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Open Thread: The Little Things That Makes A Difference

Looking for some input today from you all. Most of us in this subculture of the interwebz are long on canned food and guns and short on the little stuff that can make the difference between life and death. Based on a few comments from the prior post I am opening the floor to ask you: what are some important but overlooked items that many people might not have considered? Not talking guns and ammo for a change, nor canned food/survival rations but stuff like an pulse ox sensor. 

One thing I am really interested in, reputable international pharmacies (perhaps an oxymoron) where I can get prescription meds without a Rx. My wife needs a daily med that keeps her alive and the thought of her not being able to get it and not being able to have an extra supply on hand makes me break out in a cold sweat. 
Comment moderation is temporarily off, we will see how that goes. 
So have at it. The floor is yours….


  1. Anonymous

    electrolyte tablets.

    They provide the essential electrolytes your body needs to function. Normally we get enough from our food but if your suffering diahria or vomitting you can quickly end up deficiant in them. For most people its under 8hrs of being sick, for babies it can happen in 2 or 3 hours.

    A box of tablets or better yet powder can make the difference between rapid recovery and slow convelescence if your sick. If your travelling or going to be away from home keep a few packages in your suitcase for emergencies.

    Try and avoid the liquid as it has a shelf life: while powdered dissolves quickly into a liquid and keeps for decades. In a pinch you can also use gatoraide powder but it has less electrolytes and way more sugar.


  2. Anonymous

    Time for the next purchase suggestion. I've had lots of comments on these. They are my thoughts on have you

    Look up on ebay or amazon the URS-10T test strips. Tube of 100 is under $15 with shipping.

    Now these strips test for 10 items in your urine. They are very useful for narrowing down issues, especially with long wait times for lab work these days.

    The key point is a doctor can, using the data from the strip, narrow down significantly the cuse and suggest a proper treatment.


  3. Anonymous

    Get a tin of Watkins brand 'petrocarbo salve'. Before antibiotics that was the best way to draw out and prevent infections. A tin is like $16 and has nearly 10times the salve as a $10 tube of polysporin. They do almost the same jobs just different ways. Petrocarbo is slightly less effective on normal cuts but way better on cuts infected with resistent bacteria.

    Works great also to draw out infection.


  4. Scoutergreg

    I used to buy some of my blood pressure meds from, they seem to be gone, but when I entered their URL, up popped
    I have not used them but if they are successor to the old company, it should be OK.
    In your last post, the speaker mentioned spices and herb, try to buy whole (not ground) spices, and freeze them. Make certain you have a mortar and pestle to grind them. Remember, before world trade, black pepper was worth as much per ounce as gold. Also, batteries, and as much booze as you can store.

  5. Anonymous

    Quikclot – there are other brands as well. Very useful for major wounds, it comes both as a powder and pre-impregnated into bandages. The powder can also be used for serious nose bleeds. It's expensive but useful.


  6. Anonymous

    Manual resperator. They come in different sizes, a set of 4 will cover everything from new borns to adults.


  7. Anonymous

    I buy my spices bulk from a US company. , prices are goid and the items come in large vaccum packs.


  8. McNasty

    When it hits the fan, things will be boring. So I recommend having dvds of movies you like. The morale booster it would be would huge. I've been saying that to my sons for awhile. Once the internet is down there will be no tv. I know this is a little out there in survival items, but it would help your sanity. You would need a small tv and some type of player and possibly solar. But I think it would be worthwhile. Books also, but sometime a brainless movie is just the thing to relax with.

  9. Anonymous

    Lets go with a basic suggestion.

    Do you have a cordless or manual drill, screw driver, hammers and a wrench set. All the basic hand tools to do minir repairs on your house and vehicles?

    Spare winshield wipers, spare filters and enougg oil for 2 or 3 oil changes for each vehicle? How about spare auto fuses? Don't throw out used motor oil it has a bunch of uses. Do you have enough spare jar lids to last you 3 years of canning?

    A sewibg kit and supplies for repairibg clothing? If you want to get more exotic can you weave or spin?

    Shovels? Hoes and rakes plus all the tools to tend your garden?

    A way to cook food without power?

    I'm a big believer in having 3 different water purification methods, just in case one turns out to be ineffective vs a specific contaminate.

