So what do you buy for that survivalist/prepper/outdoorsperson on your Christmas list who (apparently) has everything and (allegedly) doesn’t need anything? Here are some suggestions.

by Leon Pantenburg

Every year about this time, we publish a list of recommended items for holiday shoppers. Here are some things I have tried out, field tested and used in the past year.

Disclaimer: Some of these products were sent to us for field testing. I was not paid to write any of these reviews and nobody had any input into the contents. I don’t work for any of these companies mentioned. All we ever promise is fair and impartial review. 

Folding Stool: This BTR Stool 17 Inch is one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you use it. Guides with Quapaw Canoe Company and Big River Wild Adventures use folding stools extensively. We sit around campfires at night, and daily spend hours cooking meals in Dutch ovens for the guests. We frequently must sit by the ovens for long periods of time.

The telescoping legs make this a compact package ideal for backpacking, concerts or outdoor festivals. It holds my 186 pounds easily, and is rated up to 250 pounds. The BTR is lightweight and compact, and performs to advertised standards. You will use one a lot!

Gloves: I have lots of gloves, ranging from insulated, waterproof gloves for cold water paddling, to lightweight hand protectors from the sun. These insulated, waterproof Gordini gloves are wonderful on a cold, gusty day while paddling a canoe! The Velcro cuff makes it easy to  close the glove to wind and water. Based in Vermont and independently owned, these Gordini gloves are made in China.

These Gordini gloves are designed for cold, nasty, raw weather.

Tyvek® notebook: I always carry a pen and notebook, and the Indestructible Tuk Book® is the most durable notebook I’ve come across. It has Tyvek pages and is waterproof, tear-proof and has a patented FlexiSpine® binding. The only downside is that the pages are so tough you can’t rip out a page to leave someone a note! Otherwise, this may be the notebook you’ve been looking for. Why you should carry a notebook.

Boots: Several pairs of boots have been tested this year, ranging from sturdy hikers to work boots. These included the Irish Setter Elk Tracker XD, Lem’s Boulder Boots, Kuru Quest, and Muck Boots Apex. All these are good choices for an outdoorsperson.

Socks: Many people don’t pay much attention to the socks they wear inside their boots. When their feet get cold, wet and sore, they may blame it on their boots.  I tried out different hiking socks this year, and I am impressed with Darn Tough wool socks. The Darn Toughs come with a lifetime warranty. I wore mine extensively this summer, and they show no signs of wearing out soon.

A perennial favorite of mine are Buffalo Wool Trekker socks. They’re made of Bison down and Merino wool, and the socks let your feet breathe and they help regulate the temperatures inside your boots.

Water bottle/filter: Some sort of water purification system is a survival necessity. It’s simple: You drink or you die. A quality water bottle with a filter is a handy thing to have along on any outing, be it backpacking in the wilderness or filtering water at the airport. This Water-To-Go™ filter bottle is completely made of bioplastic, and that includes the filter.  That means it can be composted. Like most filter bottles, it takes some pressure to suck the water out. The bottle performs as advertised.

Sleeping bag:   ThisNaturehike™ compact down bag is a great three-season bag. It is compact, easy to pack and warm.

Airing out the Naturehike sleeping bag along the Mississippi River.

Knife: Every survival-type needs a good knife. Or several. This Bark River Little Creek II was immediately appropriated by my wife to serve as a paring knife in the kitchen. I get to use it as needed outdoors. The BR Mini Aurora Hunter was wrung out skinning an alligator. The BR Mini Gunny, Mini KephartCub EDC and Water Moccasin all proved to be keepers. The Mountain Man is never a mistake.

And finally, how about a wonderful Bushcraft book? I recommend (without hesitation)  Bushcraft Basics: A Common Sense Wilderness Survival Handbook – the author is a great guy! 🙂

Have a great holiday season!

                                                  Thanks for sharing!


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