Have you ever gone to make a meal, gotten almost done making it, and then viola! You are missing the last ingredient? Or how about outside working in the yard, pick up a branch or 2×4 or some such thing, gotten a splinter (why are you wearing work  gloves eh?) and then can’t take it out because you can’t find the darn tweezers? Or better yet, skipped putting gas in the car coming home from work even though you are almost on E and then wake up late the next morning (come on! Admit it! You have done this!) and getting gas is the LAST thing you have time for?


Well, these are all ‘little things’ that could really mess you up and points out an underlying principle in being prepared. Remembering the ‘little things’ in you plans. All the prepping and gathering won’t do you a darn bit of good and might even cost you your life if you don’t remember the little things. While ‘remember’ at the last minute right now might just be a hassle, if things get even slightly dicey (speaking from experience here and the little things that I overlooked for an itty bitty hurricane named Irene) you could find yourself up a creek without a paddle so to speak, and unable to get ‘it’ at the last minute.


So, a list of lists begins (yet again) of what I think some of the most often overlooked items to have. Some of this is based on personal experience and some is just plain knowing.


In no particular order except #1:


1)      keeping the gas tank filled…seriously, I am even lax about this sometimes and can find all sorts of excuses not to fill up the tank again when it gets down to half…bit me just today when lo and behold, when I went to go get my kids from the babysitters, gas had jumped 10 cents in just a few hours…sigh

2)      tweezers…these are great for all sorts of things but if you don’t have them, you don’t have them and I ALWAYS recommend having more than 4 in the house and even 1 or 2 in the car. From experience, don’t go ‘cheap’ on all of them. The dollar store ones are just fine for nabbing ticks or larger things, but have you ever tried to dig out a splinter with a rounded wide edged pair of tweezers. Not fun and more damage gets done than doing good.

3)      Work gloves, more than one pair and more than one type. You can often pick up wholesale lots on eBay or just wait for Walmart to put them on clearance. For some reason around my house one of the pair manages to disappear unexpectedly and sometimes that’s okay (don’t throw the lone one away!) but sometimes its not. I have a plastic shoe box full (over full really) of various work gloves including the plastic ‘chemical’ type.

4)      Needles as in ‘sewing’ needles. Not just for mending clothes but people too in a pinch, fishing out things in the skin, puncturing holes in things. The dollar store or Walmart will often carry big packs of them on the cheap.

5)      Electrical tape. No joke! Great for sealing things up tight, including leaky pipes in a pinch. Again, eBay has some great bargins on this.

6)      Cayenne Pepper. This great for all sorts of odd things in a pinch…bug control, controlling bleeding (including internal), clearing the sinuses and cooking too!

7)      Plastic Tarps…need I say more? How many do you have?

8)      Lighters. Anyone who smokes (no judgment here, we all have to have our vices) knows the frustration of not being able to find a ‘light’, but think about it. Small, compact, fire starting potential. Great for putting a seal on plastic (carefully) or even melting the end of a rope or shoe string.

9)      Nuts, bolts, washers, nails, screws…you get the idea. I absolutely HATE loosing one of these and then being SOL until I can make it into town. You can pick up ‘assortment’ packs at Walmart, Lowes, even the dollar store sometimes for a tiny investment. I particular LOVE LOVE drywall screws J Never have enough of these!

10)  A good set of hex keys, screw drivers (and not the little bits for the electric gizmos, but hand ones, unless you are lucky enough to get a non-electric ‘socket’ type screw driver set. But with that said, this might not fit in every where), tiny screw driver set. While the dollar store is a good ‘start’, I have found that the tools from there aren’t so great for heavy or hard use. Spend the money as you can to get a GOOD set. And don’t forget a good socket set too.

11)  WD40 or something similar. Oh the headache trying to break loose the oil drain plug on the new generator in 90 degree heat! I would have given almost anything for this right after the hurricane… but someone used the last of it and didn’t say anything to me about it…grrr…

12)  Manual Can Opener and more than one of them. I have used this type for several years, wearing them out eventually of course, but living out in the ‘woods’, weelll…lets just say I learned the hard way on this one. The can opener ‘died’ (wouldn’t work) and I figured out no one local carried them or didn’t have them in stock. 2 days without one really drove home the point on redundancy to me. And I don’t want you buying those cheap little skinny ones…those thing stink and are hard to use. Go to Wally World and spend the extra 2 bucks and get one with a nice size grip and twist handle. Your hands will thank you.

13)  Toliet paper and baby wipes…do I need to say more? Unless of course you are growing Lambs Ear in  your herb garden or plan on using your T-shirt in a pinch.

14)  Lots of batteries as money permits. Dollar store ones are okay. I have had some for several years that when I dug them out they still had juice. Can’t promise how long they will ‘last’ when used, but in a pinch, they work.

15)  Got pets? Don’t forget their food. I personally freak out when I have a full plastic kitchen garbage can full with one extra bag. 4 Pitbulls J they like to eat. But seriously. How many of you have pets and wait until you run out before buying another bag of food?

16)  Garbage bags…both the white ones (kitchen) and black ones (lawn/leaf/contractor) Great for a million and one things besides the garbage. How many do you have left in your pantry?

17)  Anti-histamines

18)  Got a baby? Diapers and more than one package of them.

19)  Scissors of all types and sizes from tiny to big.

20)  Zip Lock baggies of all types and sizes and not just a couple boxes of them…they are handy for a zillion things, reusable and take up almost no room.

21)  Thread, string, rope

22)  Salt

23)  A good book or two

24)  Comfort food, simple things, snacks

25)  OTC Pain killers

26)  Food staples such as bread, milk, eggs, butter, salt, rice (even if its freeze dried)


The list could go on and on, but these are some of my favorite ‘little things’ that when I don’t have them…well, I feel a bit stupid.