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Presents for Preppers

Gifts for the beloved camper or doomsdayer in your life

If you have a friend who lives in the woods or in a bunker for much of the year, you know how difficult it can be to pick a gift: What do you buy for the person who has, and needs, nothing? 

Stuff that makes it easier to have less, of course!

And even if doomsday may seem far in the future, presents for your prepper friends can double as camping gear. 

Added bonus: If it’s a close friend, you, too, can use these items to survive when the big earthquake hits!

For the backpacking prepper in your life, you can find high-quality water filters that are lightweight and easy to pack out. The quintessential example of this is the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ($19.95, REI): a straw that filters water as you drink it. This is a neat thing to whip out while hiking to drink directly from the river, but avid hikers might tell you it’s best to have something with a pump or a self-contained bottle that makes it easier to get water to cook with on the trail.

Another option is the SteriPEN Quantum Water Purifier ($54.95, REI), which emits an ultraviolet light to destroy viruses and bacteria. Though it won’t filter out debris, it’s lightweight and easy to use.

On-the-go hikers and survivalists can get the LifeSaver water bottle ($89.99-$115.99), which requires no batteries — just fill, pump and drink. One replaceable cartridge filters up to 4,000 liters of water.

For the straight-up disaster preparedness people in your life, the best gift might be the guarantee of a full stomach, post-disaster. A 14-day supply of non-perishable food is nothing to sneeze at — and Oregon-based Mountain House has your back. With food packs varying from two to 14 days of food ($41.99-$285), and a guaranteed 30-year shelf life, Mountain House Emergency Food Supply packs will make any prepper swoon.

As for nifty tech, my favorite bit of survival gear this year is the Biolite CampStove 2 ($129.95). This lightweight stove uses twigs and pinecones to create a fire, and the newer model turns the energy from that fire into useable electricity — you can use the USB port to charge your phone! 

After the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake takes out half of Oregon and the tsunami hits, this gear will prove indispensable.