TUUSK: The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit


The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit (TUUSK) is a project that we undertook with the team at Ready To Go Survival. We set out to build a bug out bag that was optimized for urban survival.

The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit will enable you to:

  • Breach doors, windows, walls, containers, and other manmade or natural obstacles in your way
  • Protect your hands, eyes, ears, and lungs from debris and dust
  • Defend yourself against unfriendly survivors
  • Perform basic first aid
  • Purify and carry water
  • Start a fire for warmth, cooking, or signaling
  • Communicate with your bug out team
  • Receive radio updates on the evolving disaster
  • Shelter yourself from the elements
  • Have survival supplies for at least 72 hours
  • Stay mobile all day long, if need be, as it weighs under 15 pounds
  • And much, much more

Together, we tested dozens of items to see what would be best suited to help us survive an urban disaster. This testing was carried out in real world conditions in the heart of New York City and left no doubt in our mind that the final TUUSK loadout is ideally suited to keep you surviving and moving towards safety when time is critical.

With the TUUSK, you’ll never get caught unprepared.

Visit ReadyToGoSurvival.com to order the TUUSK

TUUSK Packing List

For The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit, we combined our survival experience to create a kit that’s worthy of being in every city dwellers home or apartment. Here’s a rundown of the components.

The Full TUUSK Loadout.

One of the biggest challenges when building a custom bug out bag is making sure the survival gear you are choosing is reliable and tough enough to bet your life on. This is one of the primary questions we focused on when developing the TUUSK.

The Backpack

The backpack we chose for the TUUSK is a Rothco Medium Transport Pack that is perfectly suited for carrying our survival gear plus personal items like spare clothes and important documents. It is MOLLE compatible for easy customization and has 4 compartments of varying sizes for simple organization of our gear.

Also, the Medium Transport Pack is durable and well-built making it perfect to endure the harsh urban survival landscape.

rothco medium transport pack

Breaching and Self-Defense

Breaching is an essential asset in an urban survival scenario. We may need to force open a door, break a building or car window, or open a container full of essential supplies.

The concentrated population of an urban center also increases the possibility of having to discourage unfriendly advances from other survivors. Having a self-defense tool at hand is important to tip this sort of situation in your favor.

To help us accomplish this, we are including two dual-purpose tools in the TUUSK:

  • Ontario SPAX Tool – The SPAX is a highly versatile breaching tool that is perfectly suited for the urban environment and can double as a self-defense weapon. The SPAX still held an edge after being used to break cinder blocks, pierce sheet metal, chop wood, and break glass.
  • Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Knife – The Extreme Ops is capable of easily slicing through light to medium materials using either its main blade or seat belt cutter. The knife also integrates a glass breaker for escape or search and rescue purposes. It’s lightweight and compact yet tough enough to function as a full-sized knife.

The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit


To enable us to keep warm, generate light, signal for help, boil water, cook, and more we are including the following fire starting tools in TUUSK:

The lighters should provide enough fuel to last for months and are a great barter item as well. In our testing the UCO Stormproof Matches kept lit after having water poured directly on them and having me blow as hard as I can onto the lit match. Even the most inexperienced urban dweller should have no problem getting a fire going with these tools at hand.

urban survival kit fire

Food & Water

To stay hydrated and keep moving while bugging out it is recommended that you consume between 2-3 liters of water per day, depending on levels of fitness and exertion. To meet this requirement, we are including gear to both carry and purify water in the TUUSK:

urban survival kit food water

Environmental Protection

The urban environment can quickly become hazardous and toxic in the aftermath of a disaster. To protect ourselves from all manner of environmental threats we are including a set of safety equipment in TUUSK including:

This gear is lightweight, compact, and easy to use. In our testing, we were able to pull it all out of the bag and have every item deployed in about 10 seconds.

environmental protection gear


Although the urban environment provides ample shelter opportunities, we wanted to equip ourselves with enough basic shelter building gear that we would be able to build a shelter from found materials, repair a partial shelter, and keep dry in the unlikely event that shelter could not be found in time.

To meet these needs we tested and debated a variety of shelter building materials. Ultimately, we settled on the items below. We felt that this set would give the most bang for the buck, as well as for their efficient weight and size:

urban survival kit shelter


Communication is a vital part of any survival situation. Keeping up to date with changing events allows us to make the best decision possible when life is on the line.

We chose the Eton FRX2 Emergency Radio to make sure we would always be kept in the loop as it is American Red Cross certified, powered by solar or hand crank, and can even charge your USB devices such as an iPhone.

In addition to getting communication from external sources, we also want to be able to communicate with each other and be able to signal rescue parties and other people we may encounter from afar, and we found that the Storm Emergency Whistle was perfectly suited to this task.

urban survival kit communications gear

First Aid

A survival kit isn’t complete without First Aid supplies. So, along with a traditional First Aid kit, we’ve included two additional supplies that will expand the kit’s scope.

urban survival kit first aid

Personal Tools

In addition to all the purpose-specific gear listed above, we also chose to include some basic tools that can make life easier when on the move.

  • Nebo 220 Lumen Redline LED Flashlight – Flashlights are an essential item for any bug out bag. This flashlight is bright enough to be used for signaling or to temporarily blind an aggressive person. Additionally, the 5 usage modes (high, medium, low, SOS, strobe) give the Redline the flexibility to be useful in any survival or emergency situation.
  • Gerber Compact Multi-Plier – A multitool with nearly limitless applications. The Compact Multi-Plier has all the basic tools one would expect from this type of tool including one-handed opening pliers, screwdrivers, a small blade, scissors, and a can opener. Again, every bug out bag should have a multitool of this style.
  • Folding Eating Utensils – This is one of those comfort items that remind you that you are a human being after a day of hiking under grueling conditions. The urban landscape should be filled with scavenging opportunities, and utensils will help us consume what we find.
  • 6 AA and 6 AAA batteries – The AAAs can be used as replacements on the Redline flashlight. The AAs can be used to power other personal devices. Batteries are also immensely valuable bartering items. No one wants to waste time in the aftermath of a disaster foraging for batteries. Pack a few extra and reap the benefits.

urban survival kit tools

Video Walkthrough of the TUUSK

From the very inception of the TUUSK project, we committed to testing all the gear instead of relying on YouTube reviews or speculation. We field tested the equipment in a real-world urban environment.

And what could be a better place for urban survival than in the heart of New York City?

I traveled to NYC to meet with Roman and Fabian, the founders of Ready To Go Survival to put the TUUSK to the test.

We met at an abandoned factory in Queens, slipped through the fence, and got to work.

For some highlights of the TUUSK items in action, check out this video:

Why Not Build the TUUSK Yourself?

You definitely can. I have shared all the information you need to build your own TUUSK.

However, if you are interested in maximizing your urban preparedness faster while saving money, buying an assembled kit guarantees:

  • Every item has been price matched against Amazon – you cannot get all this gear from ANYWHERE cheaper than here
  • The assembled kit will arrive much faster than buying everything individually
  • The bag will come packed and ready to go
  • The convenience of a quick and effective solution for urban survival

Ordering Your TUUSK

The TUUSK is now available for order directly from our friends at Ready To Go Survival.

With the TUUSK, you’ll never get caught unprepared.

