35 Incredible Things That Could Literally Save Your Life & Cost Less Than $50
Ask absolutely anyone who knows me: I love being prepared. Whenever I leave the house, I carry a backpack (disguised as a theft-proof purse) that holds all my essentials. Yes, this includes a mini flat iron, a spray-on stain remover, and a tiny sewing kit, but it also includes products that could literally save your life. First-aid accessories, personal alarms, tactical tools — you hope you'll never need to use them, but if the day ever comes, you'll be really happy you thought ahead.
That said, it's not just my bag that's filled with smart and practical products. I'm also a huge fan of things that make my home a lot safer, as well as products that maximize security in my car. While I'm ultimately an optimist, I prescribe to the "expect the best, prepare for the worst" mentality. And judging by the hundreds of rave reviews on these genius survival products, other Amazon buyers tend to agree with me.
The best news of all? Putting together a trusty emergency kit doesn't need to break the bank. Every single one of these items comes in at under $50, so you can keep your home, car, and person safe in a huge range of potentially dangerous situations.
1. These LED Armbands So Cars Can Always See You
Whether you're biking to work before the sun, walking your dog after dark, or going for a jog on a rainy day, these Higo armbands might just save your life. They have a slap-wrap design that fits all sizes (and all limbs), and the battery provides up to 70 hours of bright illumination for ultra-high visibility. Choose between five different colors.
2. A Beanie With A Built-In LED Light
Warm, washable, and well-designed, the Etsfmoa beanie has a built-in LED light with three adjustable brightness settings. It allows you to hike, ski, jog, or navigate around your house during a black-out — all hands-free and while illuminating several feet in front of you. The hat itself comes in tons of colors, and the light even pops out and slips right into a USB port for effortless recharging.
3. This Mini First-Aid Kit That Clips Anywhere
Clip this mini first aid kit to your bag, tent, pantry door, or car organizer, and you'll always be prepared for emergencies. It comes with 92 different tools (like antiseptic towelettes, bandages, eye wash, an emergency blanket, and medical scissors), and all of them are hospital-grade for quality and reliability. "It saved the day," said one hiker who used it for a sliced finger and foot blisters.
4. A Straw That Removes Contaminants From Water While You Sip
The LifeStraw is a cult-favorite survivalist tool with over 13,000 reviews, and it's been called a "must-have" for travelers, campers, hikers, and those who just like to be prepared. Simply sip any water source, and it'll remove 99.9% of waterborne bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. It's also extremely compact and each one can filter up to 1,000 liters from lakes, streams, and tap water.
5. This Power Bank That Charges Your Phone With Sunlight
Yes, the Blavor solar power bank can transform the sun's rays into battery power for your phone or tablet when you're in a pinch — but it also has a built-in dual flashlight and compass. Use it alongside a USB or charge wirelessly with Qi, and since it's dust-proof, splash-proof, and shock-proof, it can survive all your wildest adventures.
6. This Compact Camping Stove That's Safe For You & The Environment
You never know when you'll need a fire source — and rubbing two sticks together in a hole is nowhere near as reliable as the Ohuhu camping stove. This stainless steel unit keeps kindling burning in a safe, contained space, and it doesn't leave any chemical emissions behind. When it's time to move on to the next camp side, it collapses and slips into its included mesh carrying bag.
7. A Smoke Alarm That Also Monitors For Carbon Monoxide
Considering that the Viwon detector is sleek, easy to install, and offers real-time monitoring for both smoke and carbon monoxide, it's hard to believe that it costs just $24. It's battery-operated for convenience, and if it should sense anything out of the ordinary, it'll emit an 85-decibel siren that'll wake everyone in your home.
8. This Portable Lock That You Can Add To Any Door
Sure, you've got single-key locks on your own doors — but what about security in hotel rooms, public buildings, dorms, and Airbnbs? The Addalock is aptly named because it adds a lock to any door in seconds, without any tools or damage. "Quite brilliant," one buyer wrote. "Now I have locks on doors without modifying our rental and they take 2 seconds to install or remove."
9. A HEPA Air Purifier For An Incredible Price
With its three-stage filtration system, this HEPA air purifier removes dust, odors, dander, allergens, and smoke from the air in your space. It does so while remaining compact enough to sit on a bedside table and quiet enough that you barely notice it running, all for $50. "This little unit delivers!" one reviewer raved. "Happier that we're all breathing nice, clean air!"
10. This 15-In-1 Screwdriver For Virtually Any Job
Keep it in your bag, glove compartment, or tool box, and this Lutz screw driver will help you tackle various jobs with a single tool. That's because it comes with double-sided bits that are stored inside the handle, so you can tighten (or loosen) 15 different types of fasteners. "Best ratcheting screwdriver out there. I rarely write reviews but I am such a long time fan of this product I felt I had to," one reviewer said.
