With the holidays fast approaching I know how frustrating it can be trying to get loved ones that perfect gift that is not only practical but will benefit them in ways a flashy pretty piece of jewelry or a cool video game can’t. Having first-hand experience with getting high-dollar prepping items for non-preppers who not only don’t appreciate them but also shake their head in disdain is a feeling all too familiar to me. So here I have compiled a list of 11 gifts for non-preppers under $50 that can put that loved one in a better predicament of preparedness without them even knowing it. This list is non-exclusive that will make for great prepper gift ideas for both guys and gals of all ages!

Portable Powerpack

Portable Power packs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and capacities. I have found these not only extremely well received by non-preppers but unprecedented by most in the overall preparedness value it brings. The typical iPhone battery is about 2,000 mah of power. With power packs ranging from 2,000 mah to the 50,000 “All Powers” external power packs. The user can charge their portable electronics many times over. Not only are their uses for small electronics great but also they provide so much diversity in regards to their many colors, sizes, and applications.

15600mAh Portable External Battery Charger Power Bank with iPower and Quick Charge Technology

Giving your loved ones the ability to meet all their small electronic needs is a huge prepping multiplier! We all know inclement weather, terrorism, earthquakes, accidents, and overall disaster will happen it’s never been a matter of if but when. According to current statistics, there are over 260 million cell phone users in the United States of America! With this knowledge in mind equip your loved ones with the ability to send that text message, write that tweet, update that Facebook status, hashtag their ideas, post that controversial idea, record that memorable moment. But most importantly give them the life-saving power they need to get in contact with Emergency services and loved ones in the event something goes wrong! You will be happier and can rest assured knowing you have set them up for success.

Foldable solar panel

Small foldable solar panels are not only “hipster and progressive” (air quotes emphasized for meaning attractive to a younger audience) in many aspects but provide a wealth preparedness capabilities unparalleled in many respects. Not only do foldable solar panels provide an unlimited amount of electricity when the sun is out but are very easy to store and user-friendly to use. Requiring virtually no maintenance upkeep, they can be that lifeline you can depend on when everything around you is falling apart. They can be used and implemented anywhere at any time as long as there is light, even under bad forecast they can provide you the life-saving power you or someone you know may need in the event of a disaster.

Now couple this with an external power pack and now you have an unlimited power source that can keep you off-grid indefinitely! You will be hard-pressed to find something that brings more independence and stress-free-living than being able to personally provide for all your small electronic power needs free from the power grid!

Solar flashlight/ Lantern

Light more often than not is something that is taken for granted by the average person. Fortunately, most of us live in a world where we can flip and switch and magically we have light. While this is ideal it’s not always the case when disaster strikes. Solar Lighting not only gives the user the ability to have light where they may otherwise not have it but also allows them to have lighting abilities indefinitely because they are not susceptible to depleted disposable batteries, or oil sources like what we see with traditional flashlights and oil lanterns.

MPOWERD Luci Original – Inflatable Solar Light

Natural sunlight light can be taken advantage of during the day and can be used at night. Also, like the already mentioned items, many of them have the ability to be also used as an external power pack giving them more than one use. We don’t realize the importance of light until the light goes out and we hear that boom in the middle of the night! Remember two is one, one is none.

Cutting Tools

When you say cutting tools you are referring to a broad diverse spectrum of “sharp objects”. This was done purposely – everyone is different and requires different types of cutting tools. What I would give a college sorority girl who drives a Toyota corolla and has no preparedness inclination versus an avid hunter that drives a lifted 4×4 truck and stays off the beaten path for days at a time is going to be different in style and ergonomics, but the methodology and application will be very similar.

SOG FastHawk

Examples for a self-defense situation I would be more inclined to give a college sorority girl a “Honeycomb Hairbrush concealed stiletto dagger” or a “Cat personal safety keychain”. They are completely concealable very fashionable that can go with any purse or outfit. These items will provide quick control for an unprecedented attack while serving primarily as an everyday use item. While for my avid hunter, Military, or EMS person I might give a “SOG FastHawk Hatchet” that can be used as a self-defense tool, extrication device, wood cutting tool, etc. As you can see cutting tools have a wide range of styles and uses, that can serve a diverse array of preparedness needs without coming across as such.

