Prepping Items You Should Buy Used

Prepping Items You Should Buy Used

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Today, it’s all about prepping items you should buy used. Can you remember the moment that you made the decision to become more of a prepper? I bet it wasn’t long after that, where you sat down and wrote out a list of all the items that you would need in order to survive any emergency.

In case you haven’t purchased my book, “Prepare Your Family For Survival” by Linda Loosli. If You have, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The book helps to outline many of the prepping supply items you need to consider purchasing.

Before you knew it, the costs for those supplies became astronomical, and to make matters worse, you may have had a spouse that wasn’t entirely on board with your way of thinking. Yikes! In case you missed this post, Thrift Store Items To Stock Up On

Prepping Items You Should Buy Used

Prepping Items You Should Buy Used 

It is true that prepping costs can become fairly costly in a hurry. But if you go about it the right way, you can do it for a fraction of that amount. Have you considered buying some of those supplies used?

It may come across as a surprise to many of you, but buying brand new is not always best, especially for the purpose that you’ll be needing those items, and that’s to become better prepared. 

If you’re lucky, you’ll only need to use your prepping supplies once, maybe a few times at most. Or hopefully, never at all. Buying something brand new that just sits there over the years without use doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

These are prepping items that you should consider buying used to help lessen the financial burden. 

Prepping Items You Should Buy Used  

Flashlights and Lanterns

Used flashlights are something that you will definitely need for any type of emergency, and fortunately, they’re not very hard to find. Pick one up for each of your family members while you’re there and don’t forget extra batteries.

Lanterns, on the other hand, are a little more difficult to come across, so if you see a battery-powered or oil lantern, pick it up. 

Read More of My Articles  Utilizing Palm Trees in an Emergency

Portable Radio

To stay connected with what’s going on in the world around you, be sure that you aren’t left without a portable radio. You’ll need updates on the weather, or if they urge your area to evacuate at some point. An older one will work just as well as one that’s brand new, so it’s an easy decision. For this one too, don’t forget batteries.

Another communication item you should consider buying used is a 2-way radio. This is to stay in touch with your family members in case one of you were to become separated.    

Camping Gear

You can even track down camping gear that’s been lightly used which will certainly come in handy not only on camping trips but if you’re ever forced to evacuate your home. Garage sales are one of those opportunities where you never know what you will find. 

Rain Gear

The next time you head into a thrift store or visit a garage sale if you come across rain gear that’s marked down dirt cheap, don’t hesitate to grab them. It’s pretty common to be able to find rain jackets and ponchos at these places, but the trick is finding them in the right size, which may require patience and several visits. 

You can even find rain boots for super cheap and you’ll be needing them. Just be sure that there are no cracks or tears in the soles and that they’re watertight inside and out. There’s nothing worse than having cold wet feet and a pair of rain boots that didn’t do their job. 

Winter Gear

When you’re in need of hats, gloves, jackets, scarves, and snow pants, you don’t necessarily have to buy them brand new and spend a lot more money. I’d recommend hunting for winter gear during the spring and summer months when stores will have these items marked at their cheapest in order to rotate through their merchandise inventory.

Just be sure to wash these items before your family uses them because many thrift shops don’t wash clothing before reselling them.    

Hunting Gear

There may come a time when you need to blend in with your surroundings. Camouflage hunting gear can cost you well over a hundred dollars when buying brand new.

If you keep your eyes peeled and looking all about, you may come across treasures like this that have been only worn a couple of times, and end up paying a whole lot less. 

Read More of My Articles  How Prepared Are You For An Emergency


Backpacks are important for obvious reasons, but paying full price for a name brand is just silly. They work when you’re on a hike, or you’re needing to carry several prepping items along with you when you’re on the go. 


Tools are especially an item that you never need to pay top dollar for. Trust me, I’ve been to plenty of garage and yard sales that have tools piled high and waiting for a new home. They’re sure to have hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, knives, and even screws and nails that you may need to build things like a shelter. 

Cooking Ware

What cooking ware do you plan on cooking with when you’re forced out of your home? Stores like Goodwill, Deseret Industries, and The Salvation Army are great places to track down cooking ware to serve that purpose, and for very little.

Don’t worry if those pots and pans are a little banged up, as long as they hold together while cooking your food.

Another cooking item to hunt for is a cast-iron skillet. If you do in fact find one, you’ve struck gold!  If you see any cast iron Dutch ovens especially one with a lid that has a lip, buy it.

Barrels and Buckets

Many preppers rely on rainwater as one of the many water sources that they have available to them. For that, you’ll be needing buckets and a barrel or two that you can use to store your rainwater.

Again, why is this something that would have to be brand new?  Just be careful when buying one, we need to know what was stored in it. Just FYI!

Gardening Supplies

Plan on doing a little gardening and raising crops if SHTF? You can find cheap gardening tools, whether you’re looking for a shovel, hoe, rake, or even a manual tiller that can get your vegetables started.

