Ultimate List Of Survival Tools & Emergency Prep Items

Survival Tools and Emergency Prep Items are a must for many.  Whether you are preparing for the occasional state of emergency that comes with severe weather, or you are in the category of long-term preppers these tips are great.  Being able to prepare to protect and provide for your family no matter what happens is a great tool we all need.  These posts are going to give you a great beginning.

Don't miss the Ultimate List of Survival Tools & Emergency Prep Items you need for your Bug out Bag!  These tips will help emergency preppers succeed!

Ultimate List of Survival Tools & Emergency Prep Items

What is a Bug Out Location and Why You Need One?  Answer the question everyone asks when they hear the words “bug out”!  This will help you understand more about what an emergency prepper needs and does.

How to Build a Bug Out Bag: This list of tips is shared from the point of view of someone who has built many bug out bags for use in that just in case instance.  A bug out bag is a must, and we share how to create your own.

Emergency Prep Bug Out Bags:  In one of our first posts about emergency prepping, this helps you to know what survival tools we personally keep in our bug out bags and why we keep them.

Disaster Survival Preparedness Tips: This is a great place to start if you are just at the beginning of your preppinig journey. It gives you a rough outline on what to consider and look into.

How to Properly Store Water:  Water is life and in an emergency situation it can be the one thing you need the most.  We share how to properly store water to have on hand in an emergency. This post shares all about how to recognize signs of dehydration and why you need to have a prep of water on hand.  This goes perfectly with the above post showing you how to store water safely.

8 Must Have Supplies for Canning Your Own Food:  One major method of having enough food on hand in an emergency is by home canning fruits, vegetables, and even meats.  Check out this post for more tips on how to can as well as what you need on hand to make it happen safely.

15 of the Best Disaster Movies Worth Watching: It is amazing what tips and tricks we can pick up from Hollywood movies. Check out our suggsted list of “must-see” movies for your home education on prepping!

DIY Home Security for Preppers:  Do you ever consider that in a state of emergency there may be more theft or home invasions?  If so, this is for you.  Every home needs a home security method in place.

Natural Antibiotics for Preppers:  In major states of emergency, having health care may be impossible.  These items are a must to have on hand to use as a natural antibiotic safely without fear of expiration dates or need for a physician on hand.

Why Your Family Should Have a Stockpile?  Many don’t understand why we keep a stockpile of food.  This post will help you understand the reasons behind it and need for it in your life.

How to Keep Your Stockpile from Expiring?  Stockpiling food and drink for emergency use can be a frustration if you have expiration dates making the products unusable.  Don’t miss these tips for how to keep your stockpile from expiring.

Emergency Preparedness Tips for Pets: Do you have furry little family members? It is important to consider them too in your emergency preparation plans!

Alternative Heat Sources for Power Outages: Depending on where you live, this can be a huge issue! In Wisconsin, it can snow eight months out of the year, so heat is VERY imporant to keep us safe and comfortable.

How To Prepare A Winter Home Safety Kit: It goes without saying that winter can be a terrible time to deal with power outages, food shortages, and more. This article is for you!

Emergency Winter Car Survival Kit: Keeping with our winter theme, this is what you should have in your car, just in case you fined yourself stuck somewhere on the road!

Emergency Prep Food:  This post tells you more about what we recommend for emergency food and why.  There are many amazing options out there, but this is our favorite source.

Things to Learn During Quarantine: is a great list of things all preppers really should know. Use this lilst to fill in your skills when you find yourself with time on your hands.

How to Prepare Your Family for a Financial Emergency:  One of the most needed survival tools for an emergency prepper is actually financial.  These tips help you to plan for a financial emergency, and why it is a must no matter what level of prepper you feel that you are.

10 Creative Entertainment Ideas for Kids during a Pandemic: This is a great list of things to help entertain the kiddos when life is not “normal” and what you used to do simply won’t work.

10 Awesome Websites Preppers Love:  If you really want to learn more about emergency prepping and what survival tools you are lacking, check out this list of our favorite websites just for preppers.  Emergency prepping is a wonderful way to learn more about things you need in your life.

10 Power Outage Boredom Busters:  Part of prepping for an emergency is also being ready to kill time when there is no electricity, internet, or other electronic entertainment options.  This will help you to be prepared, and maybe find some things your family will enjoy outside the

How to Prepare Your Family for a Flood:  Nobody wants to think about a flood happening, but if you live in an area that has a lot of rainfall seasonally, this could be your reality.  It is always best to be prepared, and our tips give you a great place to begin.

