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    15 Smart Survivalist Products That You Might Actually Use In Everyday Life

    Prepping, but casually.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A small solar-powered flashlight so you don't constantly go through batteries illuminating your after-dark dog walks. Charge it up by a window for an hour, and enjoy two full hours of bright light β€” that's like, four dog walks worth!


    It has three different brightness settings and features a hand crank to power it, too, in case you have a stretch of cloudy days. Oh, and it's waterproof!

    Promising review: "I have three of these. Very useful when I take my dogs out at night. Basically they're my poop lights! I've dropped them many times and they charge quickly. Much better than constantly changing batteries and trying to rush outside only to have dead batteries!" β€”KarKrash81

    Get it from Amazon for $16.96.

    2. An easy-to-use knife sharpener to keep your kitchen blades in tip-top shape while taking up verrry little storage space. Plus it's super easy to pack for camping or fishing.


    Or keep it on your keychain, so when your parents/friends have you over for dinner and ask you to chop the carrots, you can quickly sharpen their inexplicably dull knives and blow their minds with how much easier a sharp knife makes things!

    Promising review: "Bought this sharpener based on the other positive reviews and it was delivered promptly. I am embarrassed to say that I have never been able to sharpen a knife. I have ruined many trying to figure it out but never did. This little gadget works great! Almost foolproof (I haven't screwed up a knife with it yet) and does what it is supposed to do flawlessly." β€”Robert McDill

    Get it from Amazon for $8.38.

    3. A miniature personal water filter so when the water fountain at that highway rest stop (or at the airport, or in a foreign country) tastes a little "off", you can still stay plenty hydrated while skipping single-use water bottles. It says it removes 99.99% of bacteria, 99.99% of protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium), and 100% of microplastics.


    Naturally, this is also great for camping and hiking! The set comes with the filter (which works for up to 100,000 gallons!), a reusable squeeze pouch, a reusable drinking straw, and a cleaning plunger. An even easier way to use the system than sucking directly through the filter = fill up the pouch with the water, screw the straw on top, then squeeze the pouch to send the water through the filter and into your reusable water bottle.

    Promising review: "On a recent motorcycle adventure ride with a few buddies I decided this would be a good time to try this out. I usually take bottled water but this time I decided to only take this filtration unit and fill up when we came across a stream or water feature. WOW! I was able to drink cold mountain water right from a stream or water fall without the worry of getting sick. I used it at least 10 times and it provided me delicious natural water at every stop. Not once did it disappoint. Now I have one in all cars and both motorcycles, you just never know when you might need something like this. Knowing I can get water practically from any source and have safe drinking water is a huge relief." β€”Stephen Ferguson

    Get the system on Amazon for $19.97.

    4. A collapsible one- or two-gallon bucket because it takes up very little storage space, then expands to be a quick dog bowl on-the-go, or a convenient place to chill your champagne, hand wash delicates, collect sea shells, or wash dishes after camping.


    Promising review: "These things are AWESOME!! They are well built for their purpose and handle the water load very well, without any flex/distortion. They are mint! I got two and recently used 'em for a camping trip. Large enough for dishes and such, or maybe washing a shirt or pair of pants. They actually work great for carrying water too!" β€”Willy

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in one or two gallons).

    5. A thick, washable wool blanket to store in your car for spontaneous picnics, extra cushion for your bum on the bleachers, and of course, in case of winter time emergencies.


    It is recommended to line-dry it, though.

    Promising review: "I ordered two of these and they're great! I wanted two blankets I could take camping and they're a perfect fit for my needs. I can use them as a makeshift poncho for the cold, use them to line the bottom of my tent, for the beach etc. In a pinch, I have these for my go bag as emergency bedding. I would get these if you're serious about camping up in the mountains or just want a comfy blanket." β€”James Robinson

    Get it on Amazon for $35.

    6. A palm-sized first aid kit that stashes easily in your glove compartment, large pants pocket, purse, fanny pack, or backpack and comes with everything you need to initially treat minor cuts, scrapes, and stings.


    And there's enough room for you to fit in a few other small things if you wanted, like a threaded needle for mini sewing emergencies, too.

    Promising review: "I wanted a small kit to fit inside my purse and this was perfect being the size of an Altoids tin. I chose this one because it has a few items that come in handy for an outdoor situation, which is exactly where I might likely use it as I keep a first aid kit in the car and house. It's already seen an insect sting, a scrape, and a splinter so I call it a winner." β€”Anna M. Boley

    Get it from Amazon for $6.29.

