Whether you’re a rugged outdoorsman or a concerned homeowner, you need to prepare for disasters. While we should always hope for the best, preparing for the worst is simply common sense.
It’s always better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it. So, get off your butt, get out there, and start preparing for worst case scenarios.
But how do I know what I should buy?
That is a fair question. With the expansion of the survival items niche in today’s market, there are thousands of products being offered and it can be hard to separate the chaff from the grain.
You don’t need to worry – we’ve got your back!
Today, we’ve created a list of some of the best survival items that will help you get through anything – whether it’s a power outage or the apocalypse itself.
14 of the Coolest Outdoor Gadgets
What’s the one thing that human beings absolutely can’t do without?
It’s light. During the day, we are proud, powerful hunters, using our superior intelligence and social structure to assert our dominance over the entire animal kingdom.
But at night, we turn into weak, pathetic creatures who can’t even walk properly, let alone defend themselves from predators. Our ancestors realized this, which is why the invention of fire was such a huge milestone in the evolution of our race.
But it’s not always possible to create a fire from scratch in the darkness. You may not have the knowledge to do so, the means to do so, or maybe the conditions just make it impossible. In such cases, these emergency candles will come in handy.
While regular candles are helpful, emergency candles take care of a lot of other issues. To begin with, they can last for over 115 hours. That’s around ten whole nights! Three of these will keep the darkness at bay for over an entire month.
They also use liquid paraffin, which is both odorless and smokeless, for fuel. While ordinary candles can be very messy at times, these emergency candles come with a plastic storage cap that will prevent spills during storage of transport.
The plastic container is essentially shatterproof, and the wick design allows you to extinguish and relight the flame as many times as you want. These emergency candles are an essential component of any survival kit.
We previously said that humans can’t survive without light, but that isn’t entirely accurate. While darkness does increase the chances of something bad happening to you, you’re unlikely to actually die because it’s dark outside.
Water, however, is something that will kill you if you don’t get enough of it. And while most of us have grown up with access to clean, running water, the truth is that fresh water is not that easy to find in the outdoors.
Which is where the LifeStraw personal water filter comes in.
This water filter is essentially a straw. You open the caps on the filter, put one end in dirty water, and suck on the other end. The water will be cleaned automatically by the time it reaches your mouth!
It contains no chemicals that need to be replaced or moving parts that wear out. It’s an incredibly simple concept that can save your life in some situations.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that the LifeStraw doesn’t filter out chemicals, so you may not want to use it in an industry setting.
This ultra-light water filter weighs next to nothing but may end up saving your life when you’re in a pinch.
In this day and age, security is a very real concern. All you have to do is turn on your TV, and you’ll see dozens of atrocities being committed.
But how do you defend yourself without turning into one of those trigger-happy monsters you’re always hearing about on the news?
Get yourself a tactical pen. A tactical pen looks like a pen and writes like one too. The difference between a tactical pen and a regular pen is that the former is designed as a weapon for self-defense and protection.
Any self-defense expert will tell you what an effective weapon an ordinary pen can be in a bad situation. Now imagine how well a tactical pen would serve you.
This tactical pen is 6.5 inches long, has a matte-black finish, and doesn’t have any identifying logo. Brandishing an obvious weapon is almost never a good idea, which is why this tactical pen is designed to look like, well, a pen.
It also has a built-in LED flashlight which can be turned on and off by twisting the cap. There’s a glass-breaker on one side of the pen and a DNA catcher on the other. You can also clip it to your belt using the provided belt clip.
Buy one today and reduce your chances of becoming a victim.
This multi-tool is a modern iteration of the trusty Swiss Army knife. It features 14 tools (although there are other options by the same company that offer more) and is made out of high-quality stainless steel that is strengthened even further by heat treatment.
It is light, portable, and features a blade that you can easily open with a single hand. It also features spring-loaded pliers and scissors, increasing their effectiveness and usefulness.
Leatherman also offers a 25-year warranty on their products, which should tell you quite a bit about what the company thinks of its own tools.
With all the tools in this multi-tool, you’ll find thousands of uses for it in your daily life.
Whether you need a screwdriver to remove a nail or wire strippers to hotwire your car, the Wingman will have your back.
