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If you are new to survival or want to find good gift for survivalists or preppers you know we have some suggestions. I updated our Survivalist Gift Guide from 2012 with new prices (but kept the old ones, so you can see what became more expensive and what cheaper). So make sure you check out our old guide for more gift suggestions.
When you read this, please also keep in mind that family gatherings and holidays are great options to talk to friends and family about survival and preparedness. Give someone some fire steel or basic survival set and head out to show them some survival skills after you had food. All fancy tools and preps are worth little compared to good working survival group so hopefully you can use the time to help more people understand why survival and preparedness is common sense (and our current way of living dependent on system is non sense).
We also have give away. If you share this post on Facebook or add a comment with another suggestion for great survival or preparedness related gift here on the blog you can win one of my favorite survival knife the Ontario RAT-5 Knife. We announce winner on 1st of December.
Here are our suggestions for survival and preparedness gifts for this years holiday season.
$4.69 Set of 10 Caltrops Tashibishi
These spikes dig through sneaker soles. Probably work for car tires too.
$7.18 Columbia River Knife and Tool’s Eat N Tool 9100C Silver Multi Tool
Spork, bottle opener and hex wrenches in one tool for key chain.
$9.99 Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Great drinking bottle that can be used to cook water too.
$10.93 Chainmate CM-24SSP 24-Inch Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch
Another small and light addition for bug out bag or overall preps.
$11.99 Caldwell Ar-15 Brass Catcher
For those times when you do not want to leave traces.
$14.95 Self Defense Money Clip Silver
Money clip that can be used as beat knuckle.
$14.99 50 – Pk. Anatomy Targets
Get used to shoot at people (or images first).
$19.99 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Put in your car, bug out bag and show your kids and friends how to use them. Cheap, proven way to filter up to 1000 liters of water.
$21.79 Goal Zero 90103 Solar Black Small Crank Flashlight
LED technology made lot of progress. This is updated version of all around survival flashlight. Hand crank and solar powered.
$24.54 Butler Creek LULA M16/AR-15 All-in-One Magazine Speed Loader and Unloader
also available for $26.95 for Butler Creek AK47/GALIL LULA Loader, BUT24216
$24.97 C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet All black version
Easy to use and can save lives. Have at least one of them with you if you expect to fight. Practice that you know how to use on yourself and others! Quick application is crucial.
$25.08 TekMat 12-Inch X 36-Inch Long Gun Cleaning Mat with AR15 Imprint, Black
Helps with gun maintenance, to avoid scratches and keeps gun in place.
$26.00 2-Book Safes, Diversion Safe made with a Real Book
Always smart to have way to hide some valuables.
$27.49 SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk with 2.75-Inch Steel Axe Blade and Black Ballistic Nylon Sheath, Black Finish
Learn to throw it, use it as all around tool for urban survival to scavenge, breach open windows and more.
$27.95 MOLLE Compatible Military Style M3 Medic Bag, Combat Medical Kit, Rescue Red
Durable bag for medical supplies. Easy access to everything. I use one of these too.
$29 Lifetime Subscription to my Online Course
I’m happy that my experience from survival during war can help people today and in future.
$32.59 Cold Steel Brooklyn Crusher
Even in survival scenario you should be able to escalate use of force.
$33.61 Dpms Ar15 Armorers Multi-Tool
Handy tool for rifle maintenance.
$35.00 T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool
In my job in emergency services I have to cut people from their cars often. With this knife you can help yourself.
$37.37 United Cutlery Bush Master Survival Knife
Good starter set for older children or people completely new to survival. Sit down with person who gets the knife and talk about survival. Get a better knife like the Ontario 8627 RAT-5 Knife (Brown) for experienced survivalists as gift.
$37.81 Mosby’s 2014 Nursing Drug Reference, 27e (SKIDMORE NURSING DRUG REFERENCE)
Older edition would be good too but why not get the latest. One day there might be no Internet anymore and when you get your hands on drugs you can look up how to use them.
$37.95 Survival Seed Vault – Heirloom Emergency Survival Seeds – Plant a Full Acre Crisis Victory Garden – 20 Easy-to-grow Varieties
Get a seed stash with non gmo heirloom seeds so you can harvest seeds and keep planting in future years. Consider packing some in your bug out bag. You never know where you end up and they take little space and weight.