10 Ways to Prep For Summer Storms:  Summer storms can be beautiful to watch, but they surely wreak havoc on your life and family.  Check out our tips for how to prep to stay safe and sheltered no matter the storm.

United States Disaster Relief Organizations That Help: I really can’t advocate relying on other people for help, but here is a list of places in the US that are there for us.

These survival tools and emergency prep ideas are just what you need if you find yourself in the category of becoming an emergency prepper.  Don’t wait until it is too late. Begin prepping today!

How to Grow Your Emergency Fund According to Dave Ramsey

It may seem like a daunting task, to grow your emergency fund but Dave Ramsey’s methods take the confusion out of it all. There are a few different ways to add money to your emergency fund without stressing and making sure all other bills are paid.

How to Grow Your Emergency Fund According to Dave Ramsey

Simple ways to grow your emergency fund according to Dave Ramsey:

If there is even the smallest spot in the budget you can slim down. Cut out the gym memberships you may not be using now that the weather has changed. This will help you add a little extra money to your growing emergency fund.

Make simple cuts in your budget

5 Painless Ways to Cut Household Expenses

When we talk about painless ways to cut household expenses, the first piece of advice that always gets thrown out is “stop drinking $5 coffees every day”. Well, if you’re anything like me, you were never drinking $5 coffees every day anyway! $5 is a lot of money and it adds up fast.

Cutting household expenses and adjusting to a new budget doesn’t have to be too uncomfortable. Let’s talk about easy ways to make some simple financial changes for long-term success.

Conduct an audit.

The first step in saving money is to figure out what’s coming in, what’s going out, and most importantly, where it’s all going. Print off your bank statements for the past 3 to 6 months. If you’ve already made some recent changes, 3 months of bank statements will do. If you really want to dig in and figure out where your money has been running off to, print the full 6 months.

Grab a few highlighters and go through your bank statements line by line. Set it up however you want, but for example, you can use pink for income, yellow for necessary expenses, and green for unnecessary expenses or items to cut out.

Next, go through all of the unnecessary expenses and figure out which ones will be the least painful to cut. Make a list of which expenses we will cut first, second, third, and so on.

You can do this in phases so it’s not a huge change all at once. If you have big leaks in your budget and are drowning in debt, you should take this process more seriously and cut expenses as much as possible right away.

e found a great book to help keep this all straight: Busy Family Bill Organizer.

Grow Your Emergency Fund: Patch the leaks.

Rather than quitting everything cold turkey and cutting out all of your expenses at once (which isn’t realistic in the long-term), make small changes to “patch the leaks”, so to speak. Any money that’s unaccounted for month to month is a leak. Any money that goes to fast food unnecessarily is a leak.

Some leaks you may not think about at first may include utilities, food, and entertainment expenses. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out entertainment completely, or that you have to switch to the off-brand for all of your food.

It just means you’re going to be aware of where every single penny of your income is going, so you can make sure it’s accounted for and being spent responsibly. Everyone should have an entertainment budget, and nobody should have to eat off-brand bread! 😉

Negotiate Utilities

Cable, internet, and cell phone bills can make up a large chunk of your monthly expenses if you’re not careful. If you use the internet for work, downgrading to a slower internet speed isn’t practical. However, you can easily cut the cable and get Netflix or Hulu if TV is a priority to you.

Call your cell phone company and negotiate a lower rate. Ask about military or veteran discounts, AARP discounts, etc. Any discount they may have, see if you can get it! Some companies even offer discounts for law enforcement, first responders, and teachers. If the discounts are there and you qualify, you might as well utilize them.

Grow Your Emergency Fund: Watch your food expenses.

Even if you aren’t eating fast food every day, grocery bills alone add up fast. Our grocery bill was drastically reduced once we started meal planning and using curbside pick-up services. Ordering your food online and picking it up outside the store may be one of the best money-saving inventions ever.

Using curbside pick-up means no more last-minute impulse purchases in the checkout line. It means no more Target runs that should have been $50 but were more like $200!

Reevaluate entertainment costs.

How much are you spending on entertainment each month? Whether it’s a Playstation subscription or video game or going to the movies or bowling, what’s your budget? If you don’t have one yet, now is the time to work on creating one.

