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So it’s the end of the world. What will you do to survive and assemble an apocalypse survival kit list?

That’s a question millions have been asking themselves for decades now. Not long ago, Bear Grylls taught ordinary suburbanites tips they could use to stay alive if they were to find themselves stuck in the wild at the end of the world.

And in the distant past, we had Bert the Turtle, who cached in the 1950 teaching schoolchildren across the U.S how to Duck and Cover in the event atomic bombs started raining. What’s worse today is that with the tensions between superpower countries rising, these potential disasters are still looming.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to create a detailed guide on must-have items in an apocalypse survival kit list. Before listing the things, I’d like to emphasize that with every supply I’ve mentioned, you’ll need an amount that can last you and your loved ones or friends for at least 90 days.

Of course, surviving after a significant apocalypse isn’t going to be such a short-term goal. That said, three months’ worth of supplies should award you the much-needed time to settle down and find self-sufficient habitats.

11 Items You’ll Need To Assemble An Apocalypse Survival Kit List

Without further ado, here is the ultimate Apocalypse survival kit list.

1. Bug Out Bag

apocalypse survival kit list

So your city is teetering on the edge of collapse, supermarkets have been looted, and the power grid collapsed. In that event, the 1st thing you’ll need to reach for is a perfectly stocked bug-out bag. That’s, of course, after you’ve reached for the Xanax.

Also referred to as go bags, these (lately) chick survival satchels are essentially lightweight military-grade bags filled with provisions that can last anyone for at least three days. For under $200, you can get ready-made and filled bug-out bags stocked with staples like a multifunction shovel, 20-hour body warmers, and water purification tablets.

That said, all hard-core preppers know that leaving survival packing endeavors in the hands of some corporation is a big mistake. That’s why I suggest investing in the bag first, then filling it up with supplies you’re sure you’ll need later.

Note: the bug-out bag you pick should be lightweight, durable, and waterproof (or at least water-resistant.) It should also be a bag you’d be comfortable carrying when fully loaded for hours on end and on uneven terrains.

It’s also worth noting that you’ll want to fly as under the radar as humanly possible after an apocalypse event. As such, you’ll need the most low-key bug-out backpack – nothing ornate or flashy. Think military issue, functional, and drab.

Finally, ensure the bag you go for can house everything we’ll touch on in this guide.

Now that your backpack is ready, it’s time to get started assembling your apocalypse survival kit list. I haven’t ranked these items in order of their importance.

2. The Miscellaneous Gear

Packing your backpack with all the items we’ll list in this guide should be sufficient to last you 90 days in a survival situation. However, I thought it’d be interesting if we started the guide with some additional valuable items most people tend to forget.

  • Whistle
  • Pens and pencils
  • Papers
  • Metal stakes (for emergency tents)
  • Durable work gloves
  • Large plastic garbage bags
  • Bandanas (they’re incredibly versatile)
  • Paracord
  • Duct tape
  • Cash (may prove to be the most helpful ‘item’ in your apocalypse survival kit list in the first few days after the disaster)

If ensuring your comfort is a priority, you’ll also need several luxuries. These include:

  • Insect repellent
  • Earplugs
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bar soap
  • Travel toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Toilet paper

3. Communication Equipment

apocalypse survival kit list

It may sound obvious, but ensure you’ve packed your phone. Chances are cell towers will still be working for some days after the apocalypse (at least for texting, if not calling.) Only in the worst apocalyptic scenarios will cell towers fall right away.

Remember to pack a hand-cranked charger and backup battery. Better yet, if you can get your hands on a hand-crank radio, include them in your apocalypse survival kit list. Most of these retail with built-in flashlights and batteries you can use to charge gadgets.

If you’re willing to go all out on the budget, satellite phones like those sold by Iridium could be lifesavers. Satellite phones allow you to stay connected regardless of where you are on earth.

3. Self-Defense Gear

Shortly after the disaster strikes, chances are societies will hold it together. However, once water and food supplies start running dry, expect civility to transform into a chaotic depression expeditiously. After things inevitably get this bad, you’ll need some way to defend yourself and your loved ones.

Personally, I think fixed-blade knives would be a great starting point as they serve multiple purposes. Note, though, that whichever weapon you go for, you should be trained (and confident) to wield it in any dangerous situation.

Most survivalists I’ve encountered favor stealthy and compact weapons like .357 revolvers and other lightweight handguns. If you’d like to have a more robust weapon at hand, machetes and shotguns are guaranteed to inflict a good level of intimidation.

