Whether you’re working on buffing up your survival gear stockpile on a budget, or you’re just looking for some inexpensive survival stocking stuffer gifts to help celebrate the Christmas season, knowing which cheap survival gear is available and actually worth the dollars you’ll spend on it is a huge boon. If you can save a pretty penny while not taking too much of a hit to quality, there’s a good argument to be made for going for the cheaper alternative, especially in the case where you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford the full-fledged, more expensive piece of gear quite yet.
The law of diminishing returns makes it so that some of these items, especially in the $15-20 and $20-25 price range, are actually some of the best you can get for your money. We all know how amazing a good ol’ Mora survival knife can be bang-for-buck, for example. While there are many other, more expensive alternatives, it’s hard to make the case that you’re better off spending your hard-earned cash on them when you haven’t got much cash to spare and the Mora will do absolutely great.
Bahco Laplander 9-Inch Blade Folding Saw – Amazon
I’ve taken the time to pull together what I think are the best value survival products currently available at the $5, $10, $15, $20, and $25 price points. While there’s plenty offered at each price range, there are quite a number of products that simply aren’t worth a second look. Many have bad reviews from people who feel they just plain don’t work out the way you’d like them to, and others, pieces of kit that don’t have many reviews racked up quite yet, look like they’re likely to be shoddy at best when it comes to performance.
As a result, I’ve tried to weigh into consideration personal experience, especially with regards to brand, as well as the number of product reviews a specific survival gear item has and the overall rating those reviews resulted in. My general line of thought is pretty obvious – if a piece of gear gets a large number of reviews, and has a high rating (4 stars and above), it’s probably safe to say that it’s good value for the money; and if I know and trust the brand, it’s more likely to be better quality (considering past experience with items I’ve purchased from the same brand), than no-name brands and those that are virtually unrecognizable because they make one-off products.
In terms of cheap survival gear shopping by brand, Mora (as I’ve mentioned before) is quite a good one for survival knives, Ultimate Survival Technologies (usually abbreviated “UST”) is often quite good at very cheap survival kits and gadgets, S.O.L. (otherwise known as “Survive Outdoors Longer”) is also quite good at very cheap survival kits and gadgets, and UCO Gear seems to be quite good at cheap survival matches, candles, and other similar items. Every once in a while you’ll catch a very cheap and affordable product from an otherwise mid-range or expensive brand – such as Leatherman, Gerber Gear, Coleman, Fenix, etc. These are great deals, as while these pieces of kit are obviously not as good quality as the brand’s more expensive gear, they are usually better bang-for-buck in the price range and really over-deliver when you compare them to the no-name or cheaper-brand gear that’s at the same price point.
I really wouldn’t advise buying a survival knife from a brand you don’t recognize as being good and popular in the industry – even if it has a zillion and one positive reviews on Amazon. You’re much better off sticking to cheaper alternatives from known brands, or as I’ve mentioned twice now, sticking to getting a Mora. The three knives I’ve listed below in this article are all cheap and quite good, the Bahco 2444 Carpenter, the Mora Companion, and the Hultafors Heavy Duty GK (which we’ve reviewed here). So if you’re really gunning for a cheap and affordable survival knife, I highly recommend you get one of these instead of, say, this cheap-as-hell survival knife that’s managed to rack up quite a large number of positive reviews, likely from people who have barely even used the product. It’s not hard to make a knife look like it would work well and not break and dull in bad situations, it’s not easy to make a knife that cheaply that will last under hard use (which is exactly what you’re going to be needing that knife for if you are serious about wanting it for survival).
Anyway, disclaimers out of the way, now it’s time to get to the good stuff!
