The Hiker is one of the most affordable and most useful of the Victorinox Swiss Army Knives. Many choose to carry this model in the woods because it features a handy saw blade. Victorinox photo


 The AOG Boundless brings to you the list of must-have survival gear. Check out these 5 affordable yet amazing suggestions and use them for your ultimate survival:

1. Knives

Morakniv Carbon Companion
The Morakniv Carbon Companion is one of the best values in outdoor gear, priced at about $16. Morakniv photo
Hiker, the Victorinox Swiss Army Knives
The Hiker is one of the most affordable and most useful of the Victorinox Swiss Army Knives. Many choose to carry this model in the woods because it features a handy saw blade.
Victorinox photo

There are some great survival gear options in blades that won’t set you back a mortgage payment. For outdoorsmen and preppers, a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife is hard to beat in terms of price, quality and usefulness. The Hiker model, for instance, with two blades, can opener, bottle opener, wood saw, reamer, three screwdrivers, wire stripper, toothpick and tweezers can be found for about $33. Among fixed blades, a Morakniv Carbon Companion runs about $16.

  2.  Firearms

Ruger Security-9
The Ruger Security-9 is a popular 9mm pistol because it’s rugged and reliable survival gear, yet relatively inexpensive.
Ruger photo
 Canik TP9SF 9mm pistol
The author has quite a bit of experience with the Canik TP9SF 9mm pistol. It’s one of the most affordable pistols on the market that is still top quality. Canik photo
Chiappa Little Badger rifle
The author tested this Chiappa Little Badger rifle while writing another magazine article. It’s a single-shot chambered for .22LR and it folds in half to be carried discreetly in a pack. Not only is the rifle affordable, but so is the ammo, compared to other survival gear options. Chiappa photo

Polymer-frame handguns won’t win any beauty contests, but they tend to be reasonably priced. A new Ruger Security-9 pistol has an MSRP of $459. A Canik TP9SF sells new for a suggested $399.99. Both have reputations for reliability and durability. Many good .22LR rifles can be had at reasonable prices, too. I’ve had lots of fun with a single-shot Chiappa Little Badger ($233) with folding stock. It will fit in a daypack.

3. Flashlights

Coast Polysteel 200 flashlight
The author uses his affordable Coast Polysteel 200 flashlight frequently even though he has more expensive lights.
Coast photo
Streamlight Microstream flashlight
The author carries a Streamlight Microstream flashlight in a pocket every day. It’s about the size of your pinky finger and it’s rechargeable.
Streamlight photo

I’m not afraid of the dark, but I like to be able to function fully in the dark. Even though I have many expensive LED flashlights, one I use quite often is the very affordable Coast Polysteel 200. It has an MSRP of $19.99, features three brightness settings and a bezel that you twist to go from flood light to focused beam.

Even smaller is the USB rechargeable Streamlight Microstream that is available for around $30. Yes, there are cheaper lights, but often the cheap ones won’t be dependable over time.

4.  Camp Stove

MSR canister stove
It’s been updated as the PocketRocket 2, but this MSR canister stove is still one of the best for the money. MSR photo

While I often use homemade alcohol and hobo stoves these days, for convenience I often grab my MSR PocketRocket canister stove. These stoves have been around for years, they’re reliable, and fuel canisters can be found in most any store that sells camping equipment.

The updated model, the PocketRocket 2, has an MSRP of $49.95. If you want to spring for the PocketRocket Deluxe with piezo ignition – no lighter required – the MSRP is $79.95. There are some stoves that boil water a bit faster, but they’re much more expensive. For the price, these are your best bets.

5.  Compasses

Suunto A-10 compass
Suunto makes many excellent compasses. The A-10 is a basic model that’s very affordable. Suunto photo
Brunton compass
The author has used similar Brunton compasses for many years and has come to rely on them. Brunton photo

Cheap compasses are everywhere and most aren’t reliable. But you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good, basic compass. Two that I’d recommend are the Suunto A-10 ($24) and the Brunton Truarc 3 ($19.95). Both have baseplates so you can use them with topo maps.


Victorinox (Swiss Army Knives) 


Canik (handguns) 

Sturm, Ruger & Co. (firearms)

Coast (flashlights)

Streamlight (flashlights)

MSR (stoves, outdoor gear)

Suunto (compasses)

Brunton (compasses)

Chiappa (firearms)


Editor’s Note:

A version of this article first appeared in the June 2022 issue of American Outdoor Guide Boundless.


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