Visit ReadyToGoSurvival.com to order the TUUSK


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tactical watches survival

Are Tactical Watches Useful For Urban And Wilderness Survival?

tactical watches survival

Survival situations can arise in the blink of an eye, so we are always looking for ways to increase preparedness. However, carrying all of your survival gear on a daily basis simply is not practical for most people. Therefore, we also try to find lightweight gear with multiple functions that can be carried discretely as you go about your day. With so many features available, tactical watches are a survival tool worth investigating.

The tactical watch is possibly the most impressive form of wearable technology. With many practical uses, as well as specialized functions for extreme operations, tactical watches can provide you with a wealth of information to aid you in survival. The key to making the best choice is to determine how you are most likely to use it and finding the features that best meet those needs.

Survival Features Of Tactical Watches

Sure, a tactical watch sounds like an awesome piece of must-have gear but choosing one will be based on exactly what you will be doing. Completing a threat assessment will help you decide which features will most benefit you, then you can look for the watch with the best design for those features. No matter how you plan to use your watch, a secure comfortable fit and ease of use will play an important role.

tactical watches survival

Telling Time

In a world where we rarely use phones to talk, it isn’t too far-fetched that the primary function of a watch is the one least considered. How the time is displayed is a matter of personal preference. Digital or analog, military or standard 12 hour, or any combination may be available, depending on the specific tactical watch.

In addition to simply displaying the time, there are useful features that come into play in a post-disaster situation, such as a full calendar and sunrise/sunset indicator. Having a sense of how much time has passed when bugging out will provide a sense of stability and continuity. You can be sure the water boiled for a full 10 minutes, plan when to check your traps, or figure out how far your bug out party can travel during daylight. It is especially useful to know the exact date if you are tuning into emergency broadcasts for instruction, such as when and where relief efforts will commence.

Standing Up To The Elements

Tactical watches are built tough to withstand rigorous activity and a variety of conditions. Some have extra features to deal with special situations, such as diving, parachuting, and high impact activities.

tactical watches survival

The face will typically be made of a scratch- and shatter-resistant material, such as sapphire or mineral crystal. Stainless steel is a common material for the bevel and casing, due to its durability. Anodized aluminum is a lightweight alternative that does not compromise strength.

Tactical watch bands come in a variety of styles of materials, including nylon, rubber, leather, and steel. There are advantages to each material, depending on intended use and personal comfort.

Other areas to consider that are specific to your needs are low-temperature resistance, submersion, impact resistance, and dust resistance. You’ll want to make sure that the construction is solid and will keep out anything that could damage the internal mechanisms.

Finding Your Way

Navigation features range in accuracy and capability. For simple orientation, you might get by with compass points on a rotating ring to give you a general idea of the direction you are heading. Some tactical watches have an actual button compass integrated into the watchband, while others use a digital or analog compass display.

tactical watches survival

Altimeters are usually displayed as a real-time reading but some tactical watches are able to record elevation data. Tracking your elevation is very useful in conjunction with topographical maps, making it easier to know if you are on the correct trail.

For more precise navigation, you can choose a watch with a digital GPS readout so you are able to pinpoint exactly where you are. This can be very useful if you need to share or record your specific location coordinates, such as for search and rescue, locating your bug out camp, or coordinating a gathering point for your bug out party. For day to day use, approximate location may be sufficient but if you spend a lot of time in remote areas, you may want to go with a tactical watch that has GPS.

tactical watches survival

Monitoring Your (Or Someone Else’s) Health

For daily use, a heart rate monitor can be used to track your activity. This is a great feature for fitness training but it also has survival applications. Unless you pack a stethoscope into your bug out bag, a heart rate monitor is the next best thing when you or a member of your bug out party is sick or severely injured. For conditions such as disease, loss of blood, and shock, keeping track of the person’s heart rate and being alerted to accelerations or decelerations can be life-saving.

tactical watches survival

If you are a traversing high-altitude region, an altimeter will also help with health maintenance. Altitude sickness can occur at 8000 feet above sea level and if left untreated, can result in death. The first warning signs are headache, nausea, and fatigue and should not be ignored. Breathlessness, caused by fluid in the lungs, is a sign of High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and can be accompanied by fever and a frothy cough. Drowsiness, clumsiness, and irritability are signs of fluid on the brain, known as High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE). Both of these conditions are fatal. Therefore, paying close attention to your altitude is especially important to your survival.

tactical watches survival

A thermometer can assist you in making sure that your shelter is warm enough, knowing when to avoid being exposed to extremely low temperatures, or conversely, extremely high temperatures. The general safe temperature range for humans is 40F-95F. Spending prolonged time on the low end of that can result in hypothermia or on the high end of the range, hyperthermia. Being aware of the temperature will help you make decisions that favor your survival.

Top 5 Tactical Watches

#1 Garmin Tactix Bravo

tactical watches survival

Click the image to view the Garmin Tactix Bravo on Amazon.

This watch is built tough for handling rigorous field operations. A high-strength domed sapphire lens is mounted in a stainless steel bezel and rear case plate. The buttons are knurled for ease of grip and are also PVD-coated stainless steel. The display is non-reflective and night-vision compatible. Two interchangeable nylon straps are included.

The high-resolution display turns the watch face from an analog clock to a personal GPS device, with TracBack technology for finding your way back to your starting point. You can view your precise coordinates or switch to map view and follow your progress point to point. Mark locations along the way, such as water sources or dangerous terrain, and share them using Bluetooth or ANT+ wireless connections.

tactical watches survival

Click the image to view the Garmin Tactix Bravo on Amazon.

The Garmin Tactix Bravo also has great features for training purposes, such as monitoring stride length, cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. The heart rate metrics provide a stress score, performance condition, and lactate threshold readout so you can track how your body is handling physical activity. It also tracks sleep patterns to create a record of your overall health.

One of the coolest features of the Tactix Bravo is the ability to download additional screens to customize to your specific needs. You can even set it up to receive alerts from another device, such as emails and texts from your smartphone.

The battery life depends on which mode you are using: 20 hours in GPS mode or 50 hours in UltraTrac mode. A USB charger is included.

#2 Casio G-9300-1 G-Shock Mudman

tactical watches survival

Click the image to view the Casio G-Shock Mudman on Amazon.

Named for its resilience to mud and debris, the G-Shock Mudman has internal gaskets on all of the buttons and screws that are designed to handle dirty work. A sapphire crystal face protects the digital display, which features 12 or 24 hour time, date, temperature, pressure, and directional readouts. It also tracks the phases of the moon in a visual graphic.

The Mudman is shock resistant and water resistant to a depth of 200 meters, making it a suitable diving companion, as well. For navigating on land, use the digital compass with full 0-359 degree range, corrected for magnetic declination.

Since it is solar-powered, the G-Shock Mudman does not need to be charged or wound and it can last up to 8 months on a full charge even without exposure to light. This is a great feature for backcountry survival.

#4 Timex T49859 Intelligent Quartz Tide-Temp-Compass

tactical watches survival

Click the image to view the Timex Tide-Temp-Compass on Amazon.

With several key nautical features, the Timex Tide-Temp-Compass is ideal for boating, swimming, and snorkeling. Behind the mineral glass lens is a quartz analog clock with concentric rings that include analog tide tracker and temperature displays. The digital thermometer reads air or water temperature, and the watch is water resistant to 100 meters. An Indiglo light allows you to view the full face in low lighting.

