There’s plenty of excellent, cheap survival gear around for those just starting to prep, or for those trying to buff up their already-in-place prepper stockpile. But while cheap, affordable products can take you quite far, there are some amazing big-ticket items you’re likely to want to save up for.
I don’t own very many of the items on this list. Some of the items I own smaller, more cost-friendly alternatives of, others are way out of my league price point-wise and to attain them would take years. #18 for instance, which you really only would bother to buy if you had an off grid location of your dreams or had your forever-home which you were planning on using to bug in. There are items on this list that are much more attainable, having price points closer to $100.
Some gear items listed here are downright cool, while others are, plainly put – extremely practical. Most are one-time lifetime buys, while others, like the emergency food, you’ll hope you’ll never have to use up, but if/when you do, they’ll of course need to be replaced. Every item on this list is, in my opinion, is extremely valuable to have as a prepper, and while I’m sure there are many more survivalist wishlist-type items on the market, these are definitely the ones I find myself lusting over the most.
Let me know in the comments if there’s something I’ve left out that really should’ve been up on this list. Like I said, I’m sure there’s plenty! Anyway – let’s get into it!
Top Prepper Gear: 21 Big Ticket Items Ideal for Preparedness
1. Year Supply of Long Shelf Life Survival Food
I would never advise you start a survival food stockpile with something like this, but once you have a year or two of long-shelf life survival foods you can grab at a grocery store, and you’ve saved up enough in emergency funds of course, investing in something like this is, in my opinion, serious peace of mind. You, again, hopefully won’t have to use it, but if the time comes when you do, and you run out of your year or two supply at hand, this would come in really handy, especially since it will a quarter of a century before it even remotely starts going off.
I recommended Valley Food Storage’s offering of this kind because I’ve tried their Mango Habanero Chili with Thomas and we liked it a lot. Much better than most MRE/dehydrated survival foods we’ve tried.
If you happen to buy from their store instead of Amazon, use our coupon code: morethanjustsurviving10 to check out – you’ll get 10% off your order.
2. Countertop Water Filter System
Recommended by Lee in the comments as a better, electricity-free alternative to my water purification solution of wishlist items #5 and #15 combined. Looks like a solid recommendation on his part, so I had to include it on the list.
3. Food Dehydrator
I know it’s not an incredibly expensive product, but a food dehydrator has been on my prepper wishlist for a long time. They’re so convenient, especially when you have ones with so many racks like the Excalibur on hand. Yes, you can dehydrate foods without one, but it’s not as easy to do, and thus for me, makes it much less likely I’ll actually bother to do it. Major wishlist item here.
I’m sure I really don’t have to explain why a crossbow would make for a great prepper gear item to add to your stockpile. Hunting and defense applications when things get really bad – oh and regardless, practicing with one of these would be so much fun in and of itself. Regardless of prepping, this is one cool item to have and train yourself to use. As a side note, since we live in the UK, this one of the easiest long-range hunting tools we can obtain.
5. Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
We all know how important clean water is to our survival, and if you’re planning on bugging in at home, something like this is a definite advantage in cases where water supplies may get contaminated during a SHTF-type situation. Yes, you can try to boil water consistently to purify it, but if you have the money to invest into prepper gear that will help you out in the long-term, this is an obvious way to go with your money. APEC makes and manufactures these in the good ol’ USA – they’re high quality, and are pretty much the only brand worth talking about when it comes to reverse osmosis filters; immense value for money in my opinion. If you don’t think these will ever be necessary, you only have to look as far as Flint, Michigan for a cautionary tale.
6. Solar Generator Kit
It’s one thing to have solar panels, another to have a generator, and quite a remarkably nice thing once the best of both worlds are mixed. Yes, this is high up there on my dream wishlist. No, it’s not at all a necessity, but would it make life one heck of a lot easier if you had this even during a power outage – hell yes. Also – “It takes the same amount of time to charge your device from a Goal Zero power pack as it does from the wall.” How cool is that??