4. Clothing

Like most items we’ll discuss in this apocalypse survival kit list guide, clothing after a disaster will depend on your personal preferences. However, as a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to ensure you’re dressed like backcountry hikers, which implies dressing in layers.

At the very list, pack:

  • 1 waterproof or water-resistant insulated jacket
  • 1 survival poncho (military grade)
  • Several pairs of hiking socks
  • At least one pair of waterproof hiking boots (make sure you’ve already broken them in.)
  • 1 warm hat
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 fleece pullover (mid-weight)
  • A base thermal layer
  • 2 underwears
  • 2 pairs of pants (excluding the one you will be wearing)

Use everything I’ve listed above to mix and match in different climatic conditions to stay warm and comfy.

5. First Aid Kit

It’s easy and affordable to prepare portable first aid kits, and most families have sufficient supplies to do just that in their medicine cabinets. That said, unlike with the bug-out bag, this is the only place I’ll suggest investing in a prepackaged first-aid box for your apocalypse survival kit list

Why? Well, because most of them retail with hospital-grade equipment, which, needless to say, is often of the best quality.

At approx. $15, you can get a great one from Adventure Medical Kits. If you’re still hell-bent on assembling your own first aid kit, ensure you pack the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Standard household painkillers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gauze dressing
  • Butterfly closure bandages
  • Adhesive bandages of different sizes
  • Any personal prescriptions you may have in mind

It may also be helpful to refresh your first aid knowledge as well.

6. Light

The importance of lighting sources in a survival situation cannot be overstated. Some smart lighting choices you can explore include keychain lights, tiny LED flashlights, proper headlamps, glow sticks, nine-hour candles, waterproof matches, and lighters.

Whatever you go for, ensure it’s ultra-portable and guarantees focused lighting when needed.

7. Tools

In a post-apocalyptic situation, every tool in your apocalypse survival kit list is just as essential as your wilderness survival skills. Multi-tools with wire cutters, folding knife blades, screwdrivers, and pliers are a smart choice. Another great option you could employ is fixed-blade survival knives.

The exact fixed-blade knife you’ll go for will boil down to your personal preferences. Just ensure that the one you get is sufficiently versatile for cooking, chopping, splitting wood, and a whole lot of other tasks. Choose well, and you’ll have a backup weapon as well.

8. Food

Anything you eat after an apocalypse will feel like a luxury. Therefore, to avoid starving, think like a polar explorer and only go for packable, portable, and nutrient-dense food. Dehydrated backpacking meals, canned beans, and nuts are all great options.

Energy bars and candy are excellent supplements as well.

If you’d like to forgo taste and skip food prep items in an effort to ensure an ultralight pack, you could also go for meal replacement protein bars. These are usually packed with sufficient carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and calories to keep you going in dire situations.

9. Water

While including water in your apocalypse survival kit list, plan on 1 litre of water per person daily. I’d also recommend accounting for potential spillage, bathing, and other unforeseen circumstances. What’s more? Divide the water stock among different containers like collapsible bottles that shrink to save space when empty, hard plastic Nalgene bottles, and military canteens.

Military canteens will also come in handy when you want to boil water.

As you may have noticed, it’s almost impossible to pack enough water to survive the 90-day rule I touched on at the beginning of the guide. That implies you’ll need to find and purify water on your way to safety. Three main water purification methods to keep in mind include chemical, filtration, and boiling. Ensure you can access at least two of these methods at all times.

10. Potassium Iodide

The biggest danger in the event of a nuclear apocalypse is getting melted in the initial blast. Even if you survive that, your troubles are far from over. The residual radioactive materials in the atmosphere (also known as nuclear fallout) will still put you at a high risk of cancer.

Even worse, radioactive iodine, a component in radioactive materials, can also be absorbed by the human thyroid, resulting in thyroid cancer. That’s where the potassium iodide in your apocalypse survival kit list will come into play. By taking potassium iodide pills as soon as possible, you rest assured that your thyroid has been filled with a non-radioactive form of iodine salt that’ll block the absorption of any radioactive types.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommended dosage is 130mg daily for adults. NOTE: Once radioactive iodine has made it to your thyroid, potassium iodide won’t be able to reverse the damage.

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Apocalypse Survival Kit List – Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot you’ll need to think about when assembling your foolproof apocalypse survival kit list. With that in mind, I suggest you sit down, get out your notepad, and start making plans immediately.

Hopefully, such an armageddon never happens in any of our lifetimes, but at least you’re prepared if it does. While your friends run to the local store for the last few loaves of bread, you’ll be heading to the one-stop apocalypse survival shop with your survival kit list on your back.