The Best & Coolest Survival Gadgets You Can Find
Every survivalist, outdoorsman, and prepper knows the importance of quality equipment. Survival is no joke, and you need to prepare yourself to the best of your ability. You need the right gear, you need the right supplies, and you need the right state of mind.
But sometimes it’s OK to just set that all aside for a second and say “I want this because it’s cool…” That’s what we’re talking about today – the coolest survival gadgets that we could find available on the internet. Are these the tools that we’d choose to make it through a serious survival situation? Probably not. We’ll be honest, a lot of these are “novelty” items. But every single one of these survival gadgets does have utility, and could come in handy if you end up in a bad situation. Just because we’re old-school and like to K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple, Stupid) doesn’t mean that these survival gadgets are useful and valuable in their own right.
We’ve put together a list of the 20 coolest survival gadgets on the market that you can take with you on your next excursion and have some fun with. These are great tools to keep in a bug out bag,in your car, and or just in a basement or survival shelter.
Many of the gadgets have clever designs, and many of them are ideal for the urban survivor where space is a luxury and you need to conserve space as much as you can..
On the other hand, these survival gadgets can actually do a lot of good out in the woods when camping with your family as well. Some of these gadgets can stop you from getting lost, they can keep you alive if you do get lost, and there are even some pretty cool gadgets on the list that can help you get help if you find yourself stranded on the side of a mountain with nowhere to go.
Another big benefit with these survival gadgets which are “cooler” than the stuff we typically recommend on this site is that it’s a great way to get kids interested in the wilderness and survivalist ideas. The rest of your family is way more likely to be engaged with the wild, or with the idea of preparedness, if you give them cool survival gadgets to play with and use when on a outdoors excursion.
Anyways, let’s not waste any more time. Here are the coolest survival gadgets and gizmos on the market right now.
20 Cool Survival Gadgets that You (Maybe Literally) Can’t Survive Without
#1: BioLite Camp Stove 2
The BioLite Camp Stove 2 is a portable stove that every survivalist and outdoor enthusiast should have in their backpack. This miniature stove works with any kind of kindling. It has a special wood-burning compartment that you can burn anything inside of. And by burning kindling, you gain electricity. You can use this wood-burning stove to charge an external battery, your phone, your radio, or your batteries. This thing literally converts fire into electricity.
But don’t stop at electricity. You can also use the BioLite to make yourself dinner, to boil your coffee, or just to warm yourself up. And all the while it will be charging your crucial electronics, like your walkie talkie, your radio, or your Kindle so you can do some backwoods reading. The BioLite even comes with three special indicators that tell you the strength of your fire, the power available, and the speed of your fan.
We’re actually HUGE fans of the BioLite Camp Stove – not just as a “novelty” item but as a genuinely useful and clever wilderness/survival gadget. If you’re going to pack a stove of some sort anyways, why not pack something that can also charge your devices? Obviously the BioLite is not a replacement for a real generator that can power an RV or anything (see our article on the best portable solar generators for preppers for those) – however, as away to charge smaller devices in an emergency, it’s hard to beat.
We really recommend the BioLite Camp Stove, not just as a cool survival gadget, but as a great survival tool in general. That’s why it’s the first item on this list – cool and useful, who would’ve thunk it?
#2: Waterproof Socks
Second on the list are waterproof socks. These aren’t really gadgets necessarily, but there is no denying the usefulness of waterproof socks. When you are in a survival situation, trudging miserably through swamps, rivers, and muddy terrain, you will be absolutely thrilled to have socks that don’t get soaked.
Even just for hiking, these waterproof socks are a must. If your feet get too wet while trekking, you can get a pretty gnarly condition known as trench foot, and that is definitely not something you want. The best part about survival socks is that they are cheap, you can simply replace all your normal socks with waterproof socks, and they don’t take up any extra room.
