When shopping for survival gear you usually get what you pay for. Most gear is produced and sold in such high quantities that the margins are relatively slim. That means that when you pay for a product you're actually paying for the materials, labor, and technology required to develop, manufacture, and distribute the gear.
When an emergency actually occurs you want tools and supplies that hold up to the challenge.
There are a ton of survival gimmicks out on the market. We've tested a bunch of them and the fail so easily when used in real life situations. Avoid cheap products and gimmicks.
For example, my son got a knock-off Swiss Army Knife as a gift. He took it on a Scout camp. When he got home he walked in and showed me 3 broken pieces: the blade, the body, the saw. The knife didn't even survive a campout.
Most of us can't buy all the survival gear we need in one shot. It makes sense to set aside a budget, prioritize the gear we need and buy the next item on the list when it makes sense. You'd be surprised how quickly your gear builds up when you shop at regular intervals.
We only add survival gear to our catalog that has a great rating, great test results, or comes highly recommended. We've actually used most of the gear or have seen it in action before we list it here. Since we don't do the product fulfillment we can't warranty the gear but we strongly recommend it.
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We add new gear and supplies regularly. Here are some of the most recently added items.
There are a few well known guidelines to follow when shopping survival gear. The goal is to find and acquire great gear you can rely on in a pinch.
The most essential survival tools and supplies can be remembered in these 5 words:
You should prioritize your gear purchase based on the survival priorities (listed to the right). We can survive only when the top priorities are taken care of. For example, if we're bleeding out from an injury having a food source doesn't really matter. We have to take care of the urgent items first and then stay busy solving the next challenge.
Be sure to purchase your survival gear based on the most critical priority first.
Priortize your gear and supplies based on this list.
Survival Priorities Explained
There are a number of ways to buy or build a kit. We strongly recommend looking at your survival gear as a system. We also recommend building your survival system over time so you can stay on a budget. We've divided our recommended system into stages.
The items you commonly carry with you are called "every day carry" items. Most people carry a wallet, watch, purse, pocket knife, multi-tool, jewelry, etc. If you plan ahead, you can carry normal items that have survival functions.
Certain emergency items are essential to survival (see the 5 C's above). We recommend investing in these items first and organizing them in pouches you can transfer from your day pack to your go bags, etc.
There are a number of types of go-bags. We recommend assembling a bug out bag. You'll be mobile and ready for a lot of emergencies with a robust survival bag like this.
If you are evacuated and have some time to pack up, we recommend taking your house kit. It has community gear that is too bulky for a go-bag. It includes tools, water containers, first aid items, etc.
(household supplies and gear)
During emergencies where you need to shelter in place we recommend building a 1 year supply of food storage, large quantities of water, and having equipment on hand for power and long term survival.
If you're just getting started with your emergency gear it can seem a bit daunting. Here are some tips to get you going:
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3 Most reviews are based on personal experience from one of our content editors. Some are based on research and the opinions of other reviewers.