Like I said earlier, entertainment is important. We don’t need to cut it off completely, but being aware of how much we are spending and making sure it relates to how much it enhances our life is a critical step to cutting household expenses.

One last thing to check, if you didn’t with your audit, is your recurring subscriptions via Paypal. Also check your Cash App, Zelle, or other payment methods you use. The idea is to track every single dollar that comes in and goes out. Once you start doing this one simple thing, the rest falls into place rather seamlessly!

Grow Your Emergency Fund: Sell something​

There can be a lot of stuff around your house that you no longer use. This is a great idea if you’re thinking of trying to downsize as well. Take an allotted amount of time to just check around your house, in the kids’ rooms, up in the attic; you’re sure to find something.

You can take some time to set up a few signs to do the marketing for you if you’re thinking of having a yard sale. Remember to make items your selling appealing to potential buyers; such as filling basketballs with air and simply cleaning the dust off any items.

This could be a great way to sell your things then you won’t have to list the items online to be sold. This would be the perfect time to sell things you no longer use or need to help pad your emergency fund.

Find additional income opportunities

Maybe you’re only working part-time or maybe you’re already working full-time. Getting another job will solely help your emergency fund if you choose to let it. It can be anywhere from a part-time job to only a few extra hours a week.

You can find a one-time additional income opportunity if you look. You can be a babysitter, dog walker or sitter if you love dogs, or a freelance writer, or maybe a graphic designer. Anything that draws your attention or something you’re already good at.

The beauty of all your hard work is that all the extra money you’re making is going towards your emergency fund. You can choose to become your own boss by joining a direct sell company you’re interested in.

If you choose to direct sell a lot of companies allow you to build a team, which could earn you even more money for your fund.

Grow Your Emergency Fund: Get another job

Getting another job is a great way to line the emergency fund as well as giving you something to do with your free time.

You can drive for companies like UberEats, or you can create your own streams of income online like hundreds of thousands of others do every day. No matter what your financial situation is, it can improve with planning and budgeting!

If you are wanting to grow your emergency fund then you’ll have to be willing to go the extra mile. Any of these ideas are a great way to get you where you’d like to be within your emergency fund.

Other articles you may find helpful:

When Sun Prairie Exploded… #SunPrairieStrong

When Sun Prairie Exploded. It seems just like yesterday… It was a typical summer evening here, except Miss Sarah was away at camp. We were watching a movie on TV and not only heard a large noise, but the entire house shook.

Think of all your windows and doors rattling at the same time, almost sounding like someone threw a big fat old-fashioned phone book against them. Andy went outside and could see the cloud of smoke coming from downtown, we had no idea that Sun Prairie exploded.

When Sun Prairie Exploded

Being a Desert Storm Vet, my mind tends to go to the worst-case scenario when I hear a large bang. Add a giant cloud of black smoke? It makes me happy that I have a full pantry, bug-out bags, and a large first aid kit.

Was it a bomb? That kept going through my head as so many bomb attacks and shootings have been all over the news lately… we were to learn soon that there was no attack, just human error at fault.

Andy, working for the local NBC station, grabbed his phone and took off towards “the hot zone”. All members of his work staff have a special app where they can directly link feeds to the station and he knew he would be on site a lot faster than the news truck from the west side of Madison.

I was torn about him running into the unknown until the station confirmed over the phone that a building blew up.

The gas leak was reported at 6:21 pm – a sub contractor for Verizon was working on fiber optic cable and hit a gas main. People who saw it said it was like a geyser shooting up, followed soon by a horrible smell. People quickly evacuated the area.

Shortly after that, the explosion was triggered and an entire building was just gone, with fire two stories tall attacking the space and surrounding buildings.

Mr Rogers always said:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Mr Rogers

That is so true of this community. The helpers came out in droves. Even our local police media liaison, Lt. Konopacki,  choked up at a press conference when he mentioned how people weren’t coming up asking what happened, but asking what they could do to help.

Volunteers helped direct traffic, pulled residents out of the local nursing home so they could be moved to Dean Clinic, brought supplies to the temporary shelters for evacuees, knocked on doors to get people out of the danger zone, and so much more.

Seriously, the list goes on and on about how people pulled together to make sure everyone was safe as the fires raged on.

The ripple effect?

