The consistent popularity of end-of-days stories, both on the page and on the screen, are testament to humans’ strong desire to avoid the worst while simultaneously preparing for it.
Luckily, this pull, combined with a bit of creativity and a sprinkling of technology, has led to a booming survival supply market. These days, even your non-prepper friends can put quality survival gifts to good use.
Read on to learn about the best survival gifts for the survivalist in your life.
Best Multitool: Leatherman Surge Multitool
Everyone can use a good-quality multitool around the house, Armageddon or not. This one by Leatherman is top-of-the-line and would make a quality gift for anyone on your list.
Made from 100-percent heat-hardened stainless steel, this multitool can withstand the elements. Its two sharp blades are secure yet easy to unlock, and its two different pliers–regular and needle nose–are some of the strongest on the market.
The Leatherman Surge also houses these useful tools:
- Phillips screwdriver
- Standard screwdriver
- Eyeglass screwdriver
- Bottle opener
- Can opener
- Wire stripper
- Fingernail file
- Lanyard ring
- Wood saw
- Wire cutter
- Hard-Wire cutters
The Leatherman Surge is the perfect tool to save yourself time trying to find your lost screwdriver or scissors.
Best Backpack: Teton Sports Scout Internal Frame Backpack
Everything about the Teton Sports Scout backpack is designed to be user-friendly, and all at a reasonable price.
The bag features multiple anchor points and easy-to-adjust compression straps to comfortably fit users of all shapes and sizes. And, although it’s water-resistant and comes with a rain shell, there’s also a built-in water bladder compartment.
Handy pockets and loops make organizing your gear a breeze. Use the loops for your trekking poles or to strap a sleep mat to the bag. The pack’s many pockets allow you to keep essentials–snacks, basic first aid, and even your Leatherman Surge–close at hand without having to rifle through the main pouch.
Best Power Source: River 2 Max Portable Power Station
A portable power source comes in handy in many situations and emergencies. Although this one is a little on the pricier side when it comes to gifting, if you have the budget, it’s an absolute must.
The River 2 Max is one of the fastest chargers on the market and allows users to charge up to 11 devices at once.
Charge the power station up in a hour from a wall socket, or in about 6 ½ hours from your car. You can also use this system off the grid with the help of a 160W solar panel.
Best Firestarter: Fireflame Quick Instant Fire Starter
Maybe the absolute coolest thing about the Fireflame Quick Instant Fire Starter is its patented waterproof pouch, which is made from compressed vegetable oil. This makes it possible to light an odorless fire in even the harshest weather conditions. It will even stay lit floating on water!
Each pouch provides about 10 minutes of intense burn time. When the pouch burns out, no waste is left behind.
Use this non-toxic fire starter for all your fire needs, including cooking, without worrying about harmful chemicals hurting your loved ones or the environment.
Best GPS: Garmin Montana 700 GPS
The Garmin Montana 700 GPS is another product that’s on the higher end of the budget spectrum, but the price tag is worth it.
Built to withstand the toughest conditions, this navigational tool boasts a 5-inch display and is glove-friendly, so you won’t have to squint at a small screen or de-glove in freezing temperatures to find your way.
The Garmin 700 comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology; however, with an active satellite subscription, a user can keep in touch with loved ones and signal an emergency even in remote areas.
Although some users argue this device is overly heavy and has a short battery life, its features outweigh the criticisms.
Best Compass: Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass
In the event your GPS fails, this glow-in-the-dark, durable, accurate compass can pick up some of the slack.
The Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass is a must-have tool for camping and hiking. Besides showing you north and south, it even measures slopes and angles.
Even if you’re shopping for a non-hiker/camper, this compass is a must-have to keep in a car, just in case.
Best First Aid Kit: Survival Gear Outdoor Military Grade Molle System
Let’s face it: everyone needs a first aid kit with a variety of supplies to meet any emergency head-on.
The Survival Gear Outdoor System includes all the basics needed to treat wounds, burns, bites, and stings, as well as some survival tools like an emergency blanket, folding knife, mini flashlight, fire starter, and more.
All these supplies are neatly packed into a compact (8” by 6” by 5”), durable case that can be easily strapped to a backpack or belt.
Best Water Filter
For Groups: Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter
The Big Berkey is another one of those emergency supplies that everyone should have on hand, especially if there’s a potential for a family or group to need clean water.
The 2.25 gallons of purified water from this system can meets the needs of up to four people per day, and it doesn’t require electricity or plumbing access.
Contaminated tap water and water from rivers and lakes can be made not only safe for you and your loved ones, but it also tastes great.
Add up to four filters (called “elements”) to increase water flow and filter out over 200 contaminants (the Big Berkey comes with two elements).
For Individuals: LifeStraw Peak Water Filter Straw
A relatively inexpensive tool, the LifeStraw Peak Water Filter Straw is a key item to keep in any emergency kit. It’s small enough that you can stash one in the car, in your first aid kit . . . even in your handbag or pack. What’s more, the filter never expires on the LifeStraw; it’s still effective even after it’s been sitting, forgotten, in your trunk for years.
The LifeStraw filters out bacteria, parasites, sand, silt, and even microplastics. To use, you simply put one end in a water source and suck through the other end.