11. A Compact Fire-Starter That Fits In Your Pocket
Outfitted with a flint spark wheel and filled with five paraffin-coated cotton tinders, this pocket-sized fire starter ignites instantly and burns for up to five minutes. All of the aforementioned come in a water-resistant storage case that even floats. Campers, survivalists, and travelers say it's a "must-have for every emergency kit."
12. This Ergonomic Backpack That Keeps You Hydrated
It's ergonomic and designed to minimize the feeling of weight on your back, but this Vibrelli hydration pack can hold up to 2 liters of water to keep you hydrated while you're hiking, running, cycling, skiing, or traveling. It's made from BPA-free, medical-grade materials, and it has a leak-resistant high-flow bite valve for effortless drinking on the go. Last but not least, it offers several other storage compartments for your essentials.
13. This Smart Pill Bottle That Helps You Time Your Doses
Ensure that you're timing medication and supplements correctly with the TimerCap smart pill bottle. This little gadget has a built-in stopwatch that counts down for you. It fits effortlessly in a pocket, drawer, or purse, and it allows space where you can label the medication name and dosage. It even comes with a child-resistant ring for extra security.
14. These Emergency Thermal Blankets In Case Of Extreme Weather
Should you ever find yourself in a situation where warmth is limited, these Swiss Safe emergency thermal blankets are a life-saving item to have. They come in a pack of four, and each one is made with dual-sided aluminized mylar so you can retain up to 90% of your body heat. They're also waterproof, wind-proof, and come in nine color options.
15. Some Matches That'll Still Light When Soaked
Snow, rain, wind — no matter the environment, these Industrial Revolution storm-proof matches will still light. In fact, they'll even burn underwater. You get two boxes, each with 25 matches, and the set comes with two extra strikers for your emergency pack. They're so bright and powerful, one Amazon reviewer wrote how they're "more like a mini flair."
16. These 5-Finger Gloves For Heat-Protection & Dexterity
Oven mitts may be heat-resistant, but they don't exactly allow for dexterous use of your fingers. Luckily, Kitchen Perfection offers these five-finger oven gloves, which are coated in a grippy, waterproof silicone that's resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, you have full use of your hands while cooking, grilling, or doing dangerous jobs — all while protecting against burns.
17. This Solar Crank Radio With A Built-In Charger & Flashlight
Even when the power's been out for days or there's no outlet in sight, you can still charge your phone, listen to the news, and light your way through the dark. The RunningSnail emergency radio has three power options: Charge it with a USB cord, crank the handle, or harness the energy from the sun. Get it in three different colors, and none of them will cost you more than $20.
18. A Waterproof Backpack That Protects Against Theft
This sleek backpack is my go-to for travel and bringing my laptop to and from Starbucks — but it also makes for a great bug-out bag thanks to its anti-theft locking zippers, external charging port, and fully waterproof exterior. Even though the interior is roomy and has various compartments for all your stuff, the bag itself is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
19. These $8 Cases That Keep Your Devices Dry & Safe
"Out of all the nifty things we bought to make our [camping] trip more convenient, this was by far one of my top two highest rated items for efficiency," one buyer wrote. They tipped their canoe several times, but no moisture ever got to their phone. The Mpow case universally fits most smart phone models and is fully waterproof, even when submerged. It's also made from a transparent, touchscreen-friendly material and has a lanyard that you can wear around your neck.
20. A Security Bar That Prevents Forced Entry On Almost Any Door
Unlike most other options, the Master Lock security bar can be used both horizontally for sliding doors and upright for any other entry with a door knob. It's made from heavy-duty 20-gauge steel and it has a pivoting ball-joint base that adjusts to various angles and won't slide against carpet, hardwood, tile, or welcome mats. Thanks to the countless height options, it can stretch from 27.5 inches to 42 for a customized fit in most doorways.
21. This Pen That Doubles As A Tactical Glass Breaker
A pen is always a great thing to have, but a pen that also doubles as an emergency glass breaker? No wonder hundreds of reviewers keep the KEPEAK military tactical tool in their glove compartment. The cap is made from tungsten steel, so it can shatter car windows if you're ever stuck inside — and the pen itself is lightweight, durable, and comes with six refill cartridges.
22. This Fold-Up Tool With 4 Built-In Utensils
For some, this is a staple in their camping pack or daily lunchbox, but others have stashed it in their emergency go-bag kit for later use. The WETPIA four-in-one utensil features a spoon, fork, knife, and bottle opener, all in a portable, fold-up frame. Everything is made from high-quality stainless steel and aluminum alloy, so it's durable, eco-friendly, and free from potentially harmful additives.
23. A Compact Inflatable Lantern That Charges With Solar Energy
Granted it collapses flat into a tiny disk and costs just $12, there's really no reason not to have the Luci Outdoor 2.0. This little gadget inflates into a handheld lantern and uses energy from the sun to offer up to 24 hours of bright illumination. It has four modes (low, medium, high, and flashing), and thanks to the strap, it's easy to carry or hang from your gear.
