39 Products On Amazon That'll Literally Save Your Life — & Are All Under $20
Tons of people are preparing for the onset of the apocalypse at any given time — listen, when you watch cable news, it's totally reasonable. Even if you don't have a go bag stashed under your bed, these 40 products on Amazon that will literally save your life and are all under $20 are more than worth your while: They're handy, versatile, inexpensive, and can get you out of some serious jams when you least expect them to.
If I can't file zombie stories on the daily, these are absolutely my favorite lists to write because I invariably discover several genius ideas that I'm seriously impressed with. People out there are so incredibly smart as to have come up with. for instance, a carabiner that's also a fire-starter? Come on! It's called the Firebiner: Doesn't that sounds like the next super-hot Avenger? How about a tactical pen that not only writes, but can be used as a defensive tool — and can even shatter your car window in the event of an emergency. This is one pen that absolutely is mightier than the sword.
You could put together a practical and inexpensive emergency kit for your trunk or hall closet from this list — and many items are great for anyone who camps, hikes, or otherwise enjoys the outdoors. Why not be prepared — because you never know.
1. The Straw That Turns Almost Any Water Drinkable
Given that the human body is more than 60 percent water, it's only possible to go three to four days without precious H20. The good news is, with this ingenious personal water filter that's engineered in the form of a straw and perfect for on-the-go use, water from any source can be drinkable. It features a micro-filtration membrane that removes 99.99999 percent of waterborne bacteria and parasites — as well as microplastics — as the user sips through the top, and lasts long enough to filter 1,000 gallons of water.
2. The Pocket-Sized Device That Could Save You From Drowning After A Car Accident
Designed to cut a tight seat belt following an accident then shatter the car window for a hasty escape, these tools are the pocket-sized guardian angel that drivers need in the event of an emergency. While they're compact and lightweight enough to carry on a keychain, the spring-loaded stainless steel spike emerges only when needed, making it safe to carry around. One reviewer writes: "I bought this product for my wife and one for my daughter. In 2010, she had a car accident and had to use the seat belt cutter and the glass impact hammer after she went off a bridge and into the water.......I believe it helped save her life."
3. These Bracelets Are The Ultimate Survival Equipment
Incorporating five emergency gear essentials in a statement-making piece of wrist wear, these bracelets are a survivalist must-have that's designed for everyday use. They include a fire starter, a compass, a loud emergency whistle, an emergency knife, and 12 feet of military-grade paracord — and together, they help plot an escape out of many a sticky situation. They're adjustable to fit most wrist sizes, and they're great for gift-giving.
4. The Personal Alarm That Has Become A Viral Sensation
If you haven't seen this personable little alarm on your social feeds, I'd be shocked — you're going to start seeing them everywhere. This gadget is about the size of your thumb and weighs less than an ounce, but when you pull the pin, it sounds an alarm that sounds off at approximately the same level as an ambulance. Put it on a keychain, or a purse, briefcase, or backpack strap for an extra measure of protection.
5. A Blanket That Provides Shelter And Warmth In Case Of Emergency
Made to handle all kinds of weather, this highly visible orange blanket is waterproof, can be seen from far away (it also has silver reflective material at the edges), and can be used as a tarp in emergencies. Its five layers offer 94 percent heat retention, is wind-proof, and can prevent hypothermia. All this and it only weighs 1.4 pounds — so it's an easy addition to a camping backpack.
6. The Book That Will Guide You To Shelter, Food, Warmth, And More
Written by a noted survivalism expert, this valuable book is based on the five C's of life in the backcountry — cutting tools, covering, combustion devices, containers, and cordages — and provides a bevy of tips and strategies on crafting and managing resources to thrive in nature. With advice on not just getting along, but truly reconnecting with the great outdoors, Dave Canterbury's treasure trove of world-renowned wisdom and experience comes to life within these pages.
7. With 30 Emergency Items Wrapped Inside 30 Feet Of Paracord, This Kit Has It All
It's not brown paper, but this emergency kit is definitely one neat and jam-packed package tied up with string — super-strong paracord, that is. The 30 pieces in this tidy bundle include medical supplies and a thermometer, aluminum foil for cooking or to act as a signal in emergencies, a flashlight, a multi-purpose stainless steel multi-tool, safety pins, paper clips, sewing needles, a fishing kit, cotton, a sharp blade, a whistle, and a wire saw. That's all encased in 30 feet of paracord that's adorned with another whistle topped with a compass, plus a carabiner for attaching it to a belt or a pack.
