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10 Things Humans Will Always Need

Updated on November 1, 2016
robertzimmerman2 profile image

Robert is from south-east Florida and serves the world as a reference librarian. Also a musician, Bob plays bass in a Indie cover band.

The Thinker
The Thinker | Source


I was thinking the other day about the future, say one hundred years from now. What items will humans still be using? Are there items, i.e. basic technology, that humans will always need?

Now, this is MY LIST and I do not know enough to say it is "THE LIST" but we have to start somewhere, don't we? Staying with basic technology items which SHOULD be available no matter what state humanity finds itself in one hundred years, I included items humans will ALWAYS need, no matter what has transpired, environmental disaster(s), overpopulation, human-computer melding (cyborgs), zombie apocalypse or a dystopian ultra-bureacracy. I tend to think it will be ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Toaster | Source

#10) The Toaster

It was hard to decide on the #10 item but I finally picked our friend, the toaster. We have been baking bread and slicing the loaves up for thousands of years and likely the greatest thing since sliced bread was the toaster. Today we can purchase reliable toasters that last for years. We can not only toast our bread but bagels, muffins and pastries go in cold and come out hot and ready to enjoy.

I think that humans will always have sliced baked goods and will need toasters to make ourselves a quick meal. Obviously, having toasters one hundred years from now is based on there being electricity to power them, unless someone develops a self powered toaster! Perhaps in the distant future, humans will develop the ability to toast bread with our minds. That would be handy.

#9) CHEAP T-Shirts!

The Best Way to Say What You REALLY Think!

In the future, T-Shirts with catchy, humorous sayings will be all the rage! Why not start hoarding a variety right now? Then you will always have just the right T-Shirt to annoy people at any post-apocalyptic occasion!

Plus you will have spare cotton cloth to filter your drinking water!

#8) Tape and Glue

Ahhh, nothing like a roll of strong tape and a variety of adhesives to solve a problem. Our modern world just cannot function without these items so I can't imagine the future being any different. And in a post-apocalyptic world tape and glue will be more valuable than gold!

Have you used tape or glue today? I bet you have!

Flashlight | Source

#7) The Flashlight

Unless you are a fan of stubbed toes, cobwebs or touching unknown slimy goo, you have a flashlight. People that work at night or who go into creepy places have them, why not you? Aren't you as smart as the average police officer, truck driver, ghost hunter or plumber?

How about one hundred years from now, don't you think that flashlights will be around? Besides, those mutant cyborgs have excellent night vision!

#6) Pen (pencil) & Paper

Call it a notebook, a diary or a journal, you can't beat a bound book of blank sheets of paper and a pen or pencil for keeping track of your life.

Humans are by design organizers. We think of the world around us in categories and our languages reflect this. Most famous inventors, authors, artists and leaders kept track of their ideas in notebooks and I don't see that changing.

You can even use pen and paper to write a personal note to another human being! (Gasp!)

Hand Tools
Hand Tools | Source

#5) The Hammer (and other tools)

Number five is your basic hammer. There will always be a need to give an uncooperative machine, apparatus or contraption a good whack. Reasons for this include (but are not limited to), the device wanting to work but being stuck, something needs to come off and won't, Something has to go in but won't, it was put together wrong and needs to be disassembled and/or the "operator" needs to vent his/her anger at the device for not working.

Other than the hammer there are many other basic tools that will always come in handy. Tools like pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, crowbars and such work together very well to keep things working properly. Although fasteners and the tools associated with them will evolve, I firmly believe hammers will always be around.

Tols can also be STYLISH!

#4) Bicycles (self powered transportation)

Early Bicycle known as the "Dandy Horse"
Early Bicycle known as the "Dandy Horse"

The forerunner of the bicycle we know was the Dandy Horse of 1817 invented by Baron Karl von Drais (German)( ).There were no pedals, the rider pushed the ground with his/her feet to move along. However, it looked like a bicycle and was steerable. I bet the Baron kept his shoemaker busy though!