24. These Hand Warmers That Are Activated With Air
Forget batteries, cables, and plugs — these HeatMax hand warmers are air-activated, meaning that they offer up to 10 hours of heat as soon as you open the packaging. If you're ever out in the wilderness or stuck in a freezing car, these 40 pairs are a great thing to have. "I'm out there in vicious winds, well-below zero F cold, blowing snow and sleet," one reviewer said. "They always do the job."
25. A Compact Fire Extinguisher In A Can
Since they're bulky, temperamental, and expire in a few years, most households don't have a fire extinguisher. Luckily, the Mini Firefighter is changing that. It uses a unique foam to suffocate all kinds of fires (wood, gasoline, electrical, and oil), and since it comes in a can, it's portable and easy to store. "Best purchase I’ve ever made for my family," one reviewer wrote. "It immediately shut the fire down [...] This saved my son and his family."
26. This High-Intensity Reflective Tape For All Your Gear
Wrap this high-intensity reflective tape around trees, mailboxes, curbs, and stairs to keep obstacles visible in the dark — or put it on your clothes, bike frame, helmet, and camping gear so cars can see you. It's made with high-index glass beads that are arranged into a honeycomb pattern for optimal reflection, and each roll comes with 5 yards of self-adhering material.
27. The Most Affordable Way To Alarm Any Window Or Door
Add a 120-decibel alarm to any window or door for just $7. The GE personal security unit doesn't require any wires or tools for installation; simply mount it with the double-sided tape, and it'll go off as soon as the magnetic tab is separated for the base. It has an on-off switch for convenience and a low-battery indicator light so you always know you're protected.
28. These Tiny Escape Tools To Keep In Your Car
On one end, these TicTsing hammers have dual high-carbon steel tips that effortlessly shatter car windows, and on the other end, there are stainless steel blades for cutting off a seatbelt. The highly reflective strip makes it easy to locate in the dark, and the textured handle makes for a comfortable, slip-free grip. Keep one in each vehicle, or gift one to someone else.
29. A High-Tech Outdoor Security Camera For $40
Gone are the days of dropping $400 on a reliable security system. The HeimVision outdoor camera has smart-motion alerts, two-way audio, night vision, cloud storage, and HD image quality. It's also resistant to water, the sun, and the cold — all for $40. "A must-buy for the price point," one reviewer said. "Very easy to install and the app is simple."
30. This Easy-To-Store Fire Escape Ladder
Even though it extends to 13 feet long, can support up to 1,000 pounds, and effortlessly attaches to most standard windows without tools, this Kidde two-story fire escape ladder folds up for storage in the closet or under the bed. It's also tangle-free and flame-resistant — just position it out the window, pull the quick-release lever to unfurl the ladder, and climb to safety. "As a firefighter I highly recommend everyone on the second story or higher have one," one buyer wrote.
31. A 4-In-1 Emergency Tool For Earthquakes
Powerful earthquakes can shift and break pipes, which could lead to floods and dangerous gas leaks in your home. The Emergency Disaster Systems tool has a heavy-duty shut-off for gas and water valves. It also helps you pry open doors and dig through debris, and since it's made from durable cast aluminum, it's resistant to sparks, rust, and warping.
32. This Fire Starter With A Built-In Compass & Whistle
Unlike matches and lighters, this SharpSurvival fire starter strikes up to 15,000 times to create fire despite rain and wind. It's made from magnesium, comes with a large scraper, and even has a built-in compass, emergency whistle, and lanyard strap. One reviewer raved, "Started a fire within a minute or so and with ease."
33. A Fluid-Free Lighter That You Can Actually Recharge
Since it creates a plasma arc instead of a flame, this electric lighter is reliable, windproof, and much safer than its counterparts. It's also fully rechargeable with a USB cord, and it has a charging capacity indicator that lets you know when the battery is running low. You can get it in six different colors, all made from metal zinc alloy for durability.
34. This Cost-Effective Hand Sanitizer That Kills 99.99% Of Germs
Keep it on your counter or refill all your little travel bottles. This Solimo advanced hand sanitizer comes with 32 fluid ounces of hydrating, aloe-infused formula in a convenient pump bottle — all for $8. Most importantly, it kills 99.99% of germs and bacteria in seconds. "This is my preferred hand sanitizer because it doesn't leave a grimy or sticky residue," one buyer wrote. "It doesn't irritate or dry out my hands."
35. And These Personal Alarms For All Your Loved Ones
Simply pull the straps, and these SLFORCE personal alarms will emit 130-decibel sirens that help others to find you when you're lost or attract attention when you're in danger. They clip onto your keychain and come with built-in flashlights — and since each order includes five alarms, you can pass them out to your loved ones to keep them safe while jogging, traveling, or hiking.
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