‘Santa tested. Rambo approved.’

“I just found the perfect Christmas gift for you!” my husband, Brian said while scrolling through his phone.

“Really?!” I couldn’t leap out of my chair fast enough. I had to see the perfect gift for me, and there it was: a tactical stocking equipped with, “26 must-have survival tools,” including a flashlight, fishing kit, pocket-sized timber trimmer, compass, rope, shovel, and tactical pen…just to name a few. “Santa Tested. Rambo approved,” the website brags. “Oh my gosh, I need this stocking. Now.”

The Tactical Christmas Stocking with Gear at gearrific.com. $49.99.

Brian knows a thing or two about me. I love Happy Joe’s pizza, I hate cleaning the bathtub, and I desperately want to be a doomsday prepper. If we won the lottery, “build a fully stocked emergency bunker,” is at the top of my to-do list, right before, “year’s supply of Hot Tomales.” Think about it, whatever the calamity – grid failure, nuclear war, virus, zombie apocalypse, you’re prepared. No freaking out about a toilet paper shortage. No panicking about Target selling out of chocolate Pop Tarts. No worries at all! I mean, wouldn’t you like to be a prepper too?

I dabbled a bit in prepping once, but it was embarrassingly pathetic by true prepper standards. I stored tap water in a dozen 7-UP two-liter bottles in our basement and felt quite proud of my stash until my mother-in-law informed me my water cache would “go bad” after a month or two. Who knew? I also stocked up on granola bars, cans of baked beans, and a roll of paper towels; housing it all in a plastic bin labeled “emergency.” Four results came from my “prepping”: I tossed the granola bars into my daughter’s lunchbox days before they expired, my plants were waterboarded to death, the beans disappeared, and I used the paper towels to clean up where my water bottles leaked. Prepper fail.

But boy do I love the idea of just in case!
“What are you doing?” Brian asked me in our garage recently.
“Equipping the car with the winter emergency survival kit,” obviously.
“Why? You never leave town.”
“In case I get stranded and need gear to survive until help arrives,” obviously.
“Driving to Target?” No surprise, Brian isn’t supportive of my prepping goals and thinks I’m paranoid. But that’s okay! He will thank me when zombies are eating his brains and I save him with my pocket-sized timber trimmer and tactical pen. Enough wasting time! I need to research prepping, now, before it’s too late!

Internet search: “How to be a prepper.” Result: SilverCoins.com’s Preppers Checklist, written by Dave.

Food: It’s all canned or powdered. Who knew butter, cheese, and bacon could be canned? Food preparation essentials: can opener, solar oven, hand processor, grain mill, and a wood burning stove. I’m sure Brian won’t mind storing it all in our garage.

Water: One month supply for a family of four = 120 gallons. That’s a lot of two-liters. I also need to capture rainwater in a 2000+ gallon tank. (Farm & Fleet or K&K?) However, despite this massive water cache, Dave says additional filters are required in case I want to quench my thirst with a tall glass of Mississippi.

Medical: Luckily, I already own most of these items; Band Aids, Vaseline (salve of the gods!), hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, Q-tips, cotton balls, and Chapstick – all the supplies necessary for the surgery I may need to perform during the global emergency – don’t worry, I’ve watched a ton of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Comfort items: This is my favorite list. Lots of chocolate, candy, board games, soap, gum, and the Bible. Attention toilet paper hoarders! Dave recommends buying a year’s worth of commercial toilet paper rolls with 1,000 sheets. P.S. This is what the Vaseline is for.

Safety & Security: Dave suggests I get to know my neighbors now! “If law and order ceases your neighbors will be your closest allies or enemies. The more neighbors who are prepared the better.” Do I want my neighbors knowing I have a fully stocked bunker? Which leads me to: handgun, shotgun, rifle, or knives? If this global emergency is a zombie apocalypse or worse yet, the neighbors are storming over to steal my canned bacon, I’ll take ‘em all! Toss in a flame-thrower and a bazooka. You know, just in case.

Power: What’s a power inverter? No clue, but I must have one. Dave advises stocking up on AA & AAA batteries. What do you want to bet the power inverter takes Cs? I need candles – lots of them! It looks like yet another trip to T.J. Maxx to buy more candles is in my future. Darn! Which scent evokes the ambience of, “I sure hope we don’t have to resort to cannibalism anytime soon”?

Tools: Yikes! This is where my project gets expensive. I need: a radiation detector, hand saw, multi-tool, bungee cords, tarps, welding kit, compass, hatchet, axe, hand crank radio, walkie-talkies, and a Gladsden Flag which reads, “DON’T TREAD ON ME.” Dave says, “Flying this flag sends a message to other preppers to let them know where you stand.” In other words, “HANDS OFF MY CANNED BACON.” And finally…

Skills: “It may be beneficial to focus on 2-3 skills you can become an expertise at,” Dave writes. (He’s a prepper, not a grammarian.) A few of the skills he lists: gunsmith, electrician, martial arts, animal husbandry, beekeeping, aquaponics, trapping, and foraging. Dibs on martial arts! (Just in case I forget the can opener.)

With list in hand, I’m off to Target, ready to prep the right way. First to tackle: comfort items, because let’s face it, running out of chocolate, candy, and gum alone would be a catastrophe. And while I’m there, I really ought to buy out all of the plush toilet paper like Angel Soft and Charmin, just in case. But don’t worry, I’ll leave the commercial stuff for you guys. You just better get there before Dave does.

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