Updated on April 16. 2016
Periodically, I visit a number of Amazon lists to get a bead on both best selling and most wished for items. In the past, I would look at lists related to outdoor recreation but this time around I had some new choices. With mainstream interest in prepping and preparedness, Amazon has created a list of the Best Sellers in Emergency & Survival Kits as well as a related list for “Most Wished For Emergency Items“.
By coupling these lists with the Most Wished For Camping and Hiking Items, I was able to cobble a list that would make any prepper proud. Using these lists, I have found a number of items that have made it into my personal kits.
Something interesting thing about this exercise is that I am always finding useful items that are well priced at only five or ten dollars and often less. How cool is that?
Below you will find the items that are currently part of these lists. They are loosely listed in order of popularity and no surprise, I either own most of them or have them on my personal wish list.
1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz. making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.
2. Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): I was happy to see these show up in the top 10 again. These lightweight blankets are small enough to fit almost everywhere and have no weight to them. They are perfect for tucking into pockets as you head out the door. I keep some in my car and in my first aid kit. About $7 for a package of 10.
3. Mountain House Beef Stroganoff: Long-term readers know that I am a huge fan of Mountain House products. My two favorites are Chili Mac and Beef Stroganoff. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
4. UST Marine Hear Me Whistle: I am always amazed to talk to people who omit whistles from their kits, Along with flashlights and water bottles, I have dozens of whistles of all types and sizes. This particular whistle comes in a 2 pack, and, as of this writing, is $2.99 for both.
5. Emergency Mylar Thermal Reflective Tube Tent: This emergency tent is made of the same Mylar material as those ubiquitous emergency blankets. This compact tube tent provides warmth because it retains and reflects up to 90 of body heat. It also serves as a a waterproof and windproof shelter barrier, and can be use as covering to help reduce shock when someone is injured. These are good to have in your emergency vehicle kits as well as your Bug Out Bags. As of this writing, the price is $7.95.
6. Multifunctional Paracord Bracelet, 2-pack: When I first started prepping, paracord bracelets were $12 each. This 2 pack is less than $10 and includes a compass, whistle, and other useful tools build right into the bracelet itself.
7. LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier: The Lifestraw Family contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and is the perfect solution to your portable water purification needs – whether bugging in or bugging out. Read my review here.
8. Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible: I admit to now owning 3 of these collapsible lanterns. It uses 30 different LEDS and is powered by 3 AA batteries, including rechargeables. Instead of a switch, you turn it on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition. With a lifetime warranty and over 1,350 close to perfect ratings, I can see why this is popular. Currently $9.99 with free Prime shipping. There is also a 2-pack for $15.99.
9. Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle, 1-Quart: These bottles continue to appear on multiple list. I personally own a number of them myself. These water bottles are BPA free and clean up nicely with a swish of vinegar. I also like the version with a narrow top – actually I prefer the narrow top version. I order mine in purple – just because.
10. AYL StarLight Battery Powered Ultra Long Lasting Up To 6 days: This lantern is new to the list and looks promising, although I have not purchased one myself. It is powered by 3 D batteries, is water resistant and comes with both a money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. I want one!
Note: The Maximal Power Battery Charger described below will recharge D sized alkaline batteries.
The following items did not make the top ten this time around but are perennial favorites none the less.
UltraFire Mini Cree LED Flashlight: This flashlight is amazing. It throws a strong beam that can also be adjusted by pulling out the head to create a smaller, more focused light. Because it requires just a single AA battery, it is lightweight and feels comfortable to use in spite of its small size. It even has a clip so you can clip it to a belt or inside a pocket. At the time of this writing, this one is less than $3.50 with free shipping. I am hooked on these Mini-Crees and own at least a dozen.
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System: Fans of the Sawyer water filtration systems are evangelistic in their praise. Did you know they only weight 2 ounces and fit in the palm of your hand? At $16. give or take the price is right. Be sure to also check out the Family Color Coded Gift Pack which looks nice.
Paracord Planet Type III Nylon Paracord: An ideal all-around utility cord in the field, paracord is tough and long lasting. It is made from 550-pound test nylon and features a seven-strand core for maximum strength. Also, it is manufactured in the United States. Note that some colors may be more expensive than others. Need ideas? See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a newcomer to the list. It is currently priced at less than $8 and is ranked the #1 best seller in hunting knives. The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one and can recommend it. See my review: The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.
Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. Yes it really works, even under solar power. I am not kidding when I say I use this charger 2 or 3 times a week. Read my review: How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.
Kershaw OSO Sweet Pocket Knife: The sky is the limit when it comes to survival knives. For the beginner, or someone on a budget, a decent quality, all purpose knife is what you need until you have a chance to use it and learn what you like and don’t like, feature-wise, before you invest in something more pricey. Even then, perhaps the OSO Sweet will work out so well that it will become your #1 blade with no upgrade needed.