Most people, including preppers, shop at Walmart. I am no exception to this and have shopped there for food, household essentials, and various other items. It is also a good place for preppers to stock up on survival supplies.
The best prepper and survival items at Walmart are:
- Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies
- Defense and Security Tools
- Survival Supplies
- Communication Gear
- Medical Supplies
Below is what I have found to be the best things for preppers to pick up at Walmart. They are often cheaper there than at other stores for the same item. However, I’ll also cover some things that preppers need to know to make sure they are getting the best gear and supplies possible.
Prepper Food at Walmart
One of the best things about a Walmart Supercenter is its grocery section. It is a good place to pick up daily essentials as well as food for long-term storage. Walmart also has cookware and other food-related items that preppers can use as well.
One of the easiest ways to start building your food storage is with canned goods and Walmart has plenty of them. You can stock up on canned soups, vegetables, fruits, and meats. Most of these should last at least a year or two.
You should also be able to find both regular and bulk packages of rice. Keep in mind that while brown rice has greater nutritional value, it won’t store nearly as long as white rice.
Walmart’s grocery section also has a wide variety of canned and dried beans. Dried beans can be stored in mylar bags for a very long time. However, I like to store canned beans because of their flavor. I really like the Bush’s Grilling Beans. Just make sure to rotate your cans to keep them fresh.
Honey is a superfood and never expires. Try to get the purest type that you can. If you can find local honey at your local Walmart, grab it up. Every prepper should have a good supply of honey in storage for its nutritional and barter value.
Go to the drug section and pick up some multivitamins. If you have to rely on your preps for food, you may find that it doesn’t cover all of your nutritional needs. Multivitamins will help fill any gaps.
Babies are very limited in what they can eat, especially when they are newborns. Make sure to store both dry formula and pureed food. Get some cans of formula, even if your baby is breastfed. This will give them something to eat if mom isn’t able to produce milk for some reason.
Related: Prepping with a Baby: The Complete Guide
Garden Plants and Seeds
Walmart’s garden section is a good place for a prepper to pick up some garden plants or seeds. They probably won’t produce seeds that you can reuse as an heirloom seed bank will. However, you can grow a decent crop of tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables for not a lot of money.
Mountain House Meals
The sporting goods section may have a few different types of Mountain House meals. Some stores may even have desserts and 72-hour emergency packs. In my experience, Mountain House meals at Walmart are the same price or less than those at sporting goods stores.
Related: Mountain House Meals and Prepping
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron is one of the most versatile materials for cookware. You can use it to cook anywhere from an ultra-modern kitchen to a primitive campsite. It can also be used to cook almost anything imaginable, including bread. Make sure any cast iron that you buy is from a good company like Lodge.
Walmart also has a decent selection of canning supplies. You can usually find several sizes of jars as well as utensils.
Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies at Walmart
Many preppers forget (or neglect) to stock up on sanitation and hygiene supplies. However, they are some of the most important things to have besides food and water. Walmart has most of the supplies that a prepper will need to keep themselves and their loved ones clean and healthy.
Stock up on toilet paper when it is on the shelves. 2020 was a perfect example of how quickly shortages can happen. This will make sure you have what you need in the variety that you prefer.
Get more than you think you will need. I saw a guy on Youtube giving a tour of his bunker and only had one roll per person. That bunker will start getting really smelly after about two days or so.
You may not have many options if people start panic buying soap, so be sure to stock up on your favorites. This is especially true if you have skin sensitivities. It is also a good idea to pick up some travel-size bottles for bug out bags or barter.
Keep a few large bottles to keep at home and several smaller bottles for each member of your family. Use the big bottles to refill the smaller bottles when they run out. Look for something that has at least 70% Ethyl Alcohol.
Walmart generally has large bottles of hand sanitizer on the same aisle as hand soaps. Small bottles can be found with the travel-size soaps or at the checkout stands.
Bleach is a very useful item for a prepper to have. It can be used as a cleaner to kill almost basically germ on non-porous surfaces. Regular unscented bleach also works well to chemically purify water of biological contaminants.
*According to the EPA, 8 drops of 6% bleach or 6 drops of 8.25% bleach will purify a gallon of water.
