Need Not, Want Not - The Top 5 Items to Hoard in Bulk

If you're a regular reader of our weekly Survival Scouts, you know that we always preach building a preparedness plan around the necessities of life.

That means food and water filtration. Above all, these are the #1 items to have and hoard - and where most of your investment in preparedness should go.

However, once you've started to secure those basics, it's a good idea to store some other key items - in bulk, if possible.

Today, we're going to explore five of my favorite kinds of items to store in bulk. These will help you build your personal preparedness, and help you get ready to barter for needs you may not have in an emergency.


Today's list of bulk items is by no means exhaustive, but it is built on the My Patriot Supply philosophy of "basic needs first."

That being said, you would be putting your entire preparedness cart before the horse if you did not take care of your basic emergency needs for food and water first. If you need to take care of one or both of these needs, we're here to help.

With our survivalist caveats out of the way, here are the top 5 items to hoard (plus some honorable mentions), after basic emergency needs are met.

Salt has been valuable since the dawn of civilization. Many are familiar with the phrase "worth his salt." This has origins in the ancient slave trade, where slaves would be traded for this commodity.

Ancient Roman soldiers were also paid in salt, called a salarium, which is the root of our word "salary."

Of course, before modern refrigeration, salt (and lots of it) was necessary to keep foods from spoiling. In a situation like a power grid failure, salt will become incredibly valuable again.

There are so many uses for salt it would be impossible to list them all here, but here's a pinch (pun intended) to get you started:

  • There are so many uses for salt it would be impossible to list them all here, but here's a pinch (pun intended) to get you started:
  • Food preservation - pickling/fermenting vegetables and curing meat
  • Soothes sore throats as a gargle
  • Clean greasy pans without dish soap (coarse salt recommended)
  • Remove pinfeathers from a chicken by rubbing its skin with salt
  • Kill weeds - spread salt around roots of weeds
  • Melt ice (coarse or rock salt)
  • Mix with baby oil to exfoliate skin
  • Make an antiseptic saline solution (1 tsp salt: 1 cup water)
  • Put out grease or electrical fires (water is not safe in these scenarios)
  • My recommendation is to stock up on a variety of salts. Sea salts. Iodized salts. Rock salt. This gives you the versatility you need to handle the largest number of tasks you could be presented with.

My recommendation is to stock up on a variety of salts. Sea salts. Iodized salts. Rock salt. This gives you the versatility you need to handle the largest number of tasks you could be presented with.

Storing them away from moisture, humidity and light will keep it fresh, although it has an incredibly long shelf life even in poor conditions. If you want to be truly careful, you can seal it in Mylar packaging with oxygen absorbers, as we do with our freeze-dried food.

In a true long-term crisis, much of mankind will unfortunately become violent. This makes weapons and ammo essential for survival against hostiles who may want to raid your supplies. It's also crucial for hunting for food if you have that skillset.

Even if you're not a gun owner, stockpiling ammo is an incredible idea because of its value for barter. Think about it, in a long-term emergency, bullets will be scarce once the initial chaos is over. Very few will have the knowledge to make them, making the remaining stockpiles more valuable than ever.

However, in this situation, you'll want to be careful choosing trading partners and trading terms, lest you get taken advantage of by a more well-armed threat. >

Bullets and ammo don't take up a ton of space and have a long shelf life if stored properly. They're great for protection, hunting, and barter. Behind food and water, this is a lot of folks' next top priority. It's where the oft-heard "Bullets, Beans and Bunkers" saying comes from in the preparedness community. Though someone needs to insert water filtration into that one, even if it doesn't start with the letter B. I digress.


Many folks completely overlook cleaning supplies as a part of their emergency preparedness plan.

Why is this? I think it has to do with the ill-conceived notion that all emergencies are short-lived or temporary. It's true, without a shower for a day or two, it's like camping. Roughing it - a little fun even.

But after 3 or so days, sanitation can become a real issue, especially in terms of human waste disposal. In the case of a global pandemic, sanitation would be an immediate concern.

Because many people overlook these items in their preparedness plan, having a lot of them can be valuable for barter.

Here is just a short list of items to stock up on:

  • Bleach (unscented, 4-6%)
  • Trash bags, lots of them.
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Lye (for making soap, cutting grease and cleaning stoves)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponges
  • Dish soap
  • Re-usable spray and pump bottles
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex and more paper products

Another often overlooked preparedness category is medicine and personal hygiene.

One of my top items on this list is antibiotics, which require a prescription. This can be tough, but I've found that with an honest conversation with your doctor, they might be willing to write an occasional script for your stockpile. The only trick is maintaining the supply as the drugs expire.>

Here are several supplies you need in this domain:

  • Over-the-counter medications: aspirin, pain-relievers, antihistamines
  • Prescription medications (if you can get them from an understanding doctor) for antibiotics, especially (need to replenish once expires)
  • Bandages
  • Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide
  • Toothpaste
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Floss
  • Washcloths
  • Vitamins and herbal supplements
  • Surgical needle and thread

Finally, one item that I have a personal history with.

My father always used to say: "You can never have too much rope." He was into boating and sailing, where rope can be a life-saving tool in many ways.

I also remember it coming in handy in one of my favorite adventure/survival stories: Deliverance, to scale down deep river canyon walls.

But rope is also indispensable in any emergency situation.

Rope is necessary for shelter building, whether you use it as a simple guy line or are lashing timber together.

You can use it to make snares for hunting small game.

You can build a security alarm trip-wire for camp by attaching it to tin cans or bells.

I could go on.

Store a number of different thicknesses, materials, and lengths.

One final note on rope: know your knots. Without that, rope is pretty much useless.

Honorable Mentions

OK, I couldn't narrow it down to five. Here are three more items that deserve some attention, if you haven't thought of it.


Coffee has made it to the top of our "items to hoard" stories in the past, and it deserves mention again. If you missed that story, click here to read it.

Bottom line: coffee is delicious and powerful for barter.


A lot of preppers store up alcohol even though they never touch the stuff. Why? It's perfect for barter when people are weary and desperate.

Alcohol also has a wide range of uses, from a sanitizer to a propellant.


For the same reason as alcohol - extremely high barter value. Not useful for much else, but at least you won't be sad to see it go when you trade it for food, medicine - whatever you may need.

I hope you find these tips enlightening. We will have more next week!

Have a great weekend and stay alert out there with all that is happening (and not being reported) in the "news."

In Liberty,

Patriot Grant Miller
Preparedness Advisor

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