#3: Survival Fire Laces
Here we have a pretty ingenious gadget. The best gadgets are things that don’t take up space, that replace ordinary items, and that have real-life applications. These special survivor fire shoelaces can replace your ordinary laces and help you start a fire when there is nothing else around.
The fire laces are extremely strong paracord and tipped with fire steel ends. You can use the laces as paracord for stringing something together, and you can use the ends of the laces to strike a spark and light of fire in any kind of climate. This is a great way to always have cordage on you, always have tinder on you without carrying around any extra weight. Simply replace your shoelaces with fire laces!
#4: USB Lighter Watch
How about a lighter that’s also watch? When your matches get wet, your lighters run out of fuel, and you have no way to start a fire, you can rely on the USB lighter watch to get you through the darkest situations. Not only will you have a watch that always tells you the time, but you also have a windproof electric lighter built into the watch for ultimate convenience.
You don’t have to worry about fueling the lighter watch. Simply power by charging it like any other USB deviceand you will always have immediate access to fire, right there on your wrist through your USB lighter watch. Another case of replacing something that you probably already have with something that does the same thing, but also provides additional survival utility. Pretty nifty.
#5: Leatherman Tread Bracelet
The Leatherman Tread Utility Bracelet is like a Swiss Army Knife for your wrist. You don’t have to carry it in your pocket, as this brilliant survival tool acts just like a bracelet. It fits on anybody’s wrist and comes included with at least 29 unique tools. This could mean the difference between being able to fix your car in a disaster scenario and making it to safety versus being stranded and getting swallowed up by the looming disaster.
The tread bracelet comes with screwdriver options, several hex drives, an oxygen tank wrench, a carbide glass breaker, a special pic for SIM cards, a cutting hook, a bottle opener, and much more. The links are interchangeable to give you the ultimate convenience in what tools to have equipped. This survival gadget is not only cool, it’s actually genuinely extremely useful – we’re big fans of Leatherman in general (as you can see in our article about the best survival multi tools) and this is no exception.
#6: Titanium Escape Ring
This is more of a novelty item than a survival gadget. But if you are the kind of person who feels they could be kidnapped at any moment, you definitely need to wear the Titanium Escape Ring at all times. It looks like a normal ring, but it’s actually a survival gadget that can get you out of a bind in second.
If you are ever tied with cord or rope, you are going to wish you’d bought the Titanium Escape Ring. It uses a hidden saw blade to help you cut through zip ties, disposable handcuffs, rope, duct tape, or any other similar restraints. It can even be used as a shim pick to escape a real set of handcuffs.
If you’re expecting social unrest, a rise in crime, or the potential of martial law in the near future, then the Titanium Escape Ring is definitely something you should look into.
#7: American Red Cross Hand Crank Radio
The American Red Cross Hand Crank Radio was our choice for the Best Hand Crank Radio for Emergencies for a reason. It can be powered by either solar or hand crank, and has a built-in rechargable battery as well. It’s got emergency radio built in (obviously) including NOAA weather radio.
That’s just the basic stuff. This survival gadget also comes with an Alert function that will automatically broadcast any news about emergency weather events in your area. It also serves as an alarm clock, has a USB port for charging devices, and comes with both a built in LED flashlight and a flashing emergency red SoS beacon if it comes down to that.
This isn’t a novelty item – an emergency hand crank radio is something that anyone who lives in a region that experiences hurricanes or tornadoes should have, and the American Red Cross Hand Crank Radio is the best in class product in its category. This one’s really a no-brainer if you live in any area that experiences rough “disaster-level” weather events.
#8: Paracord Grenade
This Paracord “Grenade” is a pretty cool item for any survivalist. It’s popular because it’s small, you can clip it easily to your backpack, and it comes with around a dozen survival tools all wrapped inside a bundle of paracord – and it’s tiny! You get a knife blade, fishing line, tinder, a fire starter, and much more, all wrapped up in one super compact, lightweight package. It even looks like an actual grenade.
