8. Potassium Iodide
The biggest danger of a nuclear war is getting melted in the initial blast. But if you survive that, the residual radioactive material in the atmosphere — known as nuclear fallout — will put you at a frighteningly high risk of cancer, and potassium iodide can help you protect yourself. Radioactive iodine, a component of nuclear fallout, can be easily absorbed by your thyroid, leading to thyroid cancer. By taking potassium iodide pills as early as possible, you can ensure that your thyroid is full of a non-radioactive form of iodine salt that will block absorption of the radioactive type. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 130mg a day for adults and warns that once radioactive iodine has entered your thyroid, potassium iodide can’t reverse that damage. Good thing these blister packs are easy to open in a jiffy!
7. Water Purification Supplies
Whether your local water infrastructure has been temporarily disrupted or completely destroyed, you’re going to need to find a way to get clean drinking water. After all, you can’t go for more than a few days without it. If you live in a city, make sure to set aside bottled water, at least one gallon per person per day. But if you’re out in the woods or you run out of bottled water, you’ll need a purification device, like the battery-operated SteriPen. Just make sure to get some extra batteries while you’re at it.
6. Dry Food
This one is pretty self-explanatory: You need food to live. And while the types of food you choose are mostly open-ended, there are some factors you need to consider. It’s important that you have foods that are nutrient-dense and have long shelf lives. Peanut butter is a good choice since it has plenty of fat, carbs, and protein. If you’re feeling hip, you could opt for the dry peanut butter, PB2, which also comes in chocolate. Canned or packaged fish has a long shelf life and might help mix things up a bit if you’re getting tired of eating peanut butter three meals a day after the world ends. But you know what they always say, laugh now, avoid starving to death later.
5. A Pulaski Axe
A strong blade on a long handle is never a bad thing. Whether you’re in the wilderness and need to build a shelter or in the city and need to barricade yourself in an apartment, a pulaski axe should be your tool of choice. It’s an axe on one side, and a sharp hoe on the other, making it perfect for prying, chopping, and digging. And if you should be so unlucky that you need to eat your pets, then, well, you know what to do.
4. Camping Stove With Gas
Even if you’re well-stocked with dry rations like we told you to be, every once in a while you might want to make a hot bowl of oatmeal or soup. Or maybe you’ve been bitten by a zombie and need to sterilize equipment to perform emergency surgery. In whatever case, you need a compact stove that can run on a variety of liquid fuels. Enter the MSR Whisperlite, which can burn kerosene, naphtha, diesel, unleaded gasoline siphoned from an abandoned car on the side of the road, and even airplane fuel. Just make sure to grab an extra MSR Fuel Bottle while you’re at it.
3. First Aid Supplies
When the world has gone to heck, the last thing you want to do is die from an infected splinter in your finger. To help prevent a minor scrape or cut from turning into a life-threatening injury, pick up a first aid kit. Try to find one that has a variety of bandages and loose gauze, and maybe even supplement it with a backup supply of your prescription medications, some pain relievers, and maybe Benadryl in case you have an allergic reaction.
All this useful stuff is of no use to you if you can’t take it with you at a moment’s notice, so pick a backpack to carry it all. There’s not too much to say about this one, except just choose something you won’t get tired of wearing for the rest of your short life.
“You’ll want it, if you haven’t got it,” said Samwise Gamgee. This sentiment was true for him in Mordor, and it’ll be true for you in whatever situations the end of the world presents. Use a bit of rope to tie your food in a tree and keep it out of reach of animals, use it to set a snare trap to catch a delicious rabbit, or maybe even use it to tie up a hammock to stay off the cold ground. You never know what use a good bit of strong rope will do you after the world ends.
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