Prepping Items You Should Buy Used 

Final Word

I can understand when you expect to pay more for an item that you use every day, but prepping items don’t meet that criterion. There’s nothing wrong with being frugal with your money, especially when it comes to prepping.

You have to be patient and willing to wait for the best deals. It may also require you to take several trips to various stores and garage sales to find what you’re looking for. Make it an adventure and enjoy the journey as you acquire your prepping gear. May God Bless this world, Linda. 

Copyright Images: Cast Iron Pans Deposit photos_288370492_s-2019

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  1. Linda, I have a whole set of cast iron cookware. Sauce pans and all. I have several cast iron skillets. One is dedicated for cornbread. We also have the round griddle and an oblong one. Oh, and I have 5 gallon caldron with a stand, and a wooden paddle to go with it. I got it for soap making, but it’s not recommended. I love cast iron cookware. One of my skillets was my grandmother’s. One I gave $5 for at a thrift store. Many years ago.
    Some of my camping gear I bought new from mail order. Some are more than 5 years old, and have never been used, yet.
    We have a son that is a scout leader, and I have given them some small wipes boxes for a first aid kit. And some larger sized empty pill bottles for a fishing kit. Gotta help the children learn.

      1. I haven’t used it yet, but will if needed. I have it sitting in front of our propane fireplace. I love the look of it.

  2. Lynda:

    I have a skillet that my husband found when he was working for the Forest Service they came upon a old log cabin. He cleaned out the fireplace so he would have heat (It was late fall) and he found a I think it is 35″ to 45″ across. I can’t even use it on my stove it’s so big that it covers almost the whole stove top. He asked the boss if he wanted to take it back and he said no way am I going to carry that monstrosity all the way back to base. He said Jack could have it. He gave it to me for my 20th anniversary. I am saving it so that I can use it when I have my wood cook stove put up so I can use it. I covers the top of my big cookstove and forget even trying to use it on my small one.

      1. Linda:

        First let me apologize for spelling your name wrong. I have mine misspelled all the time and it drives me crazy and that is a conman mistake since I spell my name the German way.
        What made the skillet extra special is that he carried it out of the mountains 50 miles and that thing is so heavy I can’t lift it. It takes 2 to lift it onto the stove when I used it a couple times. I would like to use it to make cornbread in so I don’t have to make 3 pans instead of one.

        1. Hi Jackie, no worries ever about the spelling of my name. I get asked all the time how to spell my name. LOL! My name is Linda Loosli and most times think my name is Lucy, I giggle because I loved the show “I Love Lucy”!!! LOL! I bet that cornbread will be delicious cooked in the skillet! Linda

  3. Army surplus stores are also a great place to find all sorts of things….even gas masks! Alot of what you mentioned can be found there. We have a huge store here and its awesome. There’s almost too much stuff to look through.

    1. Hi Robbie, oh, I like this. I tend to forget about Army surplus stores! I don’t think we have one where I live. I have to order almost everything on Amazon because I will refuse to go to 6 stores and find out no one has what I want. When I go up north after this virus stuff I will check the city for one. Great reminder! Thank you! Linda

  4. I love to purchase things used when I can. I have gotten cast iron at the thrift store and paid a fraction of the price of new. That being said, you need to know a couple of things before purchasing used anything: 1) what is the price of a new item – I have run across things at garage sales and thrift stores that were so close to the price of a new item that running the risk of the used not working wasn’t worth the small amount of savings – what if the light bulb in the flash light is burned out? You get my drift? Also, cast iron is something that is interesting used – I’ve seen “antique” cast iron selling for double/triple the price of new. Antique doesn’t make it better. In fact, you might be getting something that is unusable and should just buy new. 2) You need to know what to look for in used items. You need to know how to spot imperfections that would render the used item as unusable. For example, cast iron. If you find a really nice looking piece of cast iron at a thrift store or garage sale, take the time to look it over very carefully. I have found some at garage sales that were spray painted black – spray painted!! Look for deep pitting and cracks – both could make the pan a decor item instead of a cooking item! Cracks cannot be repaired. Deep pitting is also not desireable – minor pitting can be seasoned, however. Rust can be removed. Spray paint cannot be removed successfully – tried it (was given a small fry pan and tried to get the paint off – mostly worked but could never feel comfortable about cooking with it).

    If searching for camping gear used, also take your time inspecting it. If you are at a thrift store, you might not be able to really look over a tent – are the poles intact? is the fabric tear free or if torn, repairable? At a garage sale you might be able to set up the tent to look it over but…

    Basically, I feel that used is the way to go IF and this is a big IF, I can really take my time to inspect. Nothing worse than buying something used and finding out later that it is not usable or repairable.