Many male preppers forget about feminine hygiene products for their wives or daughters. Many guys don’t like to even think about such things, which sometimes results in them not making the shopping list.
If you are a guy and don’t feel comfortable buying them, give your ladies some cash and let them buy their own stuff. This is probably a good idea anyway since most women prefer specific brands and products.
If there was an item that I wish I had more of during the 2020 rona scare it is sanitation wipes. I use them heavily to wipe down my phone and EDC gear after going out. They can also be useful if you need to conserve water since they are already moist.
Trash Bags and Trash Cans
Trash bags and trash cans have several uses in a survival situation. They can be used to keep your home clean, store water, and protect belongings.
One item that many preppers forget to include in their supplies is an off-grid toilet. Depending on which Walmart you are shopping at, you should be able to find one, even if it just a lid that attaches to a 5-gallon bucket. They are found in the sporting goods section.
Defense and Security Tools at Walmart
Walmart is still a good place for a prepper to pick up things like guns and ammo. You can also find equipment and hardware to make your home more secure.
Walmart doesn’t sell handguns or AR-15’s, but they do sell other types of rifles and shotguns. You should be able to find prepper favorites like Ruger 10/22’s and Remington 870 shotguns.
You can find some good deals on rifle ammunition and shotgun shells here as well. Unfortunately, Walmart no longer sells pistol ammunition. They decided to stop selling it after a mass shooting that involved a rifle. Go figure…However, it is still a good place to find ammo for your hunting guns and defensive rifles.
Gun Cleaning Supplies
The sporting goods section is a good place to pick up a basic cleaning kit and additional solvent, oil, and cleaning patches. You can even find cold blue solution to touch up scratches and wear marks on blued finishes.
Related: Essential Gun Cleaning Tools
Sadly, Walmart doesn’t sell nearly as many knives as they used to. Some of the ones that they offer aren’t that good, however you can find some good ones behind the sporting goods counter.
Knives produced by reputable companies such as Victorinox, Buck, and Spyderco are good options. A prepper should be able to find something suitable for EDC, their bugout bag, and even hunting.
Head over to the hardware section to pick up some decent motion-activated lighting for your home. The solar-powered ones won’t even need to be wired to your home’s electrical system. Just bolt it in place and connect the panel to the light.
Many of the padlocks that you can find at Walmart are the same ones that you can find at hardware stores. Be sure that you avoid the cheap ones and buy only name-brand locks. Cheap locks are easy to defeat and corrode much faster making them more difficult to open.
Camping and Survival Supplies at Walmart
One of the best places for a prepper to spend time in Walmart is the camping section. While some of the store brand stuff isn’t that great, it does have plenty of high-quality items from good companies.
Every Walmart is different, but you should be able to find at least a couple of types of water containers. My favorite is the Reliance Aquatainer. It has a stow-away spigot and screw-on vent. Both have rubber gasket seals which will prevent spillage and protect the water from contamination.
If your Walmart has a camping section you will probably be able to find Lifestraws and Sawyer Minis. They some of the best options for preppers to keep in their bug-out bags. In addition to water filters, your store may have water purification tablets that use chemicals to purify water.
LED Lanterns are an essential part of a prepper’s lights out kit. Get at least one that runs on regular batteries (AA’s, D-cells) and one that is rechargeable. You can also find multipacks that have several smaller lanterns so you can keep one in each room.
Related: How to Make a Prepper Lights Out Kit
Walmart sells a lot of cheap flashlights but they also sell good-quality Maglites. Get the cheap ones for the kids and some Maglites for EDC.
You can find slingshots to hunt small game and scare off pests. Be sure to pick up some ammo and extra bands.
Magnesium Fire Starter
Pick up one of these for each bug out bag. The magnesium shavings will burn super hot when ignited by the included striker.
Walmart sells many different types of matches, but I recommend getting the lifeboat matches that come in a waterproof case. You can find them in the sporting goods section.
Pick up some multipurpose lighters for the grill and some BIC lighters for emergency kits. You can also find Zippo lighters and fuel if you prefer those for daily use. However, avoid keeping them in a go-bag since the fuel will evaporate before you can use it.