    Crutches / cane for after an injury.

    I'm sure i'll think of more later.


  10. Anonymous

    They make a type of insulation that is a thin aluminium foil (like the survival blankets) with bubble wrap between the layers of foil. Its R=3.2 if i remember right. Comes in a 4ft x 100ft roll for $80 can.
    It can be put over windows to help hold in heat or used to increase heat retention of a room. It has a bunch of other uses as emergency blankets as well buttakes more space than the straight foil kind.

    I added it tothe inside of my outbuildings in places of vapor barrier.


  11. 4hawks

    Bedside commode or two (handicap type) invest in a real toilet seat for both. plastic bags, disinfectant (scented?) T.P. Baby wipes do double duty. Remember your chit, Arthur; double down on the comm. gear and harden the eff up, as in PT. Applies to ME also. Exile 81 reminded me of an investment in an Air Evac type thermal blanket silver one side, green ( camo with some hits of Krylon) on other side. Sew straps or elastic bands ( think big smock)on corners for thermal evasion & lowering your heat signature.(kudos NC Scout). Good boots, and shoe goo fixer. A small sewing kit like a sail maker would have, all variety of needles, beeswax, buttons, threads, cords and dental floss or imitation sinew ( or the real thing if you're handy ) Years ago I used to prep and ended up tossing so much ruined stuff I adjusted my focus on primitive skills just in case someone like Klaus Schwab comes along and really means I'll have nothing and like it. LOL- eff him. Lately though, I'm grateful for what skill sets I've managed to build.

  12. Phillip

    Well, first you need a physician friend (Viola! Me.)to do a telehealth visit with you. Then just pick your pharmacy. We have used for our own stuff before, but I have a couple of friendly pharmacists locally that I buy from. Six oh one 8 two 6 thirty-four ten

  13. BigCountryExpat

    ALLLLL sorts of Medical Gear, and the Training to properly use it
    I.V. bags…. lots of them Found here:

    Normally need a 'script (Phillip, we need to talk BTW) but this website lets you get what you need, to include all the extras, (IV Starter kit, $2 a throw, get like 3 times per bag.) Needles can be gotten, believe it or not on the Zon. Training and practice is a must. Dextrose and NACL (Sodium Chloride) can be literal lifesavers.

    Before I got fired (again!!!!) I always stock up the med gear… sutures, meds, you name it. Got a metric fuckton of med gear… shit that'll go 'extinct' in a true shtf timeframe.

    Don't forget the training… you can either YouTube it or find somewhere like the Red Cross that -may- have classes… I was lucky to do the 18Delta Course at Fort Sam YEARS ago, and kept the intel and training up (all that time in Iraq helped/didn't help if'n you feel me)

    Just a bit of intel from my side o'da fence.

  14. Mike_C

    Good point, but, specifically, look into stuff that has the same formulation as Pedialyte (TM). If someone is puking and shitting out their 'lytes it's not enough to just give them random electrolyte solutions because those will not be absorbed due to disruption of normal intestinal transport mechanisms.

    Pedialyte-type solutions have a specific sugar:salt ratio that take advantage of a specific intestinal glucose:sodium transporter that is often unaffected by GI "bugs".

  15. Anonymous


    Not beer, but decent vodka, bourbon, gin. All are useful, and all will be as valuable as bullets.

    Think you may need to barter?

    Stock up on booze. Your wife may be calling an attorney, but I think she will begrudgingly thank you later if / when it all goes down.

  16. jl

    Lots of great suggestions here. I would add soap – for body, for dishes and clothes. Bleach. Baking Soda. Sboe/boot laces. And as Bison would remind all who will listen, wool,wool and more wool – socks, blankets, shirts, caps, gloves… anything and everything made out if tbe stuff. Expensive, but worth.every penny.

  17. Anonymous

    I have one more…rodent and pest control.

    It will likely not take long for rats to become a real problem, along with insects too.

    I have 0.0 preps for that, and will be thinking about how to address it this week.

  18. Arthur Sido

    Yes to that, good call. Especially in more populous areas, the rat population will explode from sanitation services breaking down to more unpleasant stuff like bodies. I did think about the booze for barter thing, I wonder which kind stores the longest….

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