$56.42 Galco KT224B Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster – RH, Black, fits Glock 17,19,22,23,26,27,31,32,33
Quality holster for concealed carry.
$107.35 TSD Tactical Full Metal/Full Auto M9 Gas Blowback Airsoft Pistol
These guns give people who are afraid of weapons, easy way to get started and develop feeling for it. Gas blowback slide delivers more realistic action.
$179.99 Wilton 22036 20 Pound Head, 36-Inch BASH Sledge Hammer
Helps a lot with breaching doors and walls.
$217.37 Benjamin Trail NP Hardwood Break Barrel Air Rifle (.22) powered by Nitro Piston®
Air powered rifles have come long way. This rifle can shoot 0.22 at 950 fps and can be loaded by hand (no need for gas). Good for small game hunting.
$227.29 M-Pro 7 Advanced Small Arms Cleaning Kit with Leatherman MUT
Everything you need for weapon maintenance in one package. Smaller pack available for $45.99 M-Pro 7 Soft Sided Tactical Gun Cleaning Kit (Black)
$299.9 Big Agnes Storm King 0F / -18C Down Sleeping Bag (650 Downtek)
Quality down sleeping bag.
$469.00 Armasight Spark CORE Multi-Purpose Night Vision Monocular
If you do not want to spend several thousand on new gen night visions, get good and flexible first gen with a good IR light such as $101.83 Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator
Out of ordinary survival gifts (not so serious)
$8.48 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit in a Sardine Can
Fun gift for prepper who has it all already.
$23.94 CMMG Tactical Cooked Bacon, 9-Ounce
Bacon in can that says its tactical bacon.
£29.99 Muscle enhancing shirts
For people who want to look more intimidating. Like push up bra for men.
$37.95 ThinkGeek Tactical BBQ Apron
It is cold now, but BBQ is serious business. Attach mole accessories to this BBQ apron.
$245 Gerber 30-000601 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit
Tools aren’t so bad, but you are probably better buying individual items. Decent starter set for someone who has no big knives yet.
$249.99 NEW OPMOD Battle Mug – with Carry Handle OPMOD-BM002
Massive mug with three Mil-Spec 1913 scope rails so you can attach AR 15 scopes and more and then drink beer from the mug.
$385 Titanium Utility Ring
Also perfect wedding ring for survivalist couple. For all those moment when leatherman is not in your pocket.
$850.00 X-FF Fiber Factory – Predator Motorcycle Helmet X1 Airbrush – Medium
Might work to intimidate some people or not.
$1,618.99 Sierra Designs Mojo UFO Ultralight Backpacking Tent, 2-Person
If you want to make your bug out bag lighter and have a lot of money to spend…
$19,999 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS
Not the most low key bug out vehicle but can handle some off road action for sure.
$30,000 Off road wheelchair
This can be actually smart investment for people who need it.
$629,000 Knight XV
Bug out with style and be at the center of attention with this luxurious SUV.
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A reader wrote me and spoke about a family who are friends but he found out they are all on prescription medication that keeps them normal. He asks for advice how to deal with this and what can be expected from people like this during collapse.
Today I want to talk more about prescription drugs and medicine. I’m sure many of you who need medication on regular basis have already big stock of them. Know that some prescription medication like antibiotics can be bought as animal medication and so on. But here are some more thoughts on this.
People who have been dependent on some drugs, stuff like sedatives, antidepressants or something similar usually had two choices, first choice was to try to find sources of medicine (black market etc.) or to try to get by with substitutes (alcohol, marijuana or something stronger like heroin).
Second choice was in short to „get over it“ and live.
Of course this other (second) choice sounds and looks cooler and probably more „macho“ but in real life it is not so easy and people needed lot of support.
In my family I had example of a relative who chose first choice and go through our year of trying to survive with some serious drinking, sometimes during that time he was causing more problems than help.
But I also know guy who had pretty poor life before SHTF in terms of his goals in life, way of living and similar. He had bad drugs habits but when everything collapsed, it kinda woke him up in terms that he finds out that there is more real life problems to think about.
He saw that life is cool thing, and it is so easy to lose your life, so this gave him much motivation and energy and he overcome his problems. Years later he lives now life much better than in the time before the war, simply because he changed his priorities in life.
Being dependent on certain drugs (medicine) that allow you to function properly because you are suffering from certain conditions (and I am talking here about stuff like depression, anxiety, panic disorders, phobias…) can be already hard in normal life.