Rope and Paracord
Get several types of rope and paracord. Different materials and thicknesses are good for different purposes.
I recommend getting the short and stocky candles since they are more difficult to knock over. The ones in glass jars are even better.
Oil lamps are a good source of light that can also help keep a small area warm.
If you have oil lamps or lanterns make sure to pick up fuel for them. If you have the option, get the fuel that comes in metal containers. Plastic containers can break down over time which could result in a big wasteful mess.
You can find several types of camp stoves at Walmart. Some run on 1-pound propane bottles while others may be able to run on multiple fuel sources.
Pick up a few bags of charcoal if you have that type of grill. This will allow you to make a good meal from your frozen meats at the beginning of a power outage. It is better to feast than to let it spoil.
A good propane heater like those made by Mr. Heater are good ways to stay warm. They are available in different sizes that can heat a small deer stand or a large bedroom.
Get several 1-pound propane bottles, and get even more if you have multiple pieces of equipment that use them. They can keep your camp stove running and your bedroom warm during a winter power outage. If you have a gas grill, you can get a hose and adapter to run your small camp stove or heater with your big propane bottles.
Another useful thing that preppers can find at Walmart is fire logs. They are easy to light, burn for a few hours, and are relatively easy to clean.
Having a good supply of sewing needles, thread, and other supplies is very important. You never know when clothing or gear may get damaged. Having those items will allow you to extend the useful lifespan of your gear.
If you plan to rely on electronics during an emergency, then you need some dry boxes. These can also be used to protect important documents, whether they are paper copies or housed on a storage device.
Walmart has all sorts of clothing that preppers can use. During the fall you can find a large selection of camouflage hunting clothes. It is also a good place to pick up socks, gloves, and rainboots.
Communication and Technology Gear at Walmart
Our modern life largely depends on hand-held electronics and communications equipment. Walmart has the batteries that preppers will need to power those devices. It also has other communication devices preppers can use as well.
Buy batteries for every electronic device that you intend to use during an emergency. These can include flashlights, lanterns, radios, fans, and numerous other devices.
Consider getting a mix of rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, especially for the devices that you use regularly. You can use the rechargeable batteries for daily use and during the early stages of an emergency.
Non-rechargeable batteries can be stored until you need them. Just make sure that you store them properly and check on them occasionally to make sure they haven’t corroded.
Related: How to Make a Prepper Lights Out Kit
While alkaline and rechargeable batteries can keep lights and radios working, they won’t keep your phone charged. Pick up a few USB battery banks in the electronics section.
Walmart is a good place to purchase disposable phones and minutes for them. They are a good alternative to your regular phone that will give you more privacy. Just be sure to pay for it with cash.
Preppers can also purchase hand-held radios in the sporting goods section. They may not be the best of the best but they will work fine for short distances. Try to find a set that includes rechargeable battery packs but can also run on alkaline batteries.
Emergencies and disasters often result in injuries and illnesses. Walmart stocks many of the items that a prepper would need to take care of most of these situations.
Walmart’s pharmacy section is a good place for a prepper to pick up first-aid kits. While you won’t find anything too comprehensive, you will probably be able to find something to keep in your car and office.
Even small wounds can become infected and cause serious problems. Povidone Iodine, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Isopropyl Alcohol are common antiseptics that you can find at Walmart.
Povidone Iodine is good for treating cuts since it doesn’t kill living tissue like Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide. Those are better suited for small scapes. Hydrogen Peroxide can also be used to clean your teeth, ears, and household surfaces.
Pain Relievers/Fever Reducers
Be sure to pick up different types of pain relievers/fever reducers. Some illnesses (and people) respond better to Acetaminophen (Tylenol) than Ibuprofen (Advil) or vice versa. Aspirin can be helpful for someone having a heart attack.
An emergency can cause stress and changes to your diet. Both of these things can cause digestive problems which could cause dehydration. Preppers should keep medications such as Imodium and Pepto Bismol in their medicine cabinets.
Cold and flu illnesses are almost inevitable. Since they are so common, stock up on medications like DayQuil and NyQuil. Walmart is also a good place to pick up bulk packages of Oscillococcinum.
