27 Underrated Prepping Items

underrated and overlooked prepping items

When it comes to prepping items, there’s no lack of hearing about certain items.

  • Knives
  • Guns
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Ammo
  • Cook sets
  • Paracord

And so on. The list of commonly talked about items goes on and on.

But there are some items that would be helpful and are rarely talked about because they aren’t ‘cool’. It’s not cool to talk about hygiene, but it’s important none-the-less. It’s not cool to talk about laundry, but also important.

So let’s talk about some items that are important and rarely talked about.

Here are 27 underrated prepping items:

  1. Towel/cloth – Some sort of small towel or cloth is going to be pretty dang useful for hygiene and general cleaning. I have a lightweight microfiber cloth in many of my kits that I use every single time I go out camping. Think about how often you use a towel or paper towels or cloths at the home and you’ll soon realize why they’d be important in your preps, too.
  2. Information – As much as preppers tote the importance of knowledge, information is rarely talked about as an important prep. Keep books, little cards, print out some pages of paper with important information. Keep pamphlets or pocket guides. Information is power.
  3. Organization – Organizational items such as pencil cases, boxes and ziploc bags are handy and inexpensive ways of keeping your preps organized.
  4. Socks – The right socks can make all the difference. Your feet are pretty important, so let’s take care of them. Merino wool have always proved to be a great option for me year-round. When choosing socks, just avoid cotton as it’s not the best option for feet.
  5. Shoes – Along with socks, shoes are important. The better we take care of our feet, the better our feet take care of us! All part of proper morale.
  6. Sleeping pad – There is no reason to make yourself suffer by sleeping on the ground. There are a lot of lightweight sleeping pads available these days. Getting a good nights sleep is extremely important. Plus a sleeping pad gives space between you and the ground to keep you warmer.
  7. Notepads – Notepads are essential part of gear, I think. Write down observations, locations, notes to others or whatever else. Don’t forget a pen!
  8. Beeswax – I often hear people talk about items that have been made with beeswax (like candles) but rarely do I hear people talk about keeping beeswax around. Keeping a good supply of beeswax is a good idea so that you can make all kinds of things. If planning to make candles, don’t forget to keep wicks around, as well.
  9. Cash – I can’t tell you how many times that in just everyday life I’ve come across businesses that only accept cash. And in an emergency, if the power goes out and you need gas, the gas station will probably still be able to pump gas for a while (because of the generator) but probably won’t be able to swipe any cards. Keep some cash around for everyday and for emergencies and disasters.
  10. Extra pair of glasses – If you wear glasses, you need at least one backup pair. Don’t forget a glasses repair kit (or gorilla tape).
  11. Sunglasses – In addition to glasses, you need to protect your peepers by protecting them from the sun with sunglasses.
  12. Sunscreen – A sunburn is not just annoying, it’s really bad for your skin and sometimes it could knock you on your feet from the immense pain. Made sure sunscreen is up-to-date because it does expire.
  13. Bug spray – You don’t want to be contracting disease from mosquitos. Keep bugs off of you, your gear and your surrounding areas with bug spray and other bug deterrents.
  14. Hand sanitizer – Most people jump to using hand sanitizer as a fire starter, but I store it to be used as its intended purpose.
  15. Pet supplies – I so rarely hear about taking care of pets. Make sure they have their needs taken care of, such as any medications, food, water, first aid, toys, brush, etc.
  16. Crafts – Keep your kids busy during an emergency or crisis with crafts and other games. Very important for morale and your sanity.
  17. Printed pictures – You know what’s gotten people through some bad times an wars? Pictures. Taking a glance at a picture of a loved one always brings a smile. Great for morale and to help keep us moving forward.
  18. Female hygiene – Nobody likes to talk about feminine hygiene products so it never gets talked about. If you’re a female or have a female in the household, it’s important to stock up on feminine hygiene products, reusable items is even better.
  19. Solar panels – For as off grid as every prepper
  20. Sewing kit – Sewing is not seen as a necessity, but it should be. It’s easy to fix clothes and gear when you know how to sew and have a small sewing kit handy.
  21. Cooking oil – Oils such as olive oil and coconut oil are great for cooking and even great for beauty products.
  22. Spices – Spices are not a comfort item, they make food taste better! Spice up your life!
  23. Dental hygiene – If you don’t take care of your teeth, there could be problems with your whole body! People can actually die from teeth issues. Get a good dental hygiene kit together and keep plenty of dental hygiene products around (toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes).
  24. Manicure set – Long nails are not only annoying (dirt under the nails is just the worst!) but you can cause a lot of damage if your nail breaks. Or if a hang nail gets ripped off and infected,
  25. Soap – Keeping bars of soap around is inexpensive and easy. Keeping any soap around is a good idea. Proper hygiene is important.
  26. Hair care – If you have long hair (like I do) keep a brush/comb around, along with hair ties and scissors to cut hair.
  27. Proper clothing – Choose the right clothing for your region. For example, cotton is bad for the cold, but great for the heat.

