Some folks keep their nightstand minimalist, with just a lamp and a clock. Others clutter it with pretty decorative items, sentimental pictures, and the latest book they’re reading.
Then there’s the prepper’s nightstand, which is equipped for a wide variety of middle-of-the-night emergencies.
You awaken in the middle of the night and something just isn’t right. Maybe you hear someone fumbling at your front door. Maybe the dog is barking his normally lazy head off at the back of the house and you know something is awry. Maybe you awaken to the sound of the smoke alarms and the smell of smoke.
What do you do?
That all depends on what you keep on your nightstand.
Keep these items on your prepper’s nightstand to be ready to survive anything that goes bump in the night.
Here are a few items that are by-the-bed essentials. Some of them could save your life in the event of a midnight emergency. There are many varieties on the same theme, so below, you’ll find a list of suggestions for each type of prep. I keep my kit tucked into a drawer, aside from my flashlight and firearm, which rest right on top during the night.
A home defense item
Depending on your personal philosophy and the area in which you live, a home defense item within easy reach is an important thing to keep handy. In some countries, you aren’t allowed to have personal defense items, so consider things that could have other uses:
- A gun and extra ammo: I have older kids, so a loaded firearm is always at my side at night without it needing to be locked away. Please, if you’re going to do this, you must know what you’re doing. Consider taking some shoot/don’t-shoot classes to help you improve your judgment. If you aren’t adept and well-practiced with firearms, you may want to go with a non-lethal option.
- Pepper spray: Self-defense sprays are not legal everywhere, so you might want to check your local rules and regulations. Some popular and reliable brands are Mace and Sabre. (Don’t go cheap on this purchase.) I like this pepper gel instead of spray because it clings to your assailant without getting in the air like an aerosol spray. People with asthma should never use pepper spray, as just a tiny bit of it inhaled could cause a life-threatening reaction.
- Alternative sprays: In places where the sprays above are not legal, you might want to watch out for pesky bears (with this bear spray that has a whopping 30 food range) and wasps – don’t you hate when a wasp gets in your house at night? You’ll want to be prepared with this spray.
- Stun gun: You have to be careful with things that require direct contact. If you aren’t strong, it is not only possible but likely, that it will be taken away and used on you. This being said, many people rely on stun guns like this one. I own one of these tactical stun flashlights which have the added bonus of an electrified end to deter anyone who tries to grab it and take it away.
- Tasers: These are not legal everywhere, but most work by shooting an electrode at your attacker. If you miss, however, you won’t get a chance to reload. Here is a link to the only one I could find on Amazon.
- Baton or bat: Some people are fans of striking objects. You can use a tactical baton (found at gun stores) or a good old-fashioned baseball bat for this. Amazon sells a mini-bat for this purpose. Keep in mind that this could go the way of the stun gun and be taken away from you if you don’t know what you’re doing.
A Cutting Implement
I don’t recommend using a knife for self-defense unless you’ve been trained to do so, but there are many reasons that a cutting implement should be in your bedside drawer. For example, in the event of a fire, you can quickly cut the screen of your window to make your exit.
You can go with:
- Camping knife
- Car tool seatbelt cutter (I think this is ideal because it is also designed to help you break glass if you’re trapped in a car – could come in handy if your window happens to be jammed.)
On the same note, if you sleep on the second floor, an escape ladder is essential.
For those who suffer a life-threatening illness, medication should be kept close at hand. Some examples of necessary medications would be:
- Heart pills
- Chewable aspirin
Many folks keep their cell phones charging on their nightstands for emergency phone calls or flashlights.
Intruders dislike noise. They don’t want all the neighbors to know that something is going on. Therefore keeping something close at hand that is loud enough to alert the world to your plight is a great idea.
- Rape whistle
- Personal alarm (This one makes a noise with the same decibel level as an ambulance or fire truck)
- Car keys if you have an alarm on your vehicle
- Panic button if you have a monitored alarm company
You should always have some kind of emergency lighting on your nightstand in case you have to check things out in the middle of the night. This is of particular importance if you have a firearm, You need to know what you are shooting at to prevent a terrible accident.
- Gun-mounted light: For this reason, a light that attaches to your gun is a great idea. I have this one for my Glock. I’m saving up for this one which has 800 lumens of blinding brightness and a strobe to disorient a prowler.
- A flashlight app on your phone
- This is the flashlight on my nightstand. It is a tactical flashlight bright enough to blind someone with 1000 lumens. It also has a disrupter strobe and SOS function.
Clothes and Shoes
You should have clothes and shoes close at hand. I keep some hard-soled, slip on shoes by the bed and a hoodie hangs on the back of my bedroom door. Depending what you sleep in and the climate, you might need some sweatpants and a coat nearby as well.
Lots of people keep physical documents in their nightstands. Some of the suggestions were:
- Grab and go binder with copies of everything
- Address books
- Emergency phone numbers
- Written health information, including a list of medications you take, pre-existing conditions, doctor’s contact information, and allergies.
- Wallet (which will have cash and ID)
If you have furry friends, you may want to have things close at hand for them in the event of a fire.
- Cat carrier
On this note, I strongly recommend the stickers you can get to put on your doors that let responders know there are pets inside, as well as the kind and the number. (We have these on all our entrances.)
There are other things that may be unique to your situation, but absolutely necessary in the event of an emergency. Think about anything you would be hard-pressed to function without for 24 hours.
- Hearing aids
- Religious books
What do you keep on your prepper’s nightstand?
What do you keep nearby at night just in case of an emergency? Share it in the comments section below.