7. Portable Outdoor Solar Panels
Obviously, solar panels by themselves are quite useful things to have, and since both Broadwing and Ned in the comments suggested that Goal Zero is quite overpriced, I’d be remiss to leave out mentioning another, more price-sensitive option. Ned recommended Aukey as a brand that makes solar power equivalents to Goal Zero gear for far cheaper. In his words, Aukey “make the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost.”
8. Portable Solar Cooker
Definitely not a necessity, but a cool thing to have for instances where fire may be hard (or just plain not a good idea) to start and you need to cook something you’ve trapped or hunted. I’m all for having backups, and different ways to get the same job done, and this whole solar cooker idea really appeals to me on those fronts.
9. Wood Burning Stove
I mean, how can you possibly deny the usefulness of one of these? I’ve spoken about it before in my article about staying indoors when the power’s out: having a brick room-sized shed/garage separate from the house and put a fireplace there is pretty much my idea of the perfect prepper space to create. And this is the wood-burning stove/fireplace that would go there. In my dreams of course, because first you need to have the right property, then the right garage/shed, then finally I can grab this sort of remarkably useful kind of thing.
10. Vacuum Sealing System
I’m pretty sorry that I don’t already have one of these, but it’s because – with limited space – I can’t see myself using one as of yet. Once I move into a house this and a dehydrator will likely be two of the first things I buy. Yes, chances are you’ve already got a vacuum sealing system, but for me they’re still on the wishlist!
11. Air Rifle
Okay, if you have the ability to carry where you live, an air gun may seem like a ridiculous thing to bother to have – but hear me out. If anything ever changes about laws, if you happen to move to a place where regulations are tighter, or if you just need something much more quiet for hunting than you’ve got, I feel like an air rifle is the way to go. Cheaper ammunition, too. Rabbits are game, squirrels are an easy bet (they’re everwhere!) – if you’re desperate, air rifles are great in a pinch.
12. Rocket Stove
Yes, another non-necessity, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like having options and redundancies. We have the smaller version of the Solo Stove – the Titan, and it’s great, though we’d prefer a larger size than we’ve got. Solo Stoves are overbuilt, definitely a one-time purchase rocket stove, looks pretty stinkin’ good for what it is, and while, yes, you can totally have a regular fire-on-the-ground, this is one of those things that helps you out in the you-won’t-need-too-much-wood department. And if you’re at all into greyman survival – well you won’t be leaving a mess behind if you use one of these to contain your fire.
13. Gas Powered Portable Generator
I find generators that can be transported easily to be a way better idea than just regular generators – don’t know why and let me know if you agree/disagree in the comments. Thanks to the fact that generators have been around for a long time (unlike solar panels I mean), you can get some great products for what’s, in my opinion, a perfectly reasonable cost. And while I’d prefer to have a solar generator like the one listed at #6, something like this is much more affordable, and gas is easy to get, so I will likely end up with a portable gas generator first.
14. High Quality Multi-Tool
This is one of the items on the list we do have, and by golly it’s great. Definitely not a complete replacement for carrying a proper firesteel, and it would be good to have a better knife on you outdoors, but if you like carrying backups (as I’ve already expressed I do!) this is one of those excellent investments that delivers on its promises. Great multi-tool; but I’m not going to regurgitate information – you want more about it, check out Thomas’ review of it here.
15. Ultraviolet Water Disinfection System
Thomas spoke about these in his article on purifying contaminated water. Basically, the reverse osmosis water purification systems, like the one featured as #5, will take care of larger contaminents. Couple that with ultraviolet disinfection and the rest of water purification is pretty well taken care of without requiring anything too expensive. Remember that this system requires electrical power, so you’re going to need to take that into consideration. But with a solar panel generator, it’ll do the trick perfectly.
