Precious Metals have been a last prepper item for us. Once I got close to my 1 year's worth of food, we began investing our money in PMs. I know we missed out on the lower prices, but like I said, my kids can't eat gold.
I'm going to say .22lr ammunition above all else. It provides the ability to acquire food and possibly even defense in tough situations.
Well, I have to disagree a little. .22LR allows for a greater AMOUNT of ammo to be carried, but at the cost of power, range and defense.
A good 5.56 rifle and ammo will let you take down much bigger prey. A .22LR you can get squirrels and birds, but nothing much bigger. The 5.56 gives you greater range and take down as well as defense capabilities.
A 22LR is practically usless as defense. Sure a VERY well places shot may take down a human assailant, but center of mass shots will do very little to shut down the immediate threat.
5.56 causes much greater tissue trauma and will incapaciate or kill the threat and at a greater distance.
I believe these advantages more than make up for the added carry weight.
A .22LR is indeed a superb survival option, but for me it is a 2nd choice or optional choice, never a 1st choice.
Wonder how many non-preppers are sitting on SOME form of PM. I'm not suggesting taking advantage of people, but I can see someone caught off guard when the SHTF willing to part with a pair of silver earrings or an old Roosevelt silver dime to feed their family for a couple of days!