Hey everyone! It’s at this time of year that I find myself in a bind. I typically have little to no idea what anybody wants for Christmas (not the most observant when it comes to this), and I have even less motivation to get out there and shop. I’m a December 23rd kind of shopper, and that makes me the worst, I know. I still have a reasonable track record for gift-giving however, and I always try to give gifts that serve a purpose. Trinket type gifts always haunt me – I’m the person who can’t return a gift, and would be guilt-ridden if I re-gifted or ‘lost’ it. I frame my own gift-giving in this way, and wanted to share what I’ve got cooking for this Christmas. Below are some inexpensive stocking stuffers I have picked out, (almost) all under 15 dollars. What I would suggest, before moving forward, is that if you are considering giving preparedness-themed gifts to someone this year, make sure this isn’t all you give them. Odds are the person receiving these gifts isn’t a prepper, and might not be super-ramped up to be receiving Potable Water Treatment Tablets. Variety is the spice of life folks, mix it up! Anyways, here we go! (Note: these prices were listed on Amazon.com, and prices were current as of this writing. I imagine these prices would fluctuate moving forward. I also like online shopping as an alternative to shopping, especially amidst some potential Black Friday craziness!)
Adventure Medical Emergency Bivvy – $14.20
This Bivvy from Adventure Medical is a decent choice for an inexpensive stocking stuffer because of weight. At 3.5 oz., this can be thrown into any stocking and leave plenty of room for other items. I talked about the benefits of a bivvy bag as a Bug Out Shelter here, but here’s the gist: when paired with other cover, a bivvy bag reflects a ton of your own body heat, and offers almost complete protection from the elements.
Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets – $5.99
As mentioned above, this isn’t the most exciting gift one can receive, but it is one that has a place in any Bug Out Bag, or would be used by the camper/hiker/backpacker in the family. These Water Tablets (by Potable Aqua) are the most popular on the market, the reason being that they work. These will get you by when you need water soon, and shouldn’t be used with ongoing frequency when not necessary.
Mini Cree Led Flashlight – $3.94
A great mark-down on a great product. I did some time browsing over at CandlePowerForums before I picked this up (a great resource, I learned a lot!) – anyways, it sounded like a great value, and with it marked down from around 16 dollars I jumped at it. Up to a 300 Lumen Output, and mine’s in the mail at the time of this writing! A small but inexpensive stocking stuffer.
Industrial Grade Glow Sticks by Cyalume – $10.96
A long-term (up to 12 hour) light source that easily fits in a stocking. Right now, a 12-pack of 6″ glow sticks from Cyalume is available on Amazon, marked down from $23.40. These non-toxic and non-flammable glow sticks are a nice add to a Bug Out Bag as they require essentially no effort to light, and can be tucked away when not needed.
Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case – $6.54
I like this Match Kit from UCO for the waterproof factor. An ideal stocking stuffer for the non-smoker – I don’t really like the idea of complicating your Bug Out Bag, so I’d be just as likely to throw a small Bic Lighter in the case. Still, they included 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers, so it’s not a bad item to pick up and tuck away.
Chainmate Pocket Chainsaw (24 inch) – $11.19
As far as an inexpensive stocking stuffer, you can do worse than this Pocket Chainsaw from Chainmate. I’ve only used this guy once, so I don’t know if I’m super-qualified to speak on it, but I can tell you that a two-man team was able to put together an evening’s worth of firewood in about 10 minutes.
Leatherman Wingman Multi Tool – $19.96
Okay, to wrap up I’m going to cheat, but only because I care. This is a little more than the $15 I pitched, but I paid full price for the Leatherman Wingman Multi Tool ($34.50), and it has basically become my EDC (Every Day Carry). If you’re looking to pick up a multi tool or gift one, it truly is a great value. Scissors, wire cutters, a range of screwdrivers, and pretty much anything else you’d need is there. Admittedly, I don’t own an inordinately expensive multi tool, and it’s because this bad-boy does such a great job. If you’ve got one and disagree, let me know in the comments (but we all know you’ll be bluffing!)
So, there you have it folks, some inexpensive stocking stuffers for the holiday season. If you’ve got any other suggestions, or experiences gifting Bug Out Bag items, let me know in the comments below!