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Prepper must-haves: Top 15 military surplus store items for your stockpile
By Mary Villareal // Sep 21, 2021

Military surplus stores are great sources for outdoor goods and gear that you would want to acquire for your stockpile or bugout bag. Here are some surplus store items that you would not want to miss out on:


  1. Coats -- You can find everything from fancy wool coats to lightweight jackets. These are great for helping protect you from the elements, especially when the weather gets cold and electricity has been cut off.
  2. Bags and backpacks -- Good quality backpacks are great to use as bugout bags. They tend to be very roomy and sturdy, allowing you to store plenty of items you may need for when SHTF.
  3. Books -- Military manuals are a treasure trove of ideas and practices you can use in survival situations. While some information may not be applicable for civilian situations, it can still give you ideas that you can adapt to whatever situation you find yourself in.
  4. Medical kits and supplies -- There are small and large kits available that you can use as a good base for your own medical kit. These should have most of your basics covered, allowing you to simply add or replace items to complete your kit.
  5. Equipment and tactical gear -- These can range from night vision goggles to dosimeters, all of which may be useful during a survival situation.
  6. Tents -- You can find tents of different sizes in military surplus stores, from small, military pup tents to large canvas ones for multiple people. These would be good to have in your stockpile in case you ever need to bug out in the wilderness.
  7. Camping stoves -- Alcohol and fuel tablet stoves are great for when you need to cook out in the field. They're also compact and easy to use, so you should grab them when you get the chance.
  8. MREs and Emergency Food Kits -- Ready-to-eat meals are often sold individually, but you can also buy them by the case. They are lightweight but filling, making them perfect additions to your food stockpile. Emergency food rations will be the first to sell out, so it is important that you try to get as many of them as you can.
  9. Jerry cans -- These heavy-duty cans are something to be on the lookout for as they perform much better than plastic to store gasoline in, especially if you are storing it long-term.
  10. Knives and knife sharpeners -- Whether for safety or survival, it is important to buy knives for your SHTF stockpile gear. A good knife is useful in many situations, from opening packages to picking out splinters. Knives are among the most important things you should carry with you.
  11. Paracord -- This versatile material was originally used for suspension lines. When SHTF, it can be used for various survival and rigging applications, such as shelters, first-aid and even for catching food sources.
  12. Blankets -- There are usually many wool blankets of various weights available in military surplus stores. They are great to use for layering and keeping you and your family warm if you need to bug out during the cold months.
  13. Shovels -- Entrenching shovels are always good to have to get out of sticky situations. In fact, some people carry them in their vehicles for emergency purposes.
  14. Boots -- A pair of good combat boots are great to keep, especially if dire situations lead you to walk long distances. Good boots are lightweight and breathable, making them perfect for hiking.
  15. Belts -- Utility belts are adjustable and practically indestructible. A good utility belt can carry many necessary supplies and gadgets, which can be handy for you.

There are tons of cool stuff that you can find in military surplus shops, many of which are great prepper items, from flashlights to bigger camping gear. However, you have to remember that surplus is a bit like an antique market and they don't always have control over the supply chain, so check them often and if you find something you need, it is best to buy it at once, especially if you're prepping for an SHTF situation.

Learn more ways to survive SHTF situations at Preparedness.news.

Sources include:



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