16. Electric Mountain Bike
Ned in the comments reminded me that a bike really should be on this list. Of course, I don’t really need to say, but a good mountain bike is incredibly useful in a SHTF situation where fuel is hard to get. Ned mentioned that it’d be a good idea to couple the bike with a carrying rack on the front or back, and if you can, an electric generator. I think that’s a pretty damn great idea; only problem is I haven’t managed to find any electric generators for bikes that actually have good reviews. If you know of one, please recommend one down in the comments section.
A lot of electric mountain bikes have hit the market lately. I’ve listed one instead of a regular mountain bike because they can help you travel substantially faster than you would be able to without the extra boost. Of course it’s important to get a bike that will continue to work well even after you run out of electricity, in case you only want to use the boost initially, but not waste your precious post-SHTF electricity on bike speed later, which is why the ability to remove the battery off an electric bike completely is very helpful. No one needs to carry dead weight.
There are plenty of quality mountain bikes you can get that don’t depend on electricity if you’d rather go that route, as well of course. Regardless, a quality mountain bike should really have been on this list from the start.
17. 30 Day Food Supply Bucket
I think these are incredibly useful if you’re planning on bugging out with a vehicle. Just throw it in the car when the time comes and go. Hell, leave it in the car if you want to. Compact, and and excellent way to make sure food isn’t at all an issue in the first 30 days.
18. Wood Burning Stove
Like I said, way up there on my #goals wishlist. Seriously need to make sure if I get this, it goes into a forever home, as it’d be a complete waste to get it or something like it before, but boy is a wood burning stove like this an amazing thing to have. I don’t even cook, but I do eat, and have always found food is tastier when you cook it the “old fashioned way.” Yum.
19. Campstove + Solar 2 in 1 Systems
Disclaimer: I haven’t tried this, I don’t think it’s a gimmick, but it’s something that’s on my wishlist to try regardless. Won’t charge much more than a phone, and probably not even that well, but if I have my emergency back up dumb phone on me plus this sucker, I can always call out for help so long as I’ve got the reception to. Even if I forgot to charge my emergency phone. Nice idea.
20. Rain Barrel
You might think it’s silly to grab one of these when you can DIY one yourself, but I do often feel like preps that are ugly are kind of frustrating to have to live with in the long-term. Besides, if you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re a prepper, nothing works better than hiding your preps in a pretty package like this. And you buy them once, how often are you going to replace a rain barrel? Pretty much never!
21. Home Solar Panel Kit
Yup. A good solar panel kit is #1 on a lot of our wishlists. I did decide to put it last, but only because you’ve already thought up this one on your own and so didn’t need me to remind you it’s a great prepper wishlist item. What kind of a preparedness gear list would be complete without one of these?
Take a Look at What Other Preppers Recommend
Interested in taking a peek at what other preppers and survivalists recommend as their favourite gear they’ve purchased and trust? Take a look at this article here: Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear
Working on Your Prepper Stockpile?
Double check you’ve got every piece of survival & prepper gear you could want/need by comparing your stockpile to our Ultimate Survival Gear List. It’s important you don’t leave anything you feel is important out, but that can be hard to do when there are so many items to remember.
And remember that idea I brought up in the intro – about buffing up your stockpile with cheap, affordable items? Here are some of the best cheap survival items to do it with.
Of course you can also go another route, and keep an eye on sales from stores like Cabella’s, REI, and Patagonia. Want an easy way to check up on these sales? Check out our compilation of outdoor retailer sale, clearance, and discount pages here!
Prepper Gear Items You Dream of Having?
Are there any items I’ve completely neglected writing about here – there’s got to be at least a few really great items I’ve forgotten. Let me know what you think up! Obviously, I’ll need to add them to my long-term prepper wishlist as well! ;)
Any prepper gear you’ve crossed off your wishlist because you’ve finally gotten a hold of it? Would love to hear about it!
Again, just leave a comment down below!