Best Cheap Survival Gear Under $5
- CRKT Eat’N Tool – Black Oxide, CLAM Pack 9100KC
- Adventure Medical Kits Sol Slim Rescue Howler Whistle, 2 Count
- UCO 9+ Hour Candles for Candle Lanterns (3.5 Inch)
- Coleman 2000003267 Insect Head Net, 10 x 24-Inch
- UST Ultimate Survival Technologies Survival Bandana, Orange
- The American Red Cross Blackout Buddy H2O water-activated, emergency light, ARCBBH2010W-SNG
- Lyons Blue Emergency Survival Whistle
- UST Ultimate Survival Technology 5-in-1 Tool
- Survival Waterproof Cigarette Flint Lighter Silver – Mini Peanut Capsule Outdoor Oil Lighter – Fire Starter Key Chain Lighter
|Survival Waterproof Cigarette Flint Lighter Silver – Mini Peanut Capsule Outdoor Oil Lighter – Fire Starter Key Chain Lighter
23 total customer reviews…
- P-38 Can Opener and P-51 Can Opener
- Rothco Survival Tent
- Zippo Waxed Tinder Sticks 8 Pack
- Adventure Medical Kits SOL Emergency Blanket (1-Person)
- Krazy Glue KG48448MR Instant Crazy Glue Advanced Formula Gel 0.14-Ounce
- Pac-Kit 21-770 Disposable Thermometer (Box of 10)
- Leegoal Commando Wire Saw Bulk, Ideal For Survival Kits
- 5pcs Magnesium Fire Starter Flint Stone Lighter Kit Black
- SE MT908-1 11-Function Survival Pocket Tool
- Portable Windproof Waterproof Survival Lighter Matches Storm Emergency Camping
|3CERA Portable Windproof Waterproof Survival Lighter Matches Storm Emergency Camping
1,043 total customer reviews…
Best Cheap Survival Gear Under $10
- SE EB122OR Emergency Sleeping Bag with Drawstring Carrying Bag
- Ultimate Survival Technologies WetFire Tinder Tube of 8 Cubes
- iOSAT Potassium Iodide Tablets, 130 mg (14 Tablets)
- CHENBO Portable Collapsible Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove Butane Propane Burner for Gas Canisters
- Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10)
- SAS Survival Guide 2E (Collins Gem)
- UCO Stormproof Matches, Waterproof and Windproof with 15 Second Burn Time – 25 Matches
- Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
- Survival Fishing Kit – Compact Kit For Campers/Hikers (10 Pieces)
|UCO Stormproof Matches, Waterproof and Windproof with 15 Second Burn Time – 25 Matches
220 total customer reviews…
- SE FS374 Magnesium Fire Starter
- Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets
- Nexcare Waterproof Clear Bandage Assorted Sizes, 50 Count Package
- SE CC4580 Military Lensatic Sighting Compass with Pouch
- 115 Hour Plus Emergency Candle Clear Mist
- Sure-Pak MRE Full Meal Kit with Heater-Single Meal (Meal May Vary)
- Ultimate Survival Technologies StarFlash Signal Mirror
- The Friendly Swede Single Camping Bed Mosquito Net
- UST Wet Fire Tinder, Pack of 5
- Bahco 2444 Carpenter Mora Multi Purpose Knife
- UST Ultimate Survival Technologies JetScream Whistle
- Lighting Ever Led Headlamp, 18 White Led And 2 Red Led, 4 Brightness Level Choice
- Esbit 1300 Degree Smokeless Solid Fuel Cubes for Backpacking
Best Cheap Survival Gear Under $15
- Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch
- 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive
- Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle
- Rothco Canvas Map Case
- Fenix E01 Compact LED Flashlight – 1 x AAA Battery
- Anker PowerCore+ mini (Premium Lipstick-Sized 3350mAh Power Bank) 3rd Generation External Battery with High Quality Panasonic Battery Cell
- Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove with Six 14g Solid Fuel Tablets
- ER Emergency Ration 3600+ Calorie, 5-Year Emergency Food Bar for Survival Kits and Disaster Preparedness
- Hultafors 380020 Heavy Duty Knife GK Green Handle with Sheath
- Pro Force Camcon Shemagh
- Grabber All Weather Blanket
- MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern
- OliCamp Space Saver Cup
- SABRE RED Pepper Spray – Police Strength – Home & Away Protection Kit
- Outop Picnic Camping Hiking Backpacking Pot Pan Cookware