The stainless steel case has a slide-rule bevel with directional indicators. A fourth hand on the clock serves as an analog display for the digital compass. The sturdy stainless steel band features a deployment clasp for a secure fit. Overall, this is a rugged watch by a trusted brand, and more economical than others in its class.


Tactical watches are far sturdier than other electronic devices, such as cell phones and tablets. If you rely heavily on your smartphone to provide tactical information, keep in mind that it may cease to function in a disaster scenario and it likely wouldn’t survive 100 meter submersion, even in the toughest protective case. The convenience of having a wealth of information at your wrist and the extreme durability of tactical watches makes them a useful tool for survival situations.

Your Thoughts

Which features do you think you would be most likely to use in a survival situation? Do you think tactical watches can replace other survival gear? Share your opinions in the Comments section below, thanks!

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car escape tool

Get Out Fast With The Best Car Escape Tool

car escape tool

Many preppers have a well-stocked vehicle, including a get-home bag, in case of emergencies, but in some situations, your vehicle can become the emergency situation from which you need to survive.

The thought of your car itself becoming a threat to your life is a scary one, but should it happen, you need to know what to do – and fast.

The very unexpected nature of car accidents can put you in a situation where there is an immediate danger of fire/explosion, entrapment, or even submergence (in the case of an accident in or near water) – you need to have the right car escape tool on you and know the proper way to use it.

Here at The Bug Out Bag Guide, we always have an eye out for preparedness and were inspired to write this article after a friend of ours told us how she always carries a seatbelt cutter in her EDC, right on her keychain. Her reasoning for this was that she wanted it accessible and on-hand at all times.

car escape tool

Her daily commute takes her over several bodies of water and, as part of her daily threat assessment, she identified a car accident involving water as a likely threat she needed to be prepared for. In case she ever needs to quickly free herself, reaching the ignition is a much surer bet than reaching something in the glove box; therefore, she keeps the perfect tool she’ll need in case of submersion right at her fingertips.

In case she ever needs to quickly free herself, reaching the ignition is a much surer bet than reaching something in the glove box; therefore, she keeps the perfect tool she’ll need in case of submersion right at her fingertips.

After hearing her story, it got us thinking: Knowing what to do in case of a car accident and having the right tools on hand is a preparedness measure most people need to take – there must be some great tips and tools out there we can share with our readers. So we went out, did the research, and came up with some great tips,

So we went out, did the research, and came up with some great tips, tricks, and recommendations that we’re very excited to share with you.

Assessing Vehicular Threats

When assessing what threats you are most likely to encounter while in your vehicle, it’s important to consider three distinct areas:

  1. Your usual commute
  2. Seasonal weather conditions
  3. Unpredictable situations

car escape tool

Assessing Your Commute

Much like our friend who inspired this article, you need to thoroughly consider all the possible threats you could encounter on your commute, such as flooding, steep cliffs, bridges, runaway truck zones, fallen rock zones, or stretches of wilderness or desolation. Taking a close look at a topographical map of the area you drive on a regular basis is a great way to get an idea of the possible emergency situations you may find yourself in.

Water can be a major threat and you should always be aware of waterways and areas that may become flooded during or following intense rainfall. Another thing to be aware of is that low bridges over small rivers and creeks are typically not designed to withstand substantial flooding, and if such bridges are on your commute, it is always prudent to map out alternate emergency routes.

If your commute includes large bridges, these pose less of a concern for flooding, but do anticipate bottleneck traffic in times of emergency. Hopefully, any accidents on a larger bridge will be contained to the bridge itself due to safety rails, but it is always wise to be prepared for water-related accidents.

Hopefully, any accidents on a larger bridge will be contained to the bridge itself due to safety rails, but it is always wise to be prepared for water-related accidents.

car escape tool
A bridge during rush hour can also delay the arrival of emergency personnel.

Traveling through mountainous regions presents its own set of threats and challenges. Typically, you will be traveling through areas with steep inclines that tend to have cliffs and winding roads with limited visibility. If there happens to be runaway truck zones, then there is potential for brakes overheating on declines.

If your commute takes you through long stretches of wilderness, you may be required to travel a significant distance on foot to reach civilization should an emergency arise and your vehicle is no longer operational. For more tips on assessing your daily threats, CLICK HERE.

car escape tool
Winding roads and steep terrain, as well as long stretches of wilderness, should be taken into consideration when assessing your commute.

Assessing Seasonal Weather Conditions

Depending on where you live, seasonal weather may present additional threats throughout different points in the year. Heat, rain, snow and wind all present unique challenges that should be addressed.

car escape tool
Precipitation reduces visibility and traction on the road.
  • Heat: Intense heat increases the risk of overheating, tire blowouts, and brake failure.
  • Rain and Snow: These elements make for hazardous driving conditions by reducing visibility and traction.
  • Wind: Wind can cause vehicles, especially large tractor trailers, to sway or lose control.

Assessing Unpredictable Situations

By nature, unpredictable situations are situations that can arise without warning and include emergencies such as collisions, tire blowouts, brake failure, belt failure, and car fires. While you can do your best to mitigate these risks by keeping your vehicle up to safety code with regular maintenance and inspections, there is nothing you can do to avoid these risks entirely, so it’s best to be prepared for them.

While you can do your best to mitigate these risks by keeping your vehicle up to safety code with regular maintenance and inspections, there is nothing you can do to avoid these risks entirely, so it’s best to be prepared for them.

In the case of fire, getting out as quickly as possible is your primary concern. You need to be aware of how to exit your vehicle in an emergency and have the tools on-hand to help you.

You need to be aware of how to exit your vehicle in an emergency and have the tools on-hand to help you.

car escape tool
You may only have seconds to react in extreme situations.

How To Use A Car Escape Tool

There are specific tools designed to assist in automobile emergencies. They work by providing a means to breach restraints and windows so you can quickly evacuate your car.  Remember, do not store your car escape tool in your glove compartment.  If your car rolls and your seatbelt locks up it will be difficult, if not impossible to reach.

Remember, do not store your car escape tool in your glove compartment. If your car rolls and your seatbelt locks up it will be difficult, if not impossible, to reach.

Instead, put it in a latched center console or mount it under the driver seat, to the driver side door, to the visor, or somewhere else that can easily be reached no matter what position the car is in after a crash.

Seatbelt Cutters

Seatbelts are an essential safety item designed to keep you safe. However, in some situations they can become an obstacle to your safety should you need to evacuate your vehicle quickly. In the case of an overturned or otherwise disabled vehicle, you may only have seconds to get out; if fire and water pose an added threat, the severity of the situation – and need for a quick escape – increases.

car escape tool
Hold the belt taut and pull the car escape tool away from your body.

A seatbelt cutter works best and fastest when the seatbelt is very taut. To operate a seatbelt cutter, grab your seatbelt and pull it away from your body to create tension, then hook the cutter and pull swiftly away from your body. Whether you cut the belt perpendicularly or at an angle makes no difference – do whichever is easiest for you.

car escape tool
Pull in a swift motion to slice the seatbelt. It’s a good idea to buy a yard or two of webbing to practice on.

Typically, the blade on a seatbelt cutter is recessed for safety and housed in a hook that guides the belt to the blade. There may be a protective cap as an additional precaution against cuts. There are seatbelt cutters with folding serrated blades, much like a pocket knife.


