Survival Gifts for Discriminating Preppers


The Exclusive Top Ten

Not all survival items have to be purely utilitarian. Or always the cheapest you can find.

In fact, sometimes having the best tool for the job is what your really want.

High-quality gear

Here are some examples of high-quality survival gear that I think will keep your family and team members enthusiastic about emergency preparedness.  And I bet you’ll want one or two of them for yourself, too!

We searched for these gifts in a number of places, including in local stores. Without exception, we found the BEST DEAL at Amazon. That doesn’t mean you won’t find a better deal if you shop. But take the time to click on the image and you’ll go directly to Amazon so you can get all the details and compare prices. As you know, we are Amazon Affiliates and may get a sales commission if you buy through our recommendations.

Stainless Steel Water Bottle

We keep attracting promo water bottles. Most turn out to be plastic; some are aluminum. Most have a mouth so small they are impossible to clean, and you can’t even squeeze in a full-sized ice cube.


It’s time for a bottle that is good looking, sturdy, and heatable. And here it is: Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Water Bottle.

I prefer the 40 oz. You may want the 64 oz.

In either case, spring for an extra $9 and get the D-ring cap. The loop folds down, making the bottle much easier to pack.

I know we always list mylar space blankets as an essential item for your Survival Kit. At less than $1 each, they keep heat out or in, depending on how you position the reflective side.

However, they always look VERY slippery-slidey and I know they aren’t very sturdy.
So, rather than worry just how they would actually work in an emergency, I feel a lot more comfortable with a Bivvy Bag Survival Bag

This sleeping sack packs neatly in its own nylon bag and is so compact it fits right in the palm of your hand. Repacks just as neatly, too! (The mylar doesn’t.) You can sleep in the bag, wrap it in a blanket, or even tuck it inside a regular sleeping bag, for extra warmth.

There are green and orange versions of these bags. All are made of tear-resistant material that is windproof and waterproof. A great addition to every family member’s go-bag.
Rumple Indoor/Outdoor Puffy Blanket

So you need some extra warmth (but aren’t ready to crawl into that bivvy bag!).

Like, a blanket for the backseat of the car, for wrapping up at sporting events or around the campfire.

This is it! Rumple makes the most attractive blankets! (Note the stitching patterns. That’s what is outstanding about the design!) This queen-sized version will work for daily use and for emergency warmth, too.

(There is a twin size, less expensive. But my feet always stick out.)

I hate to be cold. If you do too, here’s something you’ll really like!

LifeStraw Family size Water Purifier

Once again, you may consider this as an upgrade from the essential individual water filter – the $20 LifeStraw. It's not exactly convenient to be sucking all your water through that straw!

This purifier is made by the same company, to the same exacting standards, but as you can see, you hang it up and thus can release just the amount of clean water you need in a cup or pan for drinking or cooking.

(I’m thinking about all those folks in Puerto Rico, struggling without a way to purify water that they are collecting from streams and springs.)
Tesla’s Rechargeable Coil Lighter

Yes, I have matches in a waterproof case. I have a magnesium lighter. But who could resist THIS fire starter that doesn’t depend on fuel, creates no flames and no smoke!

How can this lighter work under all circumstances and in all weather? Electricity!
The lighter is based on research done by Nicola Tessla. (You’ve seen that photo of him with lightening flashing all around him!) When you press the button, plasma arcs jump across the tiny nozzles at the top of the lighter. Whatever you put in the way of these arcs instantly bursts into flame.

Of course, your survival mind should have detected the word “electricity.” Which means batteries that need charging. The lighter comes with a cord that can be plugged into any power bank, a solar source, even the wall. But because it draws so little power, one charge will last for hundreds of lightings.

Gotta have this one.

Survival Gloves That Fit!

I worry about hurting my hands when I’m scrambling around a campsite (or in the pile of wood behind our storage shed). In a real emergency – think aftermath of an earthquake – protecting hands will be REALLY important.

That means gloves. I have some heavy-duty leather ones that you’ve probably seen pictures of, but even though they are labeled “small” they don’t fit me very well. The fingers are too fat, plus there’s extra material at the ends. Clumsy.

So I looked for gloves where fit is top on the list of qualities – and these from Mechanix are the ones I’ve found.

The FastFit styles are not necessarily made of all leather. Rather, they are a synthetic material that stays flexible even after getting wet, stands up to heavy use, and yet is fine enough that some owners praise the gloves as perfect for shooting. (Note the word “tactical” in some of the advertising.)