It is constant and everyday struggle.
Coping with that conditions when SHTF can look impossible, especially without proper support and help. But also, do not consider them „not usable“ and „not worthy“ when SHTF.
For some things survival scenario is good, it can show you what life is, how much you need to appreciate it because you become close to death, and how easily you can lose it. SHTF will show you what is love, hate, fear and extreme emotions. And it can show you your true meaning of life.
My time in war was all about urban survival, besides my trip over mountains to get some supplies, but survival puts you more in touch with yourself and nature. You have no choice.
It is good if you have big stash of medicine you need, but do not stop with this. Living healthy life now, trying to find natural alternatives to drugs you take makes more sense to do now then when you are busy with surviving. From what I read a lot of people in survival scene live in world that they think they can buy safety. They forget about learning new skills and preparing your mind and body. Getting all things ready for harder life includes a lot of areas you have to put work in.
It is easy to take care of your teeth now, get regular checkup and any holes fixed. Someone else does it you just lie down. But try to clean up your medical problems as much as you can today. In long term collapse it can take years to rebuild system that can offer modern medicine.
So what about people in your family or friends who are dependent on some medication or drugs? What if it is about someone you can not change or who even does not care about preparedness and survival?
I mentioned few times that when SHTF people show their true face, so you can not know how someone will act.
People can act under the stress in some very weird and not common ways, be ready that people who do you consider like „tough ones“ cry, or be useless because of high stress. Theory is one thing but when you smell blood, hear screams and find out that you are about to fight for your life then everything is different.
If you can, take them out on adventure trip. Put them in some stressful situation (you still have control over) and see how they react. Look how these people work. Are they willing to work hard on something?
Do not consider automatically persons on some drugs (antidepressant for example) not usable for SHTF situation. Personally I would focus more on their other qualities and skills. Keep in mind that some people with mental problems have been to very dark places, sometimes only in their mind but for them it is real. They can be tougher and more used to stressful and terrible situations because they are used to it.
You want to prepare and form group for survival. If you know details of my fight for survival from my course, you see real example of how important being in a good group is for survival.
Group can be great source of support and can carry few unstable people through hard times but make sure you take good hard look how many “bad apples” you can take in your group. Survival is never popularity contest. Some decisions you will make sound cruel, maybe even insane but it is what it is. Let’s be realistic, without modern medicine we would have less people here today.
Even if you take on some unstable people, make sure you have solution to cut them lose from group when you can not support them anymore.
World of survival and prepping is full of prejudices and misconceptions so you can read and see lot of stuff, some of them do not have anything to do with reality because people are so used to believe what they want to believe.
Other opinions are there because more sinister reasons, for example someone want you (us) to think that something is true just because it is nicely packaged. Get this latest special close distance gun and you are safe! When every gun in good hands can do this.
Few years ago I read about idea that some guy wrote on some survival forum that using a skateboard for as transportation device to move in urban enviroment when SHTF is a good idea.
Other guys commented (mostly) positive on that idea. Fact that the guy who wrote that never actually experienced urban SHTF is important here, neither he or guys who appreciated the idea.
So after reading that thread, and after reading positive comments on idea you could easily conclude that riding the skate trough the city when SHTF is absolutely cool idea.
You gonna form your opinion based on some guys idea, and other guys positive comments. Everyone agrees and their reasoning makes sense too. So now this idea can spread.
And of course people gonna figure out when SHTF that riding a skateboard trough the city make sense just like screaming „I am idiot, please shoot me“. Maybe later you gonna use it as a fuel for fire, or setup for some primitive cart, so I agree, having a skateboard is better than not having anything.
Using a skateboard in dangerous urban environment where you should move slowly and careful? Good idea too because it speeds up natural selection.
Examples are numerous, and while some of them are just funny, other are more serious, and can kill you in a post collapse world.
Very often you find discussions about battle, combat and similar on blogs and forums and after reading most of that you may come up with a lot of decisions, and because most of the discussions about combat are nonsense you will make some wrong decisions probably.
While driving skateboard when SHTF sounds stupid, you will probably see that it is wrong idea very soon, but remember that when it comes to battle wrong decisions today will probably kill you when SHTF.
Nobody gonna forgive you your wrong decisions when SHTF. Your wrong decision is another guys lucky day.