Portable water filter

Portable water filters are one of those small cheap out-of-sight-out-of-mind water applications that quite frankly will at a minimum sustain life! These make a perfect gift for all people regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. I can say from personal experience being well-traveled around the world these have been game-changer. Being in other countries where the tap water was considered unsafe due to viruses and bacteria I never had to worry about where I got my drinking water. Especially with products like the “Sawyer mini Water Filter” that will easily screw onto any commercial water bottle I was able to fill up my bottle (from any local water source) attach the filter and keep moving without any fear of contracting any water-borne illnesses.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Most commercial portable water filters on the market today will remove over 99% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli and remove over 99% of all protozoa elements such as giardia and cryptosporidium. The “Sawyer Mini Water Filter” Claims it can filter up to 100,000 gallons and weighs only 2 ounces. According to science, the average adult human body is 50-65% water. On average the everyday American uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day. While this is taking other water usages into calculation one can still see the importance of water especially when considering that in a disaster the average person will be expending more calories and using more water. No matter where you are whether that be in a local park, traveling in another country, or in the safety of one’s home drinking clean potable water is an absolute necessity and water is unequivocally the giver of life! Make having clean and potable water a necessity!

Waterproof speakers with external charging capabilities

The waterproof speakers with external charging capabilities are what get the person from the sidelines into the action in regards to preparedness. This is a gateway preparedness gift. Regardless of whether you are an NCAA Cheerleader, Surfer, camper, Military Service member, or everyday person the ability to access to and have all their music and electronic needs met is an extremely good selling point. According to a Nielsen’s Music 360 2014 study, 93% of the U.S. population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week jamming out to their favorite tunes.

Anker SoundCore Sport XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The waterproof speakers encourage the user to take their lives off the beaten path, to push beyond the realms of their typical everyday habits. The external charging capabilities give the user an added layer of support and comfort being outside in those environments. Now add a foldable solar panel and the possibilities for adventures off the beaten path are endless. It’s much easier to engage someone in a “what if” scenario or talk about preparedness if you are already off the beaten path, outside the “safety confines” of the power grid simultaneously creating your own endless energy while listening to their favorite music. I’m just saying!

Seed Bank/Plant

Seeds and plants are one of the only preps “gifts” that will give back in dividends that will well exceed the initial cost. Being able to take a handful of seeds or a plant and create an endless life-sustaining ecosystem is truly beyond words. Permaculture does more than just provide a means by which to feed one’s self. Permaculture in many respects is one of the most rewarding pursuits we can do as human beings. Giving us the ability to create and take care of life, being independent of the corporate bureaucracy of Big Ag, and allowing one to create their own sustainable paradigm.

15,000 Non-GMO Heirloom Vegetable Seeds Survival Garden

The lessons gained from the successes and losses of growing.  Not to mention the invaluable skill set that has been slowly taken out of our modern-day society. Living in a day and age where we have become so dependent on a system that could care less the consequences of their actions and practices should worry us all. So stay one step ahead of chaos get someone you care about a small seed variety pack or a tomato plant. If you really like them get them a moringa tree!


Multi-Tools are invaluable to anyone, they provide hundreds of functions and are more compact than a wallet or small makeup case. Yet it provides the essentials to most day-to-day maintenance. Whether we are talking about opening a bottle or performing a plumbing task using pliers and a cutting tool. The Multi-Tool is a silent hero; it can be carried as an EDC or left in the glove box of a vehicle until needed.

Leatherman – Wave Multi-Tool, Black with Molle Sheath

It’s a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. You won’t necessarily build a house with it but it can get you out of pretty much any tight situation you might find yourself in. To top it off, in modern-day 2016 Multi-Tools are no longer big bulky steel bricks carried in the same old leather or webbing straps. They come in all styles, colors, and designs. They even have the bracelet Multi-Tools!

Hand-Crank Emergency Power Source

I’ll let you choose what features are important to you but having a power source independent of another source but your will is absolute by its own definition! We don’t get to choose when disaster will strike, or how it strikes, or what is affected. What we can do is decide for ourselves how prepared we will be. Having the ability to provide an indefinite amount of light, power, and communication, etc. day and night are what preparedness is all about.

Emergency Radio & Portable Phone Charger (3 in 1) Solar, Hand Crank Dynamo and USB Power

How many times have we looked down at our cell phone and realized we have a minimum battery life, now throw a wrench in your charging plan? That’s where these devices swoop in to save the day. Many Hand-Crank Emergency Power Sources charge at the same rate as plugging it into a wall outlet. So in a few minutes, you can bring a phone back from the dead regardless of the time, emergency, or situation you find yourself in!