If you feel you need a great fit but a heavier duty glove, try the M-pact style.

I prefer this “coyote” color. The gloves also come in black and black/camouflage.

SVEN SAW -- 21" Saw

Can you swing an axe? Handle a saw? Heck, can you handle a hammer and nails?

If so, then you have experienced that very satisfactory feeling of knowing you and the tool are working in sync . . . and the job is getting done!

But what a disappointment when the tool isn’t a good one – when it’s poorly designed, poorly balanced, too dull.

Rest assured, this saw will sing.

It has for over 40 years, so I think that’s all you need to know! As you can picture, the blade folds into the handle for storage, and at 21 inches it’s not too big to fit into a pack. If ever you will need to cut through limbs or beams, in an emergency or camping, you’ll want this. (A serrated blade knife just won’t do the trick!)

The Right Knife

Whereas you’ll want the Sven saw for limbs, you can’t use it for a whole lot else. That’s why you need a knife like this one.

This Benchmade - 940 Knife (Reverse Tanto) is a classic, with a unique look and proven features. Closed, it looks quite small, but the blade is nearly 3 ½ inches long. As one of my favorite knife experts says, “[this is] probably the most blade you will get for a knife that looks this small.”

Again, here’s a tool with a long history, It was designed by Warren Osborne in 1988 and over the years has just become better and better. There are currently several versions available: one has a serrated edge section, another features a carbon fiber handle. And there are different colored handles, too.

Color choice isn't what would make you buy this.

You’d get it because it’s not too big, not too small, just right for every day carry. It’s a knife you’ll be happy to take care of. And, of course, you’ll absolutely want it in an emergency situation.

You’d get this because it’s time you had one of the BEST tools of its type. You deserve it!

BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove

I can’t resist this. I love cool stuff, and this stove is COOL!

As you can recognize in the picture, this is a camp stove. It burns wood or any biomass (twigs, grass, etc.). But – and here comes the cool part – there’s more to this stove. The heat generated by the fire will not only cook your food but can produce electricity via a thermoelectric generator!

(OK, here’s the science. There’s a “probe” that extends into the fire. When heated, the probe causes a fan to turn. The turning fan generates electricity that can be fed directly into your phone – via USB connection – or stored in a battery.)

So yes, you can boil water and charge your phone at the same time.. . like in the dark, when there’s no solar!

This version is the second generation of the stove. It kicks out twice the power of the first generation, so be sure to get Gen 2. This stove has an LED readout that monitors fire strength, power output and fan speed (there are 4 fan speed settings), and the package also includes a USB gooseneck light.

You may also want to add a grill to the package.

The stove may be too bulky to carry on a long camping trip, but for car camping . . . or for emergency use . . . really smart!

(Makes a great present, too – fun to unpack!)

Survival Vest

Joe has always been a fan of gadgets. I remember identifying him one day on the streets of downtown San Francisco by the photographer’s vest he was wearing. (He was head of an advertising agency.) That vest had pocket after pocket, just what he needed to carry all his stuff: pens, calculator, lighter, notebook, tools, small dictation machine, knife, office items, keys – and yes, a camera with various lenses and, of course, film canisters. (These were the old days, before smart phones.)

He still has that vest (a couple of them, actually) but he has now graduated to a much sleeker and more urban look! You may want to too – and if you do, here’s a suggestion.

Scotte vests come in all sorts of styles, all with multiple pockets and some with as many as 42 of ‘em! Some have zip-on sleeves that turn them into a jacket.

I chose this model because it can store 26 pocket’s worth of stuff, including a large phone or medium-sized tablet – all scientifically balanced for easy carrying. And it looks very put together.

It’s advertised as a “vest for travel” and as such, actually has a pocket for credit cards that is “RFID blocking.”

Just because you feel most comfortable when you have your basic supplies with you, you don’t need to look lumpy or be weighted down with a duffle or man purse. You can pack and carry essentials in your vest.

Oh, wait.  I just ran this list by Joe — again. And he absolutely insisted we include one BONUS ITEM — The Eton Grundig Satellit 750 radio.

We had already included it in our list of the Best Emergency Radios 2017 so if a super radio is on your list — please head over there to check it out!



It’s not too early to be thinking about gifts for the holidays. I hope you’ll find something on this list that is just perfect!

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