Thursday, November 30, 2023

Prepper Christmas: Stocking Stuffers

It's coming up on Christmas at Blue Collar Prepping, and the staff got to talking about what to get that hard to shop for prepper in your life. Since I love gadgets and getting new toys, I wanted to do my gifting suggestions in two parts: stocking stuffers and larger gifts. The things I recommend are things I personally have experience with, and would happily buy for folks in my life.

Streamlight Microstream

As much as I joke about electricians being good in the dark, I don't actually have natural night vision. I've gone through countless flashlights over the years, and the little Streamlight Microstream is one of my all-time favorites.
  • It's slightly smaller than two AA batteries end-to-end, meaning it fits wonderfully in my jeans pocket. 
  • A single click on the tailcap switch gives a 50 lumen beam that is bright enough for about 90% of the situations I find myself in, with a runtime in excess of 3 hours. 
  • Double-clicking the switch bumps it up to 250 lumens, which is incredibly bright for a light of this size. In high-power mode, the battery lasts about 1.5 hours. 
It's not the cheapest light out there, but it's tough and reliable. Mine gets pulled out of my pocket several times a day, and it shows minimal wear after over a year of daily carry.

Pocket Knife
I'm specifically talking about what's commonly called a Swiss Army knife, and I have a couple favorites here. 

Personally, I carry a Gerber Armbar Drive, and have for a couple years. Depending on your tool needs, the Scout and Trade versions are also excellent options. It's rare for a pocket knife like this to have a locking blade, but the Armbar series use a solid liner lock with a stout sheepsfoot blade.

Gerber Armbar Drive

However, the classic that comes to mind when folks say "Swiss Army Knife" is the Victorinox Tinker. While the traditional scale color is red, these are available in a variety of other colors as well. My personal tastes lean towards the Evolution, with sculpted scales for a svelte look and a bit more comfort and control in use. 

Victorinox Evolution

Either of these knives are available with an increasing number of tools. These added tools come with a sharp increase in both cost and size, making them more cumbersome to both carry and use, so I tend to lean towards the more basic models.

If you're having trouble deciding, Victorinox knives have a wider range of tools in roughly the same total size, but the Gerber has a far superior cutting blade. If your intended recipient does a lot of cutting, then the Gerber is a better option. I reviewed my Armbar Drive a while back, and you can read that review here.

Lensatic Compass
While any compass can point you towards magnetic north, a lensatic compass is far more functional for actual navigation. This metal-case unit from Stansport is actually an upgrade from the plastic-cased model I've been carrying for almost 20 years.

Stansport Lensatic Compass

Hand Warmers
I happen to live where it gets cold, and I don't always have the luxury of working in places with functioning heat. If that describes someone in your life, a set of electric hand warmers can be an absolute game changer. I keep mine in my hoodie pocket, and they make it so pleasant when I stick my hands inside.

Hopefully I've given you some useful ideas for stocking stuffers for the prepper in your life. Next time, I'll share one of my favorite ideas for an under-the-tree (or Festivus Pole) gift.


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