Emergency Car Kit

Do you know a loved one with a vehicle? Do they have an Emergency Kit in their vehicle? If they don’t they are wrong and so are you! In the United States alone, approximately 7 tire punctures occur every second, resulting in 220 million flat tires per year. Approximately 50% of Americans don’t know how to change a tire (That’s just reported). I could talk to you for days on this subject but at the end of the day, one must ask him or herself some simple questions. In an emergency situation will you depend on technology (AAA), the kindness of a stranger, or empower yourself and loved ones to be self-sufficient?  I can’t tell you how many people I have helped that have found themselves broke down on the side of the road. It breaks my heart because I know somewhere down the line they were failed! Don’t fail yourself or your loved ones. Give them and yourself the tools for success and most importantly train them to do the basics!


Last but certainly not least we have candles and fire starters. I put these two in the same category because they go together very interchangeably. For the record, U.S. retail sales of candles are estimated at approximately $3.2 billion annually, excluding sales of candle accessories (Source: Mintel, 2015). Candles are used in 7 out of 10 U.S. households and are seen as an acceptable gift by both men and women. Not to mention Candles come in an endless variety of shapes, sizes, and uses. We see this from votives to floating candles to those that are used in religious and ritual-like settings. Regardless of why or how you use candles the ability to hold a flame is paramount in a disaster situation! So if holding a flame is paramount starting a flame is essential. Now I’m not advocating going out and getting everyone a Ferrocerium rod bushcraft kit with char cloth all included. Nor am I saying go out and get your 19-year-old college sorority daughter a pack of cheap plastic bic lighters either. The great thing about fire starters nowadays is that they come in all styles and colors. You have the Colibri Scepter lighter that looks like a tube of lipstick for the ladies to the custom Harley Davidson zippo for the seasoned veteran biker. In my humble opinion, I would say that candles and fire starters are not only the easiest, and least expensive gifts to give but will arguably be, the first thing one reaches for in the event of a disaster. The ability to have a lite candle not only helps our physical needs in regards to light and heat. But the psychological ones are just as important if not more. The flame’s soft illumination reaches the soul; it can deliver hope and instill a calming relief.  This coupled with the aromatherapy of a scented candle can literally make all the difference in a disaster setting!

This completes my Top 11 gifts for your non-prepper friends and family. While the old slogan “it’s the thought that counts” may resonate with a lot of people it’s important to realize that your feelings and thoughts won’t be the deciding factor in who lives and who dies. Their ability to react logically and swiftly with the right tools will be the deciding factor. While you may not be able to control one’s actions you can equip them with the right tools and get the brain working in the preparedness mindset without them even realizing it and that is the purpose of this article. I can tell you from personal experience when I realized this reality. I was there when the May 3rd Tornado hit the Midwest in 1999. Not only do I remember the destruction that it left in its wake in my small Cleveland County, Oklahoma town. I remember my mother reaching under the bathroom sink to grab three candles so she could provide just a little light to her 3 confused and frightened boys. I remember her lighting these candles she had received as a gift. I don’t remember who gave them to her, but I can tell you I will never forget the smell of that first apple cider candle she lit, nor will I forget the impact of what a simple candle can do for a small frightened family in a ravaged home. I don’t personally think that individual who gave us those candles envisioned the scenario that they would be used for. Nor do I believe they knew the impact that such a small gift would have on someone’s life. But what I can say unequivocally was that small flame ignited hope, determination, and most importantly an unquenching desire to seek knowledge on all that is preparedness and to teach others everything I can. So wherever you may be, wherever life might I have taken you I want to say from the bottom of my heart; Thank You.

With the holidays fast approaching I know how frustrating it can be trying to get loved ones that perfect gift that is not only practical but will benefit them in

Most of us are already acquainted with Listerine’s distinctive taste. The intense tingle of Listerine is a common part of our everyday routine, whether it’s in the morning or before bedtime.
But did you know that besides a mouthwash, Listerine still has many other uses? The unique antiseptic properties of Listerine can lend to many other applications, particularly in circumstances of survival.

lmw-ad-cuts-and-scrapes1: Topical antiseptic

Listerine does such a fantastic job of helping to clean the mouth, it should come as no surprise that it also works well to disinfect minor cuts and wounds. This is due to the high alcohol level of Listerine.Listerine may not work as well as dedicated antiseptics, nor be as easy to use (alcohol can really sting!), but it definitely works in a pinch to kill bacteria, minimize chances of infection and speed up healing times.

2: Astringent

Because Listerine is high in alcohol, it can be used as an astringent to your skin. The alcohol can help contract the skin, which is useful to treat acne or mild irritations of the skin, including small cuts or bug bites. Listerine is especially effective at reducing itchy pain when treating bug bites.