8. The Two-Person Tent That You Can Carry In Your Hand
This tent would be perfect for an emergency car kit: It's incredibly sturdy — given that it's crafted from extra-thick, tear-resistant Mylar — and it's water-resistant, bright orange, and reflective. It's also so versatile, it can be used for about a kajillion other things if you're marooned, like a rain poncho, a sleeping bag, a dust shield, a water collector, or a wind or sun blocker. Plus, it collapses down to what's almost a 4-inch cube, so it's incredibly compact for stowing anywhere.
9. These Matches Are Wind- And Waterproof For Starting A Fire In Harsh Weather
Get your fire on, no matter what the conditions are, with these storm-proof matches that can stand up to even the fiercest wind and rain storms. Not only do they light after getting wet, but they maintain a flame for up to 25 seconds, even underwater or in gale force winds. They're also twice the length of a standard match, so there's no danger of burned fingers.
10. The Weather Radio That Will Charge Your Phone And Provide Light All Powered By A Hank Crank
Capable of receiving AM and FM frequencies in addition to NOAA weather broadcasts, this hand-crank radio is the accessory you need in the event of a power outage, regardless of where you live. Further proving its unparalleled worth as your full-service communications center, you'll also be able to hand-crank your way to powering up all your mobile devices, thanks to its convenient USB charging ports. It also offers a flashlight, as well as a solar panel to recharge via the sun's rays as well.
11. This Isn't Your Grandma's Spork
Crafted using computer-aided design, this outdoor multi-tool is engineered to serve as a spork, but — lightweight and functional — it does so much more. It also has a bottle opener, an emergency screwdriver blade and can opener, and three metric hex wrench reliefs built right in. Equipped with a carabiner to attach easily to a backpack, tent pole, or anywhere else that's handy, it's an excellent all-around gadget to add to any outdoor supply kit.
12. A Carabiner That Will Really Light Your Fire
How fun is this? Carabiners are already ultra-functional, but this one is equipped with an integrated, patented fire-starter and a safety blade. It's the wheel on the bottom that's the truly genius part, because it's engineered to generate sparks that to start a fire quickly and easily. Meanwhile, the blade will slice through paracord or fishing line with ease. This device also includes a bottle opener so you can enjoy a cold one after all that hard work.
13. The Bar That Should Hang Out At Home
This security bar has a notched rubber tip that prevents a doorknob from being turned — creating extra peace of mind in your home or hotel — and it works on carpets, linoleum, wood, tile, and more. It also doubles as a sliding glass door jammer, and one reviewer writes: "Great security products. Seals the sliding door and it’s impossible to open when it is on."
14. A Pen That's Mightier Than The Sword — For Real
15. The Shovel That Folds For Easy Portability
Made in the style of military folding shovels, this shovel is a useful and multi-functional addition to any camping pack or survival kit — and it's so compact, it would be perfectly at home in the car trunk or below deck on the boat as well. Though it's small in size and folds down to be ultra-compact, it boasts truly mighty functionality, with a serrated edge to cut through underbrush or trim small branches. "Fits easily in my trunk...it has already saved my butt once," says one reviewer who awarded it five stars.
16. These LED Lanterns Are Bright, Compact, And Magnetic
They're about the height of an iPhone when closed, and yet these lanterns boast 500 lumens of long-lasting and bright LED light. Crafted with military-grade materials, they provide 360-degrees of light — and with magnetic bases, they'll also adhere to a tent pole, a metal shelf, the inside of your car hood, or even the side of the fridge in the event of a power outage. Great for kids, perfect to stow in the car, and the perfect addition to any camper's rucksack.
17. A Multi-Purpose Tool That Starts Fire And Does So Much More
Fire starters are a must for anyone who enjoys spending time outside, but this one has more to offer than just a few sparks: A compass and an emergency whistle are incorporated into the setup, and it features a long lanyard for easy portability. Compact to pack in any backpack or survival kit, it features long-lasting, dependable fire-starting prowess backed by magnesium — and will last over 15,000 chances to get it going.
18. These Jumper Cables Belong In Everyone's Vehicle
Featuring tangle-free cables and copper-plated clamps, these jumper cables are the premium set you want on your side should you find your battery just won't turn over. A helpful item for a new driver or new car owner, they're made with heavy-gauge wire and are well-insulated. Additionally, they get a solid 4.8-stars from over 1,000 reviewers, including one guy who notes that "You'll get a charge out of these!"
