I love flea markets. The flea market is right up there with a good garage sale. Scouring for hidden treasures and exploring memorabilia of the past is so much fun, and bargaining for a good deal is exhilarating.
Truthfully, I have spent a lot of time at flea markets and found some fantastic treasures.
Along with the fun and quirky items you can find, a flea market can be an excellent tool for preparedness.
Hidden among the old toys, eccentric furniture, delicious snacks, and knick-knacks are some valuable items that can make a huge difference when SHTF.
Survival gear is often found among all the other unique items and is usually priced to sell. Thus, listed below are survival items to hunt for at flea markets.
Military Supplies & Surplus
Military surplus is interesting to explore and useful for survival situations. Thankfully, military surplus items can be found in almost every market nationwide.
From backpacks and military clothing to army-issued water containers and gas cans, the military surplus section at the flea market can be valuable.
Backpacks & Tactical Bags
Along with army supplies, the flea market is a great place to search for a sturdy bag to hold all your goods. Backpacks and various types and sizes of tactical bags are available at most flea markets.
Look for one that is sturdy but lightweight and has enough pockets to hold survival gear.
Boots And Clothing
When purchased brand-new, boots are expensive. Luckily, you can often find used or off-season boots at a flea market for a fraction of the price. Just ensure they are sturdy and water-tight before purchasing to avoid unpleasant surprises.
You can also find plenty of clothing at the local flea market. A warm coat, a few sweaters, cozy socks, and some rain-resistant items are all essentials you want to have available.
Gas Cans & Other Containers
The flea market is a haven for canisters, both old and new. Keep your eyes peeled for used gas canisters, water jugs, and other types of containers. Having many sizes and styles available will be beneficial in an emergency.
Cots & Portable Beds
A suitable cot you can sleep in is necessary for any bunker space. If you are lucky, you might find a solid option at your local flea market for a low price.
Mosquito Nets, Tents, & Camping Gear
Camping gear is essential to survival.
You never know if you will have to leave the comfort of your home and rough it outdoors. A tent, mosquito net, and other camping gear can save you a great deal of struggle. Look for these items at a flea market before going out and purchasing them brand new.
Often, these items can be purchased at a lower price when they are surplus or gently used.
Items such as camouflage clothing can be found at flea markets. These items are another staple of the flea market that you can find in mass quantities.
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Seek out products that are warm and waterproof. You want gear that will provide you with the protection you need from the elements.
Protective equipment and PPE items are available in abundance following the pandemic.
While we are glad it is over, it shows how easily a disaster can happen and how unprepared we are. Stock up on protective equipment and be ahead of the crowd next time.
A good knife is a survivalist essential, and the flea market will offer plenty of choices. Just be careful of what you are buying to ensure it is a sturdy, well-made product that will last.
Fishing gear is another item found at a flea market in abundance and at better prices than at sporting goods stores.
Look for fishing rods, reels, hooks, nets, and other things to help secure a meal.
Stocking up on fishing essentials is a smart step toward preparedness.
Canning Gear & Preservation Supplies
When it comes to survival situations, having access to a reliable source of food is one of the most important factors. Having canning supplies such as jars, lids, and a pressure canner is crucial if you want to ensure your food stays edible for a prolonged period.
If you’re interested in learning more about canning and other long-term food preservation methods, this comprehensive guide can provide valuable insights and help you become better prepared for any potential survival scenarios.
Oil Lamps, Lanterns, And Candles
While oil lamps and lanterns will not be as easy to come by, they can be found at flea markets occasionally. Keep your eyes peeled for lamps and lanterns that are functional and lightweight.
You want a product that you can grab on the fly and carry with you as you travel. Candles are another item you can find at the flea market, and they are often far cheaper there than they will be from a store.
A solid wagon can make off-grid living a whole lot easier. However, buying a new wagon will cost you a pretty penny. Find a sturdy wagon at a flea market to haul heavy items around your property and save yourself some cash and discomfort.
Ropes And Cords
You can never have too many ropes and cords, and the flea market is an excellent place to purchase them. If you look around long enough, you can find all sorts of ropes, various cords, and even survival cables.
Tools: Old Or New
The flea market is an excellent place to buy tools. In fact, there are often entire sections dedicated to selling tools. If you happen to be missing a socket or wrench from a set, the flea market may have one that works for your needs. Take your time and purchase only high-quality items that you will use.
Cooking Tools And Kitchen Wear
Should SHTF, cooking will inevitably get a lot more complicated. From what you eat to how you cook it, there will be many barriers to overcome. Save the stress and ward off hunger by stocking up on versatile kitchen essentials.
Propane and butane stoves, hot plates, or even bunsen burners can be purchased at a flea market and will come in handy if you need to cook on the fly.
You can also find some great cookware at your local flea market, such as cast iron pots or pans that would be pricey if purchased brand new.
Barrels & Buckets
Most of us have a single bucket in our homes. Unfortunately, in an emergency, this may not be enough. What’s worse, getting to the store to purchase one may not be possible.
Protect yourself by stocking up on buckets and barrels of various sizes now. Thankfully, this object has many uses and won’t just sit and collect dust until the inevitable occurs. For example, you can grow vegetables in buckets if you have limited gardening space.
Like the containers mentioned above, the flea market is a haven for various storage options. There will be something for everyone, from barrels and boxes to smaller, more compact containers.
Consider scouring the flea market to purchase some storage containers and start preparing for the future.
Weapons, Ammo, & Other Self-Protection Items
While not every market will have these items, some places will allow the sale of weapons.
Even if your local market does not sell weapons, they may have old ammo cases, holsters, or other items that could come in handy.
Rags, Towels, Blankets, And Fabric
You can find an endless supply of rags, towels, blankets, and fabric at the flea market. Fabric is an excellent tool in an emergency, so stock up when you see it for an affordable price.
A radio that works on batteries or does not require power is essential to survival in an emergency.
Related: How To Get A Ham Radio License For When SHTF
I once found an old wind-up radio at a flea market that would be perfect if the power was out.
Having a few flashlights in your prepper kit is essential. Look for high-powered flashlights, wind-up flashlights, or ones of various sizes.
Books & Board Games
Should SHTF, you must find ways to keep your mind busy. The familiar sources of entertainment we rely on today may not be available.
Books and board games will become your best friends without the internet or television. Stock up on these items and safely store them in an accessible place.
Gardening is not only a fun way to pass the time, but it could also be essential to your survival one day. Consider searching your local flea market for gardening tools such as shovels, rakes, and sheers.
Some flea markets also sell seeds or seedlings that can be taken home and planted.
Misc. Survival items
While many items could fit into this category, consider searching the flea market for other things that could be valuable to survival. Look for everything from crutches to bandages, rain gear, winter clothing, blankets, sewing supplies, and power tools.
Think about everything you do daily, and look for alternative options. Try to consider all the worst-case scenarios to be prepared.
Disaster comes in many forms, from natural phenomena to artificial catastrophes. It is hard to predict when or where a disaster will strike, let alone what it will entail. Truthfully, it is not a matter of whether a disaster will strike but of when. Thus, being prepared for the inevitable means being prepared for anything.
Build yourself a solid stockpile and plan for any worst-case scenario. Being prepared can significantly increase your chance of survival when SHTF. Scour local flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales for items to help you in an emergency.
You can save a lot of money by shopping for deals and still manage to complete an impressive stock. Keep your eyes open, and your mind focused.
What is the greatest thing you have seen at a flea market? I would love to hear about your finds in the comments.
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