The author has collected a small group of like- minded and recently moved from a major metropolis to the country six miles from a small rural agro-city. The retreat has multiple water sources, a solar system, several back-ups and an Aquaponics fish farm. The other members practice food storage and pre-positioning. He does not believe in bugging-in for no other reason than the high risk of fire in the cities, thus this information leans to the retreat.


                Not the unthinkable, the un-thought of. The potential many things that become over shadowed by the mainstream items required in a survival situation. The item that you discover you do not have, but certain that you had addressed, when caught between that rock and a hard place.

                Over the last year or so I have written a number of “reports” for our small group that have guided food and water purchase and storage, meds, weapons and ammo, finances, communication, etc. In each of these I have usually tried to look ahead, seeing both the disaster period, survival and then the recovery, if we are skilled and lucky enough to get to that shore. If you manage to survive but are not prepared for the long term recovery what are you going to do, wait for FEMA?

                Some of the un-thought of items and ideas that I have addressed:



 Yes, we all have filters. Some have wells. But have you addressed the loss of power and how you are going to get that water out of the ground? I have slaved a pitcher pump into my pump plumbing with two valves that allow me to switch between the pump and the hand pump. We have solar and a battery bank, but motors are a big drain to any solar system, so why not use elbow grease instead if not in a critical situation.

The nature of the water here at present is high in iron (since corrected with a green sand filter, BTW do you have the chemicals set aside to service your pumps and filters over an extended period?) As such I have collected a ton of plastic water bottles. Why not fill these with potable water and store outside, under cover, to be used as give a ways. I am not big on survival charity to the masses, but if giving them water will keep them moving on, I am all for it. It may also help your neighbors whose pumps are no longer running. They could be your closest allies in a crunch.




A difficult subject.  How much is enough? There is never enough medical supplies. If you have ever spent any time in combat or an ER you may have some idea of the quantity of supplies used up dealing with a moderate trauma. In studying this subject I have become aware of how woefully inadequate our supplies are and have begun to remedy it with a level of supplies to provide for a small community ER room. If possible have a Doctor or at least a Paramedic or EMT in your group, If you don’t, still get the supplies, as one may come along later. Better to have the supplies.

My recent additions: Antibiotics (fish and bird meds) buy an assortment and all that you can afford. Do not forget to take into account those with penicillin allergies. Local anesthetics and pain killers. (If anyone has a source for Lidocaine with and without Epinephrine, please let me know, very useful and difficult to obtain drugs.) Diarrheal meds and rehydration salts. Ambu breathing  bags, laryngoscope, nasal and laryngeal tubes chest seals, scalpel blades, catheter needles, IV set ups and IV fluids, quick clot, burn meds. Irrigation and fluid vacuum pump items.  Many medical books, stay with nursing and EMT level books so as not to overwhelm you with terminology. Sutures and surgical tools (many hemostats, think of the dozens on the tray in the hospital TV shows), tons of 4×4 pads and lastly a body bag to double as a casualty litter. I cannot stress this area enough. Money is better spent here than on Gold. We now have four very large bags of supplies. Do not forget to bag, label and list you inventory for each bag to make finding things faster. Time is a commodity in crisis.




                Yeah you have spare batteries for your flashlights and cell phone chargers. What about down the road? When your stuff starts to break down and you need to diagnose and repair it? Got spares for your multi-meter, water tester, solder iron?

                Some thoughts on batteries; many put up standard alkaline batteries, and yes I am guilty also. But think about your battery usage seriously in light of NO resupply. The standard use ups take space and are short lived. EBay is a great source for cheap bulk rechargeable batteries and chargers. Buy all of the sizes available, even those you may not use (down the road you may be offered a useful device whose battery has gone dead and is now useless to its owner. If you have batteries for it, you are set up to make a great deal, to either trade off the batteries or get a great deal on the device.  As to your communications, Holo sights, NVDs, etc., think!, these will be in constant use over multiple shifts of watch and patrols. Be sure that you have enough that you have hot batteries in the device while the depleted ones are charging, then double that amount. (Charging? How? Solar chargers. BTW, always have at least TWO chargers for each type of battery)

                In regards to all those battery types that do not come as rechargeable (coin cells, button cells, etc.) Look at your devices, Holo dot sights, laser bore sighters, small instruments, thermometers. Buy a large quantity of these, as when they are gone it is unlikely you will ever see then again. The loss of power to these devices will diminish your combat multiplier effectiveness.

                Car batteries, good if you have nothing else (you can actually weld with them given some welding rods) but the battery to own is solar or marine deep cycle, they will last much longer. Remember to store info on proper maintenance. Don’t scrap your old batteries. Recover the acid, break the case and you have lead for bullet casting. Please use the proper personal protective gear to do this. Something else un-thought of.




