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Preparing for the Apocalypse: The Ultimate Apocalypse Prep List

In emergency preparedness, we often focus on short-term responses to temporary disasters, for example, surviving a tornado. This makes sense because short-term disasters are much more prevalent. But we cannot forget about apocalypse prep. 

Preparing for the apocalypse is also an important task. Luckily, many of the preps you make to prepare for other emergencies can also help you prepare for the apocalypse. The difference, however, is preparing for completely self-autonomous long-term survival.

Read on to see what we suggest you include on your apocalypse preparation list.  

The Survival Rule of Three for Apocalypse Prep

The survival rule of three states that a person can survive–

  • Three minutes without breathable air.

  • Three hours when exposed to harsh weather.

  • Three days without water.

  • Three weeks without food. 

We mention the survival rule of three first because it helps highlight the priorities your apocalypse prep plan has to include.  

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The Cour Four Survival Priorities

The survival rule of three highlights four threats to human survival– suffocation or asphyxiation, hypothermia, dehydration, and starvation, all of which may come into play during the apocalypse. 

Taking stock of these four threats helps you better define the survival priorities that your apocalypse preparation list should include.

  1. Supplies for maintaining access to clean air.

  2. Shelter to protect you from the elements.

  3. Water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

  4. Food to keep you and your family fed.

Now that we’ve discussed what to focus on and how to conceptualize preparing for the apocalypse, we want to share specific items to include in your apocalypse prep. 

Remember– these items are just suggestions, and every apocalypse preparation list will be unique to the individual or family. Nonetheless, our suggestions should help get your prepping process started.    

Apocalypse Preparation List 

gas mask for apocalypse prep

Gas Masks 

In an apocalyptic scenario induced by chemical or nuclear warfare, preserving access to clean air is a matter of life and death. If you want to survive the first three minutes, you’ll need a plan for preserving access to clean air. 

Gas masks are essential. And depending on the scenario, other face coverings may come in handy also. For example, if part of your apocalypse prep involves bugging your survival shelter, you may also consider an air filtration system.  

Bug-in Shelters

In an apocalyptic scenario, many preppers will choose to hunker down instead of bug-out. There are five main reasons why bugging in may make more sense than bugging out.

  1. Your home has all your supplies.

  2. You are more secure at home.

  3. You have local knowledge of the surrounding environment. 

  4. Your friends and family can locate you. 

  5. You are closer to your community.

If any of these five reasons are a priority for you, then you need to have your home ready for long-term, bug-in survival.   

Bug-out Shelters

Depending on the scenario, you may need to bug out and survive on the go. In that case, shelter systems must be packed into your bug-out bag or vehicle. Bug-out shelters will keep you out of the wind and rain, provide shade from the sun, and insulate you in cold weather.  

Portable and lightweight tents are the best option. However, we always recommend packing a tarp to construct improvised survival shelters.

Along with your shelter system, we recommend packing a sleeping bag, pad, and survival blanket.  


Some preppers tend to focus all their energy on their emergency food supply. But don’t forget– water is your number two survival priority. Without water, you will not survive for more than three days. In a dire survival situation, a minimum of one liter per day per person is needed. 

However, you will need much more if you plan on using water for cooking and bathing. If that’s the case, we recommend prepping three gallons of water per person per day. 

If you need to bug out, we recommend having at least three liters of water. After that, you’ll need a plan for finding more water along with filtering and purifying water.


food for  apocalypse prep

Preparing for the apocalypse is not like preparing for food shortages. You are not keeping a stockpile of food just in case the shelves at your grocery store run out. You are prepping for long-term survival in a post-apocalyptic world. In other words, there is no grocery store.

Therefore, the food you prep needs to have the longest shelf life possible. Besides lasting a long time, your survival food must also be nutrient-dense and convenient to prepare. Ideally, it will be tasty too.  Our professionally prepared and packaged freeze-dried and dehydrated emergency food hits all those criteria.       

[product_render product-handle="7-day-emergency-food-supply"]

Prepared food is just the tip of the iceberg for apocalypse prep. For example, the time to recover from a widespread EMP attack could be anywhere from a couple of months up to 10 years. That’s likely at least several years without modern food transportation. That means growing your own food. So you’ll need to have enough food stored to last you long enough to start producing your own calories. Likely 1 or 2 growing seasons!

First Aid

In an apocalyptic survival scenario, you can assume there will be injuries, if not fatalities. You can also assume that you will not have access to doctors or other medical services. 


Therefore, you need to be prepared to perform first aid. Your first aid kit should be packed with supplies to treat anything from bumps and bruises to fatal bleeding with a tourniquet. To boost your first aid confidence and chances of survival, we recommend also getting first aid training.

Appropriate Apparel

The function of clothing in an apocalyptic survival scenario is not to look stylish.  

Proper clothing is like shelter– it’s vital for protecting yourself from the elements.

The clothing you wear and the change of outfits you pack for later will depend on the time of year and the local weather. But ultimately, you need durable and versatile clothing and lots of interchangeable layers.

For example, you’ll need base layers for warmth, mid-layer clothing for insulation, and outer layers for water and windproofing. 

  • Sturdy boots to keep your feet warm, dry, and protected.

  • Multiple pairs of socks and underwear.

  • Long pants with versatile pockets.

  • Long and short sleeve shirts.

  • Sweatshirts or jackets.

  • Rainjacket or windbreaker

  • Headwear like a hat, buff, or bandana.  

Final Thoughts: Proper Apocalypse Prep Can Help You Survive 

Prepping for the apocalypse takes work. It takes a lot of time and energy to consider all the scenarios you want to be prepared for. It’s also a serious financial investment. 

But in our opinion, the time and money are well-spent considering the peace of mind you’ll receive from knowing you’ve prepped everything on your apocalypse preparation list.

If you are ready to start your apocalypse prep– don’t hesitate– visit our website today

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I Need If The World Ends?

At the very minimum, you will need the core four survival priorities– clean air, shelter, water, and food. You’ll also needs a serious set of skills to go along with it from hunting and fishing to farming and blacksmithing.

What Should I Stock Up On If There Is A War?

What you stock up on in case of a war depends on whether you are bugging out or bugging in. If you are bugging in, you need to stockpile water, food, and other survival supplies to keep and protect your home. On the other hand, if you have to bug out, you must stock up on transportable survival gear that is easy to take with you on the go.   

What Foods Should I Stockpile For Survival?

The emergency food you stockpile for survival needs to be nutrient-dense, convenient to cook or prepare, and have a long shelf life. Stocking up on dehydrated foods is often the best, lightweight option. Including extras like freeze dried meat and vegetables will help over the long term.

What Should I Buy To Prepare For War?

There are a lot of items to consider for prepping for war. But, to guide your decision-making, focus on essential purchases– shelter, water, food, warmth, first aid, medication, lighting, and weapons for self-defense. If a war breaks out around you, if you can get out of the area safely, you’ll want to have a lightweight bug out bag ready to go. If you can’t get out, keeping your head down will be key, so having a good supply of food and water means that you can hunker down and wait it out.

What Food Should I Buy In Case Of A Power Outage?

Freeze-dried and dehydrated food are good options to buy in case of a power outage because they can easily be prepared without electricity.