I occasionally mention tools and prepper supplies that I use and/or recommend in my posts here and there, but this page includes an easy-to-access list of the best prepping items and what I use and recommend. I hope it’s helpful!
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
Prepper Gear – My Top 10 List of Survival/Prepping Items for 2019
Hard To Store Food Items
Augason Farms – Some foods like powdered milk, butter powder, cheese powder, shortening powder, and powdered eggs are difficult to package for long-term storage at home so I buy these prepackaged for long-term storage in #10 cans.
My choice for long-term storage food is Augason Farms because of their selection, quality, prices, and customer service.
Big Berkey Water Filter – The Berkey company had some issues with their filters in the past but that has been corrected (several years ago) and the Big Berkey is my home water filter of choice. Each purification element has a lifespan of 3,000 gallons. That’s 6,000 gallons for a two-filter system. Two filter elements come with the system.
Survivor Filter– This is my filter of choice when going camping, hiking, hunting and for use in my bug out/get home bags. Works very well as a filter and also as a purifier to remove viruses. And an added plus is the fact that the survivor filter uses replaceable elements so instead of throwing it in the trash when it’s used up like most filters of this type with the survivor filter you can just change the filter elements and you’re as good as new.
Seychelle Water Straw – If you’re worried about a nuclear war or accident (you should be) then you’ll need a way to filter water after the fact which will remove nuclear contaminants as well as the usual contaminants found in untreated water sources. The downside is that this filter is only good for 25-gallons of water so having several is a good idea.
Cooking, Preserving, Canning and Food Preparation
Wonder Junior Mill – The Wonder Junior mill is my top choice for a hand-operated grain mill. But most of the time I use an electric grain mill to grind my grains and keep the Wonder Junior mill for a back up for when the grid goes down.
Excalibur Dehydrator – My first dehydrator was a cheap $29.99 model from Walmart that was loud (sounded like the fan was going to fly out of the side any minute) and I only got to use it a couple of times before it stopped working altogether. After that, I decided to order the Excalibur 3900 and have had no more problems or need to buy another dehydrator. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.
All-American 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker Canner – Folks the All American 921 is the top of the line when it comes to pressure cookers and is the one I use for my pressure canning. If you don’t know how to can then you need this book.
All American Sun Oven – Rust-proof, highly polished, mirror-like anodized aluminum reflectors Set up in minutes. Lightweight with carrying handle. American made with uniquely American features! Will reach temps of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I use this for most of my cooking needs during the summer months…
Zoom Versa Stove – The Zoom Versa Cook Stove is my number one choice for a long-term grid-down situation because it’s well made, fuel is easy to find and it works.
BSG Gold Beer Home-brew Kit – I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I brew my own. If you like the taste of fresh home-brew then this is the kit you need to get started. Everything that you need is included in this kit.
Cast-Iron Dutch Oven – The Dutch oven is one of my favorite cooking methods when preparing food outdoors over an open fire, it can also be buried in the ground and covered under the bottom along the sides and over the top for baking – this is called Pit Cooking or Bean Hole Cooking.
Knives and Sharpeners
Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife – I have over one-hundred knives and if forced to only take one into the bush or to have in a bug-out or get a home bag this is it. The Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife is my top choice for a fixed blade “survival knife”. It’s sharp, lightweight, tough, comfortable with the ergonomic grip, and comes with a built fire starter and sharpener built into the sheath.
Victorinox Swiss Army Spartan Pocket Knife – This is the pocket knife that I’ve carried every day for the past several years – it’s a handy multi-tool that will do everything one expects from a pocket knife and at less than $25 it’s not a big deal if I lose or break it even though I’ve never done either I’d rather lose one of these than an expensive pocket knife.
Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie – This is my favorite “big knife” and I keep one in my truck and one in my bug out bag. It has a heavy blade that’s excellent for chopping wood or clearing a campsite of undergrowth. It’s also sharp and holds an edge very well.
And if needed it could be a formidable weapon that could split someone’s head open or completely take it off with a couple of swings of the blade.
Nikon ProStaff Rimfire – I’ve tried a number of different scopes on .22 rifles over the years and this is by far my favorite and I now have one of these mounted on each of my .22 rifles. I’ve never had an issue with any of them.
Nikon Buckmaster BDC – This is the scope that I have on both of my centerfire hunting rifles and after three years of use I’ve had zero problems. Very clear optics that have never fogged up and that hold center very well and the BDC reticle is well-calibrated with the .308 round.
Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight – I have an Aimpoint on one of my AR-15’s and an Eotech on another but after using all three I prefer the Holosun over the other two more expensive sites. My favorite feature is that the Holosun comes on automatically when the firearm is moved, so no need to press buttons or turn knobs to turn it on while under stress.
Steiner 10×50 Binocular – These are a little expensive when compared to a lot of other binoculars but then you sometimes get what you pay for and this is one of those times. Simply awesome.
Flashlights And Lanterns
AYL StarLight – I’ve owned at least 20 different brands and models of battery-powered lanterns over the years and the AYL StarLight is hands-down the best that I’ve ever owned! It’s super bright and it seems like the batteries last forever before needing to be changed. There is also a 700 lumens model available, however, I’ve not tried it.
Pelican 2360 Flashlight – I have two of these flashlights, both for several years and no issues at all. I keep one in my truck and the other on the nightstand beside my bed. One of the best “all-around” lights that I’ve ever owned. Next on my list to buy is the Pelican 2350 Pocket Size Flashlight.
SureFire G2Z MV Combat Light – This is my choice when it comes to a “tactical light” because it’s well made, excellent switch and ergonomics and it’s super bright.
Renogy 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit – This kit is the basis for my solar system – I don’t have the money to put in a $10,000 solar system to power my entire home so I use this set up to power 12 volt lights, 12 volt fans and communications equipment and to charge batteries and cordless tools.
Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator – this one is great for camping and for any other application where mobile power is needed. The unit is lightweight and smaller than a suitcase so it’s portable and includes everything needed to be built into the unit. Just pick it up and go.
Humless Portable Generator – this is my newest addition to my “home power options” I’ve only owned it for a few months and although it has worked great and without any issues to report.
Honda 2000 Watt Portable Generator – After years of owning and having to work on and or replace several gasoline-powered generators of lesser quality I decided to spend the extra cash and get the Honda 2000 Watt Portable Generator and I’m glad that I did. I’ve owned this mine since July 4, 2015, and not had any issues other than that it can sometimes take five or six cranks before it starts.
Security and Alarms
Dakota Alert MURS Wireless Motion Detection Kit – I’ve had a Dakota Alert set-up (with four sensors) for over two years and have never had a problem with it, besides a few “false alarms” caused by animals passing in front of the sensor and having to change the batteries every few months. These are also great to put up in your workshop, garage, and food storage areas to let you know when someone is trying to sneak in and steal your stuff at 3:00 am.
Update: I now use the Vehicle Detection Probe Sensor for my driveway because it gives no false alarms – you’ll also need the Dakota Alert base station or Dakota Alert MURS Wireless 2-Way Handheld Radio. I prefer the two-way radio that way the alarm can still be used even when the power goes out.
SimpliSafe DIY Home Security System – This is the alarm system that I use to protect my home when I’m away. I started using the SimliSafe security system after hearing Glenn Beck promoting it on his show, and while I don’t always agree with Glenn Beck, he was spot on when he recommended this system.
Samsung 8 Channel 1080p HD 1TB Security Camera System – This is the system that I use to keep an eye on what’s going on outside my home. If you look at this photo of my house you can see on one the cameras mounted on the outside wall – did you spot it?
MURS Wireless 2-Way Handheld Radio – this is the same two-way radio that I mentioned above it works with the Dakota Alarm system and also is a great two-way radio to keep in contact with your family or survival group.
Kaito 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio – for the price this “multi-powered” radio is hard to beat. I have two and have taken one of them on numerous fishing and camping trips without any issues. Works great. Be sure to also order the Kaito T-1 Radio antenna for even better reception.
Health and Fitness
When you’re 45 like me or older getting into and staying in shape becomes more difficult and some exercises like running or lifting weights can be hard on the back, knees, shoulders… well, the whole body really. So to stay in decent sh
Shape besides working around the homestead, I walk 30 minutes most days of the week and workout on the Total Gym. I’ve found that the Total Gym works better for me than anything else that I’ve tried and it ’s not nearly as demanding on aging joints.
My Favorite Concealed Carry Gear
When it comes to inside the waistband holders I have several favorites but if I had to narrow it down to just one IWB holster I’d have to choose the Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB, Holster (check Amazon.com for current price and availability). As far as IWB holsters go this one is the most comfortable and well made of all the ones that I’ve tried and it’s available to fit a large number of different brands and models of concealed carry handguns.
My second choice for an IWB concealment holster is the Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster (click here to check current price and availability at Amazon.con). Fortunately, most brands of KYDEX IWB holsters are well made and to be honest it’s hard to find a meaningful difference in the majority of them.