Businesses gone, businesses closed, people displaced, and one person dead.

Patrick DePula, who owns Salvatore’s, said he couldn’t wait to get back into his building for clean up. They lost their front windows, along with most main street businesses, and knew he had a mess to clean up as no power + hot weather + a few days with all that food still sitting out on tables and the kitchen was sure to equal a large mess.

salvatores pizza of Sun Prairie after the gas explosion

They are a small business that is loosing income every hour they are closed and still want to help out. From their facebook post:

Dear Sun Prairie,

It’s been a rough week and I’m emotionally spent. Our restaurant is now behind a security fence, and can only be accessed with police and fire escort. They call it the hot zone. I can’t even access the building to board up the windows.
Everything is as it was when we evacuated on Tuesday. There is food and drinks on every table. No power. I can’t help but be reminded of the city of Pompeii. Walking through the restaurant I couldn’t help but notice little vignettes of the time before the earth shook and an explosion took the life of a good man.

A pizza and pasta dishes on a table. Glasses of wine. A half finished kids Mac and cheese next to a wiki stix project. The air is now beginning to be redolent of rotten seafood and warm garlic. And it seems filled with ghosts. Ultimately I was able to get items that employees left behind during the evacuation.

We poured not only our lives into this place, but also all of our resources. Seeing it broken, battered and abandoned is heart breaking. This is one of our busiest times of the year and we have no income at the moment. I’m being called every day for food donations and fundraisers, and…I don’t even have a functioning kitchen. But we want to help in any way we can. It’s in our blood!

So Saturday our whole staff will be cooking for first responders, and families. All of us are pitching in. We’re still trying to round up food even though Wisconsin beef, pork and chicken along with 800 lbs of cheese are going to waste in our powerless coolers. The amount of food we will toss is staggering to me. But again, we’re safe. It just pains me to not be able to put all of that to good use in the community. But we’ve got commitments for 200 lbs of heritage pork and sausage among other items. We will provide food and the labor to cook it to feed the bravest of people on Saturday.

We run on fairly slim margins at Sal’s as we proudly use local ingredients and insist upon a labor intensive hand-made food model. We don’t have conveyor belt ovens and bake directly on a brick hearth, with fire. It takes constant attention and skill in order to get good results, but that is the only way we know how to do it. Because of this our expenses are much higher than similar restaurants. And that is more than ok.

Anyway…what I’m trying to say is that we’re used to giving when asked. Freely and usually without limit. But it’s hard for us right now…and honestly? that isn’t a good feeling. If you’ve got a fundraiser in mind, we’d love to do it. We’d like nothing more than to help. But give us a week or so to hopefully clean up our mess and sort things out. We’re missing way more than half of our income right now but our expenses remain the same if not more.

Payroll is coming up, Insurance hasn’t kicked in, and we are still reeling from our flood damage that closed us for lunch for two weeks in May. We thought that was a particularly terrible disaster while experiencing it but compared to this? A mere inconvenience. Compared to what some other sun prairie business owners and residents are going through, our current plight is also.

At this time, we need to take care of our team, and frankly, this is a pretty scary moment for us. We don’t yet know when we can open again. I haven’t slept since Monday night and didn’t see my kids until today. Our tenants remain displaced and the thought of that is weighing on me. Thank you, friends, for your support. It means a lot to have heard from many of you. Your words of encouragement are appreciated. Once we’re operating we want to do something big…to help as many people as we can. But at this moment We can’t even bus our frozen-in-time tables. And we can’t wait to be back to doing what we do best. #sunprairiestrong

Most sincerely,
Patrick, Nichole, John, Madeliene Jon and everyone else at Sal’s.

The blocked off area of damaged buildings after the explosion

He is one of the luckier ones downtown as more buildings caught fire and some families lost their homes…one person lost his life. He still has a building to go back to, unlike the owner of the Glass Nickel, who is talking about rebuilding.

When Sun Prairie Exploded, help came in droves

Multiple response agencies, including the Red Cross, have shelters setup at local schools and churches for those who were in the half mile radius of the blast and not allowed back into their homes yet. The gas company was afraid that the leak was going to travel through the sewer lines and the possibility of more explosions.

They are still working their way through the evacuation area and slowly, people are being allowed to go back home or go into their homes and get things that are needed. (Just another reason to have a bug out bag…)

While I know our little town has made the National News, I can’t help but be proud of our little community.