For my list I think the folding bicycle would be something common one hundred years from today. We may need to ride and then carry the bike on public transportation to get to our destination. As well, the average "house" might be less than 300 sq ft so we will need the folding bicycle for storage.

#3) Fire Starter

Now, even if civilization hangs together for the next one hundred years (Ha!) and you can evade the pollution police and have a clandestine BBQ you will still need something to start your fire. And if things go the other way you'll be living in the woods or some cave trying to cook a mutated rabbit for dinner. There has been and always will be a basic human need for fire.

Aluminum Foil Deflection Beanie
Aluminum Foil Deflection Beanie | Source

#2) Hats (utilitarian & fashion)

Who knows what clothing humans will be wearing in the year 2112, but my guess is that hats will be the rage. By 2112 human societies (actually governments) will have mandated equality for everyone and that will include clothing. The one thing that people will wear for individuality will be a proper hat (well, perhaps sensible shoes too).

Now if life goes south we will each need an Aluminum Foil Deflection Beanie for protection from the intense sunshine and cosmic radiation. Another benefit will be the blocking of mutant zombie mind probes! I'm ready!

#1) A GOOD Knife

Knives in particular. Perhaps a pocket folder or multifunction model. Maybe a full tang with sheath. I'm used to something LARGER!

I'd want just what I have now. A simple, short bladed machete. I grew up in the tropics using a machete for controlling yard growth, opening coconuts and dispatching poisonous snakes!

We'll need a variety of knives to go with our forks and spoons. Cutlery will definitely be the mark of the return of civilization!

Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri
Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

This is what I carry. Not to work mind you.



Overall, the best tool for survival in any situation is (drum roll please)

Your Mind!

That's right! So, educate and enlighten yourself regularly by exposing your mind to survival strategies and scenarios! Learning proven techniques to help you survive in any circumstance inspires confidence and removes fear (your biggest enemy). Invest in materials that you can easily store and/or carry so you do not leave your life up to how reliable your memory happens to be!

What do YOU Think?

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    • profile image

      Anon 10 months ago

      Sorry to say this list didn't do much for me all these things don't seem like they could all be useful assets in a bright and better future

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I still have my toaster an old one in perfect shape from 1969, and a new one from my kids that is supposed to be so much better. I leave the new one out and use my old one. This was a fun hub.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 3 years ago

      Hey, I'm not so sure about that hat! lol ... perhaps we will need a mask for breathing too? I'd want a computer.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Clever idea, but some things are outdated already. The smart phone can't toast bread yet, but it can be a flashlight and it can replace pencil and paper. Just as long as it can be kept charged.

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 3 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      Why, yes I do as a matter of fact! Everyone NEEDS a hobby!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Robert do you stay up at night thinking of these strange topics? How did you come up with this list? I think my list would have to be longer only because I couldn't limit it to ten. I'd add fishing line. My husband says I use it for everything. Now the foil hat is a must! :)

    • David Paul Wagner profile image

      David Paul Wagner 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I like all the tools on your list. The "Whole Earth Catalog", originally published back in the 1960s, used to provide a list of important tools we will always need and it's good that there is a recent incarnation of that book in Kevin Kelly's "Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities".

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I should buy my son a case of duct tape every year...he uses it for everything :)

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Good list, there are objects that humans need all the time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I need to blow lots of bubbles on bubblews just kidding wulfiegal21xxx We all need to survive so the others that come after can survive

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I need squidoo

    • JeremiahSay LM profile image

      JeremiahSay LM 4 years ago

      I need my barbie doll and water gun :P

    • malikaehf profile image

      malikaehf 4 years ago

      This is a fun lens with many great ideas :)

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      I want one of those tinfoil hats for Christmas... :)

    • profile image

      chris1402 5 years ago

      apart from the tin foil hat (I know ET is here somewhere), I'd like to say, humans will always need " a second chance"

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great list, love it, and the hat - great for keeping aliens away!

      I grew up with a gas cooker and the grill (broiler) made the best toast. For years I used electric toasters or toaster ovens, and the toast always came out burnt and damp. Then we got a stove with a gas grill again, and it's wonderful. Now I can make the best cheese on toast in the world yet again.

