What Does SHTF Mean? (SHTF Kit Advice)

What happens when everything goes wrong in a hurry, is there a word for that? Have you ever been in an evacuation emergency, or maybe there was a fight at the bar you were drinking in, well there definitely is and we’re going in-depth to provide you with the best possible answer!

What Does SHTF Mean?

The short answer, SHTF means “sh*t hits the fan”. I.e. = If there is a major natural disaster, like a flood or massive forest fire, this is an SHTF situation! It’s similar to the term “bugging out”. You will need to get out of that situation as fast as possible hopefully carrying an SHTF kit!

What Is A SHTF Kit or Bag?

An SHTF kit is an emergency short-term survival kit that has everything you might need for short-term and long-term survival! Here are some of the things you will want to have in your SHTF kit:


3-5000 calories of emergency food that will keep you fed and will not go bad. Protein bars, canned food, etc. Make sure this food has a very long shelf life and it can provide you with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals! You should replace your food every now and again to make sure it does not expire!


Keep a few liters of water available. You should also have a good-quality water filtering system available like this water filter bottle! That way if your SHTF location lands you near a water source like a lake, river, pond, or stream, then you can safely drink the water without needing to boil it!


Grab a compact life tent so you don’t have to sleep out in the elements! The emergency tent doesn’t even need to be in your bag, you can attach it to the side of the kit with the carabiner! Having, or not having shelter can make or break you in an SHTF survival situation. Having proper shelter will also take a lot of stress out while you are bugging out!

Fire Starter Or Lighter

Fire is essential to survival, you can use it for so many things, including warmth, cooking, and safety from large predators! Never leave home without it and always have it ready to go in your kit. We recommend keeping a sealed pack of BIC lighters in your kit, or a Zippo with a bottle of lighter fluid! You can even have a firestarter like this one here that does not require fuel at all! Having a combination of these will be the most versatile, safe option for you. You might consider getting some firestarter cubes for kindling just to be safe since fire is that important!

First-Aid And Hygiene Supplies

What about your health and safety? Soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes all play a vital role in our health and they have a very long shelf life! Without proper dental care, you can get a cavity in as little as a week or less depending on the health of your teeth! It will be easy to get injured if you are planning on camping out or heading into the wilderness as well! Having a high-quality first aid kit might just save your life if the situation gets dire!

Renewable Energy-Powered Chargers

These will be pricey items for your kit, but have you ever considered how important your phone is? Also, don’t forget that it will use significantly more battery life when it’s trying to search for a signal!

Here are a couple of versatile charges to pick from:


Our phones have flashlights sure, but they use a lot of battery power! Get a multi-tool flashlight like this one here. So you can save the battery power on your phone and get some extra functionality!


This multi-tool hatchet will work for self-defense, cutting down trees, and much more! Specifically, you will have a much easier time gathering firewood with a hatchet, then without one!

How Do I Make An SHTF Kit At Home (DIY)?

If you’re curious about making your own SHTF kit, check out this survival kit by the Red Cross.

If you are more of a visual learner, you can also watch this video here, it’s full of great tips and it is beginner-friendly!

We have built our own SHTF kits a long time ago so we are more than ready to go in an SHTF situation! We think you should be too, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!”

How Much Does A SHTF Kit Or Bag Cost?

This will depend on your specific selection of gear! You can put an essential kit together in a plastic grocery bag for less than $50! Or you can throw together a much more versatile kit for a couple of hundred dollars! It all depends on your situation as well as what you’re planning on escaping from and for how long!


Be prepared for every possible situation as efficiently as possible! Even if you just have a simple kit with some basic gear ready to go, you will be much better off, and thankful that you were prepared and ready! You should also have a summer and winter SHTF kit ideally, depending on the area you live in! It doesn’t have to be an extreme disaster to be considered an SHTF situation!

Should I make my SHTF kit now or later?

Make it early on, and make sure you use long-lasting items that won't go bad or expire!

Are SHTF kits expensive?

It will depend entirely on what you put in it! We think it's a good idea to slowly add to your kit over time and practice with the items as you go!