The list author says: "Essential items for urban survival and emergency preparedness. Top choices from each category based on combination of value, durability, efficiency, and effectiveness. Not included (due to 40 item limit) are things like sleeping bags, tents, clothing and accessories, rain gear, emergency food, self-defense items, backpacks, and eyewear. This list isn't optimized for hiking or ultralight back-packing, but for versatility and function."
"Face mask, fits comfortably and snugly (this is the medium size, kids and women with small faces choose the small size). The filters block dust, viruses, bacteria, mold, and the organic vapor layers also remove noxious fumes. Air blows downward so as to not fog up glasses. Pretty important item (volcanic dust, mold from floods, smoke from burning cities, plague)."
"Extremely sharp, cheap to replace, lightweight, clips onto your belt or pocket or can be hung around neck. Easy to sharpen, great for skinning, shaving tinder or carving fire sticks. Cheaper than Ka-Bar or Esee, better than nothing. Nice bushcraft knife."
"Cheaper than the Katadyn Pocket, and easier to use but not as compact. Can be filled and hung up, no need to pump. Doesn't last as long (only 200 gallons) but is good for short term use. Advantage is low cost and 'set it and forget it' operation."
"Don't be a tough guy thinking a fire steel is all you need. Get a bunch of these Bic lighters and stash them everywhere. You can use pliers to remove the child safety tab. One lighter should be good enough for 100 fires if you use tinder. Put them in a zip loc bag if you're worried about moisture. Good barter item."
"Burns denatured alcohol (yellow HEET bottle at auto stores, or S-L-X brand by the quart/gallon at hardware stores). Fuel is cheap, stable, and two gallons could last four months of daily cooking (don't get fuel on hands or breathe vapors, methyl alcohol is toxic). Relatively portable stove. This brass stove is almost indestructible too."
"Tough, accurate compass. Don't get the tritium version, it's not worth the extra money. This glows for minutes after a quick flashlight shine. If this compass is too much, pick up a cheap Suunto like the A-10 instead. Beware magnetic pole instabilities in the future and keep a road map handy for navigation."
"Short of HAM or CB, this may become your only means of communication when cell towers, phones, and satellites go down. Real world range is 3-5 miles. Wrap in zip lock, wrap in aluminum foil, then in another zip lock to shield against EMP and water during storage."
"Solar battery charger -- not too powerful, but will get you by when all other sources of electricity are gone. Keep batteries in shade, charger in the sun, to prevent overheating of batteries from the sun, which diminishes their life."
"Good rechargeable hybrid D batteries cannot be found. Plus, battery chargers including solar charges often cannot accommodate D batteries. Therefore, better to have some AA-to-D adapters like these just in case."
"Everyone needs a bright compact flashlight. Powerful LED is brighter and more efficient than comparable MagLite. Last thing you want is stumbling around with a dim flashlight in the woods when you hear a noise."
"A couple LED lights powered by 4 D batteries. That's almost a month of light, if not more. Great to have on hand for power outages. Switches from bright to medium white light, and orange night light setting. Lights up a large room enough to walk around in without bumping into things, and small rooms enough to read."
"Antibiotic ointment, safer than Neosporin since the latter has extra ingredients some people are allergic to. Antibiotics will be worth their weight in gold in a post-collapse situation. Without them, a simple scratch or cut might eventually lead to infection, amputation, death."
"Alternative or supplement to antibiotic ointments. This is among the most important first aid items because it works on most topical infections including bacterial and fungal. The latter may include athlete's foot, ringworm, yeast infections, and so on. Can be diluted."
"Deflates, self-inflates, and rolls up. This keeps you about 3/4 inch off the cold hard ground. Consider it a portable minimalist air mattress. You can actually sleep comfortably on solid concrete or sharp gravel with this."