‘Tis the season when people start looking for gift ideas to put under the tree or in the stocking; and if you read this website, you’re probably in the group wondering what the best gifts for survivalists might be.
My wife often complains that I’m difficult to buy for, that I don’t want anything; and if I need anything, I just go and buy it myself. This post is an attempt to help people like my wife, or any person struggling to find a gift idea for a spouse, loved one, or friend who is a prepper.
So here I present…
Table of Contents
25 Gifts for Survivalists for Under $25.00
Bullets are the simple, fool-proof gift for preppers. Shooting isn’t cheap, and a box of target ammo stuffed in a stocking is always a welcome gift. You can’t go wrong with a box of .22LR or 9mm ammo. Support your local gun shop and pick up a box (or fifty). “PEW! PEW!”
Speaking of shooting, ear protection is always a must. The Walker’s Razor Slim Passive Earmuff is reasonably priced under $20. It has a low-profile, slim design with NPR 26 protection from noise. It compacts nicely to fit into a shooting bag.
Want a fancier version? Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff is the type of ear protection every shooter really wants. “pew pew”
They’re not the most exciting gift, but it’s a gift that many people won’t think of. These masks are used for a whole variety of purposes: dust, pollution, smoke, etc. Preppers will like having them available should a pandemic break out. Whenever a serious case of influenza hits, there is a SARS scare, or what have you – these things fly off the shelves. You can’t purchase these masks after anything contagious starts spreading. They’re all gone, and it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to have some stocked in your prepper supplies. As of this writing, a box of 10 masks can be purchased for just $11.99. “Cough! Cough!”
Coffee is crucial. I don’t want to have to depend on a Keurig or drip coffeemaker when the grid goes down. Not only does a French press work without power, it makes a better cup of coffee! You can get a glass model for under $25, but the one I featured here is a better product. It won’t break or rust, and it will keep your coffee warmer. Technically, it’s over $25 at $25.97 (as of this writing). “Mmmm – coffee.”
It’s often hard to find both quality and affordability together, but that’s what you get with this gem of a knife for under $15.00! The Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade has 3,199 Amazon reviews with a 4.5-star rating. Made in Sweden, Morakniv has been making knives since 1891. This particular knife has a 4.1″ high carbon steel blade. It comes with a sheath and a performance grip. “Slice it, cut it, stab it!”
6. Tactical Pen
Billed as “The World’s Most Loaded Pen,” this pen combines everyday carry tools in one sturdy, well-designed tactical pen. It has two modes of LED light, a glass-breaking head, a multi-tool head, 4 sets of batteries, access to an online self-defense class, and – of course – it writes! This is a great gift that can be left in a vehicle or carried in a purse. Not just a great gift, but a great stocking stuffer idea. “It’s not a tactical tool. It’s not a pen. It’s a tactical pen!”
Aah, the classic U.S. Military wool blanket. This one squeaks in at $24.99. I’ve had my military wool blanket forever, and it’s still going strong. They fold up nice and neatly so you can stack a dozen in your bug out shelter! Great for when a winter storm rolls through. Also great to store in a vehicle should you get stuck in the snow in the middle of nowhere. I’m not a big fan of having the itch of wool on my skin, but I love this blanket sitting on top of another blanket. The extra weight of it makes me feel all warm and cozy. They’re also fire retardant! “Zzzzzzz…”
If the prepper in your life isn’t already stocking food in mylar bags with desiccants, he/she should be. If they already are, then this will help them add more to the stockpile. You can get them in different sizes. The one I linked to is for 10 dry-pack 5-gallon bags that includes the necessary 10 2,000cc oxygen absorbers (desiccants). Toss your rice or beans inside, add the oxygen absorber, then seal it shut with a hot iron. These are ideal for long-term food storage as it makes use of low-cost food staples that you can buy in bulk from places like Costco and Sam’s Club. They block light, moisture, and they’re resistant to puncture. “Beans and rice!”
I was reluctant to add this to the list, because I assume all preppers have at least one cast iron skillet if not an entire set. The one I’ve linked to is sold by Utopia Kitchen. It comes in at $21.95. Lodge is the premier brand that most people know, but that one came in at $25.95. I own multiple Lodge skillets (and other cast iron cookware), but both models are pre-seasoned and have strong Amazon reviews. Use them at home on the gas range, stick them in the oven, or use them over an open fire in the post-apocalyptic world. “Sizzle!”
Emergency food rations can take many different forms. The one I linked to is a 3-day supply of 3,600 calorie bars. They’re not fine dining, but they’ll get you by – perfect for a bug out bag. Other options, of course, include MREs and Mountain House meals. It’s hard to get any substantive amount and stay under $25, but if you want to make this a bigger gift, you can pay more for buckets of freeze dried food. “Yum!”
I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve received a deck of playing cards in my stocking. Somehow, some way, they just seem to disappear into the void of… wherever miscellaneous things disappear to. These playing cards are different than the typical, boring deck of cards, however. The recipient won’t lose this deck. It’s more personal – and informative! If you’re going to play poker or cribbage, might as well learn about survival in the process. You could actually split this 2-pack and turn it into two stocking stuffers for two different people. “Go fish!”
