Saturday, March 22, 2014

100 Items

One of my favorite recurring themes on my blog is to publish a link to this site - the 100 Items to Disappear First. I found the list some very long time ago (at least in terms of blog years - it was probably only five or six years ago in terms of people years), and I've used it over the years to assess my own preparedness.

I like the list, not because I'm going to stockpile all of the things on the list. In fact, I have very few of the items on the list (like, I won't have #8 can openers or #19 baby items, because I don't have any babies and not likely to, and I don't buy cans and therefore have no need for can openers - although I do have a can opener, and I also have a military issue P38, which I can use to open a can in a pinch) as stockpile items ... although I guess I don't really have a stockpile anyway.

The list is someone's compilation of things they saw disappear when supply lines were no longer running. In this case, I think it was the Sarajevo war, and yes, many civilians were trapped behind the lines of fighting, and no, they didn't have access to basic grocery items (for instance) that the rest of us take for granted.

I don't ever plan to stockpile anyway, really, because I think, these are the first items to "disappear", which means they'll be things that we'll use up ... first ... and if there is no way to replenish our supply, even if we have a BIG supply, then having those things, might not be too beneficial over the long run.

What I do find the list incredibly useful for is my personal skill preparedness. I don't plan to stockpile items, but I do look at the list with an eye for how I could make those items for myself.

For instance, #21 and #23 are cookstoves and propane. We, absolutely, do need to cook. Some things can not be eaten raw. Instead of cookstoves and propane, however, we have a rocket stove and a woodstove. The rocket stove uses only a small amount of fuel. I've also talked before about using a candle for cooking, and it can be done. And a "candle" doesn't have to be a wick encased in wax. We've made oil lamps using a wicking material and plain vegetable oil in a mason jar, and in her book, "Gone with the Wind", Margaret Mitchell describes the southerners using a rag soaked in bacon grease (for light, but placed under a cooking vessel, the flame could be used for heating up stuff, too).

The list is interesting and useful, but I think the most important part of list is the eight points at the end. In particular #7, because I think, when people are thinking about what they might need in a lower energy future, they forget that it's not just going to be "survival." We will be living - just not as fancy as we are right now - and people will still want to feel good.

My one guilty pleasure is nail polish. I wouldn't trade food for the privilege of having painted toenails, but I do buy the occasional bottle (purple is my favorite color), and I do enjoy painting my toenails. I guess if I'm stockpiling anything, it's nail polish, and while times are good, I have pretty toes. If that changes and times aren't so good, you can bet your socks, that nail polish will be a barter item.


  1. This reminded me of something I once read about women in the Bergen -Belsen concentration camp at liberation time. A load of lip sticks were handed out to women in the camp, they were walking skeletons, had very little food, clothing or medication but they put on the lipstick and clung to it like gold. Corpses continued piling up from typhoid and other diseases and would be found naked, skeletal but wearing lipstick - the women when asked said applying it made them feel like a human being again after the atrocities they had been through. I think these sorts of items, like your nail polish would go a long way in raising moral in a survival situation, definitely something to think about more.

  2. I've read this before too. Did you make your own rocket stove, or buy one? I'd like to get one...