Let’s go over the few usual „truths“ about combat, battle, fighting, violence etc.
Right (good, truth, God…) is on my side, I (we) will prevail, win, survive…
Forget it. Nobody care for reasons and what is right and what is wrong when SHTF. If you think that you have an advantage just because you are good man you are so wrong.
First thing that completely breaks apart is concept of good will win or “fairness”. We only have these ideas because of living so far removed from nature.
Nature is brutal and good dead man is still dead man. You gonna find yourself in situations when you wonder why this guy died and why this family vanished. People now hope for system, like epic fight of good vs evil. Not gonna happen.
Everyone’s life is in danger, we are just preparing to make it harder for nature and others to get ours.
And history is written by the winners, so do not trust too much in it. Very rarely you gonna see full and true story of survival without make up either because political or commercial reasons.
Those who are prepared and are willing to adapt will survive. Those who can throw out society conventions fast and see all possibilities will have advantage.
Of ourse I strongly suggest doing good, SHTF or not SHTF, but please do not expect that being good will save you.
Violence is reserved only for certain type of people
Why people do violence is topic for some other bigger discussion, but it is wrong to think that only certain type of people will (efectively) use violence.
I have seen school techers stabbing other folks, or skinny ladies shooting from machine gun. That moody evil lady down the road? Might become vicious killer.
Especially when things start to settle after first weeks, do not turn your back to anyone you do not trust 100%.
You also have to be sure that you are able to do violence. And what is more important you need to be ready to do violence, physically and psychologically.
With thinking „Oh I can not do that“ you are one big step closer to losing the game of survival right at the beginning of SHTF. In regular society violence is not normal, in post collapse or survival situation violence is part of life (even if it is just hunting or slaugthering animals if you are lucky and live in countryside).
How people REACT to violence is different thing. And you need to be ready to have problems after doing (and suffering) violence. You can not get away from that.
I have seen people crying like babies after doing it, other puking, some had nightmares…
Even toughest guys who had gone through whole period like „tough guys“ suffered years later. You can not escape from that. Be prepared for that too.
I have most beautiful (expensive) equipment, weapon, ammo… I will survive
Yeah, it is cool to have best stuff. But do not get yourself in situation where stuff own you, instead you own the stuff. Good stuff does not make up for lack of skills.
I have seen guys (women and children too) getting killed just because they were not willing to leave their stuff and run when time came. It is stupid to get killed just because you love your possessions too much.
When it comes to your stuff be sure that you are ready to leave it in split second if situation asks for it.
What that means in reality? If you choose to defend your home from looters even if that means that you will be killed for sure it is very stupid. Your escape plan is as important as perimeter defense plan.
If you own rifle that is just too precious, too different it does not make too much sense either.
I am very skilled shooter, I know how it is gonna be, I ve seen it (in movies, documentaries…)
I can write pages and pages about being in battle and still you could not get real picture because it is something pretty much unique.
It is chaos.
Forget about movies where guys making jokes while shooting from machine guns at some folks. Sometimes I would go through one whole ruined apartment building, shooting at same time, and later I could not really recollect all details.
It is so intensive that you are burning out in that short moments of intense physical and mental stress in order to stay alive, to survive that fight. It is like being in some sort of tunnel and you become very much like animal.
People say this is good, because it is very old and real side of us that comes up and tries to protect us.
I knew guy who was screaming while he and few others fight with some group. He was screaming all the time during that fight, maybe some 20 minutes or half hour,and he was not even aware that he was screaming. When all ended he found out that his mouth was open, and he was trying to continue to scream but nothing was coming from his mouth.
He lost his voice for few days.
After some time I am gonna get used to violence
Well, yes and no at same time. You can do violence better (more effective) after some time of doing it, but you are not gonna get used to it in terms of that you do not care about it, or that you not gonna have some issues because it.
Rare people can do that. You are probably gonna have some periods of „numbness“ on violence, or periods without feelings actually, but that will pass.
I’m not jolly good fellow bringing only good news and definitive solutions to keep you alive. (There are none, you can just make chance to get killed or dying smaller by knowing more and making better decision)
But it is important to understand this side of survival. It is not romantic, it can not become comfortable no matter how hard we prepare. If you like to hear more about this, join my survival course in which I talk about my whole year of surviving in city under siege.