And if you’re on a super-tight budget then the BLACKHAWK Inside-the-Pants Holster is a super low priced IWB holster that will serve you well (check current price on Amazon.com).
I seldom carry in a belt holster because I prefer to carry concealed, however, the exception being when I’m hiking the national park trails or riding my UTV in deep far-a-way back in the boondocks locations and for this, my favorite belt holster is the Model M12 Universal Military Holster. This holster offers protection while still leaving the sidearm easily assessable.
My second favorite belt holster is the Desantis Facilitator Holster (check current price and availability at Amazon.com). One of the downsides to open carry is the possibility that an attacker will try to take your handgun when starting their attack and the Redi-Lok system that comes with Desantis Facilitator Holster will make doing this successfully much more difficult for the attacker.
My third favorite belt holster is the Bianchi Accumold Holster Belt Slide (check Amazon.com for price and availability). It’s light-weight and offers some extra retention via the thumb-break, however, it’s not as secure from a grab-attack as the Desantis Facilitator Holster that I mentioned above.
When carrying smaller handguns a good pocket holster is hard to beat. Need to run to the corner store or out to the mailbox? Don’t want to go through all of the trouble of putting on a belt and IWB or belt holster? Well, the pocket holster is your best option. Just slide it into your pocket and go…
I carry my Smith and Wesson Air-Weight in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and love it (you can check it out on Amazon.com). I concealed carry the Smith and Wesson Air-Weight more than any other handgun and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Oh, wow, choosing my favorite concealed carry knives was very difficult, to say the least because there are so many great knives on the market today and I own so many, but then owning so many allows me to give knowledgeable suggestions from hands-on experience.
Once Tennessee changes the knife laws allowing legal ownership and carry of automatic (switchblade) knives, I went as fast as I could go and bought a Hogue automatic knife, and I’ve carried it every day for over two years and give it my highest recommendation.
My second favorite concealed carry knife is…. wait for it… the Columbia River Knife & Tool M16-Z! This is a very well made quality knife that’s also very reasonably priced. And the locking system is fantastic! If you’re looking for a concealed carry knife and automatic knives like the Hogue that I mentioned above aren’t legal in your state then this is a great alternative.
Okay, now on to my third favorite concealed carry knife and that’s the BLACKHAWK! Crucible II Folding Knife with a plain edge (check it out at Amazon.com). I’ve owned this knife for over five years and carried it a couple of those and have no complaints at all and at the current listed price on Amazon.com it’s hard to beat.
Please read my article on Tennessee Knife Laws if you’re interested in carrying a knife in Tennessee.
Like concealed carry knives, the mention of tactical knives gets folks looking straight and paying attention because most of the folks who are into such things as firearms and concealed carry have their own opinions as to what’s the best tactical light. Below are my current top picks…
My number one choice is the SureFire G2Z MV Combat Light, small, light-weight and easy to carry while putting out a blinding amount of light onto (you can check current price and availability at Amazon.com).
As for a general purpose light, my top choice is the Duracell Durabeam Ultra 700 Heavy-Duty LED Flashlight (check current price and availability on Amazon.com). I have four of these with two in my house, one in each automobile and one in the garage. It’s hard (probably impossible) to beat these at the same or lower price.
If you’re going to open carry and or concealed carry then you’ll need a good belt and my current favorite is the Relentless Tactical The Ultimate Concealed Carry CCW Gun Belt. It’s a little pricey, well, for me anyway, but it’s a belt that will last a lifetime and in fact, it has a lifetime warranty.
Okay, we all know that carrying a concealed handgun is a big responsibility because once you pull the trigger to defend yourself and the bullet is out of the barrel there isn’t any bringing it back and if it hits then death or grave bodily injury will be the result.
This is why I like to have a non-lethal alternative available, so I have a choice of lethal action or non-lethal action depending on the situation and what is warranted. My favorite and what I believe to be the best non-lethal alternative is OC or pepper spray.
My choice is from Fox Labs – Fox Labs Pepper Spray – Flip Top Cone (1.5 ounces) click here to check current prices and availability on Amazon.com.
My Favorite Watch
While having a watch isn’t really connected to concealed carry, every man should own a good watch and it’s not necessary to spend several hundred dollars to own a good functional watch that also looks great.
When it comes to watches I have a couple of favorites. My number one favorite is the Vincero Luxury Men’s Chrono S Wrist Watch in all black and my second favorite is the Victorinox Men’s Original XL Swiss Quartz Watch.