As I rummage through my survival stash, I am always trying to think about what kinds of things I am missing. I thought I would compile a list of a few less obvious items we should make sure we have. Now keep in mind that this list is in no particular order and is certainly not everything we will need.
MapsIt is a good possibility that you will not have cell service or electricity so you will not be able to listen to the gentle voice of your smartphone's navigator directing you to your destination. Also, in certain events such as solar flares, the GPS satellites may not work properly so your car GPS will not work either. In the long term, a lack of batteries may also be a problem. Your best bet is to have several maps and road atlases on hand. I personally like the ones covered in plastic that you can find in certain gas stations since they can't get wet and should last a lot longer.
Meat GrinderWhat happens if your favorite grocery store is overrun by zombies and you want a nice juicy hamburger? You should have a hand crank meat grinder. This is probably a better way to make ground beef anyways since it seems that there are some creative meat alternatives and additives added to the ground beef anyways. It is also a good idea to have other meat processing items around. Avoid electrical if you can so you can still keep providing your family with tasty cuts of mean even when the power is out. Don't worry, your arms will only be sore from grinding your own meat for a little while.
RadioIt is a good chance that during and after any event, there will always be some sort of radio station, HAM operator, or random guy with a CB out there with some useful information or tips about what is going on. Who knows, maybe someone with an old record collection and some technical know-how will share his collection with the world over the airwaves as well. Having at least one radio is a good idea. A nice hand crank radio is a good way to go if you don't have power. Other radios will need batteries or something to plug into, but are still useful. Learning how to operate a HAM radio is also a good idea.
SeedsIf you don't have seeds, you might just be in trouble. Everyone should have lots of long shelf life seeds to keep the produce coming in. Seeds are very cheap and can provide you with an enormous amount of food for a very long time. Heirloom seeds are essential because if you know how to extract the seeds from what you grow, you can dry them and save them and plant them next later.
Pencil and PaperThis item is good for taking notes, sending messages, and many other things that we use our computers for now. Without power, this item becomes an essential item.
ToolsI know this one is really broad category, but having the right tools for the right job is a must. Consider tools that you don't have to plug in or fill with gas if you can. These will be better for the long term if these resources become hard to get. If you and all your friends have an assortment of tools you can always share and swap them as needed.
Toilet PaperNow eventually, you will run out of this unless you figure out how to make it. This is one item I will dearly miss. The worst part of this item is the huge amount of space it takes with the minimum or return that it provides. Eventually we will need an alternative to this item, but for now lets stock up.
Femenine Hygeine ProductsI blushed a little when writing this one down, but it is definitely true that without this product, life would be a little more difficult on a regular basis. I don't think I need to say more about this one.
Reading GlassesIf you need glasses, you should make sure you have a pair in your survival bag, or at least have an extra pair somewhere. Believe me when I say that it is a very uncomfortable feeling to have the necessary instructions in front of you but you can't read them because you don't have your glasses. A magnifying glass is a good alternative for some people. If you need glasses to read or to see, that won't change after the apocalypse.
BooksI would say that Books should by no means forgotten from this list. They are excellent sources of information on everything you can think of and they also serve as a great source of entertainment. Books are not just important. Books are an essential addition to your survival storage to help preserve your sanity, knowledge, and also to help you to understand the steps needed for your survival.