The Best Survival Gear For The Entire Family!

best survival gear

If you’ve been preparing for any amount of time, you know the important of getting the best survival gear. However, it’s not just about you. In fact, you’ve likely been thinking about how to keep your entire family safe and alive as well.

Typically, there’s at least one “main prepper” in the household. This individual makes the primary decisions for what to purchase when it comes to survival gear. He or she makes the determination of which foods, clothing, and survival tools make sense for the budget.

Unfortunately, having only one or two “main preppers” in the household can backfire. This is because these individuals are typically adults. And they typically don’t think about which survival tools children can use to help them survive.

And let’s face it – you can’t do everything for them (especially in the chaos of a survival situation). And, as the old saying goes, “Catch me a fish, and I’ll eat for a day. TEACH me to fish, and I’ll eat for a lifetime.” Even if a crisis isn’t happening anytime soon, it’s still crucial that your kids know how to use a variety of survival tools. This way, when the time comes, they’ll be able to do it on their own. Otherwise, they’ll always look to you to do it for them. And this is downright dangerous if you can’t be around them in their time of need.

The fact is, if your kids are going to survive, they’re going to need to prepare. This means they’ll need survival tools they can actually use safely. Not to mention, this will help them learn and practice valuable survival techniques. Not to mention, you’re getting survival tools the entire family can enjoy.vThis way, you’ll be helping your family prepare, AND having a lot of fun practicing with these!

We want your family to survive in every upcoming emergency. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of…

The Best Survival Gear For The Entire Family!


Kids are much more capable than adults like to give them credit for. That’s why there’s a TON of survival gear in this list that your kids can use in an emergency! Here’s a few really good ones from Gray Wolf Survival:

1. Flashlight

One of the best things you can get for a kid (or anyone) is a flashlight. They’re hella useful and can actually keep them safe. Walking around in the dark can not only get someone lost, they can get hurt. A flashlight is an absolute MUST when camping but is also something they’d use on a daily basis. The big problem is keeping them from running the batteries down. But which flashlights would be best?

The obvious choice here is the Adjustable Mini CREE light. I’ve bought a TON of these myself and will be buying more. They’re SUPER tough, EXTREMELY bright, and look very cool. Oh, and I forgot to mention – they’re less than $5. They also run on a single AA battery so they’re pretty easy to keep powered. I personally use rechargeables with a solar panel and AA charger to keep all my stuff going. If you’d like to see what I’m using, check out my article on what I carry in my 25 pound bug out bag. This is really the best all-around stocking-stuffer gift out there for pretty much everyone on Earth.


Not only the best flashlight deal out there, it even looks cool

Another choice that would be really popular with kids and extremely useful is a headlamp. I always take a headlamp when I’m deployed with the Army or when I’m just camping. Much better than drooling over my flashlight as I’m trying to do something. One of the best choices here is the Intellinotion CREE headlamp. It takes 3 AAA batteries but you can get really inexpensive adapters to put them into an AA charger.

2. Fishing Rod

For survival purposes, it may be better to teach kids how to use dental floss and a primitive fishing hook, but that may not suit your timeline or your kids patience. Get them a real pole and spend your time teaching them how to use it, and then focus on teaching them how to fabricate stuff out of nothing.

I’d suggest just getting them a small quality pole instead of some gaudy Hello Kitty thing (no offense if you personally have Hello Kitty survival gear). Toy fishing poles break really easily. Now if your kid’s too small to ACTUALLY fish, then by all means get them a toy one like the Small World Toys Sand and Water – Catch of the Day so they can sit next to you while you drown worms but otherwise, get them a real pole.

One of the best ones out there is called the Ugly Stick by Shakespeare. Even though it’s a very small pole, you might even want to get one for yourself. They’re really good poles for everyone, not just kids.

3. Slingshot

Yeah, yeah. I hear ya. Still – a slingshot is one of those gifts that you’d remember for the rest of your life, and will keep them busy for HOURS. The one I use in my personal bag is called a Trumark. The cool thing about it is that it holds the BBs inside the handle, which is one of those really handy things so you don’t forget where you put them. I purposely chose this one though because it’s quality, cheap, light, and can shoot small rocks for when you run out of ammo.

