The 25 Best Survival Gift Ideas That are Just Perfect

Whether you’re looking for a birthday present or one for the holidays, a prepping gift should definitely be on your list, whether or not the person receiving it preps or not.

multitool, knife, first aid kit, metal water bottle, carabiner, two types of rope, and fishing gear
various survival items: multitool, knife, first aid kit, metal water bottle, carabiner, two types of rope, fishing gear, flashlight, and a folder

Much better to give them something useful than something they’ll throw in the back of the closet and never use.

If your list is anything like mine, you’ve got more than few people that make finding the perfect gift difficult.

We’ve made it easy for you by rounding up some of the best survival and prepping gift ideas and putting them into categories according to the role or interests of those on your shopping list.

Disclosure: This post has links to 3rd party websites, so I may get a commission if you buy through those links. Survival Sullivan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure for more.

For Mom

First and foremost on anyone’s gift list is of course Mom. Here are some great survival gift ideas for mom whether for Christmas, her birthday, or Mother’s Day:

This Emergency Weather Radio is a handy little device that uses triple A batteries but in a pinch it can be charged using the power of the sun or by hand cranking it.

With this great gift idea mom has instant access to NOAA weather updates, a flashlight or reading light if she’s stuck waiting in the dark, and a power bank with USB to charge her cell phone.

A 150-piece first aid kit shatters myths about pre-packaged first aid kits by including many quality items that mom will need to take care of cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries.

Such a kit typically includes the standard first aid items as well as several bonus items like a rain poncho and an emergency whistle.

There’s also room for Mom to beef up this kit by adding some single dose medications, like Benadryl, ibuprofen, or an EpiPen yet it’s still compact enough to go in the glove compartment or a backpack.

For Dad

Next on the gift giving list is Dad. Reward dad for working hard to provide for the family by giving him the tools he needs to keep everyone safe. Here are some great survival gift ideas for holiday giving, Father’s Day, or Dad’s next birthday:

Gerber’s Survival Hatchet makes a great holiday or birthday gift for dad if he doesn’t already have one. The 2.5” blade allows for easy portability but still cuts with precision.

The rubber grip is designed to be ergonomic and non-slip in dry or wet weather. Comes complete with a nylon sheath that resists mildew and includes belt loops to make carrying this little hatchet for a hike, fishing, camping or even just working in the yard, a no brainer for dad.

4-in-1 Emergency Utility Shutoff Tool by SurvivalKitsOnline gives Dad the confidence that he can shut off the gas and water quickly and easily in order to protect the family and help prevent further damage to the home during any kind of power outage or disaster situation.

For Elementary Age or Grandkids

Give your elementary age kids or grandkids confidence that they can ward off stranger danger, call for help, or find their way back if they get separated on a hike, camping trip, or family outing with these gift ideas.

Wrist Lanyard with Emergency Whistle by HEIMDALL is great for young kids and older kids who may find themselves needing to signal for help.

These sturdy whistles are made from high impact plastic, are waterproof, and emit a whistle loud enough to be heard from a distance. They come on a lanyard designed to be worn around the wrist or attached to a backpack, belt loop, or life jacket which makes them great for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Prepper Pete Prepares Series is a great introductory series about what being prepared means and some of the concepts about prepping that are important to understand.

For Middle School Kids

As kids get into middle school they inevitably spend more and more time away from parental supervision. The gift ideas below will help your middle school child travel safely and give you a little peace of mind when they are out of your sight.

This Crank Flashlight hooks easily to a belt loop or purse strap using the built-in carabineer. Just a couple of cranks provides nearly instant light during a power outage, while walking to/from a friend’s house, the library, or even just walking the dog in the evening.

While you’re at it, get one to keep in the door of your car or in the kitchen junk drawer and never worry about dead batteries in your flashlight again.

Tactical Survival Bracelet by Atomic Bear makes a great survival gift idea for middle school age kids. It comes complete with not only a decent amount of 550 paracord but also a whistle, fire starter, compass, and emergency knife.

While they may not be able to wear it to school, it’s a comfortable bracelet for kids to wear any other time in case of emergency.

High School Kids

Being a parent of high school kids is tough enough without worrying whether they will be safe when they are away from your supervision.

One thing that can help make giving them their independence a bit easier is knowing they have some items with them to help them take action and keep themselves safe when you’re not there to do it.

Here are some great survival gift ideas for your high school age student to have handy for everyday emergencies or a major emergency:

UZI Defender Tactical Pen and Glass Breaker make a great gift for high school age students, especially those that have just started driving or regularly riding as a passenger with other new drivers.

