With the onset of the holiday season, it is time to begin thinking about how we are going to spend both our precious time and money to ensure that we make the most of the spirit of the season.
My own household is entering into unchartered territory.
Where normally we spend the month of December traipsing around serene forest trails while wearing cozy down jackets, this year will be different. We will be wearing tank tops and tee shirts and cooking outdoors using a Sun Oven. The trails this year are desert trails, and dust and dirt are commonplace. One thing remains the same, namely good socks and hiking boots.
Our tradition is not to exchange gifts, instead donating to the less fortunate via local food pantries. What is part of our tradition is good food, a decent, but budget friendly wine, and lots of chocolate.
Your own holiday tradition may include parties, festive meals, decorations and the exchange of gifts, large and small. To assist you with the gifting tradition, and especially the small gifts, I have come up with a brand new prepper’s holiday gift guide that is designed to help you select the perfect gift for loved ones close to you.
Each of these items is something I own myself and is something that is part of my own preps. There are also a few DIY, almost zero cost, items as well.
I don’t know about you, but often times it is those handmade gifts that are the most special and because of that, I will also be sharing a DIY gift guide within the next week or two. Something I want you to keep in mind is that long after the clothes are worn out and the electronic gizmos discarded for something new, those homemade gifts are still there, reminding us that someone took the time to make something special, just for you.
With that prelude, I am happy to present the newest Backdoor Survival Holiday Gift Guide for Preppers.
Bring on the Stocking Stuffers and Gifts Under $15
Most of these items you have seen before. They are extremely popular, work well, and are low in cost, making them the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for a favorite neighbor, teacher, or friend.
Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern: This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie. It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month. Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions.
TaoTronics Collapsible Lantern: This TaoTronics Lantern is collapsible, super bright, and water resistant. It is powered by 3 AAA batteries that will provide brightness for 40 hours. To use this lantern, just pull it open; there are no power switches to mess with.
Live Fire Original Emergency Fire Starter: This emergency fire starter is compact and a cinch to use. Completely waterproof! I know because I tried to drown my tin in salt water. The Live Fire Sport is the same product, but in an even smaller, 1 inch by 2 inch tin. Both would make excellent gifts.
Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I first learned about Blocklites from a reader. I am impressed with how long they will run on a single, 9V battery. I now own 8 of these spread out in drawers, emergency kits, the car, everywhere. This is my number one pick for a small, but effective flashlight.
Coast HP1 Focusing LED Flashlight: Yes, at $10 this flashlight is more expensive than some of the MiniCrees out there. On the other hand, it is a bit slimmer and lighter. Where it really excels though is in brightness and range. I actually prefer it and carry it with me when venturing out at night.
Note: As much as I love my inexpensive UltraFire Mini Cree Led Flashlights, they do come from China and take up to six weeks to arrive. Do not be tricked but other websites recommending them as gifts. I saw that over and over again last year and wanted to scream I was so mad.
Windstorm Safety Whistle: When being heard is a matter of safety or even life and death, you want a whistle that is not only loud but can be heard for a long distance. This particular whistle is not the cheapest one out there but I have proven to myself that this particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.
Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener: I wrote about this is in the article The Easy Way to Sharpen a Knife Without Spending a Lot of Money. It sharpens everything from pocket knives to kitchen blades. Very portable and easy to use.
Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester: I do not know anyone that is sorry they purchased or gifted an inexpensive battery tester. Mine sits in my desk drawer and is used 3 or 4 times a week. This newer version is an upgrade from the BT-200 and well worth the extra couple od dollars. I especially like the redesigned side cradle that holds batteries securely in place during testing – no more erratic battery readings from movement off contacts. Even if you do not want to purchase one as a gift for someone else, do get on for yourself.
Other Gifts Under $10
DIY Healing Salve: As far as I am concerned, a gift of a jar or two of handcrafted healing salve should be the top gift on this list. You can make it yourself using these instructions than pass along the directions so that the recipient can continue the tradition.
Homemade baked goods: Who can resist the temptation of homemade baked goods. This includes cookies, candies, pies, cakes and even artisan breads. Nothing beats the love that goes into something that is made by your own two hands. I know that I can’t. Need some ideas? Start with these from my friend Daisy Luther.
Something chocolate: I don’t know anyone who would not appreciate the gift of chocolate. Make something yourself go for something as simple as a pouch of chocolate kisses. Either way, you will be loved for it! Want to make your own? Try these from my friend Linda Loosli.
Preserved memories: Do you have a digital photo that represents a cherished moment with a special someone? Consider memorializing the event and the moment by having the photo printed. Then frame it yourself.
Prepping and Survival Gear
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and weighs only 2oz. It works quickly, taking roughly 3-5 seconds of sucking to start the flow of water through the filter. It’s ultra-light and inexpensive but effective. There is also the LifeStraw Family that will purify up to 12 liters per hour.
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.