Patriot Seeds markets their seed vault as a ‘garden in a can’ – quite appropriately. This seed vault comes with 20 easy to grow seed varieties that are non-hybrid and non-GMO.
The seeds contained inside are of the highest quality. They grow quickly and provide good yields in most growing zones.
The container is sealed for long-term storage, which means they should last for at least five years.
The vault comes with a guide on seed storage and vegetable growing.
The seed packets are made of mylar, a metallized plastic. Each packet has a Ziploc top, allowing you to remove the seeds you want and reseal the packet for future use.
This seed vault is an essential buy for any survivalist.
Building on the success of their first kit, Always Prepared took customers’ feedback into consideration and upgraded their assortment by adding new and stronger items.
The kit is durable but lightweight, allowing you to transport it easily without worrying about damaging the case. There’s also a flexible bag inside which you can remove and stash somewhere if you’re looking to save space.
Always Prepared claims their first aid kit packs the most punch for its size, holding the maximum number of items it possibly can. They’ve managed to pack items such as an emergency blanket, a poncho, and even a CPR face mask in there! In addition to that, they offer a lifetime guarantee on their product, allowing you to exchange it if you ever feel unsatisfied with it.
The kit comes with everything you may need when you’re injured or stranded in an isolated place. It’s perfect for outdoors activities or disaster preparedness.
Survival Tabs are ready-to-eat food replacements that can last one person for a week or so. Each tab can last a person about eight days and contains the perfect blend of nutrients to ensure you receive a balanced diet.
The Tabs aim to fit the most nutrition in the smallest possible pack, and they’ve come really close to achieving the optimal blend of size and nutrition.
One packet contains four pouches, each of which contains 24 tablets. Each pouch contains tablets with a different flavor. The tabs estimated shelf life is around 25 years, but the manufacturers recommend replacing them every 2-3 years to keep them at their maximum nutritional value.
Bear in mind that these tabs are emergency backups and only meant to be used as a last resort when you have literally nothing to eat. Do not mistake them for replacements of your daily food intake.
As disaster preparedness items, these tabs have real short-term value. While you may not be able to live on them for a huge length of time, they will buy you enough time to make it back to your feet.
What happens when you find yourself stuck outside with no food and no shelter? The lack of food can be easily remedied by the survival tabs you already bought, but what do you do about shelter?
How do you sleep? How do you keep yourself warm? How can you give yourself even a modicum of safety when you’re asleep?
You can use Emergency Zone’s emergency sleeping bag. This is a well-made emergency blanket that will easily retain at least 80% of your body heat. It is windproof and waterproof and offers you protection from the elements.
The sleeping bag is made of Mylar, making it extremely durable and tough. While you may rip it on sharp objects on the ground, it should survive most minor scratches.
Keep in mind that this is an emergency sleeping bag and as such should not be used as a replacement for your standard sleeping system. It will definitely help you survive an emergency, but you may find it difficult sleeping in it every day.
Ultimately, it’s meant to be an inexpensive backup solution that everyone should have a handful of. You never know when one could come in handy!
Remember what we said about our ancestors inventing fire? About how this was the turning point of human evolution?
In this day and age, most of us rarely use fire. Electricity has usurped good old fire’s position at the head of the energy department. But electricity is rarely as simple to generate as a roaring fire.
When you’re stuck outdoors or simply have no access to electricity, a fire has a multitude of uses. From cooking to boiling water to creating warmth, there’s no end to the usefulness of a good fire.
If you’re the kind of person who spends hours trying to start a fire and fails, Esbit’s solid fuel tablets are the perfect fire-starters for you. These solid tablets are lightweight and can be transported without fear of spills because they’re solid, and solids can’t spill.
The tablets are also virtually smokeless and residue-free. Each 14-gram tablet burns for around 12 minutes and produces as much as 1300 degrees of heat. To put that into perspective, one tablet can boil half a liter of water in about eight minutes.
The tablets also work at high altitudes and very low temperatures – all you need is a matchstick or lighter to ignite them, and you’ll be good to go!
They’re also very durable - with a shelf life of over ten years. In fact, you can even snuff one out and relight it in the future as long as you keep it dry.
These tablets are perfect in any emergency kit as fire-starters or fuel for solid-fuel stoves.
This multi-functional paracord bracelet is a survival kit you wear on your hand. The first element of the bracelet is the paracord, which can be removed and used as a rope to make traps, build tents, or in many other emergency situations.
