need a variety of methods for removing potentially dangerous chemicals, sediment, viruses and bacteria from water.

Filtration is necessary to remove some chemicals and sediment, but remember it will not remove all of the potentially dangerous bacteria or viruses present in the water. 

Most forms of water purification will kill any viruses or bacteria, but will not remove dangerous chemicals or sediment!  It is only through a combination of the two processes that you can make your water safe for consumption.

Two of the following methods to purify water should be purchased: Water purification tablets, Iodine, non-scented bleach or calcium hypochlorite.  Learn the ratios and techniques necessary to use these methods.

A kettle with a lid to boil water and kill any bacteria or viruses it contains (remember this will not remove any harmful debris or chemicals).

Water filters, ideally a portable camping filter and an in-home gravity fed filter.  Also purchase some coffee filters for removing larger particles of sediment from water.

Other devices which are optional but recommended include the SteriPEN Handheld UV Water Purifier, Aquamira Frontier and LifeStraw® Water Filter

Transporting Water
You should acquire multiple lightweight containers for traveling and larger containers for transporting bulk quantities of water.  Remember that some plastics are not suitable for the long term storage of water, so choose your containers carefully.

You should obtain a variety of items for transporting water including:

  • Large plastic or stainless steel bottles and canteens
  • Personal water bottles within inbuilt carbon filters
  • 5-gallon water jugs
  • One or more water bladders

Storing Water
Make sure you have the ability to store all of that water by purchasing or gaining access to:

  • 55-gallon storage barrels and rain barrels
  • Smaller plastic containers like soft drink bottles and water jugs
  • Bathtubs, pools and sinks can all be useful
  • Sterilize all containers used to store or carry water with a bleach mixture — 1 teaspoon of unscented chlorine bleach to a quart of water to sanitize a bottle. 
  • Date all water that you are storing in plastic containers and avoid storing water in plastic containers for more than a 6-months.  Water stored for longer than this period has an increased risk of bacterial contamination.

If you are on a budget, get creative with the methods you use to transport, store and filter water.  For example, a plastic sheet can folded to carry water and servers many other purposes.  Gradually building a collection of plastic soft drink bottles is perhaps the cheapest way to build your water storage capacity.

If you are a new prepper who is just starting to improve their emergency preparedness, you probably have less than 1 week worth of food in the entire house!  You should gradually increase your capacity to feed yourself over long periods with a stockpile.  Don’t rush out and buy 100 cans of baked beans, but spend a few months gradually building a stock pile.

In addition to gathering long-life food, you should store items that allow you to hunt for food, farm for food as well as prepare and preserve food.

Food Stockpile
At a minimum, you will need a 6-month supply of long-life food and staples.

  • Canned vegetables, legumes (kidney beans, lentils, peas, soya beans), fruit, and meat
  • Pasta, rice and wheat
  • Staples including flour, sugar, spices, salt, honey, yeast, baking powder, vinegar
  • Cooking oils, condiments
  • Coffee/Tea and powdered milk

Food Hunting Tools

  • Hunting rifle and plenty of ammunition, Bow and arrows
  • Trap making tools and the knowledge to use them effectively
  • Fishing gear including rods, hooks, lures, and nets
  • Maps and navigational equipment

Food Growing Tools
Gardening is a crucial survivalist skill that every prepper should learn.  It allows you to sustain yourself for very long periods.

  • Shovel, rake, hoe and other gardening tools
  • Fertilizers and insecticides
  • Non-GMO Seeds for a wide range of vegetables
  • Hoses and other equipment to water your crops

Food Preservation and Preparation Tools

You should include at lest two ways of cooking food and two ways to preserve the food you grow or catch. 

  • Glass jars for pickling or fermenting, a canning pot or pressure canner
  • A solar food dehydrator and drying trays for sun-drying food
  • A variety of pest-resistant food containers
  • Two of the following options — BBQ grill, camping stove, solar oven, fire pit, solar oven and good supply of fuel
  • Utensils and cooking implements
  • Can openers, pots and pans

Health Care
Looking after your health is a very important survival skill that all preppers should spend time developing.  It is not enough to just purchase a first aid kit and hope for the best, you should obtain training for dealing with emergency medical situations.  A beginning prepper should purchase the following basic items:

  • Large first aid kit and small first aid kits for traveling
  • Hydrogen peroxide and other disinfectant creams
  • Snake bite kit and spider bite kit
  • A comprehensive first aid instruction book
  • Scissors, scalpel, tweezers and additional bandages
  • You should also have plentiful hygiene supplies including:
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss
  • Toilet paper, portable toilet and quick lime to help deal with human waste
  • Camp shower
  • Sunscreen, moisturizer and lip balm
  • Vitamins, pain relief, prescription drugs, antihistamines and any other allergy medication
  • Scissors, combs, nail clippers and tweezer

You should include some resources for making shelter in the wild and improving the condition of existing buildings.  A beginner prepper should purchase:

  • Basic tools including screw drivers, pliers, crowbars, wire cutters
  • Camping tents, sleeping bags, blankets, rope and tarpaulins
  • Nails, screws, duct tape, padlocks, chains
  • Heating and cooling appliances for your shelter which may include a wood burning stove, fans, gas heater and plenty of fuel
  • Various household items including towels, sheets, washing detergent, pegs, and insecticides.
  • Energy generation tools including solar panels, gas generator, inverter and the necessary fuel
  • Lighting, which can include oil lamps, candles, solar charged lights and headlamps.


You should also gather practical clothing that is suited to outdoor environments.  Think about the types of materials used in the clothing you purchase, concentrating on accumulating weatherproof clothing.

  • Shirts, jackets, pants, and underwear. Focus on finding jackets and pants designed for survival situations.  Avoid military colors because they may make you a target during times of civil unrest
  • Two pairs of well made work shoes, socks and additional laces.  Tennis shoes and sandals.
  • Rain gear including rain proof ponchos
  • Thermals
  • Many forms of eye wear including sun glasses, goggles, spare pairs of prescription glasses
  • Headwear including hats, bandanas and beanies

Security and Communications

Finally, the beginner prepper must ensure he has the items necessary to protect themselves and their family. 

  • A pistol and a rifle with ammunition and cleaning tools
  • Combat knife, combat bow and arrows
  • Heavy duty locks, alarms, security lights and metal shutters throughout your home
  • Your ability to communicate with others effectively is also an important survival skill.  Make sure you have the following items:
  • Two-way radio, HAM radio or world band radio
  • Mobile phone and ideally access to a landline
  • Signaling mirrors, flashlights and whistles
  • Walkie talkies

Gradually gather these items and practice your survival skills in the wilderness to improve your emergency preparedness.  The key is to plan your emergency response and be ready when the worst happens!