I first saw one of these when I met an author of one of our books showing it and talking about how it went through TSA screening (I don’t recommend that). Still, it’s a unique gift in part because, like the tactical pen above, it’s easy to carry on you. This particular unit has 12 tools in one slim card. It has a knife with a serrated blade, hex tool, whistle, compass, tweezers, etc. This is another gift that also makes a super stocking stuffer. “Awesome!”
13. 1oz Silver Bars
Who doesn’t love silver? Much better than a gift certificate to some store, let silver be the “store” of value. If you look carefully (maybe on eBay), you can even find Christmas-themed one-ounce silver bars or rounds. They can be purchased for under $20 at today’s prices. If you’re just looking for one, try your local coin shop. If you’re looking for more, go shopping online. I have always found JM Bullion to have good service and pricing. “So shiny!”
14. Ammo Cans
You can never have too many ammo cans, can you? Maybe you can, but the great thing about these is that they’re versatile. You can use them for more than just storing ammunition. The standard, used 50-caliber can pictured here can be had for under $20. People have even been known to convert them into Faraday boxes to protect vital equipment from an EMP or solar flare. Heck, I’ve even used ammo cans as actual gift boxes. “Everyone loves a good can!”
I wish we had been able to publish this book. It belongs on every single prepper’s bookshelf everywhere – without question. The book comes in just over $25, but you can buy a used (or Kindle) version of the book.
“Useful for health workers, clinicians, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs, with millions of copies in print in more than 75 languages, the manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common diseases. Special attention is focused on nutrition, infection and disease prevention, and diagnostic techniques as primary ways to prevent and treat health problems.
“Is there a doctor in the house!?”
Just like Where There is No Doctor, this book cover oral care when a dentist is not available. This book comes in under $20.
This book’s broad focus makes it an invaluable resource. The author uses straightforward language and careful instructions to explain how to examine patients, diagnose common dental problems, make and use dental equipment, use local anesthetics, place fillings, and remove teeth.
“Is there a dentist in the house!?”
A rechargeable lighter? You bet. This particular lighter (under $15) is windproof and comes with a battery indicator built into the side of it. Combine it with the radio listed below, and you’ll be able to charge this lighter from the USB port there (or with a WaterLily). It has a 1.5 hour recharge time and the battery will last for up to 600 charges. It has a 7-second shut off. This lighter would be a particular hit with smokers. “Puff puff!”
Presently priced under $20, what more could you ask for from a backup radio? The power goes down and you’re out of batteries? No worries, you can hand crank this thing. It will also charge your cellphone! With the flashlight feature, you can crank your way through dark buildings while listening to REM: “It’s the end of the world as we know it – and I feel fine!”
19. Ferro Rod
It may not look like much, but this foolproof fire starter is priced under $10. It has over 1,000 five-star reviews, so you know it’s a product that works. At 6″ long, it’s an extra large rod that throws a shower of hot sparks to light fires almost instantly in almost any condition. It is windproof and weather resistant. You’ll want a sharp blade to utilize this thing to its full potential. You can get approximately 12,000 strikes out of this thing. Perfect for the bushcraft prepper. “Spark one!”
This is the perfect rechargeable flashlight for a vehicle. Not only does it have different types of lights with varying levels of brightness, but it has a seat belt cutter, a window breaker, and a compass. With a magnet on the side of it, you can attach it to any metallic surface to use as a work light, camp light, or emergency warning light. It can be charged with a USB cable or by sunlight. “Light the way!”
Whether it’s for a bug out bag, a vehicle kit, or hiking, the LifeStraw is a prepping staple. I wrote a review on it: Best Water Filter for Bug Out Bag. One of these devices will filter up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water, removing iodine, chlorine, chemicals, and 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria. There are no batteries and few moving parts. Better than iodine tablets and far more compact (and affordable) than larger water purifiers. They come in a sealed bag, which makes them perfect for storing in your prepper gear supply kit. “Slurp!”
Preppers know the usefulness of Paracord. It’s lightweight, strong, and versatile. It’s not uncommon for preppers to get them as gifts, but why buy a Paracord bracelet when you can buy the kit? Your initial thought might be, “Why make them put it together when I can buy one already done?” Well, that’s kind of like saying, “Why buy a puzzle when I can just but them the completed picture?” Buying the kit is a more fun idea. It requires some type of action on their part. It’s both a prepper gift and an activity. Alternatively, you could buy the kit for yourself and then make Paracord bracelets for others! “It looks so nice!”
These are the classic, standard U.S.-made lightweight, compact can opener that so many love. Simple in design, it can be easily stored in a bug out bag without compromising weight or space. They’re cheap, which makes them all the better. Post-collapse, when you’re on the run from zombies, you’ll have an easy way to open canned food. “It’s Alpo for dinner!”
A larger, heavier-duty pair of bolt cutters will run you over $25, but this 12″ beauty comes in under $15. Will you be able to cut the monster bolts that a larger pair could? No, but at this size, it’s easy to store under the seat of a vehicle. Then, WTSHTF, and you need to go scavenging for food and supplies – your job will be made easier. “Enter the gates!”