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Since the birthday-fairy snubbed me and I didn’t get a new Galaxy Note 8 I am making an impassioned, though somewhat, maybe, early plea for what every prepper needs to find in their stocking! I, probably like many of you, have heard the same thing on every gift-giving occasion. “You are so hard to buy for! You have everything and I never know what to get you.” Wrong, really wrong, major fail “WRONG!” So here are some blatant hints you can drop, like hot coals into a bucket of gasoline.
The reality is that all things come in “electric” form now. My iPad (and pretty much any Smartphone) has a compass app and many apps that cover sailing navigation, mountaineering, and on and on. Just look at an excellent post here from last week – The Top 10 Android Apps That Might Save Your Life! They were all great, and there were many more comments on other apps that were useful and interesting as well, but electric things only work where the signal reaches them, or until they run out of juice, or when the grid fails. And you simply can’t say enough about having a back-up.
So, I know everyone knows about the big things, more ammo, more MRE’s, more medical supplies, a new tent, shelters, guns, knives, cutting tools, water purifiers and on and on but here is a list of some little goodies that will warm the heart and raise the adventurers spirit in any outdoorsman.
The Fox 40 Sharx Whistle – Besides being an inexhaustible noise maker which, in itself, makes it worth its weight in gold, it attaches to anything and it can, for a moment, even quiet a 3 year old. As you know three shorts blasts (of a whistle, horn, firearm, rock striking rock and even your old KISS souvenir drumstick striking a metal can) are ways to call for help, get attention. This whistle will works as long as you can blow on it, where the others have limits. Every SCUBA diver has one so he can signal the dive boat if he surfaces in rough seas and is obscured by the swells. Every skier should have one in case the gaps between the trees are not as wide as he/she estimates (or they are not as narrow.) No go-bag or bug-out bag should be without one, in fact every key chain should have one as a safety item.
The UCO Survival Matches – compact, storm-proof with matches that burn for up to 12 seconds. Few things available in a waterproof container less than 1.5” tall make a better part of a gift set.
Rite in the Rain All-weather Notebook – no one should be in the woods without one. Rain, swear and grime don’t phase it, works with all pencils, wax markers and even crayons should you have small children or a college student in your party. Great for recording compass points from a site, site coordinates from your GPS before it dies, injury details for medical personnel, observations. Or, my favorite, to list the crap I lugged to the middle of nowhere and never used, as well as the things I wished I have brought.
Collins gem SAS Survival Guide – at 3” x 4.5” x 1” this is the compact survival guide to carry. Light, compact and complete, no one should leave home without it because no one know everything, in spite of what you hear on TV or read on FaceBook.
Chemical light sticks, I like the Cyalume VisiPad Chemlights – because they are flat and small (2.5” x 4.5”), come 5 to a package, are simple to operate and offer 10 hours of light. More practical as markers than reading lights, though they can do both.
And finally, the Funtalker Multifunction Map Compass – no one should be allowed to venture into the wilderness without a compass and the understanding of how to use it. I like this one as it is durable, compact, has the 5 standard scales (1: 24,000, 1: 63,360 – 1” = 1 mile, 1: 50,000, 1: 250,000 and 1: 1,000,000) commonly used in map reading and altitude determination. The included signaling mirror, which is polished aluminum, is worth its weight in gold. When everything fails, this alone will find you if you know how to use it and that information is everywhere. On a recent trip to Spider Rock in Northeast Arizona the Navajo guide used the signaling mirror to point out the petroglyphs on the canyon walls in bright sunlight while explaining their origin (Navajo, Hopi, etc.) and their meaning. I love simple and efficient.
No one who ventures off paved roads won’t love these as a gift, and there are so many more little, useful stocking stuffers. That is if they are true preppers……