An essential element in building up a comprehensive prepper supply is to include on a planning list a stock of all sorts and types of hardware items. You can have all the tools and gear in the world, but if something breaks, needs maintenance, or a fresh build, then nothing much can be done without a deep supply of hardware materials.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author
Sourcing Hard Hardware
The term “hardware” conjures up nostalgic thoughts of old wooden floored, side boarded store buildings with long aisles and shelves of goods stacked to the ceiling. As a kid they were prime places of wonder to wonder. Heck, they still are as an adult. Indeed, any prepper worth his salt, bug out bag, and fire starting kit has to love a good hardware store.
Inside are bins, shelves, racks, and peg boards holding all the supplies for every prepper dream and aspiration to survive if or when a truly serious SHTF ever befalls us. But, where do you start filling your supply list? Are there priorities to buy first, other items later? Let’s just start with a long running brainstorming list. As you shop, you’ll find more I am certain of that.
Prepper Hardware Stuff
Any prepper hardware list has to start with nails. All kinds, types, sizes, and lengths of nails. Much of this world is held together by nails first, then screws. Buy box quantities of screws or better yet the plastic divider sets of a combination of all kinds of screws. Be sure to have metal and wood screws, flat head, Phillips head, tapered, long shank screws and everything else in between.
Go with this same combination mixed sets for nuts and bolts. Again you will need lots of small sets with flat washers and lock washers. You should have some lag bolts for heavy jobs for wood structures, brick and plaster. Get some screw and bolt, metal and plastic anchors. Add in some metal braces, “L” braces and corner brackets, hinges, hasps, slide bolt locks, metal repair plates or strapping, and the many other fix-it type hardware pieces, parts, and gadgets.
Have some wire for light and heavy duty jobs to hang stuff or fix a fence. This is not electrical wire, though you may know how to use that, too. String, twine, and ropes are all handy as are all manner of elastic straps, tie downs straps, ratchet locking straps and other types. Buy a complete selection of plastic pull lock ties in multiple sizes, strengths, and lengths. These have a million uses. Have some metal screw down clamps, and hose clamps of all sizes.
Chemical items may also qualify as hardware in a broad definition. Glues for wood, metal and plastic, super glue and regular types. Paints both aerosol and liquid will have many uses. All types of spray lubricants, general oils, water dispersants, degreasers, and solvents should be on hand. Have other cleaning solutions like detergents and bleach as well.
Include a wide selection of tapes. Heavy duct tape, masking tape, painters tape, black electrical tape, and double sticky tape. Add a roll or two of trail marker material, surveyors tape, or forester timber marking tape.
Include a stock of plumbing parts and repair items, toilet repair kits, floats, valves, flappers, wax seals, and water supply hoses with couplings. Have an extra flush handle or two as these break as well. For bigger plumbing, sewer or water supply projects have some supplies of PVC pipe, connectors, angles, and fittings of 2-3 of the most common size types with cans of pipe cleaner and joint adhesives.
There are a gazillion other hardware items you can’t remember or just keep forgetting until the repair need comes up again. Keep a running “buy” list. The best way to do this is just to periodically stroll the aisles at a huge building supply or hardware store. If you you’re not buying, make a list or take some pictures on your phone as a reminder. When the times comes, and it could be often, you are going to need hardware.