Prepping on a Budget

Introduce Prepping to Friends and Family with Their Own Emergency Kit

emergency kit gift

Some of us have people close to us that think we are just plain nuts. They say nothing is ever going to happen, we are wasting our time with prepping. Then there are those that are interested in getting started with prepping but they don’t know where to start.


emergency kit gift


Since Christmas is just around the corner, why not put together a nice emergency kit for both groups, those that are interested and even those that are not. This way you are giving practical gifts, and who knows, may the naysayers will open their eyes a bit and see why prepping is a necessity.


ITS Tactical has put together a great list of things you can include in this emergency kit and use as a gift this holiday season:


The Ten Essentials

I’m a fan of the ten essentials system, and will thusly go down the list.

1. Navigation – Pick up some street maps of their local area. These are also free if you’re a AAA member. [$8]

2. Sun – It’s not a life-saving item but disasters can mean compromised shelter, i.e. no roof over your head to shield you from the sun. Sunscreen is always a good idea.[$7]

3. Clothing – Chances are they have their clothing preferences, but if you are feeling especially generous, Patagucci always has something on sale. For an emergency kit, I would recommend a light and simple rain shell, as they probably already own a fleece. I also like to keep a large trash bag handy as an emergency poncho. While it’s not as ninja as my Arc’teryx hardshell, it’s certainly more compact. Rummage around your pantry for this one. Throw in a pair of work gloves. [$8]

4. Illumination – A headlamp like the $29.98 Black Diamond Spot. Petzl and Black Diamond both make good headlamps that countless mountaineers have relied on. While I don’t like to recommend gear I personally haven’t used, both companies have models in the $12-15 range based on the same technology. I am using the Spot and can vouch for it. Get 3 extra AAAs from your battery drawer (market price $0.33ea) and toss them in there. Most outdoor books recommend a headlamp, spare batteries and a spare bulb, but I advocate a backup light like a keychain Photon II. If you’re on a budget, skip the headlamp. [$8-40]

5. First Aid – This is variable depending on their level of skill. Even if your family member is a world class surgeon, consider whether they have the mindset required to conduct more than basic first aid outside their workplace. At the bare minimum, I recommend a baggie of ibuprofen and some bandages. I’m confident most readers have this stuff laying around, which you can assemble from spares for $0. You could throw in a pre-packaged first aid kit, but we haven’t found one out there we liked. I personally don’t leave home without a tourniquet and hemostatic gauze, but would be reluctant to give them to someone without the proper training.

6. Fire – Matches and a butane lighter are simple and effective. We love our fire strikers, but everyone knows how to use a Bic lighter and strike a match. You can find a Bic at the impulse aisle for under a buck or even storm proof matches for a few dollars more. [$6]

7. Repair – Mora knife and duct tape. Yes, we sell a Mora knife with a fire striker in our store, but we need to consider the audience. If you have a few extra bucks to spare and you think the recipient would appreciate the quality, you can substitute the Mora for a Leatherman Skeletool which is a very handy yet modestly priced multitool. Wrap 10 feet of duct tape around the Mora sheath, empty Nalgene bottle (below) or a pen/pencil you have laying around and throw that in the kit. [$10-35]

8. Food – While I think the Mountain House variety pack is nice, I’ve gifted them in the past and I think they seem unpalatable and alien to normal people. Hell, people I take camping seem to not want to eat them (chicken a la king is the best flavor). I’m not a fan of energy bars, but a 24-pack of Clif Bars is often a safe bet. [$35]

9. Hydration – Water bottles are practically fashion accessories and almost everyone has one, but I recommend throwing an empty Nalgene [$7] into your gift kit. Give them a $17 7-gallon water container they can fill up in their bathtub on their own and store in their pantry, or you can fill it up for them if you’re feeling like a jerk. If the recipient cannot lift it, you may want to consider a 3-gallon jug instead, but a word of warning, I have this one and it can leak when tipped over. I haven’t found a more suitable alternative besides individual 1-gallon screw-top jugs. [$24]

10. Shelter – Throw in a 6′ x 8’ blue tarp and some paracord if you think they know how to rig a shelter, otherwise just stick with the trash bag (see #3) [$4]


I know it can be difficult convincing some of our closest family and friends of the importance for prepping. Either way, maybe by putting together a kit like this and explaining to them situations they may need these items, will be enough to at least keep this in their cars for an emergency situation that may occur.


What tips can you give to those that want to introduce prepping to those people that say we are just wasting our time? Let us know on our Facebook or on Twitter.

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