19 Unusual Prepping Items

Most preppers make wise choices when they’re getting their survival gear together…but they hardly ever consider these unusual prepping items.

They start with the essentials, things like water storage and water filtration along with survival food, alternative energy, a survival kit (aka bug out bag) and so on.

I absolutely recommend getting the most important survival gear first. That’s exactly what SurvialFrog.com is all about, helping you get prepared as easy as possible.

Once you have most of your essential survival gear needs met then I might suggest turning to look at the more obscure (but useful) prepping items.

Some of these items are things you definitely have in your home already.

Others are going to be procured inexpensively on your next trip to the grocery store or Goodwill.

And some can be taken right out of the dumpster!

You’re going to be quite impressed by this list, I guarantee it.

19 Of The Most Unusual Prepping Items Ever!

1- Chopsticks:

Who knew the chopsticks at Asian restaurants could be used as prepping supplies. Not only are they great as utensils they can also serve as kindling and they’re great for splints for broken fingers or toes.

Just grabbing a few extra when you go out to eat can prove quite useful.

2 – Zip ties:

Zip ties are incredible useful for a number of different applications. Let’s start with self defense. If you’re ever attacked and subdue your assailant then zip ties are quite effective at neutralizing them. Bear in mind you’ll want to secure the zip tie around the wrist AND around their biceps.

Zip ties only around the wrist can easily be broken. If you’re able to pinion their arms above the elbows it will prevent them from snapping the ties off.

Beyond that zip ties can be used to help build a shelter, they can be used to batten down items to your car or a sled. And they’re also useful for gardening and other uses. You won’t ever overlook these thin strips of plastic again!

3 – Twist ties:

In a similar fashion the twist ties you find at the grocery store can prove useful for survival. While not as strong as cable ties the ubiquitous twist tie is capable of performing a number of survival duties.

They can be used in:

  • gardening
  • shelter construction
  • survival kit security

And more

They’re free at every grocery store and you can grab tons of them every time you go and bring them back for later use.

4 – Magazine perfume ads:

Those inserts in the magazines are quite a bit more useful than just helping you smell better. They can also be used as an awesome fire starter, better than just plain paper alone. The treated paper has a decent amount of alcohol on it (that’s what perfume is made of) so if you put it with your fire starting material it means you’ve got an effective fire starter that could work in most circumstances.

5 – Chewing gum:

You might remember I wrote about chewing gum’s numerous survival uses in another blog post. Well it’s worth mentioning again.  Chewing gum is something you should absolutely have in ample supply.

It’s helpful with improving morale, can help you focus better, can keep you alive and alert, is helpful in bartering situations, can be used to repair small cracks and fractures in equipment, it can even be used to catch fish.

If you’re so inclined you can even stock up on caffeinated gum to help give you an added jolt in a SHTF situation.

6 –  Wagons:

The radio flyer wagon you gave you’ve seen all you life is actually a great survival tool. Think about it, you can drag around heavy children in them so why wouldn’t you be able to use them for prepping?

You can easily load up a wagon with some of your heavier, more awkward survival supplies for greater ease in transportation.  The obvious choice for the rigors of survival will be a metal or wooden wagon, but if an emergency depended on it then the plastic playskool wagon will work fine too.

7 – Wheelbarrows:

Pretty much the same concept as keeping a wagon on hand;  a wheelbarrow allows you to move substantially heavy items for both and long short distances. One of the distinct benefits provided by wheelbarrows is they make use of burly rubber tires, allowing them to travel places where many other wheeled modes of transportation wouldn’t be able to go.

8 – Shopping carts:

If you live in a city then you’ve likely seen homeless people traveling with all of their belonging in a shopping cart.

When you think about this it’s ingenious really, a shopping cart contains both the main basket section as well as the lower “shelf” like portion which gives you the opportunity to carry a ton of stuff at one time. Plus they’ve been designed specifically for transport which means they’re going to be a lot easier to use than a wagon or a wheelbarrow.

Of course you won’t be able to get a shopping cart now, nor would you want to keep one on hand, but if SHTF it might be helpful to locate one and bring it back to your home for later use.

Bonus – you can pick them out of dumpsters and if you’re so inclined you can fix them for later use.

9 – Bicycle:

Speaking of wheeled survival tools; a bike is an incredible survival tool, especially if you’re living through a post EMP kind of survival event.  Bikes allow you to move quickly without relying on fuel, or electrical systems.

The simpler the bike (i.e. a single speed as opposed to a multi speed bike) the easier a time you’ll have keeping it in great shape. Essentially all you’ll need are a few tools (like an air pump and a hex wrench) and some oil and you’ll have an efficient means of transportation for most any crisis.

10 – A shovel:

Shovels don’t really crop up as an essential survival tool on most prepper’s lists.

Sure, they have obvious utility when it comes to working with a garden, but they’ve got quite a few more uses than just that. While some of these uses are gross/morbid, you really have to think about just how useful a shovel really would be in a survival situation.

  • They can be used to help build a permanent/temporary shelter
  • They can be used as a self defense weapon
  • They can be used to bury feces
  • They can be used to bury the dead
  • They can be used

And more.

