The best gifts for the unkillable survivalist in your life
Always be prepared.
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Everyone’s in a tizzy trying to buy the toy of the year for their kids and some must-have gadget to stare at, but that stuff is going to do a whole lot of nothing when the shit hits the fan. Odds are good that the hardcore survivalist on your Christmas list isn’t going to get too pumped up about mainstream gifts. No, they want something that will make them better prepared and harder to kill. They’ll sleep better knowing their emergency food supply is well-stocked and their bug-out bag is packed and ready.
The good news is that we’ve dug up all kinds of gifts just for that person. Whether they’re searching for the last piece of specialized equipment or laying the foundation for a growing survival kit, there’s something here that will light up their smile.
Maybe your family survivalist is just getting started. Maybe you’re the survivalist and you want to make sure your loved ones have a fighting chance, too. This little kit is a great step in the right direction.
This kit is small enough to keep in a day pack or glove box but has the essentials for a range of common emergency situations. Stuck in the wild? Put the wire saw, fire starter, and pocket bellow to use. Having car trouble? The tactical pen can be used as a glass-breaker and the multitool can be used to fix all kinds of things. No survival kit is ever complete, but this is a respectable start (and a great stocking stuffer).
All the survival gear in the world doesn’t do a damn bit of good if you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Knowledge is power, as they say, and this boxed set is chock full of it.
Author dave Canterbury breaks down the basics in “Bushcraft 101,” dives into detail in “Advanced Bushcraft,” teaches long-term survival techniques in The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild,” and helps readers stay healthy in “Bushcraft First Aid.” Download the digital copies to your Kindle or order the EMP-proof paperback copy.
Since almost everything we own runs on electricity, survival gear included, one of the most important pieces of survival gear to have is a power bank. Without something like this power cell from 4Patriots, your dear survivalist can kiss their GPS, rechargeable flashlight, and handheld radio goodbye.
Solar charging is a must, and this one delivers by putting the sun to work. Two USB ports allow multiple devices to be charged at once. That battery can charge a cell phone up to six times. There’s even a built-in light.
There are no company meetings in the post-apocalyptic hellscape, so there’s at least that to look forward to. That doesn’t mean time will ever become irrelevant, though. Even if you’re just dealing with a temporary crisis like a natural disaster, having a reliable watch can be a big asset.
Casio G-Shocks are one of the most popular options among military, first responder, and extreme sports types because of their rugged reliability and waterproof design. This one is a nice combination of analog and digital, so you can get the best of both worlds. It’s packed with timers, calendars, and alarms, and the quartz movement is dead-on accurate for two years before you’ll need to replace the battery.
One benefit of a survival situation is having a chance to show off those sweet land nav skills. The downside is that you’ll have to use them correctly to stay alive. No pressure.
The lensatic compass has been a tried and true method used for ages by militaries and adventurers around the world. This one has all the essentials: tritium illumination, front and rear sights, and a dial marked in degrees and mils. Stock up on maps, map pens, and a protractor, while you’re at it.
We’ve all gotten so connected by technology that it’s hard to imagine a world without instant, unlimited information at our fingertips. When everything goes to hell in a handbasket, sometimes all we can count on is a radio frequency to deliver critical information.
This little radio can be powered by its solar panel, the hand-crank, a wall outlet, or old-fashioned disposable batteries. In addition to pulling in AM and FM bands, it receives NOAA weather alerts before storms hit.
Everybody has a flashlight in their emergency kit. Almost all of them use disposable batteries. We’re willing to bet more than half of those batteries are dead right now. Those flashlights can still be used as paperweights, but that’s not terribly useful in an emergency.
This flashlight, on the other hand, never goes out of service. The built-in solar panel lets it draw power from the sun––and if that goes down we’ve all got bigger problems. When extra light isn’t needed, a USB port allows this flashlight to power other devices. A glass-breaker is a handy addition that makes it a perfect option to throw in the glove box of your car. Add in the fact that it’s waterproof, and you’ve got a real crowd-pleaser on your hands.
When gathering situational awareness isn’t as simple as pulling up Google Maps on your phone, it helps to be able to see into the distance. Binoculars are a great middle-ground between the naked eye and high-powered spotting scopes.
The Nikon Aculon A211 is a great way to land variable-power magnification at a reasonable price. Zoom from 10- to 22-power magnification to get the perfect view. Enjoy a bright, clear picture courtesy of those beautiful 50-millimeter objective. Then tell everyone they’re for hardcore survival stuff rather than watching birds out your kitchen window.
One of the top priorities in outdoor survival is lighting a fire, and there’s only so much the cigarette lighters at the gas station can handle. We recommend learning how to do it the old-fashioned way with a ferro rod and striker.
This ferro rod from Uberleben Zunden has a beefy supply of ferrocerium (we recommend the 3/8-inch Pro size) tethered to a steel striker. It’s good for 15,000 strikes, which should be enough to either get you to safety or buy you time to learn another fire-starting technique.
Let’s be really honest for a second––there are some people who are so miserable before their morning coffee that we don’t want them in our survival group. If you can’t think of someone, it’s you.
This clever kettle uses fold-out reflectors to heat its contents with the sun’s energy. It can even get hot enough to boil up to 16.9 ounces of water. That’s not just helpful at the breakfast table, it’s a great way to sterilize water for drinking and cleaning. The inner container is made from shatter-resistant tempered glass so it ought to be tough enough for most survival situations. I’m not saying I’d choose my survival crew based on who had coffee, but I might choose my survival crew based on who had coffee.