  • Girl Scouts were doing lemonade stands and a brat fry to add to the fund for the family of the local firefighter who passed away, the sole casualty of this event. Cory Barr was a Captain of the local department and went back into the building that blew up – we can only guess that he wanted to make sure everyone got out. The State Governor ordered the flags to be half-mast for him.
  • Duane Sprecher, the owner of the local Culver’s, put together a bunch of meals for the first responders and people at shelters.
  • From surrounding communities, different first responders like Fire Fighters, EMTs, and Police officers have been coming to town to ask if there was anything they could do to help.
  • A collection drive has been established to help the families that lost everything. (Thank you, Kase, from Cherry Pie)

The explosion on Tuesday left people with almost nothing. They came home from work or sports practice or marching band rehearsal to discover they owned nothing but what they’re wearing. There’s been a lot of local help for shelter and food, but they’re running out of next-step stuff awfully fast.

Sunshine Place and CARDS Closet are low on toiletries, toothbrushes/toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner. They’re low on fresh socks and underwear of all sizes, from toddlers up to young adults. Girls’ shorts & t-shirts from size 5 to 10, gently used, would be welcome and useful immediately, so if you have outgrown clothes, we can put them to use.

There really is too much amazing information to share with you – my heart overflows for these amazing people.

How can YOU help?

  • Donate to the various people affected by this,  here is a link to all of the current fund requests for the families, injured firefighters,  and the fund for the Barr family – he left behind a wife and twin 3-year-old daughters. Donate Here
  • Contact the Sunshine Place to see what they need: Website HERE
  • Pray. It’s amazing how something as easy to do as praying can make a difference.
When Sun Prairie Exploded - Barr Family photo

Yes, I am crying as I write this – just thinking of all the incredible people who turned out, with flags, along the route that Cory’s body was brought back to the town’s funeral parlor.

His babies will never get hugged by them again, people’s pets that have died while their owners had to leave them behind for the evacuation, families that lost everything and so much more. It’s going to be another life milestone for us all: when Sun Prairie Exploded.

Most Photos courtesy of Salvatore’s

Has something like this ever happened in YOUR town? How did they handle it?

Other articles you may find helpful if you like when Sun Prairie Exploded:

Different Ways to Use Witch Hazel

If you have wondered what people use witch hazel for, then keep reading! I have some different ways to use witch hazel when it comes to your lifestyle! This can be found by rubbing alcohol at most mass retailers or you can even buy it online, it is very affordable! So that makes it a really great multi-purpose product to have on hand! 

Ways to use Witch Hazel

I don’t know about you but I love things that are non-toxic and able to do multiple tasks. Witch Hazel is one of those gems – it can be used for oh so many things, is inexpensive, and keeps a long time for your storage.

What is Witch Hazel?

Witch-hazels or witch hazels (Hamamelis) are a genus of flowering plants in the family Hamamelidaceae, with three species in North America (H. ovalis,[1] H. virginiana, and H. vernalis), and one each in Japan (H. japonica) and China (H. mollis). The North American species are occasionally called winterbloom.[2][3]


That is a lot of fancy speak to say it is a shrub. A shrub with very pretty and vibrant yellow flowers, but still – a shrub. The leaves and bark were used by Native Americans in herbalism / fold medicine.

Now the claims of everything it can do have been challenged by the FDA as it was starting to sound like a side-show medicine man act to the point that in 2017, one manufacturer of skincare products containing witch-hazel was warned for making unsubstantiated claims.

Don’t ingest Witch Hazel

There are many suggestions about how to use witch hazel as a method to reduce a sore throat. Um, don’t do that. Even Web MD says that if you take high doses by mouth, it may cause kidney or liver damage.

Add in the fact that high amounts of Witch Hazel are toxic as it is a known carcinogen? It is just a bad idea to put it IN your body. You should be more than fine with occasional uses on the outside of your body.

Witch Hazel Benefits

Let’s just take a peek at some of the things that witch hazel has been known to help.

Diaper Rash:

If you have a little one at home, you can use it to relieve diaper rash. Simply get a little on a soft cloth and pat it on your baby’s bottom.

It will help heal up the diaper rash! This is great to use all the time, or when you are out of cream and need a quick fix for your fussy baby! 

Let’s face it, who wants and itchy/sore tushy?