I use this one – kids will love it

4. Binoculars

Binoculars for kids isn’t really a great choice for purely survival reasons because you really need a good quality pair to be useful but OMG do kids love to have these when they’re in the woods. If you marry them up with a treasure hunt or kind of game, you can keep them busy for hours. If you can get them hooked on something like birdwatching – fuggetaboutit. I don’t have any really good suggestions for them because it all depends on how much you want to spend and how useful you really want them to be. Just read the reviews for a good pair.

5. Journal/pen

This isn’t just something to keep your kids busy – although it’s useful for that. Situational Awareness is an important survival skill. You can easily get them to play games to record what kind of plants they see, different birds, map the campground, and all sorts of things. Also, you can write in important safety information in the journal such as your contact information, the grid coordinates of your camp, etc that they could use if they need to even if they had to find someone to help use it.

6. Firestarter

This is one of those things that kids really like – especially if you can teach them how to use it to start the campfire for your camp. There’s just something that resonates with kids when you can hit something and sparks come out. It’s freaking awesome.

I think one of the best choices for kids would be the Gerber Bear Grylls Firestarter. It’s larger than a lot of them so it doesn’t require the dexterity to use that the smaller ones do. It also comes with a lanyard that keeps the two halves together so they don’t lose half of it. The lanyard has a cinch thing on it that contains a whistle too, which is an important piece of survival gear. Here’s a full on video review of it so you can see more about it:

7. Compass

A compass is another very important piece of survival gear, and something that kids like to have. Just don’t get all chintzy and get one of those tiny button compasses. They suck. Line up 10 of them and see how many directions they show if you want to see just how much they suck.

There are several good quality compasses out there you can get but you don’t have to go for the full-on military lensatic compass like the one they issued me unless your kid’s a military nut like my son was or he really wants to learn land navigation. The Suunto A-10 Field Compass is much cheaper and still a great choice. It’s harder to shoot an azimuth with though, so it all depends on what level of bushcraft you’re trying to get your kid to at the moment.

Military compass for serious campers

8. Whistle

A whistle is kind of a must-have survival item. If you can keep them from driving you nuts by whistling in the house with it, you need to get them one. The Storm Safety Whistle I use in my kit is a great choice for them because it’s stupid loud and the one I linked to has a lanyard with it so they can wear it around their neck.

9. Clip-on Light

Kids really love lights but this one is one you’ll probably really like. When you’re sitting around a campfire at night, it’s easy to lose your night vision as you’re captivated by the ancient spell of burning embers. That means that as your kids go playing around the camp area, unless they’re right in the fire light, you won’t be able to see them very easily. Clipping some sort of light to them will help you keep track of where they are without having to have bright lights on or around them to spoil the starlight when you finally lean back and enjoy the show. These LED clip-on lights are really handy for that and can also be very useful to clip onto important items such as backpacks or the entrance to your tent.\


Although there’s many things kids can do to survive, there’s some things that are better off for the  adults to use until the kids get old enough. That’s where the following survival gear comes in. Here’s some great ones from The Prepper Journal:

Disaster Scenario #1 – Weekend Vacation Chaos

This could also be the rush evacuation from oncoming flood watersapproaching wildfires, car wreck in a blizzard or rioting on the next block over. What are some of the best prepper gifts for the survivalist who wants to be ready to go in a moment’s notice? What could they possibly carry with them wherever they may roam that could offer an advantage if they encountered trouble?

Water – Sawyer Mini – When it comes to survival water filtration, there aren’t any other options I can think of that are as durable, lightweight and compact as the Sawyer Mini. I have these as backup filtration in my Bug Out Bags and when we go backpacking. This little 2 ounce wonder of a water filter will give your prepper the ability to make up thousands of gallons of fresh drinking water from even the nastiest of sources.

The Sawyer Mini, compact water filtration for bad times.

The Sawyer Mini, compact water filtration for bad times.

Food – Emergency Rations – In a survival situation, an empty stomach can be a demoralizer but putting a sandwich in your carry on isn’t usually recommended either. Emergency rations add a little weight to your gear, but the right ones like Mainstay are virtually impervious to extremes in temperature and one pack gives your favorite survivalist 3600 calories of living saving goodness. Well, it is 3600 calories and that brick can save their life if food options are scarce. Yes, you can certainly live for longer than a weekend without any food, but who wants to do that?

Pack it in your bag and when you need it, you will have 3600 calories that could be enough to last you through the disaster.

