7 Lesser-Known Survival Supplies You Need to Make It Off the Grid

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Written by Mindy Laughton

As the world becomes more tumultuous, cyber attacks become more frequent and natural disasters become more intense, a lot more people are stocking up on basic survival supplies. For apartment preppers that understand off-grid living could last longer than a few days or a week, those supplies are the bare minimum. You’ve probably already got freeze-dried food that will last a decade, gallons of water, a hand-crank radio and fire-making tools.

But what about the lesser known, unconventional tools that could prove to be just as essential? If you want to survive off the grid long-term here are some more supplies I recommend you add to your arsenal.

The Ideal Weapon

Food and protection are two top concerns for people that go off the grid or have to survive an emergency situation. There are hundreds of options for ready-made food, but at some point those could run out or go bad. That’s when you have to live off the land.

A crossbow is the ideal survival tool for a couple of reasons. It’s almost as easy as firing a gun, it’s just as effective for hunting, and it’s quiet. That last point could prove to be critical in terms of hunting game and avoiding other humans that would do just about anything to get your supplies.

Another benefit of a crossbow is lasting protection. Most preppers have stocked up on firearms for long-term survival when it’s time to get out of the apartment and off the grid. While firearms are very effective tools of protection there is one key problem – ammunition. What happens when you run out of bullets? Will you be able to find more? Do you have the means to make your own bullets?

With a crossbow, this isn’t an issue because arrows can be reused again and again. I mean, how long has Darryl been using the same three arrows on The Walking Dead?

Seed Bank and Clean Soil

Gardening is a skill many preppers have mastered. In most cases, you’ll be able to use seeds from existing fruits and vegetables to keep your garden growing. But what if there’s nuclear fallout that contaminates everything?

To ensure you aren’t stuck without a home-grown food source, stock up on a variety of non-GMO seeds and bags of soil. To store seeds for long-term use make sure they are dry before putting them in an air-tight container.

Canning System

Now that you’ve got your garden growing despite toxins, you want a way to preserve the food for later. That’s where canning comes into play. Food canning equipment is fairly basic, but it will help you save food for months. For many canned foods all you need is glass jars, appropriate lids and simple canning recipes to follow.

Solar Oven

Cooking food is kind of hard to do if you have no power supply. That is, unless you have a solar oven. It’s a remarkable invention that uses solar power to cook food. Solar ovens may take a little bit longer, but they are portable, efficient and provide a hot meal. They can also be used to pasteurize and purify liquids.


This one is probably a head-scratcher for anyone who’s never lived in a flood-prone area. Sandbags can be used to keep floodwaters at bay, which could be vital for your shelter. But they aren’t single-purpose tools. Sandbags are also great for defense (a.k.a. Blocking ammunition) and shielding windows. In a pinch, sandbags can even be used to build a fortified shelter.

Solar Camping Shower

Staying clean isn’t just about feeling less disgusting. Showering helps to prevent illnesses and the spread of diseases while taming body odor. A hot shower will be a real luxury, but it’s possible with a solar camping shower as long as you have a nearby water source. Put water in the solar camping shower bags (which are made of heat-absorbent material) and hang them in the sunlight or place them on a sunny rock. In about 2-5 hours the water will be warm enough for a hot shower. Just keep in mind it will be short, 5-10 minutes tops.


Getting the recommended daily dose of vitamins and nutrients during a doomsday situation is next to impossible – unless you’ve got a supply of multivitamins. Even if food is hard to come by or less than nutritious you’ll still be able to keep your vitamin reserves up where they need to be. Bonus: vitamins are a great asset for bartering since you can trade just one or more depending on the deal.

About the Author:

While attending college in the mountain west in the early 2000’s, Mindy gained a love of writing. It was only a matter of time before she coupled that love with an intrigue for the internet. She’s been posting and blogging ever since. Her favorite things are lap dogs, hikes, and all things Cirque du Soleil.

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  1. I would add extra bow strings and repair parts for the crossbow and extra broadheads too. And add lots of fish hooks of different sizes and spools of fishing line. The fishing line can used for many different things. As for making you own bullets for reloading there are several deferent ways to do that, casting – this requires a lead pot and the molds, swaging – this takes the dies and sometimes a special press. both require a source of supplies but some of them can be salvaged.

    1. Hi Ben, I recently added a few fish hooks and fishing line. Considered reloading but don’t have the space for it. These are all great additions. Thanks for the comment.

  2. You can use the LEE LOADER system. This is very small set that only neck sizes rifle cases so it will best work with a blot action rile. There is a pistol LEE LOADER too. These use a plastic hammer instead of a reloading press. I would still recommend using a powder scale with them. The whole system is very slow but is very low cost as well. It does work

  3. Most foods and meat need to be canned in a pressure cooker. So I would add a pressure cooker along with an instruction book. You don’t want to get sick from making mistakes. You can use a pressure cooker outdoors over a fire but it takes twice as long. I lived off grid for 11 years and have canned outdoors many years. Ideally you should build an outdoor kitchen of sort with a place set up for cooking.

    1. Cherie, Good to know the pressure cooker works well over an open fire. Outdoor kitchen is definitely a necessity for living off grid. Thanks for the tip.

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