Food Storage Basics: Step 4 – Non-Food Items

by Erich

Once you’ve secured enough food for one year, you are well on your way to becoming a master squirrel, he he. All jokes aside, if you’ve followed each of the previous steps you should now have 2-weeks worth of water, a three-month supply of food and other necessities that is continually rotated, and you should be working towards a years supply of long-term food items.

  • Ensure that you’re concentrating on food items as the priority before you focus on the non-food items
  • Gradually build up a year’s supply of essential non-food items
  • Purchase in bulk when items go on sale
  • Store what your family uses on a regular basis
  • Don’t be concerned about exact storage parameters. Use available space.

The next step — Step 4 — is really just an extension of Step 3. You can do this step in tandem with procuring your year’s supply of food or you can finish Step 3 first before moving on to this step. The only thing I’d recommend is that you focus on the food items first and foremost. Buy the non-food items when you see good sales, otherwise purchase your long-term food first. Remember, you can eat wheat not toilet paper.

It’s important that you build up a supply of items that are commonly used by your family. Here’s a recommended list that should get you started:

Paper Supplies

  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Diapers/Wipes
  • Tissue Paper
  • Feminine Products
  • Cotton Balls

Personal Hygiene

  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving Cream
  • Diaper Rash Cream
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrushes

Cleaning Supplies

  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Laundry/Dish Soap
  • Trashbags


  • Dog/Cat Food (Hey…Fido needs to live too, unless of course you’re planning on eating Fido as part of your food storage :))
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Light Bulbs
  • Fuel

By no means is this list exhaustive. On the other hand, don’t get so caught up that you feel you need everything right away either. Build up slowly and as you have the means and resources available stock up on these items. What’s great about most of the items on this list is that particular storage parameters (heat, light, etc) aren’t that big of an issue. Any free space will do: your barn, shed, attic, basement, under the bed and so on.

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Comment by sean clarke
2011-01-19 18:56:52

Can you recommend a solid burning stove for cooking that l could use short to medium term as I rely on a gas supplier and would like a second option due to a supply cut.



PS. I live in Ireland

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-01-20 00:58:01


I highly recommend the Stovetec RocketStove. It is a super efficient cooking stove that runs on little wood and burns clean. You can see my review of this stove here: Stovetec Rocketstove Review.

Comment by Caitlyn
2012-09-27 13:28:23


Just a thought, but looking around the site got me thinking; I know a lot of people aren’t fond of them, but when the crap hits the fan it could be a good thing to have a cat around.
Besides the matter of companionship (especially if you have children or live alone, they can be very comforting), a good cat (especially one accustomed to being outdoors) is pretty much self-reliant and will help keep keep rodents and other pests away.
Maybe it’s weird for me to think of cats as a survival tool, but cats kill rodents which spread diseases, eat/ruin food and supplies, and carry fleas, ticks, et cetera.
I think it would be cool to see an article on picking out pets that will survive well in harsh environments (low maintenance) and will be beneficial to their owner.
Too much?
I love the site, keep up the good work,

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-09-27 23:18:48

That’s a fantastic idea Caitlyn. I’m not a huge cat fan but I definitely see their use in those circumstances you mentioned.

Comment by Caitlyn
2012-09-28 16:52:10

All right. Thanks 🙂

Comment by Amy
2012-12-01 17:21:31

How can you store dog food long term? We have 2 pets that are great guard dogs/security but I have heard that dog food does not store well long term. Just wondering what to buy/how to store. Thanks

Comment by Colorado Survival Mom
2014-06-30 23:11:31

You mention bleach- bleach actually breaks down in a few years. The best thing to use is Calcium Hypochloride- AKA Pool Shock- I’ve tried it and it works great!

I believe I got this from Rawlings Survival Site but its also widely available online- This is not my information and I do not have the original source if you find it first please credit it.
How To Purify Water with Calcium Hypochlorite

Purchase granular calcium hypochlorite at a pool supply store… cost 3 to 4 dollars. You want the strongest percentage you can find.. it will be labeled as pool shock. Make sure it has no other ingredient. I was advised to purchase 78% granules but could only find 68% after going to several shops. I was told they don’t make 78% anymore. I was assured that 68% would work.

A one pound bag will purify 10,000 gallons of water. Keep it sealed and dry. It does have an explosive quality but such activity is rare. Store away from heat in a sealed container with general fire precautions. (this is why they don’t make the 78% anymore.) Less problems with lower percentages. Other inert ingredients are calcium. Many water purification facilities use this material. it is listed safe for consumption when properly diluted. (now, remember MMS2 users swallow capsules of this stuff daily)

First you want to make a Stock Bottle
DO NOT DRINK THIS! Dissolve 1/2 heaping teaspoon granules into a one gallon jug (4 liters) Because I did not have the 78% granules as advised I added 1/8 teaspoon more.
This is a stock bottle used to purify large amounts of water.
Make this stock solution in small amounts as it will degrade over time. So make enough for a week or two at a time.

To purify water add one part of this from your jug to 100 parts water.
So one cup would purify 6.25 gallons. One gallon purifies 100 gallons of water

Let the mixture sit for one hour before drinking
• 1 gallon stock to 100 gallons water
• 1/2 gallon stock to 50 gallons water
• 1/4 gallon to 25 gallons water
• 2 cups to 12.5 gallons water
• 1 cup to 6.25 gallons water

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