Updated on November 20, 2015
Periodically, I visit both the Amazon list of the Most Wished For Outdoor Items and the list of Amazon Best Sellers in Outdoor Recreation to see what people are currently coveting. The most 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.
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.
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.
3-in-1 LED Vehicle Emergency Flashlight: New to the top 10, this appears to be a pretty fantastic flashlight (and you know how I cover flashlights!). Look at all of those LEDs. There are a total of 29 – 18 white and 11 red. Powered by 3 AAA batteries, this flashlight is rated for over 100,000 hours.
Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible: This is a new addition to the list. Oh my gosh. I want one. 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.
Portable Windproof Waterproof Matches: I have purposely tried to drown these matches in sea water before using them. They light up every time! Less than $3 and shipping is free.
Spork2go Spork Set, Four Sporks + Spork Carry Case: The most versatile outdoor eating utensil, the spoon-fork-knife combo makes eating–and cleaning up–on the go a breeze. This is a great price on a set of 4. I paid the same amount for just one. This would make a great stocking stuffer!
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.
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. Another great stocking stuffer.
Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle, 1-Quart: In the past year, I have purchased a number of Nalgene water bottles. 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.
In addition to these items, I have some other bonus items all of which are personal favorites.
Coleman MicroPacker Compact Battery Lantern: I absolutely love this little lantern! It folds down to nothing and the batteries last forever. I have yet to change them since I purchased the lantern two years ago.
UltraFire 300lm 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, it is less than $3.60 with free shipping.
Gaye’s Note: I own at least 6 of these and probably ten. I need to gather them up for a group shot for you.
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.