Not only will your high school student always have a pen on hand for homework but they’ll be prepared to break a window if they are ever trapped in a sinking car or even a smoke-filled classroom with windows that don’t open easily.

For the Graduating Senior

Heirloom Axe

The ideal gift for a high school student graduating from their senior year is a lovingly restored, vintage heirloom axe.

Maybe it is one that belonged to a grandparent, or some other family ancestor, or maybe it is just a tool that you picked up from a flea market, estate sale or even a neighbor cleaning out an old garage or tool shed.

Whatever the case, they don’t make axes like this anymore!

The axe is a perfect gift for such an occasion because no other tool represents self-sufficiency and perseverance quite like this one.

Restored, heirloom axes have a character, patina and sheer presence that is plainly unrivaled by any modern example of the same, no matter how nice it is.

Now, you can give them the tool as is, but if you really want to make it special I would highly advise that you take the time or spend the coin to have it restored.

Whether or not the haft can be saved as a small matter as that can be replaced, but seeing that weathered, ancient steel axe head cleaned of rust, sharpened and shining perched the top glowing, warm steel is likely to stir feelings henceforth unfelt.

Consider having a monogram engraved into the head or burned into the handle for extra meaning.

You need not spend a fortune on the axe itself, but if you aren’t going to put in the time and elbow grease to restore it on your own, be prepared to spend a couple hundred dollars on having a professional take care of it for you.

College Students

Ahh those college students. They’re off to spread their wings and try on what’s it’s like to be independent.

Many times, they can be hundreds of miles from home for most of the year.

Here are some great gift ideas to help them stay safe in emergency situations until they can make it home or you can get to them:

Maxpedition Medical Pouch has a clamshell design to open fully making it easy to access contents quickly.

Outside bungee strap is great for securing a rain jacket, flashlight, or any other item that might be needed for the hike across campus.

Grandma and Grandpa

We all know that getting older is hard. Even active grandparents don’t see or hear as well and many times grandma or grandpa isn’t hip to the latest technology or internet news.

If they are still independent and living on their own, here are some gift ideas to make sure they have the basics during a power outage or other emergency.

Emergency Weather Radio and Flashlight by RunningSnail makes a great gift for grandma or grandpa and gives you a little peace of mind.

When the power goes out, this handy little gadget is simple but packed with features that will keep grandma and grandpa safe until help arrives. It comes with a flashlight, weather band radio, and port to charge a cell phone. Compact, lightweight, and works right out of the box.

Urgent Response Medical Alert Device by GreatCall clips to a keychain, purse, or backpack.

If grandma or grandpa need urgent medical help they can hold the button down for just five seconds to bypass LiveNurse advice from registered nurses and be connected directly with 911 in the United States.

No landline required and no monthly fee involved. It does rely on cell towers so it’s great for everyday emergencies but probably won’t function in a major disaster where cell towers are out or jammed.

Fashionista

We all have that one person on our gift list who doesn’t leave the house unless everything about their outfit matches or consists of the most popular brand name or designer clothes.

These folks are tough to shop for but we love them anyhow. Here are some safe suggestions for the fashionista in your life:

Go Water Filter Bottle by LifeStraw makes a great gift for the fashionista on your holiday gift list.

Lightweight and available in a range of fabulous colors but still capable of filtering icky bacteria and protozoa from freshwater sources while hiking or camping.

glass breaker and seatbelt cutter
Dan Sullivan’s glass breaker and seatbelt cutter

An emergency Safety Hammer and Seatbelt Cutter (above) is a great gift for the Fashionista on your gift list. It comes in a fashion-tastic shade of pink and includes a power bank, seatbelt cutter, personal alarm, and a window glass breaker.

Give yourself peace of mind knowing the fashionista in your life at least has the basics for protection whether she shows it off or hide it in her purse or backpack.

Non-Prepper Types

If you need a gift idea for your neighbor who still has his head in the sand when it comes to prepping, here are some suggestions that can help him pull his head out of the sand and ease him into being more prepared for emergencies:

The Ultimate Guide to Old-Fashioned Country Skills by Abigail R. Gehring is a handy book for homesteaders and suburbanites alike that provides useful tips and step-by-step instructions on a variety of topics such as preserving food, creating a vegetable garden, making soap, farm mechanics, crop rotation, natural medicine, barn building, foraging, soil, fertilization, and irrigation, and much more. The perfect gift for any homesteader.

The Steadfast Hunter

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival is a great book written by Dave Canterbury, a survivalist expert and former co-star of Dual Survival reality show.