19. This Food Bar Can Last One Person Three Days And Is Packed With Vitamins And Nutrients
Boasting a "pleasant lemony taste," just one of these bars can keep an adult nourished and sustained for three days. Composed of nine pre-measured 400 calorie rations, they're packed with vitamins and minerals, enough to actually exceed an adult's recommended daily allowance. They're sealed airtight in Mylar packaging, so they're shelf-stable for a remarkable five years, and they're both kosher and halal.
20. A First Aid Kit That's Small But Mighty
If it's not in this first aid kit, you probably need the ER, stat. It's jam-packed with 299 pieces of medical goodness, with everything from both fabric and plastic bandages to an aluminized rescue blanket and one of those chemical cold packs that you crush and it chills instantly. You'll be all set to treat pain and swelling, dress minor wounds, and tend to cuts, scrapes, and burns.
21. This Set Of LED Road Flares Will Help Keep You Safe In Case Of An Accident
If you own a vehicle, you absolutely need one of these road flares — the LED light can last up to 140 hours on flashing mode, is crush-resistant of 20,000 pounds, and is water-resistant. It has a magnetic base that you can stick onto your car, and provides 360-degrees of light. They're perfect if you're stuck on the side of the road, but also useful for camping, boating, and emergency vehicles.
22. The Book That's A Must For Anyone Who Loves The Outdoors
Pull up a chair and get ready to enjoy the feast — because neither omnivores nor vegetarians need ever go hungry in the great outdoors thanks to this book from a noted survivalist. This comprehensive guide includes information on recognizing and harvesting edible plants and berries, locating birds' eggs, fishing, trapping and killing wild animals, catching edible insects, and finding drinkable water — along with information on cooking with all of the above.
23. A Pared-Back Mess Kit That's All You Need To Survive Chopped: Outdoor Edition
Compact and self-contained, this mess kit can be used for both preparing foods and eating them when out in the wild. The handle fits both the pot and the dish piece, so that the smaller of the two can also be used as a skillet. Since the pieces are nested for storage, the smaller piece can also be used as a lid for cooking stews, soups, and the like in the pot — and it's also lightweight for carrying on the trail.
24. These Hand Warmers Are Simply Ubiquitous
These hand warmers are the perfect thing to keep in your backpack, glove compartment, or purse in the winter. A longtime favorite of campers, hunters, and fisherman, each package includes two warmers that safely provide up to 10 hours of (safe, natural) toasty warmth for your digits once they're exposed to the air.
25. The Insect Repellent That's Effective Against A Bevy Of Pests
Formulated using a natural liposome base that surrounds a 30 percent DEET solution, this insect repellent is engineered to protect from even the most hazardous disease-carrying insects, including the mosquitos that carry Zika. It's odorless and compatible with sunscreens, and provides a 3-inch barrier for up to 11 hours — from ticks, too — even in the deepest woods.
26. A Light That's Your Best Friend When The Power Goes Out
Keep this flashlight plugged into an outlet, and it will light up automatically in the event of a power failure, both signaling that something is amiss and lighting the way in a dark hallway or any room without windows. The rechargeable battery will then power the flashlight for up to four hours of use — and while it's plugged in, it serves as a convenient nightlight as well.
27. This Lantern Provides Four Modes Of Solar-Powered Light
After seven hours in direct sunlight, this solar lantern will provide up to 24 hours of light, with an on/off switch to conserve power, three levels of light to set the mood or meet your needs, and a flashing setting to indicate an emergency. The lantern deflates so that it's almost flat for easy packing and transport, and it's super lightweight, too, weighing in at just over 4 ounces.
28. The Rope That's Useful In The Event Of An Emergency And For All Kinds Of Outdoor Use
Made from high-quality, durable polyester, this rope can support a load of up to 2,000 pounds, making it sturdy enough to support several adults at once if needed in order to make a quick climb out of the window in case of a fire. On calmer days, it also rolls into a compact bundle to carry along easily for any number of outdoor activities, including lounging in the hammock.
29. The Book That Can Help You Heal Yourself When You're Backed Into A Corner
When I tell you this book is wide-ranging, I'm so not kidding. Say you're living in a nuclear winter or just out in the woods, and there are no medical professionals to be found. It doesn't matter if you're faced with multiple casualties, need to determine if you have a relatively obscure tick-borne disease, or you're dealing with something simple like poison ivy — Beau Griffin has your back. Again, if there's a doctor, or nurse, around, go for that — but if you want to be prepared for extreme emergencies, this is for you.
