If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that our modern systems are fragile and prone to failure.

Our food supply chain. The monetary system. Communications networks. The electrical grid. Governments. Banks. The list goes on and on. There are literally dozens of touchpoints upon which our daily lives exist that could fail at any moment, for any length of time.

Like doomsday prophets of old however, “preppers” everywhere are taking cues from a couple millenia of history’s lessons in catastrophe, and stocking up on beans, bullets, and bandaids. 

Their reasoning?

“It’s better to have and not need, than need and not have.”

But it’s not just the conspiracy theorists and whack jobs that are taking action. Within the last decade and a half, prepping has become so mainstream that you might even overhear Joe Watercooler talking about his “bug out bag.”

Dan Carpenter, founder and principal of Homestead Launch and SCP Survival, has seen increasing numbers of people taking steps to prepare for emergencies. In particular, the Holiday Season is one time of year that he sees a lot of inquiry and interest from people wanting to gift a little preparedness under the tree.

Accordingly, he publishes an annual gift guide full of gift ideas for preppers. Suggestions range from inexpensive survival tools to gas masks to masterclasses on urban escape and evasion.

If this sounds like you or somebody you might be shopping for this Holiday Season, here is a sampling of ideas from the guide worth considering:

The Bushcraft Boxed Set by Dave Canterbury – If one or more of our systems fail, it’s imperative to have some hard skills to fall back on. This book series teaches how to make fire, hunt, track, build shelters and much more–using primitive tools and materials.

SentrySafe Biometric Safe – Part of being a responsibly armed citizen means that our firearms need to be secured. But secured doesn’t have to mean inaccessible. A biometric safe offers the best of both worlds, giving the ability to safely store firearms, yet retrieve them at a moment’s notice

Berkey Water Filter – whether in times good or in times bad, a gravity-fed water fed water filter like a Berkey makes a world of sense. And if our water supply is ever compromised, a good water filter could literally mean the difference between life and death.

15,000 Survival Seeds from Open Seed Vault – Storing food is good, but the ultimate in self-sufficiency is being able to produce your own. This seed vault packages up 15,000 non-GMO, heirloom fruit and vegetable seeds. 32 different varieties stored in an airtight, heavy-duty mylar pouch

Baofeng handheld HAM radio – For decades, preppers have been preaching the virtues of short-wave radio communications. This modestly-priced handheld radio can transmit with 8 watts of power, across 2 bands. When cellular and phone communications are down, a radio like this is a fantastic backup.

Phone Shield Faraday phone bag – Speaking of communications, one of the big worries with an EMP scenario is that anything with a circuit board or chip could be fried and rendered useless. Protect your cell phone from EMP damage with this handy faraday phone bag.

Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen – Sure many people move for a bigger house or better view, but more and more frequently, sound-minded folks are thinking about relocating for security reasons. This book outlines the threat profiles of various regions and areas within North America. For each location, Skousen systematically breaks down the demographics, geography, military targets, population density, ingress/egress, political makeup, and more.

Recon Medical trauma kit – A medical emergency is a scary occurrence, where minutes and even seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Stand ready when the moment of need arises with this trauma kit. Everything you need to stabilize a patient until professional help arrives.

Anker ultra high capacity battery bank – Our modern lives are dependent upon a handful of critical electronic devices. Phones, computers, navigation, communication, and medical equipment. A battery bank gives added life to these devices for those just in case times when connectivity matters most.

Concealed carry class (from a former CIA officer) – Although you hope you never have to defend yourself by pulling the trigger, a concealed carry permit lends peace of mind in an uncertain world full of crazy people. An online concealed carry class can be completed on your time, from the comfort of your own home, and gives you the certificate that you need to send in to get your official permit.

Urban escape and evasion class by On Point Tactical – One of the most transformative gifts you can give somebody is the gift of an experience. Especially one where they can hone skills like escaping from the trunk of a car, lock-picking, hotwiring, disguises, grey man techniques, and much more. This is the original class referenced in the prepper’s cult classic “Emergency.” Definitely not for the faint of heart, but absolutely transformative.

Ready, Set, Prep.

Although there’s no gift that can make you immortal, there are some that can definitely increase your odds of making it through a sticky situation.

So this year, instead of gifting somebody a box of See’s candies candies or a new pair of jeans, why not help them prepare to be a little more self-sufficient?

To see the complete prepper’s gift guide, with more than 160 gift ideas, click here.

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