Last-minute holiday shopping can be dreadful, especially if you don’t know what to get somebody. If your shopping list has a survival fan on it, however, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a cheat sheet to help you get in the proper gift-giving mindset.
**1. Knives ** Knives are a great gift for a survivalist or outdoor enthusiast. Even if you accidentally buy him a duplicate of a knife he already has, he’ll probably be very happy to get a brand new one to enjoy. Survivalists are all about redundancies, after all. Whether it’s his first knife or his hundredth, a new blade is versatile, indispensable, and will often be cherished by the recipient. Because let’s be honest: You can never have too many knives.
2. Sharpening Gear A dull knife is a danger to the wielder, and virtually useless as a tool. If you’ve got a knife, machete, or axe enthusiast who needs a present, consider a sharpening set. It’s up to you whether you go high- or low-tech. A sharpening stone is a very useful old-school choice. Files, diamond rods, and electric sharpening systems are great too. These items make a great gift even better when coupled with a new knife or tool.
3. Cordage
The moment you run out of paracord is the moment when hope begins to fade and you start eyeing people’s shoelaces. Prevent this tragedy from happening by loading up a box with 550 cord, Kevlar string, light-duty rope, jute cordage, and any other rope you can find. This fibrous treasure trove is sure to bring a smile to your survivalist’s face. Throw a knot-tying book in the box for the ultimate Christmas cordage collection.
4. Books
Got a reader on your shopping list? Start a survival library for them, or add to the one they already have. Survival books can entertain, educate, and provides hours of enjoyment. And if society starts to crumble, those books could be worth their weight in gold. Remember, too, that survival books are portable, long-lasting, invulnerable to hackers, and completely EMP proof.
5. Food Make sure your favorite survivor stays well fed and energized with some shelf-stable, long lasting food. Freeze-dried meals, MREs, and ration bars are all welcome sights under my Christmas tree. Freeze-dried meals are great for bug out bags since they’re lightweight. MREs are good to carry in a vehicle or stash somewhere size and weight aren’t an issue . A rock-hard block of survival rations (most of which taste like shortbread cookies, so in truth they’re not that bad) are perfect for the survival kit. Get an assortment and you can’t go wrong.
6. Fire Starters Easily my favorite category, and there are so many choices! Lighters, spark rods, storm matches, optical methods, chemical fire starter kits, 550 cord that lights on fire, and fire starting pastes, cubes and sticks of every description. Again, redundancy is a beautiful thing. Buy a sampling of fire making gear and you can’t go wrong.
7. First Aid Gear Nothing says “I care” like the gear to provide medical care in the event of an accident or emergency. Small kits make great stocking stuffers and larger kits can be a gift unto themselves. There are a number of pre-built kits you can buy off the shelf, or tailor a kit to match the needs and style of your gift recipient. If he’s picky, find out what brand and color of gear he likes, then get a pouch or bag to match. If it has a Velcro panel, select a first aid patch to make it obvious upon unwrapping that it’s a first aid kit.
8. Flashlight Light up your survivalist’s holiday with the gift of a quality flashlight or headlamp. Small lights are great for pocket-sized EDC lighting. Headlamps are handy for keeping both hands free to work. High-powered lights that can melt the fur off a bear are great for a variety of situations. Don’t forget to buy a package of the right-sized batteries to include with your gift.
9. A Survival Class A gift certificate for some hands-on survival training should make any survivalist squeal with delight on Christmas morning. Who wouldn’t want to learn some new skills and meet interesting people? Do a little research (or a lot of research) to make sure the school is reputable, and that it has been in business for several years. Pick a school nearby, so that travel expenses are minimal and your gift recipient actually goes to the class. (If you’re survivalist lives in the Mid-Atlantic region, I just happen to know a guyI just happen to know a guy—Advanced Survival Training). Also, make sure that the class you purchase can be transferred, in case your recipient wants to select a different class date or a different subject than the one you picked. And to put this gift over the top, make it even more memorable by signing yourself up, too, and then you can both share in the adventure.