- survivalTOUGH- Survival Pocket Chain Saw with Pouch in 24-Inch, 36-Inch, or 48-Inch
|SABRE RED Pepper Spray – Police Strength – Home & Away Protection Kit (Most Popular Key Chain & Home Pepper Foam)
214 total customer reviews…
Best Cheap Survival Gear Under $20
- QuikClot Advanced Clotting Sponge, 1.75 oz (50g)
- LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
- Barnett Outdoors Slingshot with Stabilizer and Brace
- Texsport Reinforced Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarp (Camouflage, 10 x 12-Feet)
- Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger and External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology
- Suunto A-10 Field Compass
- AmazonBasics AA High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries (8-Pack) Pre-charged
- OuterEQ 8pcs Lightweight Outdoor Camping Hiking Cookware Backpacking Cooking Picnic Bowl Pot Pan Set
- Leatherman Style CS Multi-tool
- J.CROW’S® Lugol’s Iodine Solution(2 oz.) Twin Pack(2 bot.)
- 3M Vetbond® Tissue Adhesive, 3ml Bottles
- Gerber Dime Multi-Tool
- Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Bottle with Stainless Loop Cap
- Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System
- Nitecore D2 smart Charger 2015 version with LCD display For Li-ion
Best Cheap Survival Gear Under $25
- iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Solar Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, LED Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger Power Bank with Cables
- Anker 2nd Gen Astro E3 Ultra Compact 10000mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology
- Rothco Hw Canvas Classic Messenger Bag
- Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier [22-01471]
- Fiskars Consumer Prod 78506935 14-Inch Hatchet
- Deluxe Butane Burner Stove with Free Case
- Plusinno® Telescopic Fishing Rod Retractable Fishing Pole Rods Saltwater Travel Spinning Fishing Rods Poles
- Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw, 9-Inch Blade, 7 TPI
- Rebel Tactical Military Issue Combat Application Tourniquet CAT
- Silva Guide 426 Compass
- DuoDERM Extra Thin CGF Dressing – 4 x 4″ – Box of 10
- 115 Hour Plus Emergency Candles, Clear Mist – SET OF 3 Long-Burning Survival Candles
- Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stoves with Piezo Ignition
- Charles River Apparel Pacific Poncho
- Solar Charger, Solar Power Bank 10000mAh with Phone Dock & Flashlight Function ; Shockproof Rain-proof Dual USB Solar Panel
|115 Hour Plus Emergency Candles, Clear Mist – SET OF 3 Long-Burning Survival Candles
4 total customer reviews…
Hultafors Craftmans Knife Heavy-Duty GK – Amazon
Want More Survival Gear Deals & Discounts?
Still looking for high-quality survival gear at great budget prices? Always on the lookout for deals & discounts to take advantage of?
Find current sales on knives, camping, & outdoor products offered by outdoor retailers like Cabella’s, REI, and Patagonia, on our massive list of outdoor retailers’ sale, deal, & clearance pages! All the best outdoor gear discount pages to visit linked to on one page.
Bookmark that article and check back often if you’re interested in always knowing when there’s a great product discount on survival gear being offered.
Have You Bought Any Cheap Survival Gear?
Was it great or did it not arrive looking and performing like you would’ve liked?
Tell us about the cheap survival kit you’ve bought in the comments below and let us know what your greatest affordable buys have been thus far. You can obviously get some really great deals during sale season (usually Black Friday and Cyber Monday are amazing), so have you snatched any dirt cheap gear up then?
Ever buy something in a dollar store that worked perfectly as really great, cheap survival gear? Is there anything that I missed on Amazon that should be up here because of its high performance at low cost?
Let me know!