Pack it in your bag and when you need it, you will have 3600 calories that could be enough to last you through the disaster.

A different prepper gift option could also be used backpacking and would probably taste better. For grid-down meals that are pretty tasty, a couple of Mountain House entrees fit the bill nicely. I got something like this for my Dad, who is not a prepper and didn’t see the humor to boot for last Father’s Day. Any freeze-dried foot you get will need to have water, usually hot water added to it so it can reconstitute. A Jet Boil is a great system for backpacking meals that works just as well if you have had some type of disaster as long as you have the right fuel.

Shelter – Fire Starter/Wet Fire – Sure you can buy waterproof matches, but a fire starter that can never be put out commission in water is supreme and it looks so much cooler when the sparks start to fly. Add to that some wetfire cubes which can even be lit when they are sitting in water and you have the perfect fire making combination. You can also throw all of this in a dry bag for your prepper to add other fire making materials and to keep them organized.

Two great tastes, that taste great together.

Two great tastes, that taste great together.

Security – Tactical Folding Knife – I am not sure you can even call yourself a prepper unless you have at least two knives. A good survival knife can help you in so many ways, but you don’t always have to have the most expensive knife in the world. A good quality folding knife can help you cut a lot of things but not break the bank. If they already have a good folding knife, a multi-tool extends their abilities in roughly the same size factor.

Cold Steel Recon 1

Cold Steel Recon 1

X-Factor – Seatbelt cutter – For the Prepper who has almost everything except a seat belt cutter and a glass punch in their favorite bug out vehicle, the resqme (get it?) Keychain car escape tool combines both in a small footprint that is affordable and its compact size makes it easy to add to your preppers EDC kit.

Resqume Seat Belt cutting tool with glass breaker.

Resqume Seat Belt cutting tool with glass breaker.

Disaster Scenario #2 – Month Long Viral Outbreak Quarantine

For those preppers on your gift list who are planning for a little longer-term event, they need gear designed to work a little harder or to last a little longer. The following prepper gifts will ensure that your friend will be able to last at least a month before the all clear is given.

Water– Platypus Gravity Works filter – I fairly recently came across this filter at the suggestion of one of the readers of the Prepper Journal and I couldn’t be happier. The Gravityworks filters 2 liters of dirty creek water in under 2 minutes. That way I can collect water, stow it my pack, and get back to safety. Unlike chemical treatments like bleach or iodine, there is no bad taste and I don’t have to boil the water and wait for it to cool.

Filter a whole lot of water quickly with the Platypus Gravityworks.

Filter a whole lot of water quickly with the Platypus Gravityworks.

Food – Chef’s Banquet All-purpose Readiness Kit 1 Month Food Storage Supply (330 Servings) – Food storage is on the mind of preppers everywhere, but sometimes you want a simple buy it and forget it option. The benefit of this option is that it comes sealed in its own 5 gallon bucket so all the prepper needs to do is store it in a cool dry place until it is needed. If you purchase more buckets, they will easily stack and reduce your storage footprint.


Month worth of meals in a handy-dandy 5 gallon bucket. When the food is gone, you can use the bucket for a makeshift toilet.

Shelter – 2 Man Tent – It may be that your survival depends on getting out of the city while a virus runs its course. Before you head for the hills, make sure you have a good tent. The Big Agnes Scout UL 2 is a two-man tent that is very lightweight (only 2 pounds!) and compact. Your bug out bag and your back will thank you for switching to this option. Instead of the poles common to most tents, the Big Agnes Scout uses your trekking poles and sheds the weight. You can also just use sticks to prop up the tent or tie one end off to a tree.

Accommodations for two at just 2 pounds.

Accommodations for two at just 2 pounds.

Security – Fixed Blade – Tactical folding knives are great, but if you plan on living in the woods for a month, you will want a bigger, stronger blade. I have the Gerber LMFII but there is a newer Gerber, the Strong Arm 30-001058 that takes some ques from its cousin. This knife will allow you to make firewood by batoning and hold up to a lot of abuse. It even comes with its own sheath that straps to your belt and the Coyote finish should blend in with your surroundings.

The Gerber StrongArm for when you need a little bit more from your survival knife.

The Gerber StrongArm for when you need a little bit more from your survival knife.

