Christmas Gifts to Help Non-Preppers be Prepared

Christmas presents
You can use Christmas presents to help someone with their prepping.

There are plenty of blog posts and YouTube videos out there listing the best Christmas gifts for preppers. Coincidentally, those gift ideas always include a referral link that produces income for the website or channel. I’m not against making money, but I can’t help wondering if they would recommend those same items if they weren’t an affiliate.

Here are some gift ideas to give friends and family members who are not living the prepper lifestyle that will help them be a little better prepared. Many are stealth gifts, useful devices that do not appear to be preps. And no links or affiliates influenced these recommendations.

These suggestions come from my personal experience, as I have given all but the last few as gifts. Just use care to match the gift to the individual, and be subtle so they don’t think you are forcing your prepper lifestyle on them.

Emergency Lighting

Flashlights and headlamps make great gifts. The headlamp I featured here makes a great stocking stuffer.

I have since found it on for the amazingly low price of $2.38. (This site is like an American-based version of Alibaba, so use caution; some of the products are crap.) I bought three more and they will be stocking stuffers this year. Is this a perfect headlamp? No, but I can’t imagine a better one for the money. And for $2,38, if the recipient chucks it in a drawer and never uses it, you aren’t out much money.

I have also given my wife a small flashlight that will run on an AA or a 14500 lithium battery. Not much larger than the AA battery, this light is small enough to carry in her purse and bright enough to be useful. There are also lights built around the AAA battery, but I prefer the double-A because of its greater power and run time. Just be sure to buy a name brand like O-Light, PowerTac, Fenix, or Streamlight. A good one should be in the $20 to $40 range.

I’ve given my son-in-law a 1,000-lumen tactical light from PowerTac. I don’t remember the exact model, but it was an E5 or an E9. These are excellent lights and use the rechargeable 18650 battery I have written about previously.


I’ve also given pocket knives as Christmas gifts. I like CRKT knives because they make a decent product for the money and have a large array of designs and sizes to choose from. If you want a tiny pink knife or one that looks like it could kill and skin a dinosaur, CRKT probably sells it. Of course, there are lots of other knife makers out there. Just avoid blades that look like junk because they probably are. Avoid knives under $25. You can buy a solid, reliable folding knife from $60 to $100.

When I was a kid, I was not allowed to own a knife until I was 10, but I’ve owned and carried one every day since. Of course, back then, it wasn’t unusual or illegal for a kid to have a Swiss army knife in his pocket while at school. Although I have graduated from Swiss Army Knives, I carry a multitool in my car. Years ago, I gave my dad one of the original Leatherman tools and he carried it for years. They make a great gift for anyone in the trades or who is handy with tools.

 Besides the Leatherman tools, I like those made by SOG. SOG also offers some very nice folding knives, including some assisted openers. Just be sure to check their local laws before you give someone a knife.

Car Emergency Items

I gave all my kids a car emergency kit when they got their own car. It includes car things such as jumper cables, flares, and tire patch-in-a-can, as well as prepper things like a wool blanket and a first aid kit. My first aid kits go beyond the drug-store snivel kits and include a tourniquet, an Israeli compression bandage, vet wrap, and sports tape. The most used items are the jumper cables followed by the sports tape.

If the impact of a collision doesn’t kill someone in a car crash, blood loss may. Therefore, I include the tourniquet. I hope they will never need it, and if they do, I hope they use it on someone else rather than themselves. Either way, it’s good to have.

This is an area where you can use your imagination and tailor the kit to the person’s location and capabilities.


I’d be thrilled if someone gave me a case of MREs or some freeze-dried food, but you have to be careful giving storage food to people who are not preppers. My advice is to give food you have canned or prepared yourself. For example, we’ll be giving pints of homemade applesauce this year. A nice homemade gift is a bean soup mix in a jar. (Just Google “homemade soup mix.”) Someone gave us a jar with layers of colorful beans years ago and we loved the idea. Maybe the recipient will eat it soon, but they might tuck it into the back of their cabinet where it will be waiting when the power goes out or there’s nothing to eat.

Another handy gift that might encourage someone to adopt prepper-like behaviors would be a Food Saver or a canner and a few dozen jars. (Good canners are shockingly expensive.) Position it not as prepping but to take advantage of sales and beat inflation. Both my kids have freezer chests, which is another possible gift.


You have to be careful with this one because you don’t want to run afoul of laws that prohibit straw purchases, which means buying a gun for someone else. For example, I would avoid buying a gun on December 10 and giving it to someone on Christmas Day. One way to get around this is to give someone a gun you have owned for years. That makes it pretty clear you didn’t buy it for them. Alternatively, you could give someone $400 and say, “I know you’ve talked about buying a gun. I hope you’ll put this cash towards your first gun. There’s a great gun store we can go to tomorrow.”

Gifts I’ve never given but would love to include ammo or a gift certificate for a training program. A weekend course in which a relatively new gun owner gets to shoot 500 or more rounds under the tutelage of a professional trainer can make a tremendous difference in their gun handling, safety, accuracy and ability to defend themselves.

Other Ideas

Camping gear and other items that can do “double duty” might be worth considering. I’d throw solar generators in that category, too. In this world of USB-charged devices, I can’t imagine anyone turning down a solar generator, even a small one.

I think the best gift a married couple could give each other is a down payment on a retreat or country property. Stop buying each other clothing that gets returned and expensive gifts you don’t really need and put that money towards your future survival. It might be the gift that keeps on giving.