An episode of the popular TV series Mythbusters featured a vehicle submersion test, proving that when submerged, the pressure inside a car is too strong to open any of the doors until the vehicle is completely filled with water, which equalizes the pressure on the inside and outside.

You certainly don’t want to wait until your vehicle fills with water to get out and your windows (whether power or hand-crank) will not work when submerged. Your best bet in this situation is to break a window and exit through it. This is where having a car escape tool on-hand can truly be a lifesaver.

Your best bet in this situation is to break a window and exit through it. This is where having a car escape tool, with an integrated glassbreaker, can truly be a lifesaver.

car escape tool
The LifeHammer Original is a manual glassbreaker that you swing like a hammer. The long handle provides good leverage.

While there are many different options for glassbreakers, the tip material is usually made of steel, hardened steel, or tungsten carbide. The most common types of

The most common types of glassbreakers include manual and spring-assisted. A manual glassbreaker often comes as an added feature on pocket knives or tactical pens, requiring brute force to create a puncture in

Manual glassbreakers often come as an added feature on pocket knives or tactical pens, requiring brute force to create break glass. With a manual glassbreaker, you will want to hold the tool in your fist with the point toward your pinky and aim for the corner of the glass with a quick, hard, backhand jab in order to impact the window without going through it.

Spring-assisted glassbreakers pack their own punch and activate when pressed up against the glass. With no more force than is needed to press the tool up against the glass, a small metal tip strikes out and forcibly breaks the glass. This is an especially valuable feature when time is of the essence.

car escape tool
The ResQMe operates by pressing the end into the glass, which triggers a spring-loaded pin that strikes the window and shatters it.

Tips for effectively and safely breaking glass:

  • Aim for the side windows, not the windshield – by design, windshields are made to withstand a puncture without shattering and are extra tough to break through.
  • When breaking through a side window, aim for the lower corner about 4 inches from the frame rather than the center – this avoids pushing your hand through the glass and helps reduce the risk of injury.
  • To further protect yourself from injury, use your free hand to press against the glass and stop your other hand from going through the glass – this is especially critical in situations where you won’t have time to put on (or access to) safety gloves.
  • Always turn your head away from the glass when breaking it – this is of utmost importance when submerged as the water that will come rushing in will bring a wave of broken glass toward you (while a few cuts is better than drowning, glass in your eye can become a serious hindrance to your survival efforts).
car escape tool
If possible, avoid striking the center of the window. It is more difficult to shatter the window and there is a higher risk of injuring yourself.

Our Picks for the Top Vehicle Escape Tools

Best Overall Car Escape Tool

Our Top Pick: ResQMe Keychain Tool

The ResQMe Keychain Tool is our top pick as it works effectively while also being easy to keep on you at all times. Whether driving in your own car, riding with someone else, or taking public transportation, you can have it with you at all times.

car escape tool
Click to view the Res-Q-Me on Amazon.

Our Favorite Features:

  • Small, discreet, fits on a keychain, and has a quick-release – with just a tug, it is in your hand and ready for use
  • This is a spring-assisted tool and therefore easy to use with minimal strength – it is something an older child or elderly person can easily handle and comes with a tip made of hardened steel
  • Effective: We actually tested it out and what we found was that it took a few tries but luckily the pin rests instantly. On the third try, we were able to shatter a ¼” TruLite tempered glass. The reason it probably didn’t work on the first attempt was because we were holding a freestanding piece of glass and probably didn’t apply enough pressure to properly deploy the blade. In a real life situation, the glass would be framed and stable, making it easier to apply full pressure from within a vehicle.
  • We also tested the seatbelt cutter on Sterling 1″ tubular nylon webbing, the same type of material as a seatbelt, only twice the thickness. The Res-Q-Me sliced through in one motion.
  • The quick-release also serves as a safety feature to cover the blade on the seatbelt cutter to reduce risk of accidental injury

Best Mounted Vehicle Escape Tool

Our Top Pick: LifeHammer Evolution

The LifeHammer Evolution is our top pick as it comes with a mount that allows you to attach it to the interior of your car in an easily reachable location and making it readily accessible to the driver at all times.

car escape tool
Click to view the LifeHammer Evolution on Amazon.

Our Favorite Features:

  • This spring-assisted glassbreaker requires minimal strength to operate making it an effective tool for anyone, including older children and the elderly
  • The long handle provides a good grip for activating the trigger
  • The construction of the tool is quality and made from heavy duty plastic with a steel blade and ceramic tip
  • It comes with an adjustable mounting clip for securing the car escape tool to the door or center console for instant access, even in a rolled vehicle situation.

Best Multi-Function Vehicle Escape Tool

Our Top Pick: Spyderco Assist

This great tool features a folding pocket knife style and has a retractable carbide tip for breaking glass – simply squeezing the blade into the handle in its folded position will activate the glassbreaker.

car escape tool
Click to view the Spiderco Assist on Amazon.

Our Favorite Features:

  • The blunt-tipped blade is made of VG-10 steel and has serration that is specifically designed for cutting seatbelts (by folding the blade and handle together, you can also cut rope quickly)
  • The Cobra Hood opens quickly, providing access to the blade, with ample jimping for added control when the tool is open
  • The handle is made from durable FRN material offered in an ambidextrous (lefties rejoice!) design that fits well into the palm of either hand
  • As an added bonus, this tool also includes a survival whistle in the handle to help signal for help

Best Manual Vehicle Escape Tool

Our Top Pick: LifeHammer Original Emergency Hammer

This was our top pick as it is has a very sturdy plastic handle and the seatbelt cutter blade makes it virtually impossible to cut yourself on. It also comes with a mounting plate to secure it anywhere within reach of the driver’s seat.

car escape tool
Click to view the LifeHammer Original Emergency Hammer on Amazon.

Our Favorite Features:

  • This is a fixed double-sided hammer with hardened steel tips
  • The long handle provides for better leverage when cutting seatbelts and breaking glass
  • Effective: We also tested this one out and, while I was not expecting to be able to use this one effectively, after testing it out I was truly impressed with how efficient it was at breaking glass. After taking aim, we were able to shatter the same ¼” TruLite tempered glass with only one whack.
  • The LifeHammer seatbelt cutter also made it through the Sterling 1″ tubular nylon with no problem.

Our Favorite Car Escape Tools

Vehicle Escape ToolHow It Is UsedKey FeaturesPrice
Res-Q-Me Quick Car Escape Tool
Cut seat belts
Break windows
• Tough PVC plastic, with steel blade for quickly slicing through seat belts
• Spring loaded hammer exerts force when activated so anyone can operate it to break a window
• Keychain style is compact and always on hand, with a quick release clip
LifeHammer Safety Evolution Emergency Ceramic Auto Escape Hammer (Orange 2 Pack)
Cut seat belts
Break windows
• Flat head design puts the handle at 90 degrees for leverage when activating the hammer
• Seat beltcutter blade is deeply recessed for safety and for easily guiding the belt when cutting
• Includes mount and hardware for securing to the door or center console
Spyderco Assist with Carbide Tip FRN Combination Edge Black Blade Knife
Cut seat belts
Break windows
Cut rope
Signal for help
• Folding pocket knife design doubles as a rope cutter
• Serated VG-10 steel blade slices through seatbelts and other bindings
• Squeeze in the folded position to reveal retractable carbide tip for breaking glass
LifeHammer Original Emergency Hammer
Cut seat belts
Break windows
• Recessed seat belt blade protects from accidental cuts
• Double steel hammer heads for quick deployment no matter how it is oriented when you grab it
• Comes with a mounting cradle to secure close to the driver's seat
Click the images to view current pricing on Amazon.