    7. A hair clip multi-tool with seven different functions so whether you're camping, working, or just enjoying beers with friends, you'll have a little gadget you can rely on to tackle all kinds of small challenges you run into in your life.


    Loose eyeglass screw? Secure it! Torn nail? Smooth it out! No bottle opener in sight? Box to open? This will cover you β€” and all you have to do is snap it onto your pocket or hair, where you'll always know where to find it.

    Promising review: "I work in a BYOB painting studio and my days are filled with not only painting, but cutting open box after box of canvases. Let me tell you, this little guy is a TROOPER! I literally use it at least 30-40 times a day. It even cuts right though corrugated plastic sheeting like butter! Breaking down cardboard boxes? NO PROB! Zipping through plastic sheets? GOT THIS! Need a beer opened? POP! I love this little guy SO MUCH, I just ordered three more. My first one just broke today after six months of non-stop daily use. What an awesome tool." β€”Amazon Customer

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $14.95.

    8. Or a credit card sized multitool because it can perform all kinds of different little tasks (three screwdrivers, box cutter, can opener, nail puller, ruler with inches and centimeters...) and slide discreetly into your wallet. Meaning you don't have to trek out to the garage or dig your toolkit out of your closet just to tighten one annoyingly loose screw.


    It also has a cell phone mount, 12 different hex wrenches, a butterfly wrench, four spoke keys, a protractor, wire cutter, and cable bender.

    Promising review: "Extremely sturdy for how thin it is. Doesn’t feel any different in my wallet, and I find myself using the tool every now and then. It’s a nice touch when you need one of the many tools like a box cutter, bottle opener, or screw driver. The build quality is excellent and extremely durable, and it’s not too heavy." β€”Mohammad Rouie

    Get it from Amazon for $8.95+ (also available in a stainless steel finish, and with or without a money clip).

    9. A reusable poncho in a pouch for staying dry no matter what the weather throws at you, especially on those occasions where you don't want to be carrying an umbrella β€” a spontaneous hike or sudden tire-change, or when you have to unbuckle your little one from their car seat. Or those times where it's so windy that any umbrella's gonna flip inside-out and be completely useless!,

    Okay, so this isn't *technically* a survival poncho (they do exist; they're bright orange on the outside and lined with mylar) but it's a nice compromise because I know most of y'all don't want to wear that in everyday life!

    Promising review: "Pleasantly surprised by this poncho. I got it in green, which turned out to be a nice spring-y sage green rather than army drab, but not so vivid that my husband couldn't wear it, too. I'm a women's 3x and this fits very well β€” would even fit someone bigger and there's still plenty of room to carry my backpack or a big shoulder bag underneath it. It folds up and slips into a cute tiny pouch that fits easily in that same backpack or shoulder bag. Got a chance to try it in today's downpour and the only parts of me that got wet were my wrists and my lower pant legs (front of the poncho hits just below the knee). The hood cinched around my face and stayed on during big wind gusts, so my hair was nice and dry. Great bargain for the price." β€”Clementine

    Get it on Amazon for $21.99+ (available in one size and 47 colors/patterns).

    10. A rain barrel, which would help provide you with fresh drinking water if your current water system were to fail, but for now is perfect for saving money on your water bill while your lawn, flower beds, and vegetable garden all thrive.


    It has a filter vent to keep mosquitos out, thankfully!

    Promising review: "Works like a champ. Exactly as described and great quality. Have it hooked up and pumping rainwater out into the garden. Very happy with the purchase. Would recommend." β€”Colorado user

    Get it from Target or Amazon for $70.99+ (available in three colors).

    11. A box of freeze-dried food that's good for up to 30 years β€” or for the next time you get home after working (or drinking) way too late without eating, realize there's no food in your fridge or freezer, and absolutely do NOT feel like doing anything but plopping down on your couch. Just add boiling water, wait for a few minutes, and enjoy.


    Because there are days where cooking, waiting for delivery food to arrive, or getting back in your car to hit-up a drive through all take more energy or patience than you have to spare! Maybe it's a living alone problem, but on rare occasions this sort of thing has happened to me. And if you live in an area where you need to be prepped for emergencies, something like this is never bad to have around anyway. Reviewers also like them for camping, of course!