                A collection of useful tools should take into account all of the machines, both manual and petrol based that you have and plan to use. Do you have all of the tools to not only service them but tear them down and over haul them? A short list:

                Mechanics tool set in metric and SAE, as well as screw drivers, pliers, vise grips, clamps, hand saws and drills with extra blades and bits, Hammer, Levels and a plumb bob, Bleeder bottles.

                Shovels, rake, hoe, hand tiller, post hole digger, trowels, sledge, crowbars, slide hammer, cable come along.

                Look at what you have and what you may have to do with it and adjust accordingly. Many of these items you can get used at flea markets, cheap as manual tools have gone out of vogue.




                You may wish, or need to take on some construction projects and Lowes will be stripped bare.

Lumber; 2x4s, fence posts, plywood, concrete blocks, bagged cement, an assortment of machine screws washers and nuts, wood screws, and nails, PVC piping, valves  and connections in a few sizes, as well as a PVC cutter and glue, Tapes, sealants and glues.  Spare parts for your Coleman items (pumps, mantels, etc.). Tarps and plastic sheeting, Chains cables and rope of various sizes.




                Your machines require lubrication and maintenance as well as fuel. Do not overlook these items. Transmission and brake fluid, various oils and grease. Cleaners, starter fluid, Stabil or similar to protect your fuel storage from spoilage.




                I use the Marine Corps four man fire team as my smallest core unit. It lends itself to watch and patrol shifts and can be self-supporting in a number of ways. Three fire teams can effectively deal with a 24 hour security plan. On patrols to scavenge: spread the following items among members; Chain and lock, bolt cutters, pick/shovel and handle, Slide hammer, machete and cable come a long. These will get you into many places, allow you to secure fences behind you, move obstacles and cache finds without one member carrying too great a load

Save your brass. If you do not have the capability to reload, someone else may. Your brass will be a valuable commodity to such a person. You may be able to barter a lot of brass for a few loaded cartridges. Also scavenge lead (old car batteries) for bullet casters.

Learn a little practical chemistry and collect chemicals (read labels on things, many brand names are just common chemicals relabeled) get a 19th century book of formulas and you will be able to make a surprising amount of things yourself.

Keep prepping and try to think beyond the obvious. Here’s to recovery after the fall.  




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13 thoughts on “THE UN-THOUGHT OF”

  1. Many good thoughts to consider. I’m a huge proponent of having plenty of the supplies you need but haven’t bothered much with supplies I might need downt he road. For example, I like to keep batteries for the gear I have but never considered including batteries for items I might acquire in the future. And thinking about odd equipment that never seems to need a new battery (like a multimeter) but still uses them is true also. Thanks for the thoughts.

  2. Well written article. Good ideas. I would love to hear more about how your group has decided up the purchase of items since you live at the bug out location full time and they don’t.

  3. LC…My core fire team and I have been friends and have worked as Hi-risk civilian security contractors on and off for decades. I purchased the property on my retirement from govt service and deal with the day to day big ticket items. All the rest we split expenses. It is somwhat a dictatrship but they defer to my skills and knowledge as I have the serious combat and research skills and have been a prepper since the seventies (when I started researching international terrorist groups) .I still meet with them to discuss any large purchases and it is democratic. Everyone invests time working on projects at the property site (antenna mast, new plumbing, out building bunks, fencing etc.) Each are responsible for their Tac gear weapons, ammo (although we do had extensive reloading capabilities that are a joint project) IFAK, Food etc. Community items are discussed and split. Friends and family are few but loyal and understanding Our core group bond is unusual and based on life and death. we do still have our heated disagreements… Said too much already. D.

    MILLE… The small un-thought of things can sometimes destroy the best of plans. Your welcome and think outside the box. D.o

  4. D, yours sounds similar to ours except our group is my husbands best friend (they are both exmil) and our children (the boys are either current or exmil) and our nephew (exmil and EMT). Everyone builds food storage and arms for themselves and the group shares major expenses(after the initial start up). My husband and I bought the land, all the buildings, and the initial start up. Just wondered how others share expenses.

  5. Great Article…..

    From what I have been able to glean elsewhere.. Standard Alkaline Batteries Store well.. second only to Lithium Ion…

    I thought rechargables made sense and set about integrating them into my useage.. I bought 3 Chargers.. (I use a lot of batteries constantly). I bought a boatload of rechargable batteries, AAs Ds and 9 Volt.. It turned out to be a pain in the neck.. They can be damaged if the batteries are overcharged most of us know that. .. they are also damaged by beng fully discharged and not immediately recharged. They also generally run down quicker..

    Think about a TEOTWAWKI or any variant.. You will have enough to do just keeping the basics running.. Water, Shelter Food.. keeping in mind you want to minimize external light for tactical reasons.. Unless you have an underground bunker you will not really be running your flashlights constantly.. (Maybe not even then).
    Finally look at the cost.. You can purchase 30 some Alkaline AAs for $7 on sale (Dorcy at Big 5 last weekend)

    At a usage rate of 2 per week that is a year and a halfs worth of batteries (roughly). Now go check the price of a Battery Charger and a dozen rechargables.. It will be close and in use they will stop taking a charge long before you run out of alkalines.

