Clothing Considerations

Clothing Considerations 

When we talk about Prepping Supplies the normal focus in on stockpiling food, fuel and medicines, plus ammo if you live in the US of A. But nearly as important in our plans we need to think about what we will WEAR or USE in the period between a crisis and normal commerce starting up again. That interim period could be many years long and we must plan for that as well if we can.

Let us think about this issue whilst many items of clothing are still very affordable and easily available , If you feel the threat to your own situation could involve a long term disruption what sort of things could you buy now and set aside for future use. Not only could you ensure you have some of the clothing essentials you need but you may end up with a valuable commodity for bartering.

We will focus primarily on personal clothing but will briefly look at other items you may wish to obtain.

The sort of items you may consider worthy of bulk buying could be many and varied but try and think about think you may need that will no longer be easily available.

T Shirts / Undershirts *

Polo shirts*

Vests / Bras / Sports tops *

Underwear briefs / Panties*


Cargo pants or work jeans

Micro fleece Shirts / Cotton shirts

Cargo vests

Fleece sweaters / Hoodies

Woollen sweaters if they are what you like

Fleece jackets

Cotton canvas Work Jackets (Fatigues)

Water proof outdoor jackets

Winter Parka / Coat

Work gloves

Leather belts

Head Scarfs / Bandanas / Baseball caps etc

Work / Hiking / Walking shoes boots and spare insoles.

Sandals / Clogs / Flip flops

*= Multi Packs

I tend to buy “Value” packs from Tesco, Matalan, Makro etc then try them out to see if they are durable, comfortable, and good value for money. You need to check because at times stores will try and sell off some real substandard junk as bargains.

For Example I once bought two packs of Polo Shirts from a well-known store, and even when washed on a low temperature and room dried instead of tumble dried they still shrunk so much they would have fitted my youngest son instead of me.

On a similar point I bought some budget range of walking / approach shoes (UK made as well) from a national retail outlet, they wore out in weeks and had such little internal foot bed support they rapidly become useless.


Let us not forget the children and their expensive but necessary habit of growing.

Hand me downs may become the norm like fleeces etc but some items such as underwear and footwear really need to be obtained in multiple sizes to allow for growth as will maintaining some level of personal dignity for the children.

When the kids grow out of items post collapse do not discard clothing as once washed and cleaned these clothes probably will have much barter value for families with kids who did not prepare as well.

Cleaning and personal hygiene materials are covered in the stockpiling and caching lists. The list of items above is not absolute everyone will have their own list of requirements but can use this list to work from.


  • Comments (7)

    • 5

      At “Underwear …”, a focus to acquiring the more expensive and harder to ge wool long underwear recommended. Also recommend for all in tick areas to get white panty hose. If a required evac in non urban areas and ticks out, ’tis a far, far better matters to have spent precious $ on “long johns” – top and bottom – and no attached ticks  (still must check for unattached) concurrent with depleted finances and ruined social life from sweaty bod than real big problems.

      Next to “Baseball caps” the “etc”; Now is the time to seek out a couple of all wool sock hats, a/k/a “watch caps”. They are excellent liners when wearing a hard hat with plastic rigging and ideal for sleeping, napping. A black one and an orange one will meet requirements.

      Wool is expensive now and it’s worth it’s cost effectiveness.  Getting sick is more costly.

      • 9

        Hi bob! Hope you are doing good! 

        So for the white panty hose tip that you mentioned, is that to just contrast against a black/brown tick and be able to see them easier? Or will they not be able to bite you through them? 

      • 6

        Alisa, Yes, the white color is for the contrast against the brown tick.

        Appreciate concerns re faring the adverse weather.  OK from last ice storm of 2 days ago.  Another one enroute.  Being a prepper does wonders both for the dangerous ice on trees and the mental prep. 

    • 3

      Experience has shown me that initially expensive items from reliable sources are cheaper in the long run.  Just because it is expensive, doesn’t mean that is is a good value.

      Synthetic fleece and other synthetics (Nylon, polyester) outperform and outlast natural fibers.  I still use a fleece jacket bought in 1981 that I still use, while I have worn out several wool sweaters in the same interval.

      In rough times, durable, tough clothing will be  optimum.  Tough cotton levi’s are a partial exception.  In general, I avoid cotton, although warm temps are an exception, where cotton is functional – especially long sleeve shirts and brimmed hats.  Most of current wardrobe will serve me well if thing go south.  I hope the same is true of yours.

      Good brands for me have been Patagonia, North Face, and Duluth Trading Co.

    • 5

      One habit I’ve picked up is when I find something I like, or that fits or works well or is a good deal, whatever, I go online to buy a bunch. Doesn’t really matter what the item: clothes, parts, whatever, sure as the world, next time it will have been changed, “improved”, downsized or discontinued by the time you want to replace it. And that is in the regular course of things, if you consider that things sometimes aren’t “regular”…

      My entire life I’ve either had jeans to big or too small: 34 or 36. I found a pair of 35s at wallmart that fit perfectly so bought the last one then I went online and bought the last 5, I’ve not seen them since. 

      I found some recycled polypro shirts at wally’s that felt like merino wool, soft as flannel, thick as a blanket. Great price, 2 left so I bought those and went online and bought the last 6 (well, I left a very ugly 2 for the next guy, gotta draw the line).

      Ditto “base layer” underwear, butterfly bandages, a certain pocket knife I like, spare parts for my fav multi-tool, etc

      This is a good way to get a price as well, and I only do this for thing that are good values, as my funds are not unlimited. If you wait till the end of their season, which for winter clothes is probably right now, you may not get any glory at the brick store but you might get a deal online. I have a couple of tubs with these “spares” in the basements, the wife too… the wife’s spares are in the basement that is.

      Of course I’m of an age where style is a waste so I’m not concerned about much but function, when I find it I stock up.

      Oh and one more thing, sometimes if an item is out of stock on Amazon, which happens a lot lately, there will be a button to get an email when it comes back. Also on amazon, when you put something in a list you can go back and it will show you if the price has dropped or if some other vendor has it cheaper. And finally there are apps that notify you of price drops and changes if you are really into it or eyeing a bigger ticket. 

      There, my sum knowledge of online shopping, LOL

      • 3

        Yup I’m all for functionality over form, i bulk buy Jeans, Cargos and Polos and get decades of use out of them:)

    • 6

      Thrift store shopping can stretch a prepper’s budget, support excellent charity causes and use items that would normally end up in land fill.

      I sew and tailor but fulfill the bulk of my clothing needs at the thrift stores. We buy underwear new. My husband has a Canada Goose coat that was purchased new. My hydro parka was like new and from a thrift store.

      Very often retailers will donate brand new garments – tags still on the item. People will receive unwanted items as gifts and donate them. Other people over consume and have shelves full of new garments (also with tags still on them or worn once) and footwear that they too, donate to thrift stores.

      My husband was wary of shopping or wearing something from a thrift store for fear of it being dirty, so I asked him:

      Do you know how many people have tried on your shirt or shoes before you purchased them?

      Then I told him about working as a buyer in a garment factory and the need to retain rodent control monthly and of how the piece work lay on dirty cement floors while it was assembled and that every garment should be laundered before it is worn, regardless of where it was purchased.

      Then he saw how nice the clothing could be and he was fully supportive. He likes the hunt in a good thrift store.

      There is an added benefit in that much of my clothing is well constructed, sturdy, and from fabrics that were meant to perform well over a long time.

      I worked in management in a very conservative field and not once, did anyone comment negatively on my business attire. When the tags come off a garment and it is clean and in good repair, can anyone know for certain how old a garment is?