The bracelet also has a scraper which doubles as a knife and a fire-starter. There’s also some flint, giving you everything you need to start your own fire (except fuel, of course). You also get a waterproof compass which allows for easy navigation to wherever you’re going. There’s also a clear and loud whistle, perfect if you’re trying to find or be found by someone.
All in all, this paracord bracelet gives you everything you need for any emergency situation. The best part about it? It takes up no space since everything’s packed onto a bracelet which you can wear on your arm.
We’ve already talked about how important shelter is when you’re stuck outdoors. At any moment, a rainstorm could hit, and you could freeze to death. The bottom line is you need protection from the elements.
The Survivor X Tube Tent Emergency Shelter is an integral part of any survival kit, camping kit, or disaster kit. The first thing you’ll notice in this emergency shelter is that it comes with five meters of military-grade paracord. A rope is one of the most versatile tools you can have in any situation.
The shelter itself is made of Mylar, which is known to be extremely thin, lightweight, and durable. Originally designed for space exploration, this material has since come to be used in a number of survival products due to its strength and durability. Another significant advantage of Mylar is that it retains an enormous amount of heat – up to 99% in some situations.
Once again, this is an emergency shelter. Do not throw out your camping tent just yet – this product is only meant to be used in case of emergency.
This self-powered multi-tool is one of the most helpful items on the list. Unlike most of the other appliances we’ve talked about, this particular one can be charged by a source of energy that’s very unlikely to fail: your own.
It has a hand-crank which you can manually crank to generate power. That’s not all! There’s also a solar panel which you can use to charge from the sun and a USB port which you can also charge through if you have access to electricity.
The flashlight is bright enough to light a ten to fifteen feet area around you. The radio is both AM and FM and has great reception. It’s also very easy to tune. The USB port is another great addition since it allows you to charge your phone.
Keep in mind that the port will probably only give your phone enough juice to make a single phone call, but that’s more than sufficient for an emergency.
It also comes with an unlimited three-year warranty, so in case it stops working in the next three years, simply give the company a call, and they’ll send you a replacement.
The only complaint you could have about this product is its battery size which is a bit on the lower side at 500mAh. However, the battery is enough for the flashlight and can be used to charge mobile phones in an emergency, so unless you need a fully-fledged power bank, it should be good enough for you.
The Survival Card takes the concept of the Wingman and compresses all the tools on it into a credit card. The Survival Card comes with 22 tools, and several tools on it have alternate uses.
The best thing about it is its size. Just put it in your wallet or toss it in your bag and you can be sure you’ll be able to handle any situation that arises.
The Survival Card contains 9 fish hooks, 4 snare locks, 3 arrowheads, 2 sewing needles, 2 saw blades, 1 awl, and 1 tweezer. All the tools on the card are made from stainless steel and are relatively durable.
If you’re stuck outdoors without access to a steady source of food, the Survival Card will make it extremely easy for you to gather protein. While you may not be able to catch large fish or snare large game, the tools on the card will ensure that you at least won’t starve.
While it may not be suitable for heavy-duty use, it should easily be able to handle any light to medium usage.
And there you have it. Above is our list of the finest survival items on the market right now. If you’re looking to create a survival or emergency prep kit or you simply like being prepared, the gadgets above should help you put together a basic survival kit.
What are our favorite products, you ask? Well, our top three picks are:
1. Self Powered Flashlight, Emergency Radio & Portable Phone Charger: This product can be a complete lifesaver in several situations. From its flashlight to its siren to its phone charging capabilities, there are a ton of situations where you’ll be able to use it.
2. Under Control Tactical Pen: Combining all the perks of a stealth weapon with the familiarity of handling a pen, the Under Control Tactical Pen could be what saves your life when you’re in a bad situation.
3. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: While you can do without most of the other products, the LifeStraw is one that you literally can’t do without. How can you even survive without water? Get the LifeStraw, and you’ll never have to answer that question.
Of course, the final choice is entirely up to you, which is why you should always experiment with different products before selecting the one you like the most. You may not be comfortable with what’s best for others, so it’s always a good idea to try new products practically.
Always try out your emergency products before you actually need to use them; you do not want to be in a situation where you need to use a tool but have absolutely no idea how to use it.