30. These Candles Repel Bugs And Are Wind- And Rain-Resistant
Ideal for gathering around the campfire, the grill, or your next outdoor event, these citronella candles feature chunky wicks that are designed to burn through wind and rain. Each candle burns clean for up to seven continuous hours, repelling mosquitos and other flying insects with the completely DEET-free scent of citronella oil. Reviewers rave about their attractive appearance, comparing them to tabletop tiki torches.
31. The Safety Lights That Add A Much-Needed Touch Of Visibility While Out At Night
Low-profile but ultra-bright, these safety lights are perfect to ensure the visibility of anyone who enjoys exercising outdoors at night or just walking the dog. Attach one to each ankle or each sleeve, your belt, your pockets, the dog's collar, or whatever configuration makes you feel the safest. The three lighting modes include a flash mode for added attention-getting, and they come with an easy-to-use mini screwdriver for easy battery changes.
32. A Different Twist On The Card-Sized Multi-Tool
A totally new take on the wallet-sized card tool, this multi-tool is made from durable yet thin stainless steel, with the tools laser-cut right in. Pop them out and you have a remarkable 22 reusable tools including arrowheads, a spearhead, fishing hooks, tweezers, needles, a saw, and more. Detach one tool at a time, or detach them all and store separately for use camping or in a survivalist bag.
33. These Tablets Will Purify Up To 30 Liters Of Water
You're definitely going to make sure you have clean water in the event of an apocalypse of any origin — zombie or otherwise — and these tablets have been proven effective against viruses and bacteria, including potentially deadly Giardia and Cryptosporidium in all water conditions. It converts a liter of questionable water into something safe to drink. Best of all, it does it without any unpleasant aftertaste in just 30 minutes, and with no mixing or measuring.
34. The Case That Will Keep Your Valuables Safe And Dry
Here's a product you'll want not just in the event of an emergency, but also in the event of a trip to the beach or the pool: This case will keep your smartphone and other essentials of daily living dry and dust- or sand-free while you go about your business. One reviewer road-tested this crush-free wonder that features a rubber liner while in the Amazon rainforest and gives it five stars, saying it kept a phone and other valuables dry through long periods of heavy use.
35. These Rain Ponchos For The Whole Family Or Everyone In Your Tailgate
A great value for not only preppers, but also soccer moms and dads, tailgaters, and basically anyone who ever leaves the house unprepared — these ponchos are twice as thick as the ones you get at the corner store when you're caught out in the rain, and they fit conveniently in any pocket or bag. This variety pack includes four adult- and four child-sized ponchos in various colors, all individually packaged and even equipped with drawstrings around the hoods.
36. The Whistle That's Loud Enough To Be Heard In The Woods, Or Over A Boat Motor
Eight times as loud as the common sports whistle, you'll absolutely be heard by rescuers or in the event of an emergency on the street when you pipe up with this whistle. Audible for over more than 2 miles, it comes with hearing protectors in the event that you have time to insert them before blowing, as well as a convenient lanyard so you can wear it around your neck when out late at night or camping.
37. These LED Lights Are Engineered To Protect Urban Cyclists After Dark
With a one-touch switch enabling the rider to seamlessly toggle between modes — including two brightness settings, and two flashing settings — these LED lights are easy to operate and provide easy-to-identify visibility. They're equipped with silicone mount straps to keep them secured in various spots on a bike, and attach easily with no tools required. Easily loosened and refastened, they can also be helmet-mounted or used as emergency flashlights.
38. The Tactical Gloves That Are Great For Outdoor Work — And Play, Too
Crafted with military-grade materials, these tactical gloves provide heavy-duty protection, but allow for enough flexibility and touch for even delicate, close work. Breathable enough for year-round wear, they feature half-fingers — though full fingers and other colors are available — for the ultimate in maneuverability and control. With their reinforced palm and double-stitching, they're ideal for activities like camping, hiking, motorcycling, and hunting, and also make great outdoor work gloves.
39. The Hair Clip With So Many Tactical Uses
These multi-tools designed in a hair clip shape are absolutely genius, in my humble opinion. Yes, you can use them to keep those ill-advised bangs out of your eyes, but they also feature six integrated tools that would make MacGyver proud. A Kickstarter fave, their inventor notes that they're designed for "unpredictable lifestyles" and that they're not only great for survivalists but also perfect for keeping your "kippah or yarmulke down!"
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.This article reflects price at publication and may change.