Another thing that preppers should keep on hand is nitrile gloves. These are a better choice than latex gloves since they are considered to be hypoallergenic. Nitrile gloves can be used when handling paint and various other chemicals as well.
Bandages and Braces
Pick up a good variety of bandages. These include bandaids, roller gauze, gauze pads, and others. Be sure to get some tape also.
It is also a good idea to get knee and elbow braces, especially if you or someone in your family has joint problems.
Tools and Transportation
Every prepper should be ready to take care of their home, property, or vehicles during an emergency. Walmart has most of the tools and supplies that you will need to do so.
Related: Best Prepper and Survival Items at Home Depot
Walmart’s home and garden section is a good place for a prepper to pick up reasonably-priced shovels, rakes, hatchets, and other yard tools. You may also be able to find wheelbarrows as well. If you have the option get name-brand versions instead of the cheaper store version.
You can find work gloves of various sorts at Walmart as well. Most of them will be with the tools or in the automotive section. You can find gardening gloves in the home and garden section.
You will probably be able to find these on the aisle with tools or in the painting section. Make sure that you get N95 masks since they will block far more contaminants than the cheaper paper masks.
Eye and Ear Protection
You can find various types of eye and ear protection in Walmart’s sporting goods and home improvement sections. For hearing protection, you should be able to find everything from disposable earplugs to noise-canceling electronic earmuffs. For eye protection, be sure to get something that is sturdy enough for extended use and protects the side of your eyes as well.
Walmart carries many different types of power and hand tools. Some of the stuff they sell is good enough but I would stay away from certain items. Their power tools tend to be geared for homeowners and may not hold up under hard use.
They have started to carry Hart power tools which are owned by the same parent company as Milwaukee, Rigid, and Ryobi. However, these have only been on the market for a short time so I am a little hesitant about recommending them.
Walmart does, however, sell some decent hand tools. Just make sure to buy the name-brand stuff. Tools by manufacturers such as Channellock, Stanley, and Crescent are all good-to-go. I would stay away from the cheaper store-brand stuff.
Here are some tools you may want to pick up:
- Screwdriver Set
- Socket and Ratchet Sets
- Box Wrenches
- Adjustable Wrench
- Tape Measure
- Vise Grips
- Wood Saw
- Hack Saw
Wally world is also a good place to pick up bungee cords. They will be in either the home improvement or automotive section. Be sure to get a variety of sizes.
Zip Ties and Duct Tape
You can find zip ties and duct tape in the home improvement section. For zip ties, be sure to get several different sizes for different purposes. If you can find a package with multiple colors, you can use these are markers as well. The same goes for duct tape as well.
Tarps are incredibly versatile and have numerous uses for preppers. They can be used as a wilderness shelter, to collect water, and patch holes after a storm. Pick up several sizes, including a couple of larger ones for roof repairs.
You can find gas cans to hold various types of fuel in the automotive section. Make sure to get the appropriate cans, especially if you use different types of fuel for your equipment. (Red cans for gasoline, yellow for diesel, etc.)
If you hate the alleged “spill-proof” spouts that come with new gas cans you can find replacements here.
Lubricants and Other Fluids
Walmart is also a good place to pick up lubricants for cars and other types of equipment, such as generators and chainsaws. It is also a good idea to pick up some antifreeze and other important fluids as well.
Tire inflators that plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter can save you a ton of trouble. Many flat tires are the result of slow leaks. A tire inflator can help you keep air in the tire long enough to get it repaired.
You can use spray paint to protect wood, metal, and other materials. It also works well to camouflage various items, including firearms.
5-gallon buckets have numerous uses. They can be used to store all sorts of different things, including food. They can also be used as planter pots, toolboxes, water filters, and even to wash clothes.
You can find a good bucket tool organizer by clicking here. It is the one I have and is a good choice when you need to do work in an area where a tool belt isn’t the best choice.
You should be able to find plenty of buckets along with lids in Walmart’s painting and home improvement sections. Make sure they are food-grade if you will be storing rice, beans, or other food items in them. The lids you find there may not be airtight, but you can find gamma lids by clicking here.