X-Factor – Night Vision Monocular – The threats your survivalist is preparing for don’t end when the sun goes down. In order to have an advantage at night, they could use a Night Vision Monocular. This will help them see what is lurking in the dark and give them an upper hand in the fight. This monocular boasts a 1000 ft. viewing distance to help you see what is coming or that big game walking up to your stand from a distance.

Night Vision is a huge advantage when the lights are out.

Night Vision is a huge advantage when the lights are out.

Disaster Scenario #3 Total Collapse due to EMP or Zombie Apocalypse

When it has all gone to Sh*t, your prepper gear will be put to the test. Knowledge and training and I would argue, luck are all more important than the price tag of the shiny piece of metal you are carrying in your Get Home Bag. However, longer duration use requires more durable equipment. That tactical folder may be perfect for a weekend, but what would you do if it became damaged? What if your water filter was rendered inoperable due to the high use? Below are some additional prepper gift ideas for the prepper who is planning to ride out the end of the world as we know it.

Water – Big Berkey Water Filter – The water filtration methods I mentioned above are great if you are mobile or only really need to filter water for yourself, maybe another person. If the disaster lasts a long time or you need to filter water for the whole family, day after day, you will need something a little more substantial. The Big Berkey can filter 2.5 gallons at a time and only requires you to pour the unclean water in the top. Gravity does the rest and it even has a handy spout to fill your Nalgene bottles up again with clean filtered water.

Filter Gallons of water easily with gravity fed Big Berkey.

Filter Gallons of water easily with gravity fed Big Berkey.

Food – Survival Seeds – Yes, the grocery stores are all long plundered of anything you can eat and the burden falls to the prepper to produce food for their family, going forward. A box of Survival Seeds will give them the necessary seeds to start that survival crop; hopefully their garden is already started well before now, but the seeds in this container can be opened in an emergency and provide the ability to grow a big crop of food for the compound. This can also be useful as barter in a pinch.

Do you have the seeds you need for a bountiful survival garden?

Do you have the seeds you need for a bountiful survival garden?


Shelter – Hammock – Tents aren’t meant to last forever but with proper use you can get several seasons out of them. Sleeping on the hard ground is tough though and your prepper might want the comfort of a hammock if they are going to spend the rest of their lives in the woods. A Hennessy Expedition comes with rain fly and a mosquito net to keep the bugs off you and packs down small and light (under 3 pounds) as well making it a great alternative if you are trying to lighten your bug out bag.

Hammocks make a great solution for sleeping outdoors and they can really lighten your bug out bag.

Hammocks make a great solution for sleeping outdoors and they can really lighten your bug out bag.

Security – Crossbow – Maybe it is the premiere of the new season of the Walking Dead that has me thinking of this item, but a crossbow has a lot of appeal in a grid down/apocalypse scenario. For starters you can hunt very quietly and there is no point in alerting everyone else that you just brought down that big buck. Add to that, when the ammo is all gone, you can still make arrows, if you have the right skill and that could be limitless ammo for your new weapon. Or you could just do what Darryl does and pull each arrow out of the skull of your victim and move on. The Barnett Penetrator Crossbow would do just that with 116 foot pounds of energy, penetrate and could make an excellent weapon in a total collapse. Don’t forget the extra arrows.

With a crossbow, they won't hear you coming until it's too late.

With a crossbow, they won’t hear you coming until it’s too late.

Security – Machete/Parang – When all else fails you may need something that can cut a little deeper. From chopping wood to clearing brush or solving problems, permanently, the Parang is a nifty little weapon. Gerber has a nice Parang Machete from Bear Grylls’ line that could help your prepper defend themselves and their family, maybe you from the bad guys. Or zombies.

Bigger than a knife and easier to conceal than a sword.

Bigger than a knife and easier to conceal than a sword.

X-Factor – Gas masks – If the world really has gone to hell, you might need to protect the air you breathe. There could be NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) agents, viruses, tear gas or who knows what. This Military and Police Tactical mask with the right filters will protect your prepper from inhaling any particles that could bring them down. You can also throw in some Potassium Iodide tablets for a companion gift.

If this comes out, you know it has gotten bad.
However, that’s not all. When you get right down to it, there’s a TON of survival gear out there that you can/should bring in a survival situation! No list can cover them all. So, instead, here’s a couple videos showcasing some great survival tools you may not have yet discovered. Remember – Prepare Now, Survive Later!