3: Hand sanitizer

Will the sanitizer gel run out of hand? Pour a little Listerine into your mouth, then rub them in. Due of its watery consistency, listerine may not be as easy to use as normal hand sanitizer, but it is successful when there are no standard hand sanitizer or hand-washing facilities available.

4: Treat dandruff

And maybe dandruff isn’t the highest priority in circumstances of survival, except for those that are especially vain. Yet dandruff is also followed by an irritated, itchy scalp. To help relieve this discomfort, wash your hair as normal, but use four parts of water with one part of Listerine for a final rinse, take extra care to make sure that the Listerine reaches your scalp.

5: Alleviate toenail fungus

toenail-listerineA toenail fungus infection often doesn’t become painful until the infection is severe. However, by soaking your feet in a Listerine bath for at least 30 minutes per day, you can help fight off the infection early. If vinegar is available, combine it with the Listerine in equal parts for a more efficient treatment.


6: Help a sore throat

Depending on the cause of the sore throat, gargling with Listerine probably won’t cure the ailment. However, using Listerine can provide temporary relief from the discomfort. Alternatively, proactively gargling with Listerine can help prevent a sore throat and/or cold.

37: Cookware cleaning agent

Most cooking and eating utensils and implements can be easily cleaned with soap and water. However, some specialized cookware, such as cast iron, should not be cleaned this way as the soap will ruin the seasoning. Use Listerine instead.

8: Treat skin rashes

Apply Listerine gently to irritated and scratchy skin to soothe the burning and/or itching sensation. Listerine is especially effective for poison oak and poison ivy exposure.

9: Insect repellent

Put some Listerine in a spray bottle and spray plants, skin or other areas where you want to keep away bugs.

10: Protecting blisters

You can keep a blister from getting infected by dabbing a cotton swab soaked in Listerine several times a day on the blister. Listerine’s antiseptic properties will help prevent infection.

11: Flea killer

Clean a pet with Listerine helps to prevent a flea infestation.Start by bathing your pet in a traditional water and shampoo bath for the most effective treatment. Speed up the usual bath by mixing in a spray bottle equal parts water and Listerine. Sprinkle your pet liberally all over your body, but be particularly careful around their ears, as the Listerine will sting their eyes. Have the spray application set for about five minutes, then use a fine brush, comb the fur of your pet to remove the dead fleas.

Depending on the severity of the infestation, it may be appropriate to do this treatment once a day for several days to eliminate all the fleas completely.


12: Remove ticks

Listerine is particularly despised by ticks and for good reason: within seconds it will kill them. If a tick that has bitten you and taken hold of you, you should soak a rag or paper towel in Listerine and smother the tick with it for at least five seconds. If, by then, the Listerine application has not killed the tick, it will at least make the tick let go.

13: Deodorant

listerine-deodorantIt’s a bit unconventional to use a minty tasting or smelling liquid as deodorant, but it works. Just pour some Listerine on a towel or cloth and dab your armpits or other areas a few times. The alcohol in the Listerine will kill the odor-causing bacteria.

14: Odor removal

Mix Listerine with equal parts vinegar and apply to smelly areas. The alcohol in the Listerine and acid in the vinegar will help remove odors by breaking down the compounds and bacteria causing the foul smell.

15: Temporary toothache relief

When you are getting toothache, you will probably need some serious dental treatment. However, to buy some extra time before proper treatment can be obtained, spray your mouth with Listerine as intended. The Listerine can help calm the painful tooth and offer a mild relief from the pain.


16: Laundry detergent deodorizer

Adding Listerine to your normal laundry cleaning routine will make your clothes fresher by killing odor-causing bacteria.

17: Stop the growth of mold and mildew

Start by diluting the Listerine with two parts water and one part Listerine, then placing in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture anywhere you need to prevent and/or slow the growth of mold and mildew.

Most of us are already acquainted with Listerine’s distinctive taste. The intense tingle of Listerine is a common part of our everyday routine, whether it’s in the morning or before

It can become costly to plan for an emergency or large-scale catastrophe, but it doesn’t need to be. Although investing in high-quality equipment is important, some preparation items are consumable or are less important in terms of cost. For these consumable prep pieces, your local dollar store can be a gold mine.

Zip Ties

Not only are zip ties useful for strapping together cables and hoses, but they have a very wide range of other uses. Many dollar stores have a range of zip ties of varying sizes and will also have bags of a range of different sizes and colors.


23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store

Batteries from the Dollar store are cheaper and do not last as long as their name brand counterparts. Stocking up on dollar store batteries has one benefit, which is that they are perfect for barter and trade.