A Word About Vehicle-Related Emergencies

When it comes to preparedness for vehicle-related emergencies, one of the most important skills you can have is first aid knowledge.

The first moments of a medical emergency are the most critical, knowing what to do can mean the difference between life and death. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend taking a first aid course to ensure your skills are up to date.

Having the proper skills and tools to deal with a vehicle emergency may not only save you but also someone else. If you see someone in trouble and stop to offer help, ensure you follow the proper procedures for assisting in an emergency. Always introduce yourself and offer to help, asking permission to treat adults and minors if emergency personnel have yet to arrive on the scene.

As an added cautionary note, always be careful not to put yourself in harm’s way when assisting someone else; if you become injured as a result of your attempts to help, not only will your skills now be useless but you will have added an additional complication to the emergency.


As with any survival skill, we truly hope you never have the opportunity to put your vehicle escape skills into practice, but if the situation should arise where you do need to make a speedy exit from your car, chance favors the well-prepared.

When choosing your ideal car escape tool, always keep in mind that when it comes time to use it, you will have very little time to both retrieve and operate it – accessibility and speed are of the essence.

Also, don’t just pick out a tool and leave it until you need it; try it out, get comfortable with it, and ensure you know exactly what to do should a situation ever arise where your life depends on your ability to operate it.

Your Thoughts

Have you ever experienced a vehicle emergency? Did you have tools on-hand that helped you address the situation? What are the must-have vehicle escape tools in your survival arsenal and where do you keep them? Let us know your thoughts in the Comment section below, thanks!

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cold weather survival gear

Cold Weather Survival Gear & Tips For Battling The Snow

cold weather survival gear

Winter can be a beautiful and highly enjoyable season with lots of holiday celebrations and exciting sports; however, if you live in an area where snow is inevitable, winter presents some unique threats to your survival you need to be prepared for with appropriate cold weather survival gear.

The temperature drop itself can be a huge threat. In the cold, your body will need to work harder and require more calories and warmth to sustain itself. Additionally, basic survival activities such as harvesting water, gathering food, and lighting a fire become increasingly challenging when faced with snow-covered ground.

cold weather survival gear
Be prepared for winter survival scenarios that can leave you out in the cold.

However, the best reason to prepare yourself and your family with cold weather survival gear is that you need not only be prepared for bugging out, but also for the chance that a major blizzard could leave you stranded in your home without power, or worse, out in the elements. In this article, we will address the challenges and threats you could possibly face this winter and provide some key tips and recommendations on cold weather survival gear to help you be prepared.

Maintaining Core Body Temperature

For your body to function properly, it must maintain a temperature of 98.6℉. If your body deviates from this temperature, there are built-in mechanisms that kick in to help restore the core temperature and warm you up.

cold weather survival gear

Typical outward signs that your body is working harder to keep you warm include shivering, teeth chattering, and goosebumps. If your body goes through prolonged periods of exposure to cold temperatures, your heartbeat will decrease and blood pressure will slow, reducing the delivery of oxygen to your organs.

This will effectively cut off your extremities from heat sources as body warmth is focused on vital organs (at this point, your hands and feet will turn purple, becoming tingly and then numb; for more information, please click on this link). These changes can severely affect your ability to think and move, becoming life-threatening in the worst-case scenario.

cold weather survival gear
Hypothermia isn’t only a concern outdoors. Without electricity, your home can become dangerously cold.

The best way to protect yourself against the cold is to dress in layers. Three layers are best, beginning with a thermal layer, then an insulating layer, and finishing with a shell or outer layer.

What to Look For in Thermal Layers

cold weather survival gear

For the most effective thermal layer that will keep you warm and dry, look for the following fabrics:

  • Synthetic polyester blends. These fabrics will wick moisture away from the skin and are lightweight; they include rayon, nylon, polypropylene, and spandex. An added benefit is that they move well with you due to their stretchy nature and can fit tightly under other layers without restricting movement.
  • Merino wool. This fine-fibered wool will not cause itching as traditional wool does and evaporates moisture within the fabric to help keep you dry. It is naturally antibacterial, unlike synthetics, which makes a big difference when you will need to wear your thermal layers for an extended period of time.
  • Silk. Silk fabric can be treated to enhance wicking and is very soft, however it typically requires washing after each wear, making it an unfavorable choice for survival conditions.
  • Cotton. While cotton is a soft and comfortable fabric, it also retains moisture, which is not only uncomfortable but also works against keeping you warm as evaporating perspiration will actually cool your skin.

In terms of fit, look for a close-fitting thermal layer, as this lends itself well to adding on additional layers. Ensure that the arms and legs are long enough that they completely cover your wrists and ankles, and that the waist and shirt overlap in order to protect your back when squatting or bending.

Thermal Layers For Men And WomenKey Features
Carhartt Men's Base Force Performance Super Cold Weather Crew Neck Top
• Heavy knit Polyester-Spandex fights extreme cold
• Wicks moisture away from the skin and resists odors
• Crewneck and droptail back lock in body heat
Carhartt Men's Base Force Performance Super Cold Weather Bottom
• Heavy knit Polyester-Spandex fights extreme cold
• Wicks moisture away from the skin and resists odors
• Long, fitted rib-knit cuffs prevent riding up at the ankle
Rothco ECWCS Poly Crew Neck Top
• 100% Polyester with ultra-soft fleece lining
• Tiny air pockets trap heat close to the skin
• Same Extended Cold Weather Clothing System used by U.S. Armed Forces
Rothco Gen III Level II Underwear Bottoms
• Highly breathable Polyester-Spandex grid-fleece with moisture-wicking technology
• Microban fabric ideal for long-term use
• Level II of the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System used by U.S. Armed Forces
The First Outdoor Women's Thermal Underwear Set
• Polyester-Spandex fabric with suede lining for added comfort
• Fabric resists pilling in high friction areas
• Athletic seams on shirt and pants for ease of movement
Duofold Women's Heavy Weight Double Layer Thermal Shirt
• Double layer Polyester-Spandex blend designed for extreme cold
• 4-way stretch and princess seams provide a contoured fit that moves with you
• Anti-microbial fabric ideal for long wear
Duofold Women's Heavy Weight Double Layer Thermal Leggings
• Double layer Polyester-Spandex blend designed for extreme cold
• Flatlock seams prevent skin irritation
• Drawstring for an adjustable fit
Sportown®Women's Odor-resistant Merino Wool Base Layer Shirt
• 100% Merino wool is extra soft against the skin
• Moisture wicking technology keeps you dry
• Lightweight and designed for active use
Click on the images to view current pricing on Amazon.

What to Look For in Insulating Layers

Once you’ve established a solid thermal layer, your next layer should be made of insulating material such as wool, fleece, or down. Wool, and some types of fleece, will still insulate when wet, however down is best in dry conditions as it loses its insulative qualities when wet. In extreme conditions, there is always the option of adding additional insulating layers.