Razor Burn: 

I think we all have had razor burn one time or another. You can use it to relieve the burning sensation from the razor burn. Just apply with a soft cloth and it will subside the painful burn!

This will come in handy fore everything from arm pits to that more sensitive bikini zone.

Poison Ivy:

Leaves of three, let it be is only good when it is daylight and you can see it. Camping in a dark area like Peninsula State Park of Wisconsin might be a challenge if your flashlight bites it on your way to the outhouse and those flip-flops do a poor job of protecting your skin.

Once that pesky poison ivy attacks, use witch hazel to get rid of the itch! It has natural ingredients that help soothe that itch and doesn’t dry out your skin in the meantime. Just apply as needed on the troubled areas. 

Witch Hazel for Acne:

Ideally added to products for oily skin, witch hazel acts as an astringent, causing your tissues to contract to help shrink pores, while also soothing your skin and relieving inflammation.

It can be applied directly to your face after cleansing or steaming for maximum effectiveness.

Hemorrhoid Relief:

If you have hemorrhoids, you can put some witch hazel on some toilet paper and lightly dab it on your hemorrhoids. It does sting a little right at first for some people, but it goes away pretty quickly. This is a really great natural relief.

If you have never had this problem, you won’t understand why dogs drag their hineys across the carpet for relief.

Depuff Eyes:

Wake up with some bags under your eyes? Take equal parts of water and witch hazel, soap a cloth, and press it under your eyes for 10-15 minutes. This is great at de-puffing your eyes.

Stop Bleeding From Cuts: 

If you have a minor cut, you can use witch hazel to stop the bleeding. Dip a cotton swab in witch hazel and press it over the cut. It is a quick and sanitary way to stop the bleeding. If it is a pretty big cut it will not work, but works great for small nicks and cuts. 

As you can see, witch hazel can really come in handy for different situations! It is a great product to buy and have on hand for when you need it! Do you use witch hazel? If so, tell me your favorite way to use it! 

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How to Build a Bug Out Bag

Building your bug out bag, or 72 hour bag can seem really overwhelming if you’re new to preparing for an emergency. Don’t get caught up in the thought that you need to have some tricked out, blingy bag. In reality, all you really need is a sturdy bag and a few supplies.

How to Build a Bug out Bag

To start, you obviously need a bag. Choose a canvas bag over a plastic or vinyl one so that it will last longer. For size, go with a bag that you can comfortably carry on your back when it’s full. For kids, a regular backpack in a character that they like is best. In an emergency, kids need normalcy and a character they like is normal for them.

Build a Bug Out Bag

To start building your bug out bag, you’ll need to gather your supplies. Be sure that you have:

  • 3 days clothing including socks
  • Water bottles for 3 days
  • Food for 3 days
  • Cash
  • Copies of your identification (both parents should also carry kids identification too)
  • Spare keys to your home and car
  • Medications if you take them
  • Lighter and stormproof matches
  • Sunblock and a hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Pocket knife
  • Prepaid Cell phone
  • Solar Phone Charger
  • Chapstick
  • Any other items you might need on a daily basis

Once you’ve got your items gathered, pack your bag. Try to keep the clothing that you include rolled up since it takes up less space in your bag that way. Pack everything so that it is secure and not going to roll around in your bag if you have to grab it quickly to get out of dodge.

Kid’s Bug Out Bags

For your kids, you’ll want to create a scaled-down version of your own bag. A child’s bag doesn’t need to be fully packed as yours does. Instead, you’ll want to give them only the basics they will need such as:

  • 3 days clothing including socks
  • Snacks
  • Water (or juice – make sure if you do juice to include water as well and only pack 100% juice for less sugar content)
  • Sunscreen and Hat
  • Chapstick
  • Boredom Busters (crayons & coloring books, books to read, etc)
  • Copies of their birth certificate and social security card
  • Copies of important phone numbers

If you have an infant or toddler, be sure to add things like diapers, wipes, and creams to the bags you pack for them. Keep it light though since with a child that small, you would likely be grabbing it as well.

Building your bag out bags should only take you a few minutes. As you start to pack it, you’ll think of any other items that you might have missed that are not on this list.

Be sure to rotate the food and any medications that are in the bag so that they don’t get expired. This all might seem a bit much for some, but during a fire, flood, or other situation where you have to run, it could save your life.