Batteries are going to be almost a form of currency when the lights go out, and when the chips are down, you don’t want to trade away high-quality batteries when you could instead barter with dollar store batteries.


You will find a fairly varied variety of cordage at your local dollar store, from garden twine to chain. You may also find objects such as baling wire, brass wire, or image wire that can be useful for trapping or repairs for emergency survival.


At a dollar store, you will also find pens, pencils, paper, sharpies, notebooks, etc. for a fraction of the cost of going to a big box or stationery store. Another thing I almost exclusively get from my local dollar store is stationary.

Duct Tape

23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store

The dollar store does not sell duct tapes with high-quality brand names, but what they sell will be more than enough.

Dollar store duct tape will do the job with most applications, and as with many things on this list, dollar store duct tape is perfect with exchange and bartering.

First-aid Supplies

From band-aids to gauze and even some over the counter medications, it is possible to outfit a basic first aid kit from your local dollar store.


My go-to for buying toiletry products for camping, hunting, disaster, or travel toiletry kits is the dollar store. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, deodorant: all available at the dollar store in travel sizes.


These are inexpensive and thin poly tarps and will not stand up to a great deal of violence. In case I need to cover a broken window, pit, dirt pile, etc, I like to have these on hand. These tarps I consider to be one-time use and disposable.


23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store

This is another perfect barter item, because after a large-scale disaster, dollar store flashlights are so cheap and flashlights will be in short supply.

The flashlight with the batteries included would always be cheaper than buying the batteries alone.

Disposable Lighters

You can get all manner of disposable lighters at the local dollar store, including windproof outdoors lighters. These are also great for barter and trade.

Canned Goods

Dollar stores are full of inexpensive canned goods that are typically products that are generic. Sometimes, they would also have dry products such as pasta, rice, sugar, salt, cereal, etc. While these items are not of the same quality as their brand-name counterparts, they are definitely good enough for the apocalypse.

Cleaning Supplies

The world ending is no excuse to stop cleaning up after yourself.

The dollar store is where I buy 90% of my cleaning supplies and I like to keep a good stockpile for disasters as well.

Hand Sanitizer

23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store

Usually, here you’ll also find the small travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer at a dollar store.

These are great for adding into first aid or hygiene kits.

Toys and Games

Most of the toys you will find in a dollar store are of very poor quality, although some playing cards or travel-sized board games can be found. These are perfect for a bug out bag or camping/survival pack to fit into.

Sewing Supplies

These are not sewing needles or threads of skilled quality, but they can do the work in a pinch. I’ve made a few sewing kits from supplies I purchased from my local dollar store, and these little DIY kits can’t be beaten for daily rips, tears, or missing buttons.


 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store

You can never have too many candles and like a lot of items on this list, they make outstanding barter items.

You can also find them in a lot of different sizes and types.


Without some sweet, sweet candy, no good emergency kit is complete. The dollar store is a perfect place to pick up a wide range of not just candies, but also chocolates. Not only will these give you a post-apocalyptic moral boost, but they will also be another great item of trade.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is not only a disinfectant but can also be burned in certain alcohol stoves.

Travel-sized Containers

23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store

There are also occasions where we need small containers to store liquids while we are assembling emergency kits.

The tiny travel-sized containers in the dollar store that you will find are also ideal for the job.

Bungee Cords

In a survival scenario, bungee cords have a myriad of uses and are also susceptible to wearing out, so getting a lot of them is often a good idea. The dollar store variety may not have the durability of brand names, but for light-duty applications, they are fine.


23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store

In different sized containers at your local dollar store, you will also find bottled water. The purchasing of bottled water in greater amounts elsewhere is less costly.

Nonetheless, if you want to fit a car kit, Get Home Bag, Bug Out Bag, or your EDC bag, then the dollar store is a great place to buy smaller amounts of bottled water.

Trash Bags

In survival scenarios, trash bags have a vast amount of applications, but what you would most likely use for post-disaster use is for their intended use. I like getting several boxes filled in my emergency kits, in several different sizes.

Battery Banks

Our devices are like an extension of our bodies and it is very important to make sure they remain charged. Sometimes, the dollar store would have either battery banks or emergency chargers for sale until used. These are excellent not only for keeping our smartphones at 100%, but also as a barter piece.

These 23 items are by no means the end of all the preparation items that can be offered by your local dollar store. The products listed here are those that I have personally purchased and used for myself and my family to create different kits.

It can become costly to plan for an emergency or large-scale catastrophe, but it doesn’t need to be. Although investing in high-quality equipment is important, some preparation items are consumable