    Promising review: "Way better than expected. Had the beef stroganoff and eggs with bacon today, both were pretty damn good. I'm ex military and have had my fair share of MRE's and these put everything I've had prior to shame. Don't really have any tips or tricks to improve the product. If you follow the simple directions you'll have pretty tasty meals in the matter of minutes. With a 30 year shelf life I assumed they were loaded with every preservative on the planet, but every listed ingredient seemed relatively natural and no translator needed for any of them." β€”Rich W

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (comes with one pack each of rice and chicken, chicken teriyaki with rice, and biscuits and gravy; and two packs each of scrambled eggs and bacon, beef stroganoff with noodles, and pasta primavera).

    12. A pack of two small watertight aluminum containers perfect for fitting a USB drive that has saved backup copies of all your important documents. Whether you store 'em in your bug out bag or the back corner of your junk drawer, you'll always be able to find the info you need in those random moments you need it, no hassle or digging through six boxes of disorganized papers required.


    As the preppers say, after things start calming down again post-event, you'll always want at least copies of your property deeds, birth certificates, and other papers that help prove who you are. But it also comes in handy in daily life to not have them scattered around in various files! Need a USB drive? This one has 128 GB and is 3.0 compatible (for faster file transfer), for $14.99.

    Promising review: "These are great capsules. Heavy aluminum, knurled for easy grip and have an o-ring seal and included an extra o-ring for each capsule. Great to stash/hide money, keys or any small item you wish. The uses are endless. Mine were a bit hard to unscrew, but a bit of chapstick on the threads fixed that and also keeps the o-ring from drying out. Overall I'm very happy with them." β€”Mark S

    Get the pack of two from Amazon for $12.99+

    13. And a fire-resistant safe that'll protect the originals of all those documents, so you can get them all organized and safely tucked in the back of a closet somewhere, instead of continuing to let them pile up in your home office.


    It has the same bonus, too β€” you'll know where your originals are! Btw, this protects in a fire for up to 30 minutes and isn't water-resistant; if you want something fire and flood resistant, try one that is ($88.88 from Amazon). But know what you have to open the watertight ones for 30 minutes each week to let it air out (or buy some silica gel packets), otherwise your valuable documents may mold.

    Promising review: "There is more than enough room inside this safe to store all the important papers that ordinarily would go into a safe deposit box. Having the papers at home makes it much easier to consult a date or name. The safe is a bit heavy so keep that in mind for moving it around. Haven't had occasion to test it out for fire safety, but it looks as though it could withstand a blaze." β€”william mueller

    Get it on Amazon for $39.84.

    14. A solar panel charger so you pretty much always have wall-outlet-levels of power even when you're on a hike, spending a long day at the beach, or are just tired of competing for charger space with the rest of your family. Just plug in any USB cable (that means it works with iPhones, Androids, backup battery packs, and more), and go.


    I mean also, it's just COOL and will impress your eight-year-old niece. And of course that sun electricity is 100% free, once you have this device. Multiple reviewers say it doesn't even need direct sunlight to function β€” some clouds are perfectly okay.

    Promising review for the 15W: "Worked way better than expected. It took about a full day to recharge my 25000 mAh battery pack from 0-100%. Seemed kinda slow but considering most other solar panels say they take two or three days to almost a full week a day is pretty fast. Haven't field tested it yet other than the back yard. Will soon but seems pretty durable and well made." β€”Alex

    Get it from Amazon for $64.95–$99.95 (available in 15W or 25W; the 25W is more likely to deliver those wall-outlet speeds).

    15. A pair of walkie talkies because even though the cell phone towers may still be active (with no signs of collapse), these will let you distract your kids from whining about boredom by running them through a few zombie apocalypse scenarios. Or just let y'all talk from the other end of the house without yelling. Think about it: these could put an end to "HEY, MOM? MOOOM??" forever.


    Several reviewers recommended getting rechargeable batteries, though ($18.97 for four batteries and a charger), because when kids use the walkies all the time, you end up going through them! And okay, yes, if it was a *real* survivalist product it might be a ham radio, but these are more fun.

    Promising reviews: "We have bought another set of these since for our other daughters birthday. They really enjoy playing with them. My husband and I were driving to a family vacation last week and used them to communicate between cars. They worked really well and we were super glad to have them since we went somewhere where our cell service dropped out. Life saver for us to be able to communicate!!" β€”J. Christensen

    "Oh my gosh...we gave these walkie talkies to our six-year-old grandson at a family get together and we didn't see half of the family for over an hour and a half. They had so much fun with them!!! And I am talking young and old!!! Love them!!! great range, great audio.....great size!" β€”Lynne T

    Get them from Amazon for $20.99 (available in four colors).

    And hey, whatever you decide to do, it never hurts to follow Ron Swanson's advice:


    Reviews have been edited for length and clarity.

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