There are going to be other items that are very specific to you, such as if you have any health concerns.

Regardless, my suggestion is to write down a list of things you use everyday, as well as things you think you might need while outdoors. Go camping and discover things that you want/need. Run mock emergency drills and see what you want/need.

What are some other underrated or overlooked prepping items?

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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  1. Matches. I throw a box or 3 in every vehicle, first aid kit, bag or box. Yeh I know how to use a flint n steel and have multiple other ways to start a fire but people underestimate the simplicity and efficiency of a simple box of matches when it come to starting a fire quickly and easily. Even little kids can be taught how to safely use a match. A warm fire on a cold night, nothing quite like it and they are dirt cheap to buy and store.
    Thanks for a great list, most of which I already have stored for all the same reasons you mentioned lol

  2. I greatly appreciate this list!! I’ve searched quite a bit for a (for lack of a better term) woman style/common sense (😁 I can almost feel the men rolling there eyes right now!) type of list and finally I came across yours. It’s always blew my mind a bit that tampons are almost never mentioned, except for as a way to ‘clog a wound’ (btw… Unless septic shock sounds better then the wound you may be considering stuffing a tampon in to, please don’t do this! Those little cotton fibers will make healing/avoiding massive infection damn near impossible). Also, tooth medicine…
    Unfortunately I’ve experienced the agony of a terrible tooth abscess personally & if I’m being totally honest-if I had to get up & actually take care of myself without the modern luxuries I’ve become so accustomed to, I’m not sure what would happen…I AM sure it wouldn’t be good! Love the beeswax idea as well!!

    1. Tooth care is so important and I’m with you, it would be TOUGH to do it myself or have someone else do it. Thanks for reading and commenting!!!

  3. Are the Costco Merino Wool socks 100% Merino? If I can’t find them, I want something comparable. Thank you for the great info!

    1. It’s around 80%. I’ve honestly been having a tough time finding them at Costco anyway so I’m going to start purchasing from Amazon to get more consistency. I go through a lot of socks! Thanks for reading!

  4. Thank you for not mentioning Any “Doom’s day” stuff. Those preppers have given all preppers a bad name. Logical preppers prepare for things like Earthquakes; hurricanes, and blizzards.

  5. Hi, great article, thanks for sharing. As Americans, we are very spoiled when it comes to something breaking down, most people whip out their credit card and either replace the item, or hire someone to fix it. I have a twisted hobby that I love to look in peoples garages as I drive by just to see their tools, work benches, etc. I grew up on a farm where you learned to fix things,,,,because there wasn’t time to go replace them. I don’t see a lot of handyman garages anymore, and I believe this is an area of preparedness that is slipping away. I have neighbors that don’t even own a hammer or nails, yet they have 42 padded lawn chairs on their deck. just an idea, but I know my son and other children LOVED taking things apart with tools. Perhaps we equip kids with a small tool set and let them take apart an old lawn mower etc,,,,,,,AND keep the hardware. Garage sales are great sources for picking up cheap hardware for emergency home repair, building projects, appliance repair etc. We may not always have the options of going to the big box store and just get a new whatever when it breaks. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Michael!

      My daughter LOVES to use tools and I’m lucky that my husband is very handy. That’s definitely a skill that is being lost, I believe. Great thoughts, thank you!

  6. Morgan, do you have a good place to get those Merino socks? I’m on a fixed income and have to be frugal about everything.

    1. Hi Lynne, I have a Costco membership and get my merino socks from there. Its like $15-20 for a 4 pack, which is insanely cheap for merino wool socks. If you don’t have a Costco membership, maybe someone you know does and can get them for you? I can only find them during the winter months, though. I usually stock up in the winter.

      1. I will say, those merino socks are nearly as good as the Smartwool. But bang for the buck, you can’t beat the Costco socks. I haven’t bought any Smartwool socks in years.

        1. Smartwool is really great. Like you said, just can’t beat those Costco socks! I wear them literally everyday. Love merino wool.

  7. I had everything you talked about except beeswax AND Merino wool socks; all my socks
    are cotton and I live south of you which makes always hot. Will check out Merino wool

    1. I live in San Antonio, TX where it not only gets hot, but it gets humid. I always thought merino wool socks were going to be miserable. But I actually wear them year-round and they don’t make my feet hot, in fact, they help my feet breathe, they prevent them from getting wet and they’re just super soft and comfortable.

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