Just because preparedness gear has the potential to be lifesaving doesn’t mean it has to carry a big price tag. Sometimes, the simplest and cheapest piece of gear is the right tool for the job. Check out these five preps that are available for less than $2 each.
Bottle of Bleach
The 1.5-pint bottle of Clorox can be found for $2 in most grocery stores, and that small bottle can disinfect hundreds of gallons of drinking water. It can also make a disinfecting wash to clean out hydration bladders and water filters, and kill viruses on contaminated surfaces. For drinking water, add 2 to 4 drops of plain Clorox per quart of water (two drops if clear, four drops if cold or muddy).
This wonder adhesive can mend all kinds of objects, even wounds. Close up small lacerations by hand, and put a drop of superglue (or a row of drops) at the surface of the wound to keep it closed. Just make sure you don’t glue the “clamping” fingers to the wound, as you’ll tear the wound open trying to free your glued hand.
Besides promoting oral hygiene, floss can be used as a high-strength cord and improvised fishing line. Leave the floss in its case for easy dispensing, or break it free so that the spool packs down tighter in your low-cost survival kit.
Granola bars, energy bars, and your favorite non-melting candy bars make great food rations for most emergency situations. A few of these can have a major moral-boosting effect and offer needed calories in a pinch.
A factory-sealed bottle of water can give you two vital things in an emergency—a vessel of safe, clean water and a container to hold more water. Select quart- or liter-size bottles so water purification tablets do not have to be divided into smaller pieces. Get a clear plastic bottle with a smooth, rounded shoulder and it can also be used as a magnifying lens for fire starting on sunny days.
Tell us what kind of cheap gear you like to carry, and why, in the comments.