Todd’s Note: I read a lot of articles on planning preparedness and skills. These are both very necessary and should be priorities for preppers. But at some point, you need some gear. I don’t agree with this whole list. So, which pieces of gear below do you deem necessary?
Survivalists may borderline as hoarders. Let’s face it, you need enough supplies to survive any conceivable disaster, and prepper gadgets in particular can quickly accumulate. These gadgets are ingenious and resourceful — some decidedly more useful and practical than others. Useful? Practical? Just cool to have? Or not worth a buck?
1. Swiss Army Knife
A Swiss army knife qualifies as a gadget? You know it, and in my opinion, it’s a must-have one too. Besides maybe the fork and spoon, no handier tool has ever been invented. These knives are cheap, well-crafted, durable, and designed with so much variety to satisfy any need. I personally carry an Explorer and use the magnifying glass and scissors all the time. Also, they’re infinitely modifiable. Look on the Internet, and you’ll find really cool mods — affordable enough to have one in your pocket, one in your BOB and one in your car. It might save your life one day, just ask MacGyver.
2. Faraday Cage
A Faraday cage (named for the genius inventor who thunk it up) is a structure built out of electrically conductive materials. It’s designed to protect electronics from an electromagnetic pulse, which could be encountered during an EMP attack or a solar storm. Now, while the threat from an EMP attack or a solar flare is real, it seems to be rather uncommon. And if that happens, there won’t be any power available anyway, so what’s the point? If you have your own power generation capability, go ahead and build one around your PC and Xbox. But the Faraday cage does fall into the not-really-necessary category.
3. Portable Solar Power Generator
Solar generators just keep getting smaller and smaller, and now you can buy one that weighs in at under a half pound. These can be used to charge anything that uses regular batteries. Although a little on the pricey side, these generators are useful beyond traditional thinking. Portable solar power generators? Yes, worth adding to your preps collection.
4. Solar Kettle and Cooker
Heat water anywhere the sun shines. A solar kettle claims to heat up water in about 30 minutes and keeps it hot for hours. Compact and portable, solar kettles are exceptionally designed from what I’ve seen. A solar cooker, or solar oven, uses sun rays to cook, heat or pasteurize food and liquids. This is an affordable device — you can get a quality one for around $50, and it uses no fuel and poses no danger of fire or extreme heat.
5. Tracking Electronic Collar for Dog Training
So a dog isn’t exactly a prep tool, but a well-trained hunting dog is a Godsend during your hunting expeditions. Training e collars at SportDOG have a two-mile range and are waterproof. Also, the collars can be charged up with the aforementioned solar generator. A hunting companion is more of a nuisance if it takes off and plays around during a hunt. An e collar in your survival arsenal will improve your dog’s behavior and your game.
6. UV Water Purification System
Water is your most important resource, ya know, hydration is essential for survival. Ensuring clean water in an emergency situation is a pivotal part of preparedness. Small water sterilization devices, such as the SteriPen, can give you safe drinking water anywhere. And ultraviolet light is used to purify water and eliminate 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses that cause illness, according to the manufacturer site. These pens are small, handy and easy to use. I keep one of these with me at all times, especially for when I’m thirsty.
7. Hand-Crank Emergency Radio
The Ambient Weather Adventurer is many tools in one and can be a lifesaver. This hand-crank AM/FM/NOAA digital emergency radio also carries solar power and acts as a flashlight and cell phone charger. This green-friendly sustainable product is rugged enough to withstand a good beating. The hand crank stores energy for easy use and the solar panel also stores battery power for an emergency or when you can’t crank.
8. Flint and Knife Bracelet
I love my Swiss Army knife, but I feel a lot better having this bracelet with me as well. Para cord bracelets gained a lot of popularity in the past couple years. But the Bison Designs’ bracelet is made of a high-quality cord, and it has a 1-inch knife woven in the middle. The toggle closure is crafted from fire-starting flint. And you would never know from looking at this modest, unassuming bracelet that it could do all that.
So, what cool prepper gadgets have you tried lately?
About the Author: Peter Dickson is a hunter and outdoorsman who travels as a consultant for sustainable game reserves. When he is not working, he enjoys writing about nature and the outdoors.
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