Insulative Layers For Men And WomenKey Features
Columbia Women's Fast Trek II Full-Zip Fleece Jacket
• 100% Polyester with four-way comfort stretch for mobility
• Full zip doubles as a jacket in warmer weather
• Zippered pockets on front and sleeve for keeping gear close at hand
The North Face Womens Glacier 1/4 Zip
• Polartec Micro fleece dries quickly to keep you warm
• 1/4 zip allows for ventilation during rigorous activity
• Lightweight and great for layering
Minus33 Merino Wool Women's Sequoia Midweight 1/4 Zip
• 100% Merino wool with interlock knit construction to trap heat
• Flatlock seams make for a low profile when layering
• 1/4 zip allows for ventilation
Columbia Men's Steens Mountain Front-Zip Fleece Jacket
• 100% Polyester filament fleece is soft yet rugged
• Standing collar provides extra neck protection
• Zippered pockets ideal for hand warmers
The North Face Mens TKA 100 Glacier 1/4 Zip
• Ultra-soft TKA 100 fleece insulates against the cold
• Reverse-coil 1/4 zipper reduces bulk around the collar
• Thin and comfortable for layering
Minus33 Merino Wool Men's Isolation Midweight 1/4 Zip
• 100% Merino wool with interlock knit construction to trap heat
• Flatlock seams make for a low profile when layering
• 1/4 zip allows for ventilation
Click on the image to view current pricing on Amazon.

What to Look For in a Shell or Outer Layer

The ideal outer layer for cold weather survival is breathable, allows for movement, and protects against the elements such as wind, rain and snow. Breathability is key in order to allow perspiration to evaporate, otherwise, it will condense on the inside of your shell and cause you to feel colder. Good options for lining that allow for air circulation while keeping you warm include Gortex and eVent.

For outer fabric, look for something treated with weather proofing, such as teflon, as this will keep out wind, rain and snow to keep you dry and retain body heat. Also opt for a hood in your cold weather survival gear to provide protection for your neck and head – some hoods even have a built-in brim to keep rain and snow off your face, helping to prevent frostbite.

cold weather survival gear
Protect as much skin as possible from exposure to the cold air.

While heavy, bulky winter coats are a great source of warmth, they do little to allow for sufficient movement to perform survival tasks. Look for an ‘athletic fit,’ which will typically be trimmer and stitched to accommodate arm movement.

Finally, don’t neglect your legs, they need protection too! When looking for a cold weather survival snow pant, the same favorable qualities you would look for in an outer shell apply: breathability, mobility, and wind/water proof. Additionally, look for plenty of pockets so you’re able to keep cold weather survival gear close at hand.

Outer Shell Layers For Men And WomenKey Features
Arc'teryx Men's Theta AR Jacket

Arc'teryx Women's Theta AR Jacket
• 100% Polyester is rugged and durable
• Reinforced to add support to high wear areas
• Gore-Tex shell is light and breathable with side vents to cool off during exertion
• High collar keeps heat in and protects the neck
• Hood is roomy enough for a helmet but cinches for normal wear, with brim to shed rain
• Athletic fit eliminates bulk and longer length provides extra coverage from wind and snow
Mountain Hardwear Kelvinator Hooded Jacket Men's

Mountain Hardwear Kelvinator Hooded Jacket Women's
• 20D Ripstop Nylon shell is water repellant and designed to handle tough outdoor use
• Filled with Q.Shield Down treated to maintain insulating performance even when wet
• Compresses easily for packing due to stitch-through quilting
• Dual draw cords at the hem lock out cold air and adjust easily on the move
• Side zip pockets for warming hands or stashing gear
The North Face Apex Elevation Jacket Men's

The North Face Apex Elevation Jacket Women's
• Durable ripstop Polyester treated to be water resistant and block out wind
• Tight weave is abrasion resistant on the exterior and brushed on the interior for comfort
• Insulated body, hood, and sleeves provide superior warmth in harsh conditions
• Four zippered pockets with interior headphone slit perfect for listening to an emergency weather radio
Arctix Men's Mountain Snowboard Shell Cargo Pants

Arctix Women's Mountain Snowboard Shell Cargo Pants
• Waterproof, breathable nylon construction with reinforced seams and abrasion resistance
• Zippered hip pockets and velcro cargo pockets for holding tools
• Articulated knee for improved mobility especially when squatting by the fire
• Boot gaiters have grippers to keep them tucked into boots
Click on the image to view current pricing on Amazon.

Using Hand Warmers For Maximum Effectiveness

For those who participate in winter sports, hand and foot warmers are most likely a very familiar item. In everyday use, they make activities such as skiing or sitting in a football stadium much easier on your body, and in survival use, they prevent frostbite and lack of circulation to extremities. In terms of value, they are relatively inexpensive and can provide hours of heat without adding unnecessary bulk or weight.

Hand warmers work by using the exothermic reaction of oxidizing iron and forming rust. When sealed, the lack of air (oxygen) prevents the process from starting. After opening the package, shake it vigorously to allow air to enter the breathable cloth and mix with the iron, this activates the reaction and starts the production of heat. Once activated, place your warmers in an enclosed space, such as gloves, boots or pockets, trapping the heat and allowing it to build up continuously.

cold weather survival gear
Your hands are one of your most important survival tools! Keep them warm and protected.
Hand And Foot Warmers
HotHands Hand Warmers 15 Pair Value Pack
Heat Factory Premium Hand Warmer, 40 Pairs
Zippo Refillable Handwarmer
HotHands Adhesive Toe Warmer 6 pair Value Pack
Grabber Foot Warmer
Little Hotties Adhesive Toe Warmers, 30 Pairs
Click on the image to view current pricing on Amazon.

The Benefits of Wearing Snowshoes

cold weather survival gear

If you’ve ever had to trek through deep snow, you know how laborious it can be, but an additional concern in a survival situation is that it increases the risk of frostbite to your feet. With snowshoes, not only can you keep your boots above the snow, but also you conserve energy as it takes less effort to walk.

This can become of the highest importance in a situation where you find yourself stranded and need to walk to a nearby town or make your daily commute on foot due to a snowstorm.

cold weather survival gear
Stash a pair of snow shoes in your car in case you get stuck and need to continue on foot.
Snowshoes For Men, Women, And YouthKey Features
Chinook Trekker Snowshoes
• Aluminum frame is curved for ergonomic comfort
• Dual ratchet bindings adjust for a perfect fit and quick-release heel strap makes removal easy even with cold hands
• Heavy-duty crampons provide grip on slopes or icy areas
• Includes carry bag with mesh panels for ventilation
Alps Performance Light Weight Snowshoes
• Frame is designed for maximum floatation in heavy snow
• Aluminum tubing with TPU-85 plastic engineered for heavy use in cold temperatures
• Heel and toe crampons prevent slipping
• Bindings are situated to eliminate pressure points
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe
• Toothed frame with lateral crampons sustains 360 degree traction
• Ergo Televator heel lifts reduce calf fatigue when ascending and can be activated using a pole grip
• Modular tails (sold separately) can be added for deeper snow conditions
• PosiLock bindings contour to any boot for a secure fit every time
Click on the image to view current pricing on Amazon.

