It’s Sunday morning, or it was Sunday morning, I should say.  I was sitting at Starbucks for the first time in a couple of months, sipping on a coffee trying to read a book, when a couple of older women sat down next to me, and started yapping and gossiping, being, frankly loud and obnoxious.  Very Northern New Jersey suburbia, where people feel entitled to not give a crap about anyone else around them.  But, I digress…

While the women continued flapping their gums annoying the ever living hell out of me, forcing me to read the same paragraph over seven times, I decided it was time to pack up and leave.  Feeling like I just wasted part of my morning, out of the corner of my eye, I caught the craft store “Michaels” sign.  I thought, I’m not going in there.  However, then the question crossed my mind, “I wonder what kind of preps or last minute preps a place like this has, and would it be good to know if the SHTF?”  So with my backpack on, and my iPhone in hand, I hit Michaels in search of some suburban survival preps that might make sense if I had to break a window and get in there and get what I needed.  What I found, was interesting, and before you ask… Yes, it’s a place to prep, believe it or not if you wanted to.  So here’s a list of what I found that might make sense:

  • Ribbon for gifts and LOTS of it.  This stuff, if I remember is nylon or polyester or something like that and strong as hell… Rolls of it.  If I needed to I could make my own rope out of three or four spools of ribbon that I could probably swing from a tree with.
  • Candels, both the girlie scented, and unscented
  • Baskets, of various sizes, both plastic and wicker
  • Various weights of paper, but as you know, a multitude of uses
  • 3′ wooden dowels.  I thought this was an interesting one.  Good for light weapons, to hold stuff up, homemade arrows, fire, and probably 50 uses I cannot think of at the moment.
  • Bags and boxes of Popsicle sticks… All I can think of here is an endless supply of kindling.
  • Tools for work that require some dexterity such as:
    • Needle nose pliers,
    • Shears,
    • Pruning scissors
    • Docs for cutting
    • Exacto knives (great impromptu scalpel or small spear head)
  • Floral wire, which looked perfect for snares
  • Plastic empty spray bottles
  • Bags of those little round glass stones for vases that looked like they would be a perfect endless supply of ammunition for my slingshot.
  • 6′ Bamboo rods for spears or walking sticks
  • Clay pots for small plants that can be used for growing veggies, herbs, or fashioned into one of those candle heaters (I will have to locate the plans for that online and post it when I find it)
  • Tinder bundle material in the form of:
    • Fake moss to go around your plants
    • Fake flowers
    • Easter basket filler that was shredded paper
    • Straw Bales, clearly an October Halloween Item, but there at this time of year that could be used for tinder, bedding material, temporary seating, etc.
    • Craft Paint (Flammable)
  • Turpentine (Uhmmm, definitely combustible)
  • Sand Paper
  • Hot glue guns
  • Elmer’s Carpenter Glue
  • Spray Polyurethane (again, flammable)
  • Yarn (after some thought, I lump this in with ribbon, because you can make a much stronger rope out of it if you make the cordage yourself…)
  • String of various types
  • Rubber Cement adhesive
  • WD-40
  • Super Glue
  • What I found most interesting were the various size bricks of candle wax and bees wax for candle making… I could probably write a whole post about this one and the applications from making your own homemade fire starters to waterproofing stuff, but I will do that another time.  I would stock up on this stuff and the wicks listed below…
  • Candle Molds for the wax
  • Candle Wicks of various sizes
  • Various size mirrors (signalling)
  • Bags of hard and soft candy.  Can’t forget your carbohydrate and sugar energy…

So this was it.  Everyone was looking at me weird walking around making a list on my iPhone, but who cares.  I was surprised with what I found, and glad I could list it here for you.  Take the trip if you dare, guys, or just take my word for it…

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.