It’s a great gift for the steadfast hunter who can use more information on the 5 C’s of Combustion, Cordage, Cover, Container, and Cutting. This book includes a clearly illustrated knot section as well as gear maintenance, repair, and even Dave’s personal preferences for survival gear.

Homesteader

A non-GMO seed pack is a great gift for homesteaders, especially those new to homesteading, because they understand the importance of saving seeds for long-term survival but may not have any stored just yet. These seeds are non-GMO and come already packed and sealed for long-term storage.

100 Books on Backyard Chickens is a multimedia CD jam packed with 100 books about how to raise backyard chickens. It includes designs for building chicken coops. Every homesteader either has chickens or has considered them as a source of eggs, meat, and even to help fertilize the homestead garden.

Breeding Backyard Rabbits on CD by GeekaMedia is another great survival gift for the homesteader on your gift list. This awesome CD comes packed with 15 books and 36 different guides and rabbit hutch plans.

Rabbits can be a great source of meat to supplement a long-term survival diet. They require very little space overall and are fairly low maintenance. Great for the homestead beginner who is thinking of adding rabbits!

Fishing Fans

Fishing is one of the favorite pastimes for many people in America and around the globe. When it comes to survival, fishing is also one of the easiest methods for catching dinner when you are stranded outdoors unexpectedly.

As long as you can locate a freshwater source and have fishing supplies available, you can have a decent meal in a short period of time. Here are our suggestions for the fishing fans on your shopping list:

A folding hand saw is a great survival gift for the fishing fanatic on your shopping list. Most fishermen like to travel light, especially if heading to a pond where they have to park and hike into the woods.

This handy folding saw is compact enough to fit into a backpack or pocket, it’s razor sharp, but convenient to carry and easy to use. It’s a great tool to have on hand for removing branches or for any type of cutting task that may crop up on a fishing trip, especially one that lasts overnight or several days.

A multi-tool makes a great gift for that fishing fan on your gift list. Complete with adjustable screwdriver, pliers, wrench, saw, and utility knife it’s a great backup tool to have on hand for any fisherman.

For the Procrastinating Prepper

Survival Food Cache

Let’s get real, we all have that one procrastinating prepper friend who’s either just starting out and hesitant or who is flat out just plain lazy.

These folks might be well intentioned, but regardless we love them, and if we want to help them we have to make sure they have the basics covered before they do anything else.

The perfect gift for these recalcitrant preppers is a ready-made survival food cash consisting of freeze dried and other long-lasting fare that is easy to prepare, tasty and nutritionally complete more or less.

They won’t have to do anything else except stick this in the bottom of their pantry or the back of a closet and they, along with you, can rest easy knowing that their calorie requirements are covered at least.

This is a popular segment in the survival gear sector that is still exploding as of press time, and there are way too many manufacturers, good ones, to count.

Some of my favorites that are affordable while still producing a quality product with excellent quality control include Emergency essentials, Mountain House and Readywise.

However much or however little you want to spend, you can relax knowing that they have a variety of canisters, buckets, crates and packages to fulfill any family or nutritional requirement, or any budget.

For the Just-in-Case Prepper

Gray Ghost Gear Hideout Pack

There’s one thing that all preppers love, it’s luggage.

We always have to carry things about, be it in the form of a bug-out bag, a get-home bag, an INCH bag, a go-bag, a GOOD bag, a tool bag and so on, ad nauseam.

But here’s an interesting question: how do you keep the capability of a backpack close at hand, just in case you need it, without committing to carrying a full size backpack? 

Enter the collapsible backpack, with the current best in breed being the gray ghost gear hideout pack.

This ingenious backpack resembles the novelty, stuff sack backpacks that you can usually buy at any tourist trap gift shop when on vacation.

Unlike those backpacks, this one is made with the finest quality stitching holding together military grade ripstop nylon.

When trouble strikes, or you just need to free up your hands while carrying some extra cargo, a flick of the wrist will deploy the backpack and provide several cubic liters of storage space.

It is small enough to keep virtually anywhere, including in a briefcase, purse or automobile glove box. 

This is not a backpack where you’re going to carry super heavy for a super long distance, but most of the time you won’t have to, and for more utilitarian situations or short duration emergencies it is perfect, and affordable!

Get the Gray Ghost Gear Hideout Pack here.

For the EDC Fanatic

Raven Concealment Pocket Shield

EDC is a term known to pretty much every prepper, but some people take the concept of everyday carry to its logical maximum and make it a sort of lifestyle.