Cold Weather Survival Gear & Tools

There are two major obstacles you will come across in winter that will impede your survival activities: clearing snow and starting a fire.

Clearing Snow

cold weather survival gear

You can never truly understand the importance of having snow removal gear on-hand until you’ve been through a situation where you needed it and it wasn’t there. On a personal note, this author will never forget the time I landed at the airport at night only to discover an unexpected blizzard had completely covered my car in over a foot of snow.

It was early in the season for snow, so having not expected it, I was left without any scraper or brush and had to use my bare arms and hands to clear the snow from my car. Now, I travel with snow removal tools year-round!

For stocking your bug-out bag, a folding shovel works great. Not only is this a compact tool, it also has multiple uses including clearing a spot for a fire, digging a shelter, and collecting snow to melt for drinking, among many other essential tasks.

Starting a Fire in the Snow

cold weather survival gear

When it comes to fire starting implements, if you have one, you have none. Carrying multiple means of starting a fire and packing them separately is a measure of precaution that most preppers live by.

In terms of firestarting tools, lighter fluid is not ideal in extremely low temperatures and tools such as Ferro rods or flint will be much more reliable.

cold weather survival gear
In heavily packed snow, you can create a bed of bark for the fire to rest on.

For collecting firewood, start as early as possible, avoiding waiting until dusk if possible, as you will need a fair amount to keep the fire burning all night. Pine trees are good to scout for as they naturally shelter their undergrowth and there are typically plenty of dry dead branches beneath dense evergreen that can be collected for firewood with little effort.

cold weather survival gear
The denser the foliage, the more protected the base will be so look for evergreens that have thick lower branches.

However, obtaining larger dry logs can prove a bit more challenging, so it’s always prudent to carry a hatchet or tomahawk with you as these tools prove immensely helpful in cutting through thicker wood.

Even if the outside is damp, a fallen tree can provide enough fuel for one night if you can split the logs and cut away the damp portion to use the dry, inner part for firewood.

Once the fire is burning large and hot, you can add the occasional green log, which doesn’t produce as much heat as dead wood, but does burn much longer.

cold weather survival gear
Collect a pile of wood about six feet long by 3 feet high to ensure you have enough to last the night.

An excellent option for quickly and easily starting fires in windy, cold conditions is the Everstyke Survival Lighter. Click here to read more about this essential cold weather survival tool and how you can get your very own!

cold weather survival gear
The Everstryke Pro combines both a fuel-based system and flint and steel striker, so you can spark a fire under any conditions.

Harvest Water Safely in Cold Conditions

Yes, snow and ice are made of water, but there are still some unique obstacles to navigate through in obtaining life-saving, clean drinking water.

Harvesting Directly From Snow

Clean snow, such as fresh snow scooped directly off branches or brushes, is considered reasonably safe to consume. The part you’ll want to watch out for is that consuming snow (which is frozen) will result in lowering your core body temperature, making your hard work to preserve your body heat all for naught. If possible, boil the snow before drinking it and bring the water down to a consumable temperature by placing your drinking container in the snow.

Harvesting From Lakes, Rivers and Streams

The challenge with harvesting from an iced-over body of water is the danger that you may fall in and have hypothermia set in. Hypothermia is life-threatening and can be triggered by something as simple as submerging your feet in cold water, which can cause a significant drop in body temperature and increase your risk for frostbite.

When conducting survival activities around frozen or partially-frozen bodies of water, it’s always best to put safety first. One way to avoid coming too close to the edge is to carry cordage with you: throw a rock or log to make a hole in the ice within reach from shore, then tie your water bottle to a length of paracord (make sure it is secure so you don’t lose your water bottle!), then safely submerge the water bottle from solid ground and reel it in when it is full.

Before drinking, be sure to filter, boil, or treat your water as Giardia bacteria can survive in very cold temperatures, even ice!

cold weather survival gear
Keep a safe distance from icy rivers and always purify water – even ice contains harmful bacteria.

To be able to drink your harvested water safely without having to worry about bacteria or contamination, consider packing Lifestraws in your bug-out bag. These ingenious tools make it easy to turn harvested water into safe drinking water. Click here to learn more about Lifestraws and find out how to get your very own!

cold weather survival gear


Survival is challenging, but the additional threats posed by cold weather make survival activities extra challenging in winter, including maintaining your core body temperature, starting a fire, and harvesting water. However, with the proper knowledge and the right cold weather survival gear, you’ll be prepared to survive anything nature throws at you!

More Great Cold Weather Survival Gear

Your Thoughts

What is your most essential winter survival tool? What other winter survival gear do you pack? Tell us in the Comments section below, thanks!

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The Ultimate Prepper Gift Guide

prepper gift guide

It’s hard to believe, but 2015 is almost over. Along with the end of another year comes the holiday season – a beautiful time of year where love and togetherness are celebrated, pretty lights cover the streets, and families get together for long overdue reunions.

However, the holidays can also be stressful, especially when trying to find the perfect gift for that picky prepper on your list.

Not to worry, The Bug Out Bag Guide has you covered! We’ve compiled our annual list of the top survival gear any prepper would be thrilled to receive. We’ve spent the year reviewing all things survival and have evaluated each item to narrow down our list to the top gifts that are perfect for any prepper on your list.

If you happen to be the picky prepper, consider sending this link out to friends and family as a helpful hint!

prepper gift guide
Leatherman Skeletool

Ultimate Prepper Gift Guide

prepper gift guide

The answer to the question, “What does the prepper in my life need?” really depends on the answer to the question, “What problem is he/she trying to solve?” When it comes to survival, there are a multitude of scenarios and tasks to consider, and having the right tool for each specific task is crucial.

In our Ultimate Prepper Gift Guide, we’ve evaluated all the essential prepper tools and determined which ones best fit the needs of preppers while minimizing weight and size, and maximizing functionality.

Always remember, when shopping for prepping gear, it is not always the most expensive item that will best suit your purposes, but there is no substitute for quality. Ensure you invest in high quality gear that is built to last – you’re investing in more than items, you’re investing in your ability to survive.