8 Must Have Supplies for Canning Your Own Foods

If you’ve planted a summer garden, you may be wondering how to preserve your harvest so that you can enjoy your harvest all year long. You can freeze your harvest, dehydrate them, or can them. It pays to think about supplies for canning before that time of the year hits so you are actually able to get what you will need.

8 Must Have Supplies For Canning Your Own Foods

If you’re new to canning foods, you may be unsure about which supplies you will really and truly need and which ones are extra. These 8 must-have supplies for canning your own food are where you will want to start.

Basic Supplies for Canning

Now, before you go down the rabbit hole and listen to what everyone on the different canning Facebook groups tell you that you need, just keep it simple. The only reason canning can be expensive is when you initially invest in your supplies.

Sure there are a ton of fun things to have, and specialized storage unit items for your finished goods, but we have a list of just 8 things that you really need to get the job done.

Pressure canner

When canning foods, there are two types of canners that you will need. The first is a pressure canner. As you begin looking for canning recipes, you will find that most canning recipes require pressure canning.

You can pick up a Presto 22qt canner for around $85.00 or you can go with a more expensive brand for $200+. When buying your canner though, make sure that you don’t opt for a smaller one. Those are pressure cookers and are not safe for home canning.

You optimally want to be able to put a double layer of jars in your canner for processing, so this is a great size.

Water bath canner

The other type of canner that you’ll need is a water bath canner (also called a boiling water canner). This type of canner is basically just a big pot with a lid and canning rack inside.

You can buy a complete water bath canning set for around $20.00. If you’re looking to can fruits or make jams and jellies, you’ll need to have this type.

Keep an eye out at garage sales and on your local Facebook by/sell groups and you might be able to pick one up for pennies. Mine is seriously the black speckled looking kind that Grandma used to have.

The technology on water bath canning really hasn’t changed much over the years.

Mason jars

I guess I should really say canning jars. There are a few different brands, like Ball, Kerr, etc.

You can’t can your food without Mason jars! You can buy them in a variety of sizes from 4oz on up. To decide how many you will need, figure out what you will be canning and how much.

Most people opt for pint and quart jars as their primary and use 4oz jelly jars as well.  You can buy wide-mouth jars or regular mouth jars. Both kinds will can the exact same way.

I tend to use wide mouth jars for when I can meat or things like green beans. Small mouth are fine fro everything from soups to other veggies like corn or peas.

Canning Lids and Rings

Along with jars, you will need lids and rings as well for the next use of those jars you bought. Lids are a single-use-only item unless you use a brand like Tattler.

Make sure that you buy the ones that are correct for the jars that you have. Wide mouth lids won’t fit on regular-sized jars and vice versa.

If you are looking for metal lids, do NOT buy them on Amazon. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of forgeries have been shipped in the real-looking boxes. They don’t work and are a waste of your time.

Keep an eye out at your local Walmart, Hardware stores, and farm supply stores like Fleet Farm.

Canning Tool Kit

I found a kit on Amazon that has the following talked about tools. It was less expensive than buying them all separately. Check out the canning tool kit here.

Plastic tool for removing air bubbles

When you fill your jars, they will fill with air bubbles. These bubbles can cause your food to not seal correctly or to become contaminated so that they are no longer edible.

Using a metal tool to remove these air bubbles isn’t recommended. Instead, pick up a plastic tool made specifically for doing this task. They’re fairly cheap to buy and will save you a lot of heartbreak.

Canning funnel

Filling your canning jars, especially with liquids, can be hard to do without spoiling. A canning funnel will make things much easier for you.

Again, make sure that you have one on hand for the correct sized jar mouths or buy a combination funnel that will work for both.

Lid lifter

Your lids and rings need to be sterilized before they are used. To keep both you from getting burned and to keep them sterilized, you’ll need a lid lifter. This tool is incredibly simple, just a plastic stick with a magnet on the end, but you will need to have it on hand.

Jar lifter

When your jars come out of the canner, they will be extremely hot. You will need a way to get them out of the canner and a regular pot holder will not work.

For this, you’ll need a jar lifter. They’re only a few dollars but will save you burned hands and possibly dropped jars.

If you don’t want to purchase the smaller tools individually, you can usually purchase an entire canning set that includes them all. Getting them this way is a more cost-effective way of building up your canning supplies.

Do you have any other must have canning supplies?

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