The paracord survival grenade isn’t just a nify thing to have, it’s a decently functional “survival kit” all by itself. You can use it for fishing, biking in the mountains, canoeing and boating, hiking, and camping. There are limitless uses for the Paracord Grenade, and it’s super lightweight. You won’t even notice it’s with you. And you know how much paracord it comes with? An astounding 45 feet of cordage! If you’re going to be carrying cordage around anyways (as any smart prepper and survivalist does) then why not carry it around in the form of a “survival grenade” that also includes a bunch of other useful stuff and takes up virtually no space?
#9: Yaktrax Traction Cleats
Traction cleats are a must-have for survival in the winter. If you live in an icy region, or find yourself doing lots of treks in the winter and spring when there is still ice clinging to the rocks, you need a way to keep your shoes on solid ground. The Yaktrax Traction Cleats are easy to put on any pair of shoes and they keep you firmly moving through the wilderness at your own speed. Never slip again with these awesome cleats!
They come in lots of different sizes for both men’s and women’s shoes, they come with special abrasion-resistant steel coils to keep you from slipping, and they cost less than $20. I would say that’s a fair amount of money to keep from slipping down a mountainside while surviving in the winter.
#10: Spy, Escape, and Evasion Leather Belt
The Spy, Escape, and Evasion Leather Belt is a little different from the first one we mentioned. It looks exactly like a normal leather belt, but it comes included with three hidden storage compartments. You can stash survival tools out of sight, like waterproof matches, hooks, or razor blades. Or you can use it while traveling to stash your money discreetly.
#11: The Sawyer Mini Water Filter
The Sawyer Mini Water Filter is another brilliant survival gadget for people who love the outdoors. Any hikers, explorers, or hardcore survivalists should have a survival water filter like the Saywer Mini with them at all times. This baby allows you to drink water from almost any source. It has a great filter that removes up to 99.9999% of bacteria and parasites and 100% of microplastics from your water supply.
This is actually one of the smartest survival gadgets we have ever seen. The Sawyer Mini is no joke, and has been tested thoroughly in laboratories to make sure it’s reliable and safe. With a single filter, you can drink 100,000 gallons of water without getting sick. This is more water than an average person typically drinks in a decade. And so, if you are surviving anywhere in the wilderness, the Sawyer Mini is a necessity.
We actually recommend the Sawyer water filter in a number of our other posts here at Secrets of Survival, so this “gadget” isn’t just cool, it’s actually an important (and potentially lifesaving) tool to have for survival. If you only buy one thing from this list, it should be the Sawyer water filter.
#12: 1TAC Tactical LED Flashlight
This list would not have been complete without a tactical flashlight. The 1Tac Flashlight is super small, super durable, and produces 1,200 lumens of brilliant light. It’s also waterproof, resistant to scratches, and it has a very long battery life. It can fit in your pocket and it works for up to 100,000 hours. It also comes with SOS mode and a strobe light.
If you’re looking for a tactical flashlight that can clip onto your waistband and go with you everywhere, lasting for literal weeks without needing to replace the batteries, the 1Tac tactical flashlight is a great choice. It’s also dirt cheap, making it ideal for survivalists who don’t want to spend a ton of money. And another thing, the head of the flashlight is able to be used for self-defense or for breaking glass.
#14: Garmin inReach Explorer+
In a survival situation, it pays to have a reliable way to get help that’s guaranteed to work. The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is a highly advanced device that allows you to signal for help using its SOS system or to directly contact the search and rescue monitoring system, which is working 24 hours a day. The device is waterproof, it comes with a rechargeable battery, and you can even pair it with your own cell phone. If you want a heavy-duty piece of technology for survival, this all-inclusive device is the way to go. Every hiker should have one of these units on them in case they get lost.