    1. Hi Leanne, I’, shocked that people would spray paint cast iron with black paint, I have never heard this before. WOW! I agree you really have to inspect everything you buy used. Especially cast iron. I’ve been lucky and picky when I pick up used stuff. I don’t want to have to donate it next year because it’s not what I really needed. Mark bought a ten once and we took the kids to go camping when they were little. Now it was new, but it was a total waste of money because it fell apart before we could sleep in it. We still laugh about that! But right the first time is my motto! Great comment and tips! Linda

  5. A word about cast iron cook wear. If you look for them at a garage sale, always check the bottom. If the pan has been used at too high a temp. The bottom may be rounded and not flat. Also, check the pans well to make sure you can use it. There are always areas people don’t check when they think they are trying to get a good deal. My pans were my Dad’s and my Uncle’s from the 1930’s. They work great! I did purchase a few items years ago to add to them. If you take care of them well. they last for many years!!! I love mine!!!!

    1. Hi Cheryl, I agree, check the pans well. When in doubt, skip the purchase. Great reminder on the bottom of the cast iron being cooked over a too-high temp! Yikes, watch the bottom of the pans. Great tip, thank you, Linda

  6. For sources of any of these items–check around to see if there are any Freecycle groups, local exchange groups, etc., for your area. Several towns around me have on-line (mostly facebook or MeWe) “yard-sale” groups (sell, buy, also some free); in my own town, some of us just started a group called Wilton/Lyndeborough Offered/Needed” to replace the “still good” corner at the dump, shut down in misguided panic over the Wuhan virus. It’s been little over a week since it launched–and I’ve already gotten a “dud” freezer for storing livestock feed, as well as a safer recliner and a replacement walker for my husband; have been able to help others with winter clothes, kids’ books, drawing paper, and some extra cookware. (Darn–no one has wanted the overstuffed recliner my husband was having trouble with!)

    I would strongly encourage anyone to start one of these groups if you see none around you–invite friends, put it on your home page, put it on your town’s fb page, to let folks know it’s been started. If you are looking for prep items, no need to explain why–just ask if anyone has XYZ. And check frequently to see what’s been offered–sometimes you see something you suddenly realize you could put to good use–or hadn’t realized you should think about–or hadn’t yet been able to find or afford.

  7. A number of locations have other thrift stores operated by organizations such as religious, charitable, domestic abuse, animal shelters, etc.

    Also don’t forget hamfests (amateur radio swap-meets) for FRS talkies (family radio service — short-range communications, & no license is required) & used ham radio gear for emergencies & hearing what others think without lefty bias. We’re volunteer spotters for severe weather reporting to NOAA, & ham equipment is useful for warning of dangerous situations. S Arizona has some killer dust storms; I’m not exaggerating!

    1. Hi Bev & Gary, I was in a killer dust storm in Las Vegas, Nevada. My car was totally pitted. That was many years ago, but I still remember. Thanks for the reminder to get my Ham radio license. Linda

  8. Guess I got cut off…

    Concerns related to used prepping materials:

    1) Make sure that an item of cast iron didn’t have prior service for melting/casting alloys, such as lead & other heavy/toxic metals. I had to warn a fellow scouter not to use metal refrigerator racks as grills since many are cadmium plated — toxic! Zinc plated or galvanized items volatize toxic fume the first time you burn them, too.

    2) In the desert southwest, anything made of plastic/composite or fabric has a lifetime of less than 5 years. Many of these materials will fall apart even without sun exposure. Some materials have UV inhibitors, but you’re buying a javelina in a poke.

    3) We bought a used stainless steel thermos only to discover that the inner flask had been compromised (fractured weld?). It had no insulating value, & prior contents (rotten) leaked from between the walls, contaminating our drink. I’m not moldy — I’m just a fun-guy!

    1. Hi Bev & Gary, you are so right about living in the desert and plastic, it’s so hard to keep it from falling apart. Yes, even in the garage. Thanks for the reminder on the fridge grills. WOW! Linda

  9. My grandmother had one and kept it on a stove in the basement and said it was her mother’s and I’m 50 + and she said it was used for everything from butchering chickens to can vegetables and render lard and heat lots of water for washing kids and clothes

    1. Hi Dan, oh, the memories from those big pots. I really wish I could have one week with my great-grandmother! Of course, she’s no longer alive, but there are so many questions I would love to ask her now. Wow, if that pot could only talk and tell us all the ways it was used. Thank goodness your mother remembers how it was used. Love it! Linda

  10. I have many cast iron items I have acquired over the years that I use daily as well as some used rarely. Dutch ovens for example. Any time I see old cast iron I buy it. Only once have I bought one I could not use. Had a hairline crack that I did not see. Became decorative. Also have supplied my family and friends with many items. Love my cast iron. Stays on stove as it is used so often. My sister recently commented about stove top storage now used by decorators. Lol. Mine are a beautiful black from years of use and love.

    1. Hi Virginia, I have a 12-in cast iron frying pan with two small handles sitting on my stove 365 days a year! I love the look and I use it all the time! That’s too bad about the hairline crack, but they still look awesome as a decoration! I will have to check out stove top storage now!! Great comment! Linda

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