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Easy Preps to Put on a Keychain

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and  The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.

What is one item that you have on your person – not in a bag, vehicle, or at home – virtually 100% of the time as you’re out and about in public? Your keys.

I started thinking about this the other day, trying to drum up ideas of ways that I could add small and easy-to-carry preps to my keys without A) creating a brick and B) destroying the ignition in my truck. I ended up deciding on three small items that you may find of benefit to you as well.

Item #1: A bison tube filled with aspirin


A bison tube is a small metal cylinder that screws apart and is watertight. They were originally designed to keep medication handy, but they also make a notoriously difficult to find geocache as well. You can easily pick them up on Amazon for a few bucks.

The inner diameter of the tube is the perfect size for aspirin, so I plopped four down in there (with room for a few more). My thinking was this:

How many times have you been out and about when either you or a friend asks for a painkiller (the legal type, y’all)? Nobody ever does, and whoever it is that needs the medicine is left to suffer until they can make their way back to their home. This fills a need.

I also like the idea of being able to help somebody if they’re having a heart attack. Heart attacks are fairly common, and asking if you have an aspirin nearby is a common question of 911 operators when they suspect you’re witnessing a heart attack unfold in front of you. Aspirin thins the blood, helping to get oxygen to heart muscle if it’s a blockage that’s causing the heart attack.

Benadryl tablets are another item I will likely add in the near future to the bison tube perchance I came across somebody having an allergic reaction to food or a bee sting.

I picked this little guy up probably around 15 years ago, and it still works just fine. If you’re trying to live life without a smartphone, you’ve likely come to realize just how handy the flashlight on the back of your phone is.

A lot of preppers carry a small Maglight in their pocket as part of their EDC kit already, but I felt this was a handy addition to put on the ring that didn’t take up a lot of space and could save a lot of headache in the future if you’re stuck in a spot where a little extra light is needed.

Item #3: A USB drive


I think there are a couple of awesome things that can be accomplished by making a USB drive part of your EDC gear. For starters, this can serve as a great backup source for important files you would normally keep on your computer or in your home should you have a break-in.

If you end up in a situation where you have to evacuate in an emergency (and you should totally read our free QUICKSTART Guide on emergency evacuations, by the way), and can’t make it back to your home before it’s time to head out, then this can save you a lot of stress and worry as well. There’s no need to run back home to grab your important files – you already have them with you.

The same goes for family pictures. A USB drive ensures that you always have your memories on your person.

And, of course, I also like the idea of a backup to my Archive of the Apocalypse, perchance something should happen to it.

What didn’t work

I tried to add a small knife to the keychain, but it turned out to be just too heavy. I think if I’d had a small Victorinox penknife, I could have gotten away with adding it without too much weight, but it’s recently disappeared (dang prep goblins), so I’m going without one here.

What else do I think would make a good addition?

There were a few other ideas that I didn’t have handy, but I think they would potentially make great additions here.

P-38 can opener

I think this shows a lot of potential. You should already make sure that you’re storing a can opener wherever you have an emergency food supply. It would be a shame to be sheltering in place (after a thermonuclear blast, for instance) and not have a means of opening up your canned food stores.

A P-38 can opener on your key ring could be an easy and effective means of backup, perchance your normal can opener breaks/prep goblins steal it.

Paracord monkey’s fist

I’ve been meaning to learn how to make one of these. A small segment of paracord wouldn’t add any burdensome weight to the keyring and could prove to be of benefit in a number of situations (you need to tie down something after your recent Craigslist purchase and are out of bungee cords).


These are the small, plastic/metal pointy sticks that a lot of girls who like running add to their keyring. You do exactly what you’d expect to do with these – stab things really hard.

It’s not a huge prep booster, but I do think it could be beneficial.

Yeah, you can carry more in a bag, but if you need to travel light or have a minimum of pockets, this is a good way to at least carry some stuff with you that you wouldn’t have on your person otherwise.

What are your thoughts? Have you added anything prepper-related to your keyring? Are there other items that you think deserve to be added here? Let us know in the comments below. 

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to and Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has three published books, The Faithful Prepper The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

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