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Carbon Steel Blade: I can not say enough good things about the Morakniv. I have a number of them including the “companion’ with a 4.1 inch blade and the “Craftline” with a 3.6″ blade. I use them in the kitchen as paring and utility knives and with the included sheath and carbon steel blades, they stay super sharp. They are also well priced and $10 and $15.
BaoFeng UV5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio: I own two of these. Something to keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license. This is the prepper’s choice when it comes to emergency radios. Special Note: BaoFeng and Pofung radios are one and the same. Some units are branded as “Pofung”.
Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack: Solar chargers are extremely popular with Backdoor Survival readers and this sturdy solar power pack is no exception. It is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit. I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.
RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers. Value priced at about $50. For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.
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.
The All-American Sun Oven: Without a question, this is one of my top picks for the prepper who truly wants to be self-sufficient. Through a special arrangement with Sun Ovens International, you can pick up a fully equipped Sun Oven valued at $448 for a final price of $315 which includes shipping.
Note: In order to ensure adequate time for shipping, this offer is good through December 19th.
Buy Emergency Foods Sample Kit: This sample kit is perfect for friends and family that are just beginning to dip their toes into prepping and building up a supply of emergency food. I can personally vouch for the quality of these non-GMO food pouches. Legacy Food products from Buy Emergency Foods is what I have chosen to supplement bulk foods at my Arizona home.
The Healing Gift of Essential Oils
Spark Natural Essential 4 Pack: This 4 pack includes some of the most popular essential oils for everyday use, including lavender, peppermint, melaleuca, and lemon. Another option is the “Health and Wellness” kit that comes packaged in a tin and includes a brochure with suggested uses for each of the oils. As kits, these oils are already discounted but as an added bonus, you get an additional 10% off with discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
ZAQ Noor Diffuser: Of my three diffusers, this is my favorite and is therefore the one I recommend for gift giving. It puts out a strong, fragrant mist that is both soothing and healing. This is the diffuser you see in the photo above.
Essential Oils Desk Reference 6th Edition: This is the ultimate gift for the essential oil lover in your life. I thought long and hard before purchasing this book myself, but once I did, I was so grateful I took the leap. The information is cross referenced in many ways making it easy to find what you are looking for. When searching for a particular remedy, you may see multiple oils listed and any will work but they are presented in order of typical efficacy. The nice thing is that if you do not have #1 on hand, you can move down the list. I have found the recommendations to be spot on.
Just for the Fun of It
Ticket to Ride: When it comes to board games, this is my favorite. (It helps that I usually win.) This is fun for the entire family. Warning, you and your gift recipient will become addicted and will often ask the question: Want to play train aka “ticket to ride”?
Coloring Books for Adults: Coloring books for adults are all the rage and for good reason. There is something soothing about getting our the crayons or colored pencils and trying to stay within the lines. Or not. One of these coloring books along with colored pencils would make a fantastic gift!
Survival, Prepping and Books on Self-Sufficiency
Books make great gifts and this last year we have seen some great ones hit the market. Here are my top picks of books that will appeal to the masses, prepper or not.
The Penny-Pinching Prepper: Save More, Spend Less and Get Prepared for Any Disaster: There is nothing not to like about this book. Written by Bernie Carr, is packed with inexpensive DIY projects for keeping your family safe in any worst-case scenario.
The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: You can survive up to three weeks without food, but only three days without water. When catastrophe strikes, having enough water can spell the difference between life and death. This book offers a step-by-step plan with straightforward information you can easily follow. Written by my friend Daisy Luther, I recommended the book for everyone’s survival library!
Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage: This modestly priced book is about food: What to store, how to store it and best practices. It is a roadmap for showing ordinary citizens that long-term food storage is not something that will overwhelm or burden the family budget. I wrote this book and am proud of it. It will make a great gift!
The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way: This book teaches how to deal with all the likely medical issues you will face in a disaster situation, including strategies to keep your family healthy even in the worse scenarios. It covers skills such as performing a physical exam, transporting the injured patient, and even how to suture a wound. This medical reference belongs in every survival library.
The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide: Emergency Preparedness for ANY Disaster: There is also an all-new abridged version, which, at 300 pages is still jam-packed with information to help survive any medical emergency.
If All Else Fails – The Gift Card
Amazon Gift Cards are suitable for everyone on your list and come packaged with a gift box and bow at no extra cost. It does not get much better than that!
The Final Word
I have a confession to make. I hate the commercialism that prevails this time of year. I hate it so much that producing this guide makes me feel like a hypocrite. That being said, I know that I am in the minority and further, everyone is going to be out there, in a race to squeeze the very last dollar out of your wallet.
Let me simply say this. I offer this gift guide as a convenience to you with recommendations that come from first hand experience using each and every item. And, as I mentioned earlier, for the first time I will also be sharing a DIY gift guide in plenty of time for you to assemble some budget-friendly homemade gifts.
Two things. First, please do not go into debt as you pursue the perfect gifts for loved ones. And second, at the end of the day, over and beyond the giving of material goods, think about the giving of yourself and the giving of your heart.
Be creative, enjoy the love and friendship that abound this time of year and have a fun, and stress-free gift giving experience.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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