Please folks, it is not enough to be prepared with a few choice tools to facilitate their day-to-day adventures, but they enjoy the challenge and the chase of trying to carry the best tools that they can.

Unfortunately, for those of us who can’t or won’t walk around with jangling cargo pants all the time we are forced to fit our EDC tools in our pants pockets.

Decidedly space limited and rarely a good look, many proponents of the EDC lifestyle struggle with this necessary limitation.

Thankfully, if you gift them a Raven Concealment Pocket Shield they won’t have to struggle anymore.

This ingenious device turns any basic pants pocket into a versatile, speedy holster or cargo container for any carried tools.

Consisting of a rigid but flexible lattice that can allow pouches to strap to it, knives and flashlights to clip to it and other attachments as required, this is a revolutionary step up when it comes to concealment and comfort.

Aside from keeping tools from banging into each other in the pocket, the pocket shield also provides a uniform and professional appearance to the outer layer of clothing over the pocket, preventing eagle-eyed miscreants from deducing what someone might be carrying from observing the outline of the tool through the fabric.

An ingenious gift that is sure to be appreciated!

For the Urban Adventurer

Surefire Stiletto

One of the most fundamental tools for every prepper, and by far the one that is most likely to be used day to day, is the humble flashlight.

Available in every shape, style, type and battery format, there is little to say about flashlights that have not already been said here on this website and elsewhere.

but I can tell you this, when it comes to pure all around performance, durability and human engineering, nothing beats a Surefire.

But as with all exemplary tools, these lights have a price tag that has nothing short of eye-watering, and if you aren’t a flashlight fanatic or issued one as an on-duty tool much of the time these ultra-performance lights will stay out of reach of the average consumer.

But bear with me, because the Surefire Stiletto is one flashlight that can do just about everything that you might ask of it and has a price tag that won’t make you throw up.

The Stiletto, as its name suggests, is a thin, tapered flashlight that is easily carried in a pocket or even inside the waistband, and is capable of selectable output for battery conservation or self-defense as required.

Dual mode switching allows it to be used with a conventional bezel up grip or a tactical bezel down grip, facilitating employment with a firearm.

Best of all, this light uses a USB rechargeable internal battery.at the end of your day, you can plug in your light right alongside your phone and sleep easy knowing it will be fully charged for tomorrow’s adventures.

The real gift is not being forced to keep buying those crazy expensive lithium batteries!

Get the Surefire Stiletto here.

For the Defender

POM Pepper Spray

Every prepper should have the means of self-defense close at hand on their adventures, be it a commute to the office, a night out on the town, running to get groceries or surviving a society collapsing event. one of the most convenient, most effective and chronically most overlooked defensive tools is a humble can of pepper spray.

Pepper spray is one of the very few ranged defensive options that, with a good hit, is quite likely to debilitate an attacker to the point that they decide to give up the attack.

Even if they decide to press on, they’re going to be in a bad way and the defender will likely have a significant advantage.

Suffice it to say that not all pepper sprays are created equal, and without delving into a lengthy and relatively boring discussion of the same, let me instead heartily recommend POM pepper spray as the current best paradigm on the market.

Relying upon excellent quality control for their ultra hot independently verified formula, pepper spray canisters are the picture of simplicity.

You can have a pocket clip can or a breakaway keychain can but either has an intelligently designed flip top safety that is ergonomically correct and quick into action.

Best of all, these POM units are priced to move and available in a variety of color schemes to suit any taste or requirement. this is one gift that you can give to virtually any prepper in your family!

For the Buggin’ Out

Gootium Canvas Backpack

For the prepper who is just coming around to the ways of bugging out, and is beginning to understand how important it is to have a genuine survival stash with you when trouble strikes, the very best gift you can give them is a good backpack.

There’s a truly bewildering variety of backpacks on the market today, but in all my years I have found that simplest is still usually the best option.

Thankfully, we have this classic canvas rucksack by Gootium.

Compared to the PAL’s webbing-covered coyote tan military monstrosities that are typically chosen, this pack is classy and not out of place in any environment. it also still packs in plenty of cargo capacity with all the convenience options that a prepper on the go might need.

if you need exterior storage, admin compartments and plenty of room for all of your big ticket survival items, this backpack can take care of you and it will look damn good doing it.

Get the Gootium Canvas Backpack here.

Final Words

Did we miss anyone on your survival gift and prepping gift list for this year? Can you think of any great gifts we didn’t mention for one of the categories above? Let us know in the comments.

With the increase in natural disasters and terrorist attacks this year, it makes sense to get started on filling your shopping list early this year.

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