#15: Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets
A mylar thermal blanket is the difference between a night of hypothermia and a night of extreme cold. And believe us, there is a serious difference. These tiny thermal blankets are so small that you can keep the entire 4-pack in your back pocket, or one in your wallet. A single blanket will keep 90% of your body heat in during an emergency scenario. The blankets are windproof, moisture proof, and waterproof. Never stray into the wilderness without an emergency blanket.
#15: Leatherman Supertool 300
This is the tool to rule them all. The Leatherman Supertool 300 is a small multi-tool that packs neatly onto your belt or into your backpack, and it allows you to have immediate access to 19 different tools in one. Plus, this multi-tool is actually usable. The small pieces are not going to break or bend like with other cheap, low quality copycat multi-tools. You get screwdrivers, knives, a wire stripper, and more. And it’s all super durable and built for survival.
Leatherman products are high quality across the board (there’s already been one product from them listed here) and the Supertool is no exception. The Supertool 300 is our favorite survival multi tool – it’s durable, it’s super-functional, and we think it’s a pretty cool survival gadget as well.
#16: A2S Protection Paracord Bracelet K2-Peak
You almost can’t have too many survival bracelets. The A2S Paracord K2-Peak is a different type of survival bracelet to the Leatherman one we talked about earlier in this article. This survival bracelet is all about cordage. The bracelet itself is made from military-grade parachute cord, it that can hold tension resistances of up to 550 pounds. It also contains flint fire starter, fire scraper, a whistle, a compass, and an emergency knife. And it’s all on your wrist! Pretty cool right? What’s even cooler is the price – the A2S K2-Peak is only $9 and you get a pack of 2 paracord bracelets – it’s not exactly two for the price of one, but it might as well be.
#17: Eyeskey Tactical Compass
It never hurts to have a straight-up compass. There are lots of survival tricks to make your own compass, and your watch or bracelet may come with a compass, but having a tactical compass like the one from Eyeskey can prove invaluable. This is especially true when you become lost and need to do some actual navigating.
The tactical compass features an aluminum case, it’s waterproof, it has a floating compass dial, it’s easy to orientate, and it has a 360-degree scale. It’s also fluorescent so that you can read it at night, it comes with a pouch and a lanyard, and it has a conversion chart for easier navigation.
#18: Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife
Everybody needs to have a high quality knife for survival purposes with them. This hardly counts as a gadget, and yet it does a little bit. The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife really is a great knife. This is literally designed front to back strictly for survival situations. It’s built from high carbon steel, it weighs only 13.7 ounces, it’s about 10 inches long, and there is an oversized bolster to keep you from accidentally cutting yourself.
The knife has a Firestarter rod built into it, a loud emergency whistle, and a special survival pocket guide written by Bear Grylls himself. It’s also extremely affordable, which is great for a survivor on a budget.
We have many more knife recommendations in our article on the best survival knives.
#19: Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag
The Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag is exactly what it sounds like. This small, lightweight emergency sleeping bag can be easily tied to any daypack and used at a moment’s notice for you to get a good night of sleep. The emergency sleeping bag is going to keep you warm, it serves as an entire survival shelter, it comes with a very loud survival whistle, and it’s made from an extremely thick mylar material.
Even for such a small sleeping bag, it’s tear-resistant and puncture-resistant. If the rain is pouring down and the wind is howling, this is the best emergency sleeping bag to be hiding in. It also works well if you have a mylar emergency sleeping bag to stuff inside it. Plus, it’s bright orange so that rescuers will be able to see you even in the dark.
#20: The Wazoo Survival Cache Belt
Here we have another “ultimate” survival item funded through Kickstarter. The Wazoo Survival Belt is a very impressive piece of technology that looks just like an ordinary belt. However, this single belt holds dozens of amazing secrets. This single belt is actually a miniature bug-out bag that can get you through any situation.
It includes such things as a signal mirror, flashlight, Kevlar cord, wire saw, fishing hooks, fishing line, bandages, and so much more. Pretty cool, right?