      I think if I was sent through a time warp into the future or past, I would want to have with me some basic tools, like a hammer, saw, chisel etc, also a magnifying glass to make fire, and some solar powered items like a light.

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @sockii: And all my ex friends said it wasn't worth wearing!

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I love it. Especially the tin foil hat. You get a Blessing for that picture alone :)

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @LadyFlashman: Ha! You say that NOW, but I bet you'll change your mind we put YOU in charge of the post-apocalyptic cleaning crew! Thanks for visiting!

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      This lens certainly fits the new Sci-Fi theme very well! I agree on a firestarter, but I think the human race would survive without a dry erase board!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @pawpaw911: Don't forget your Superglue and Velcro!

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      Flashlights, firestarters, and bicycles are a good idea. Not so sure about the toaster. Thanks!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @julieannbrady: Other than the toaster and flashlight I wanted to be covered in case there is no electricity. You could get a generator for your bicycle and charge some batteries and portable devices (plus get your exercise indoors since outside the zomies will getcha).

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Did I miss the TV? How about radio, Kindle, phone? Absolutely on the knives!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Nice list. With Duct tape and baling wire, I can fix just about anything.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome lens.Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Definitely agreed! Overall fun lens with interesting stuff!

    • Hammocksaustralia profile image

      Hammocksaustralia 5 years ago

      Haha, very nicely done! Awesome hat there also!

    • profile image

      roony672 5 years ago

      LOL great lens!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 5 years ago

      Fun lens. I must say, I do enjoy the toaster, especially for re-heating waffles, pancakes, muffins....yum! But, I would always want my music....I could give up a lot (phone for sure), but not my music.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      You lured me in with the title. Then I laughed out loud when I discovered where this article was going. And I agree with you. These are the hidden necessities that we'll all need. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 5 years ago

      Lol can't live without a toaster!

    • profile image

      msseiboi 5 years ago

      That is absolutely civilized we think we may be, we will require them in times to come

    • Tagarack profile image

      Tagarack 5 years ago

      I agree with all but the dry erase board. I think in time, with monitor prices coming down and getting bigger, that eventually these will be taken over by that technology. Someone already mentioned toilet paper, deodorant and other toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc) will always be a necessary thing for humans. But on the other nine, I completely agree. :) Fun lens to read. And I think I might check out those books on what to make with duct tape, my favorite household item. :)

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @JoshK47: Thanks!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Definitely agreed! Great lens!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @JamesDWilson: I'll go into the "study" and think on that one, I might end up agreeing with you!

    • profile image

      JamesDWilson 5 years ago

      You forgot one very important thing... toilet paper will always be needed!

    • ussiandiram profile image

      ussiandiram 5 years ago

      pen and paper, i like drawing..

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @esvoytko lm: "anti-small-appliance"? I'm trying to wrap my head around that but thanks for visiting!

    • esvoytko lm profile image

      esvoytko lm 5 years ago

      Haha, great list but I can't say I agree about the toaster! I've never had one; in fact, I am anti-small-appliance.

    • profile image

      vaigavenugopal 5 years ago

      interesting stuff..:)

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @CoeGurl: It works for me!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @aesta1: You know what I'm talking about then! I bet in Canada the equivalent would be a hatchet.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Funny but we brought our own machete to Canada three years ago and had been using them.

    • sarasentor lm profile image

      sarasentor lm 5 years ago

      Superb lens.

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 5 years ago from USA

      Very interesting to think about. An aluminum hat just might be a necessity. Mutant zombie mind probes, LOL.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Yep I have to agree with Ginger. Give me fire please as one of the 10 things humans will always need. Fire is light, warmth, food, and protection.

    • GingerBriggs profile image

      GingerBriggs 5 years ago

      I think you may want to start with the lighter, flint or another form of such an item. Ink may work better than led.. I think you just started me a new lens! :)

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 5 years ago from Washington State

      I like #6 the best, we will always need something to write on and with, communication at its finest, ha, great lens!