Ideally you should have a fiberglass handled shovel. They’re more durable, have a higher impact rating and are also much lighter than wooden handled shovels.

11 – Safety pins:

Safety pins should absolutely make it on your list of unusual prepping items to hold onto.

You can use simple safety pins to

  1. create an instant fish hook (you’ll need cordage of course);
  2. craft an arm sling from T-shirt for first aid;
  3. improvise tweezers for splinter or tick removal;
  4. secure a bandanna to make a bandage and compress bleeding;
  5. make a finger splint;
  6. hang stuff to dry while out on your journey;
  7. affix gear to your bug out bag;
  8. mend a broken shoe lace;
  9. close your pant legs to keep out snow;
  10. use it like a toothpick;
  11. connect blankets, bags or clothes to create shelter;
  12. close wounds (in extreme cases where no doctor is available you can use it
  13. like a skin stapler);
  14. open cans;
  15. home-made feminine pad with a safety pin and more)
  16. defend yourself; and
  17. repair your clothes

Safety pins are inexpensive, compact and lightweight which means they’re one of the best alternative prepping items around.

12 – Panty hose:

This clothing staple among women has some fascinating survival uses. Soldiers learned years ago if you wear panty hose inside of your socks it reduces friction that accompanies traveling in stiff boots over long distances.

Also, wearing pantyhose can add a few extra degrees of warmth in colder weather while in warmer months it can help to prevent you dangerous ticks or annoying chiggers from finding patches of your skin.

Additionally you can use panty hose as a fishing net, you can use it to hold survival seeds, you can use it to prepare acorns for consumption and much more.

13 – Clay pots:

There are several uses provided by clay pots. One of the more obvious is using them to grow plants, but did you know you can also use them to help heat your home?

In addition to helping heat your home you can use the pots for worm farms, you can use them to both cook food as well as to keep food cool, and they’re great for storing items in and much, much more.

14 – Nails and screws:

There are so many reasons to keep nails and screws on hand I couldn’t list them all out.

Let me say this. If you want to build something, keep something secure, create an improvised weapon, then nails and screws are going to be absolutely essential.

15 – Dental floss:

First off you need floss because it protects your teeth and can help prevent heart attack. Those are the medically sound reasons to keep it with your survival gear.

Beyond that dental floss can help you survive in a number of different ways.

  • Use it to lash a knife to a stick to create a spear.
  • Use it to keep bags closed
  • Use it to climb with (Several lengths turned end over end can be used for climbing and belaying
  • Use it for a snare (unscented)
  • Use it to cut food
  • Use it to for sewing
  • Use it to hang your clothes

And more

16 – Cheese Cloth:

This kitchen staple has some pretty cool survival uses.

Yet another random item with multiple uses is cheese cloth because it doesn’t
disintegrate when wet. Preppers love items with dual purposes and this one goes
beyond. Cheese cloth uses include straining, steaming basting poultry, leaning and
polishing, making spice bags, and, of course, cheesemaking! As a strainer,
cheesecloth can help keep bones, fats, and solids out of the clear broths. What’s
more, cheesecloth is excellent for protecting young trees from cicadas (a winged
insect that feeds on sap). Other bizarre uses include making a dust mask to help
mitigate a biohazard. Something you may have thought of is using cheese cloth as
a gauze for first aid. Cheese cloth might also be useful as a makeshift fishing net.

17 – Cigarettes:

I certainly don’t recommend smoking but it turns out they can actually be quite helpful in a survival situation.

You can use them to barter with, you can use them to help start a fire, you can use the tobacco inside to help provide relief from insect bites (chew the tobacco and place the mix on the bite) and you can even use it to get rid of gut parasites.

18 – Dryer lint:

That’s right, all the extra remnants from washing and drying your clothes can serve as a versatile survival tool.

First off you can use it as a fire starter. Because it’s dry, loose, and contains the oils (and some chemicals) it can take a flame quite quickly. I recommend keeping an Altoids tins full of dryer lint in a bug out bag for fire starting purposes.

Another thing its quite useful for is insulation. If you have a sewing kit you can add lint into things like jackets, gloves, and even sleeping bags to help add to their insulating power.

19 – Super glue:

Do I really need to say much about super glue that isn’t already implied?

It can be used for a ton of different things.

  • Use it to close up wounds (see video below)
  • Use it to reattach the sole of a shoe
  • Use it to fix glasses
  • Use it for fixing blown out glove linings

And more.

What’s One Of The Best Unusual Prepping Items?

In my opinion it’s duct tape.

I wrote a pretty cool blog post about duct tape a year ago that’s proven to be one of the most popular blog posts I’ve ever written.

Duct tape can be used to

  • Help secure a temporary shelter
  • Get rid of warts
  • Build a hammock
  • Fix your car
  • Fix your shoes

And much, much more!

The duct tape we carry is much, much cheaper than the standard roll available at the hardware store.

It’s definitely one of the most essential survival tools you can find and you can get it by clicking here or on the image below.

unusual prepping items


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