The cool thing about the LifeStraw Peak Water Filter Straw, as compared to previous iterations of the tool, is that it can be hooked up to a water bottle or water bladder.
Best Camp Stove: Firebox Bushcraft Camp Stove Kit
When the power goes out or the gas line fails, you can still prepare hot, safe food with the help of a camp stove.
The Firebox Bushcraft Stove Kit is made from stainless steel and can be used with a variety of fuel sources, such as fuel tablets, isobutane, and even combustible items from nature, like twigs.
Some users argue that this particular stove is too heavy for, say, backpacking, but it’s otherwise well liked.
Best Hatchet: Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe
A small hatchet or ax is a survival tool that’s sometimes overlooked, but very important. This Gerber camping ax is lightweight and has a rubber, ergonomic design that makes it easy for people of all strengths to use it effectively.
Keep this ax with your camping supplies–it’s very useful when it comes to pounding tent stakes in and removing smaller branches.
Best Saw: Silky BigBoy 2000 Folding Saw
Just like a hatchet, a saw is an invaluable tool to have on hand for any occasion. This folding saw is especially nice for just that reason–because it’s foldable. The blade is strong and cuts through both wet and dry wood, but it tucks easily away into the attached sheath for safety.
Lightweight but strong, the Silky BigBoy 2000 is a survival gift that will likely see action long before it’s needed to survive a disaster.
Best Shovel: SOG Entrenching Tool- 18.25 Inch Folding Survival Shovel
Think your non-prepper loved one couldn’t possibly find a folding shovel useful? Think again! The SOG Entrenching Tool can be kept in a car trunk and used to dig a vehicle out of snow or deep mud, if necessary.
It’s also useful, of course, for digging any hole you might need–for example, for a firepit. The wood saw edge can be used to cut kindling.
This shovel folds up to be pretty small, making it perfect for backpacking.
Best Hand Warmer: Dnaleao Electric Portable Rechargeable Handwarmers
Who doesn’t wish for a hand warmer at some point in life? And, unlike what the name implies, the Dnaleao Electric Portable hand warmer doesn’t need to be limited to hands. Freezing overnight while camping? Pop a hand warmer or two inside your sleeping bag.
Hand warmers are another one of those gifts that even non-survivalist friends can appreciate. This rechargeable version is especially nice because there’s no waste like there is with disposable warmers. They charge in around 3 or 4 hours, and can last up to 12 hours before needing a recharge.
These hand warmers are nice and compact, too. They fit easily in a pocket.
Best Light Source: Foxelli LED Headlamp
Spare lighting is an absolutely essential part of your emergency kit, whether that’s your home kit or your bug out bag. Hands-free lighting is even handier.
This Foxelli rechargeable headlamp is waterproof and features not only bright, steady white light, but five different light options, including two red lights. The light is tilt able to 45 degrees–perfect for reading.
In addition to emergency use, this headlamp can be used to increase safety while on a walk in the neighborhood, and, with it’s long battery life, there’s no good reason not to strap it on before heading out the door.
Best Blanket: Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket – Insulated Thermal Reflective Tarp
Although this blanket may be the most survivalist item on this list with its ability to block a person’s infrared heat signature, it’s also a useful supply for the non-prepper, as well.
Lightweight, windproof, and waterproof, the Arcturus Survival Blanket can even be used as a tent or lean-to shelter. It’s made of durable material that will hold up for years of use.
Choose this blanket over a cheaper emergency blanket option for your bug out bag or emergency kit. It will be well worth it when it comes time to put it to use.
Best Carabiner: GABBRO Carabiner Clip Heavy Duty
Carabiners are good for everything. Gift these heavy-duty ones from Gabbro even to people who don’t yet know they need them.
Obviously, carabiners are useful for hiking and camping. They’re also helpful on your keyring so you can easily hang your keys or keep them handy in your purse. Clip one to your water bottle and you have an instant mask holder. Going for a float and don’t want to get separated from your friends? Hook all your tubes together with carabiners. Hook your water bottle to a backpack. Attach a poo bag holder to the dog’s leash.
There are so many ways carabiners come in handy, anyone would be happy to receive some as a gift. This particular brand is highly rated for durability and ease of use, and the multipack of carabiners is reasonably priced.
Best Food: Augason Farms Lunch and Dinner Variety Pail Emergency Food Supply 4-Gallon Pail
Emergency food has come a long way over the years. This Augason Farms variety pack has a little something for everyone, like cheesy broccoli rice, fettuccine alfredo, Italian marinara, corn chowder, and even chocolate pudding.
Are these award-winning culinary masterpieces? No. But they’re one of the better-tasting varieties on the market and, in an emergency, they’ll keep you alive. Everyone should have a bucket of these emergency food pouches on hand for any emergency (maybe also consider gifting a camp stove and fuel along with this food supply).
Wrapping up the Best Survival Gifts
It never hurts to be prepared for anything. Next time you’re looking for a gift for a hard-to-buy-for loved one, consider one of the many survival gadgets on the market. Anyone will appreciate receiving any of the items on this list.
Learn more about basic survival items everyone should have on our Everyday Items page!