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Want to get that person in your life something useful? Here are some ideas for items I’ve gotten for my own family at different times. Some may be better suited as full blown gifts, depending on your budget, or great as stocking stuffers.
1. Solar Charger
I’ve bought a number of these (various brands, same style) over the years for myself and family. They are great for charging cell phones, e-readers, and other devices. It’s good for emergencies but also for daily life. A family member even used one to keep their phone charged when spending a weekend as a Civil War reenactor.
This is a flexible one because you could make it as inexpensive as a single pack of herbs or easy to grow veggies for each stocking or you could give them a variety. I love buying seeds from rareseeds.com or you can buy a “seed vault” from Amazon.
3. Water Filter
Good for camping or for emergencies. There are so many of these on the market, but something like a Lifestraw or Sawyer Mini would be a good option.
4. Emergency Light Sticks
These are always fun for camping trips where my kids get a kick out of walking around with one. They are a good option as stocking stuffers too though — buy a big package and put one or two in each stocking.
Are there people out there who don’t like hammocks? Is that possible? Well, maybe there are, but for the other people in your life a portable hammock is a great gift.
These can range in price from a few bucks to way more than “stocking stuffer” price range. If you want to get someone a basic compass then there are some solid options. Your local Walmart’s outdoors section usually has a cheap one or Amazon carries many different ones.
7. Compact gun cleaning kit
For this you’d want to know what caliber guns your recipient has, but a compact kit is great for tossing into an emergency bag, a range bag, or wherever works for them. You can make it even better by adding in a small bottle of gun oil to the stocking.
8. Sewing kit
The nice thing about some of the kits on Amazon is the case it comes with which makes it easy to throw it straight in an emergency bag. To save a little money you can easily get a small sewing kit at your local Dollar Tree. Just keep an eye on quality. I’ve gotten some sewing needles from dollar stores before that ended up so cheap they broke and wouldn’t stay threaded.
9. N95 Masks
This one may seem a little odd for a stocking stuffer, but it’s pretty practical if you have preparedness in mind. Even as I’m writing this list they are being recommended for people near the wildfires in California because air quality is so terrible. I’m including links to two different styles of N95 mask. The 3M 8612F masks are a bit more expensive but are on the list of masks cleared by the FDA for infection control.
10. Wool Boot Socks
To me wool socks rank right up there with comfy pajamas for being a winter staple, though that may be because in winter I feel like my feet will never be warm again. Regardless, these are a great option for a prepper’s stocking stuffer. Adding a pair or two of these and a pair or two of regular cotton socks to an emergency bag means you’ll be covered in all types of weather and have the option to layer if needed. Don’t underestimate the value of having a clean and dry pair of socks!
11. Work Gloves
Unless you do hard work with your hands every day for a living, chances are you don’t have much for callouses built up. In an emergency if you need to do a lot of manual labor to keep yourself and your family safe, warm, and dry, it’ll be a lot less miserable if your hands have adequate protection. I like to keep a pair of mechanic’s gloves in my bag and that’s a good stocking stuffer option too. You could get regular mechanic’s gloves, cold weather mechanic’s gloves, or just a standard leather work glove.
12. Field Guides & Maps
I’m a book lover so it’s always tempting to try to collect all the books I come across. Unfortunately I know I’d never be able to take my library with me in an emergency (unless on an e-reader like Kindle). What I can fit in my bag though is some good field guides showing things like edible or medicinal plants. Laminated maps or emergency medical guides are good options too.
13. Oral Rehydration Salts
This may seem like another suggestion from left field, but if you’ve ever felt so sick it was a struggle to rehydrate you may understand the importance of this. In emergency situations, something as simple as diarrhea can be dangerous if the person isn’t able to adequately get treatment. Something like this is a smart and easy addition to personal first aid kits.
None of these strike your fancy? There are many more items that would make good stocking stuffers. Even little things like lighters or a box of matches can do the trick. If you browse the other articles/lists on this site you’ll come across many more items that would make good options!