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by Malachi Martin

Preppers come from all walks of life. Some of us—by “us” I mean not me—have a lot of money and invest in the bugout bunker and the latest “tacticool” gear. Others want to prep, but have very limited resources for a multitude of reasons. For those of us who want to invest in a bugout bag but don’t have the resources for quality supplies, we still have options.

Let me start off with some brutal honesty: This kit sucks. (But keep reading anyway.)

Not a single person reading this should say “This is great! I’ll do this instead of X!” Stop right there. If you have the resources to do X, do X. This kit is for those who would be without if they didn’t do this.

And, for what it is, it’s a decent bugout bag. Every item on here is available at Dollar Tree. The total cost? $30 plus tax. And it includes 15 days worth of food (around 35,000 calories give or take). Aren’t you glad you kept reading?

1) 2 mesh laundry bags. Double them up for strength. This bugout bag weighs over 30 lbs and if you are bugging out, you need something to carry all of the stuff. $2.00

2) 1 shower curtain liner or the 4’x6’ tarp–whichever your Dollar Tree has. This is your shelter. $1.00

3) 1 roll of duct tape. This is to fix the holes in your shelter that will inevitably come from 15 days of roughing it. $1.00

4) 1 twine 3-pack. $1.00 I prefer the plastic kind because it gives you the option to “melt” knots so they won’t become undone.

5) 1 lighter 3-pack. Fire! $1.00

6) 1 butcher knife. Much sturdier than the pocket knife or boxcutter. Now you can defend yourself. $1.00

7) 1 pack 16-ct tea candles. Now you always have fire and light (and a little bit of heat). Small enough to use inside of your shelter providing that you aren’t too big of an idiot. $1.00

8) 1 cookie-tin with lid. This is your skillet. A cake pan would work too, but this way you also get the lid which can double as a plate, or a second skillet. This is how you will cook. This is how you will make your water safe. $1.00

9) Speaking of which, 1 gallon of water. This buys you time to *find* a fresh water source to boil. Plus we will do something really cool with the container later. $1.00

10) 1 bottle of anti-diarrhea medicine. Hopefully you won’t use it, but if you didn’t boil your water this miiiiiiiight keep you from dehydrating to death from a bad case of mud butt. $1.00

11) 1 bottle of vinegar. It’s a disinfectant with more culinary options than bleach. Cut your finger? Give it a splah. Did you just wipe your butt and need to cook breakfast? Rub vinegar on your hands. It’s not perfect, but it will help keep you from getting sick when clean water and soap isn’t a viable option. $1.00

12) Toliet paper. $1.00

13) 7 of the 2 lbs bags of flour. Do the math…1600 calories per pound, and that’s 14 lbs for a whopping 22,400 calories. $7.00

14) 4 of the 7 oz “lunchean loaf”, the off-brand SPAM. 1540 calories, and 112 grams of protein. $4.00

15) 1 48 oz vegetable oil. 11,400 calories. $1.00

16) 1 of the 1 lbs boxes of table sugar. $1.00 Wait a second…flour….water…oil…sugar…= DONUTS! That’s right. You’ll be eating ghetto donuts for 2 weeks. But I’ve got bigger plans for the majority of the sugar, so don’t get too much of a sweet tooth. It takes very little firewood to heat oil enough to cook these donuts. It’s ‘energy efficient’ and high in calories.

17) 1 bottle of women’s vitamins. I haven’t seen men’s vitamins in Dollar Tree, but you want the women vitamins anyway because those have iron. $1.00

18) 1 pack of 100 safety pins AKA fish-hooks. Find a stick, get your twine, get your safety pins, find a worm, and enjoy a little fishing while you eat one of your donuts. $1.00

Want to save it for later?  Smoke it or use the vinegar and a trash bag to brine the fish so it doesn’t spoil.

19) Oh yeah, 1 box of unscented trashbags. $1.00 Combine with duct-tape and you have a poncho (one bag for your torso, one for a “kilt” (IT’S NOT A SKIRT!) and two for the arms. This can also store potable water if you are careful. If you see a storm is coming, fill as many bags as you can with fire making necessities (leaves, sticks, etc) so you can start a fire when the rain stops. A big enough fire can dry out your other ‘wet’ wood. Fire means potable water so fire is a top priority.

20) Bible. $1.00 You can probably finish it in about two weeks. Spiritual encouragement and fights boredom.

BONUS: You have the stuff to make a sour-dough starter. Once you have plenty of potable water in trashbags (and won’t need the 1 gallon water jug any longer), dissolve about 2 cups of sugar in a gallon of hot potable water and let cool to ambient day-time temperatures. Toss in your sour-dough starter and say a prayer. Crank the lid down on your water jug, then unscrew it one quarter of a turn. IF the yeast thrives in a few days it will start getting bubbly, and the CO2 needs to be able to escape. Let it go for 10 days. A cloudy look is normal. You now have a gallon of booze. Hopefully.

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