    I have spare bulbs for some of my older flashlights.. Some spare bulbs (PR2s-3s and 4’s) for D cell flashlights that are an honest 50 years old.. (someone said they lose their seal and the inert gas inside leaks out so I tested some of them receintly and they lit so who knows?). Newer CREE LED flashlights can be had for $20 a pair at Sam’s club..they use three AAAs. I have used one daily for the last 2-3 year (probably 10 min a day)I bang it around with me all day and replace the batteries once a month. At those prices batteries and flashlights with some exceptions for tactical lights mostly should be considered disposable items and purchased in bulk with an eye towards reasonable reliability and cost savings per unit.. Rechargebles with all the falderall involved with them at least for the smaller stuff like we use in flashlights etc.. lose their appeal.

    Again, Great Article… I am envious of your preperations.. Really awsome job your doing..


  6. Ahh!! I lost a few lines….. You can buy about 150 AAs for $35 (about the price of a charger and some rechargable batteries.) There at a usage rate of 8 per month (two per week) that will last you about a year and a Half…
    There think thats right….

    LOL (Oldtimers sufferer)


  7. LC… Regards purchases, earlier we all met and agreed that I would act as purchasing agent for the group as far as tactical gear (ballistic vests and plates, camelbacks, comms, NBC gear and masks, Alice packs and web gear) and silver were concerned. We set a budget that I was allowed to spend per person, and I shopped my butt off for great deals on quantity deals. If I found a particularly good deal on something else I’d get on the phone and get OKs for the additional expense. I was in a position to front money on these buys and run a monthly “tab” that is later paid off. I got some great deals this way and we also have excellent continuity of equipment. If your in a position to do so you might try this purchasing “tactic” I wonder just how many ex-military “oath keepers” are out there keeping the faith. Semper Fi and Regards, D.

  8. Vic… some good points and I have addressed them, just not here…yet. Rechargables run down quicker because they begin their life with less to begin with 1.2-3V instead of the 1.5 that we are used to. So they fall below a useful voltage quicker. I agree with your thinking here regards flashlights. I was trying to cover the tactical gadgets that usually use odd battreies. As to light and noise control, absolutely. Ourhouse and three out buildings are currently “creatively” blacked out. (The time to check your light disipline is before the storm) Black out “air-locks” will also go up on the doorways. A 5V LED lighting system will not tax the solar battery bank nor create an abundance of light.

    Come the crunch, we will go to silent running. No generators unless raining. no open lights (Thermal securitiy system and LED 12V IR floods (on demand) to enhance and protect the Gen1 NVDs locations). Also have Gen 3 NVDs. The perimeter has a layered defensive surveilance system. It detects from about 170 M. out, patrols will range 1-2 clicks out.

    Thanks for your input. I will now feel better when I grab up that good deal on a load of AAs. Regards, D.

    PS Don’t envy, I don’t have a great deal of $, I just shop very good deals (and I have been doing this for decades) .You just have to THINK and prep smart! I am generally lazy, but have discovered that the lazy can be incredibly effiecient.

  9. DO NOT use car battery Lead for bullets! It will ruin aluminum molds and damage steel molds, not to mention the furnace/pot used to melt the lead in. It was a spendy lesson for me.

    Battery lead has NO value to a caster. It could potentially harm the firearms it is used in.

  10. MO,..Thanks for the heads up! I Just did a bit of research on the battery lead.You are correct battery lead is useless unless you have a considerable lab to process it in. Please DISREGARD my recommendation!!! I did not find info on damage to molds etc.(although the info I found seems to bear this out.) But I did find info regarding the metal alloy used. It can be HIGHLY TOXIC WHEN MELTED. Use wheel balance weights (If they are even available anymore) or roof flashing lead. You can make the correct alloy by adding a 1# of lead-free plumbing solder to 19# of melted wheelweights. Regards, D.

  11. Over at the Cast Boolits forum there is a lot of information on Battery Lead and its potential health risks and damage to equipment.

    Just this year I got some “Free” lead from a friend. It had already been smelted into ingots. After using it I noticed all the molds I used with that batch had corroded badly. The steel molds cleaned up but the Aluminum mold was beyond repair. When I asked where the lead came from the answer I got was “Car Batteries…”

    Cost me some serious “dumb tax.” The aluminum mold was custom made by Accurate molds (excellent) and I had to buy an new furnace as well. Now I ALWAYS ask and if there is any question, I don’t use it.

  12. Thanks all for the win. I’m sure your interest helped. It sure sparked my brain to answer the queries. The replies may have contained as much info as the article. Regards, D.


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