Every year, year after year, we all have repetitive holidays, birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day and other celebrations to shop and buy for. A while back, I began finding creative ways to incorporate emergency preparedness supplies, survival gear, safety gear, outdoor gear and other interesting, life-protecting items into my gift giving. Not everyone is a planner. Not everyone takes potential emergencies seriously, but by gifting them the gift of preparedness you are helping to supply your friends and family with items that may one day save their life, as well as hopefully inspire them to begin preparing or skill practicing on their own.
For Father's Day, I am giving my Dad a survival knife, fire kit and a pair of Desert camouflage pants with multiple pockets. For my oldest son, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) may be high on the list because he loves them. I have joked with him though that I will not likely keep MREs for our emergency food supply just because he might eat them all prior to any emergency. For other people, I might put together an emergency fishing kit or a severe weather kit with a bag, weather radio, flashlights, batteries, candles, lighters, water proof matches, food and water and so forth. You can make them as simple or intricate as you like. You can give simple gifts of flashlights or knives or you can give gifts of fully loaded bush crafting bags. The gifts are as fun to give as they are to receive because you are buying things that save lives, but that you also think are cool. Be creative there are so many gadgets and gear to choose from that the sky is the limit. A fun gift idea for nearly any outdoorsman is a parabolic lens. I picked one up at a self-reliance/prepper expo recently and everyone that I have shown this item to eventually wants one.
So again, survival gear make great gift ideas or great stocking stuffers. The gifts are important because you are not giving someone another toaster that they don't need, a gift card that isn't personal, or towels because you suck at creativity. You are giving the gift of preparedness. You are giving the gift of safety. You are giving the gift of security. You are quite possibly giving the gift of life.
In future posts, I will break down some cool ways to build items for yourself or others such as fire kits, fishing kits, emergency first aid supplies and other items as well as dive into the intricacies of basic outdoor gear and bush crafting kits, 72 hour kits, Get-Home-Bags, and short-term or long-term Bug Out Bags. And, as I've said before all of these things can be built on a budget or can come from items you may already have, but just don't realize their potential.
I always keep in mind that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and the first step to building these bags and kits is to just make the commitment to start to think with the preparedness mindset. Then, you can begin to make a short term plan, mid-term plan and longer range plans to acquire and put together the items that you deem vital to your personal safety in the event of a lost job or severe weather and other immediate risk situations. Over time, you can begin to implement and prepare for larger catastrophes. Whether for yourself or as a gift, be "prepared" in your purchases and in your gift giving.