Gift IdeaGreat ForWhy It's GreatLearn More
Eagles Nest Outfitters JungleNest Sleep System
Bug out bag
Get home bag
This hammock set includes everything you need to sleep comfortably anywhere! DoubleNest Hammock, Guardian Bug Shield, Rain Tarp, Atlas Suspension Straps, Steel Carabiners, Aluminum Stakes, all tucked in a stuff sack for easy transport.Bug-Out Hammock:An Essential Addition To Any BOB
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
Bug out bag
Get home bag
Weighing just 5 lbs, this 2 person tent is perfect for outdoor life. Bathtub floor and taped seams keep the rain out, while mesh panels allow for ventilation. The dual doors make it easy to get in or out without disturbing each other.How To Choose The Best Lightweight Tent For Camping, Recreation, and Bugging Out
Ambient Weather WR-111B Radio
Bugging in
Bug out bag
Get home bag
Multiple power options make this emergency radio great for home or travel. It comes with mini, micro, and USB adaptors for charging cell phones and other devices. The LED flashlight provides an emergency light source, as well.Stay Connected: How To Choose An Emergency Weather Radio
Leatherman Skeletool CX
Every day carry
Bug out bag
Get home bag
A well-designed multitool strong enough for any job yet light enough for EDC. The blade is located on the outside for quick, one-handed access. Inculdes 4 universal driver bits, pliers, wire-cutter, and intergrated carabiner to clip to a belt loop or strap.Best Multitool For Backpacking & Survival
Wartech 8" Assisted Open Folding Tactical Survival Pocket Knife
Every day carry
Bug out bag
Get home bag
This survival knife is loaded with extra features, such as a glass breaker, seat belt cutter, and LED light. The blade opens with the touch of a lever and stays locked when in use. It is a sturdy pocket knife with many survival applications, making it a great tool for experienced and novice preppers.Survival Pocket Knives – Our Top 10
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Every day carry
Bug out bag
Get home bag
I get a lot of compliments on this pen. Its rugged yet inconspicuous design and Rite In The Rain cartridge lend well to daily use. Click operation means no cap to drop or lose. I have used the glass breaker tip on 1/2 in thick window glazing with no trouble.Finding The Best Tactical Pen For Your Kit
Salomon Men's Quest 4D GTX Backpacking Boot
Bugging out
These boots provide ultimate support and protection. Lined with waterproof Gore-Tex, with a gusseted tongue for sealing out water and debris. Control flex design provides ankle support and relieves muscle strain, which is essential for long hikes.Gear Up: Top Rated Survival Boots For Men And Women
Salomon Women's Quest 4D GTX Hiking Boot
Bugging out
Lightweight and flexible enough for trail running, with a cushioned gusseted tongue to alleviate lace pressure. The braking pattern on the outsole provides extraction traction when descending steep terrain.Gear Up: Top Rated Survival Boots For Men And Women
5.11 Tactical Women's TacLite Pro Pant
Bugging out
When you're on the move, you need clothing that moves with you. These tactical pants fit the bill, with breathable ripstop fabric, action wasteband, and reinforced seams. Hip mounted D-ring provides quick access to keys or tools.Gear Up: How To Choose the Best Tactical Pants
5.11 Tactical #74273 Men's TacLite Pro Pant
Bugging out
These pants are designed for comfort and performance. High stress areas feature extra layering and triple stitching for durability. Seven pocket configuration holds all your gear close at hand. Fabric is teflon treated to repel stains and spills.Gear Up: How To Choose the Best Tactical Pants
Military Issue Tri-Fold Shovel
Bug out bag
Bugging in
Use it around the campsite for burying waste, building shelter, and clearing the firepit. A shovel can also serve as a back-up self-defense weapon. Folds to fit into a slim carry case, with a total weight less than 3 lbs.How to Customize your Bug Out Bag Contents for a Wilderness Survival Kit
CRKT Kangee Tomahawk
Bug out bag
Bugging in
Our top pick for a survival tomahawk! Forward weighting adds force to each swing while its light weight makes it easy to carry. Highly durable and versatile as a tool or self-defense weapon. How To Choose The Best Survival Tomahawk For Your Bug Out Bag
Flint & Steel Striker Set #7
Bug out bag
Get home bag
A handmade fire making kit that includes a handforged striker, tinder box, piece of flint, jute twine, and a manual with step by step instructions for striking a fire.PrimitiveFireMaking Store
Catatonk Atlatl
Bug out bag
A unique gift for sharpshooters! Engineered specifically for hunting, the hammer grip tranfers more power to the arrow while the moderate shaft flex improves control.Comparison of Ranged Survival Weapons
Click the images to view current price on Amazon.
prepper gift guide
Takes a licking and keeps on clicking… Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen.

Fully Equipped Kits

Have a prepper to shop for but don’t know the first thing about prepping? Consider buying a fully-equipped kit. Your prepper will love it and you can rest assured that your gift has just the items he/she is looking for. Alternatively, if you’ve already embraced the benefits of prepping but have someone in your family who needs a little encouragement, start off their prepping journey with one of these fully-equipped kits. When it comes to gifts, it’s the thought that counts, and what could be more thoughtful than arming your loved ones for survival?

The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit

The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit TUUSK
Click to view TUUSK in our store.

TUUSK (The Ultimate Urban Survival Kit)  was custom designed in collaboration with Ready To Go Survival. Weighing only 16 pounds, it is packed with carefully selected, high quality gear to enable you to survive an urban disaster. Included in the kit are means of protection, self-defense, communication, first aid, fire starting, shelter, water purification, and more.

Wise Company Deluxe Survival Kit

This kit has many of the features of a basic kit, such as a first aid kit, hand powered flashlight, and an emergency shelter as well as some of the more advanced, “kitchen sink” options such as a multitool, water filtration bottle, and a stove and fuel. It also has 44 portions of food which will keep a survival party going for a long time. Click the image to view on Amazon.

Stocking Stuffers

prepper gift guide
What, you don’t hang your bug-out bags on the mantle?!

You’re never too old to hang a stocking for Santa! We’ve got a ton of great stocking stuffer ideas including some that are completely FREE (simply pay shipping)! For all those little gifts that will surprise and delight the prepper in your life, or to share the joy of prepping with those you love, stock up on our top stocking stuffers!

Gift IdeaWhy It's Great
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Never be without clean drinking water! Removes over 99.9% of bacteria and parasites without the use of harmful chemicals. Filters up to 1000 liters.
Black Diamond Positron Screwgate Carabiner
Carabiners have endless survival applications. They are great for clipping gear to a belt or pack for easy access, hanging a hammock, securing food out of reach of wildlife, as well as climbing and rappelling.
Nitecore EC11 LED Flashlight
Every prepper needs a dependable flashlight for their EDC and BOB. This one is waterproof IPx-8, with multiple beam size and intensity settings. Charger, case, clip, and bonus LightJunction keychain included.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle
Aside from the obvious benefit of a BPA-free way to transport water, single-walled stainless steel bottles can also be used to boil water or heat food in a survival situation.
Swiss Army Tinker Knife and Sharpener Set
A classic survival tool, featuring two blade sizes for handling a variety of tasks. Screwdrivers, bottle opener, tweezers, and more. Includes a keychain sharpener to keep the blades in top condition.
Click the image to view on Amazon.
prepper gift guide
The Everstryke Pro Waterproof Lighter from SurvivalLife is available FREE by clicking HERE.
prepper gift guide
Survival Life FireKable Paracord Bracelet is available FREE by clicking HERE.

Books and Media

Books and media make the perfect gift for both experienced preppers and those just starting out. Check out our list of the top prepping resources including our own Ultimate EDC Kit ebook, Run Prepper Run, and Aquaponics. Each of these fantastic resources provides a unique set of prepping knowledge to help readers prepare for survival as well as an entertaining read.

  • The Every Day Carry Guide ebook makes a great gift for preppers who want to build or enhance their EDC kit. It is packed with information on daily preparedness, assessing threats, and choosing the right gear for their needs.
  • Learn how to grow your own endless food supply! Easy DIY Aquaponics will teach you how to get started with aquaponics, how to maintain your system, and how to make crucial improvements and adjustments to accommodate your family’s changing needs.

prepper gift guide


Here at The Bug Out Bag Guide, we wish you and your family a very happy holiday season and hope that you stay warm, safe, and most importantly, prepared!

Your Thoughts

Do you have a perfect holiday prepper gift you didn’t see on our list? Tell us about it in the Comments section and we’ll be sure to check it out for our 2016 list!

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