We live in “interesting” times, to put it nicely. Last year’s terror attacks, extreme weather events and angry mobs woke up a lot of people to the increasingly common realization that a quiet life is not something we can take for granted. Survival situations weren’t contained within urban or coastal areas, further emphasizing the probability that life-threatening circumstances could occur anywhere at any time.
This can complicate our prepping plan, because it broadens the scope of scenarios we need to be ready for. Then, again, the upside is that preparing for many of these scenarios requires the same basic gear and supplies.
The collection we’ve assembled in this month’s “Gear Guide” highlights a number of necessities that transcend the types of disasters you might face. Most are also great items you can use every day—not sock away until the alarm sounds. In our book, that’s the best kind of investment you can make.
A great multi-use duffel, the Base Camp features interior mesh pockets to help with organization and separated end caps to store dirty clothes or gear. It comes with a detachable storage strap for easy transport out of the vehicle and side handles for maneuverability. The Base Camp is water resistant, but driving through a hurricane probably wouldn’t be the best idea. With many color choices, you can blend in with the black duffel or go bold with Summit Gold.
Capacity: 95 liters
External dimensions: 15.75 x 27.56 x 15.75 inches
Weight: 4.6 pounds
Material: 1,000-D phthalate-free TPE fabric laminate and 840-D Jr. ballistic nylon
You can find this lamp, even under a moonless night sky. The body of the 30 Day Duro lantern glows in the dark. Its LED bulb has three continuous lighting adjustment levels that max out at 700 lumens. A fourth setting allows the lantern to flash an emergency SOS signal for up to 15 days. It runs 30 days continuously on “low” and 22 hours continuously on “high.” Its impact-resistant, rubberized housing and unbreakable lifetime LED make this lantern strong enough for the most rugged adventures.
Watershed bags have been used by boaters and river rats for years because of their watertight, no-frills functionality. These bags are ideal for packing clothes or other soft items where the interior space can be maximized. They feature several hard-plastic lash points and come in a range of colors, including black, orange, tan and MultiCam (at an additional cost). Durable and light enough to carry as standard duffle bags, these are great multipurpose bags.
Capacity: 105 liters
External dimensions: 18 x 31 x 16 inches
Weight: 3.13 pounds
Material: Backpack-grade nylon laminated with polyurethane film
With 60 LEDs, USB charging capability and a 10,400 mAh battery that gives you light and power for up to four days, the ARC Light & Power Station is small enough to go everywhere you do. It can be adjusted for 10 brightness levels and three color temperature settings. The ARC’s sturdy legs allow it to be hung or mounted for 180 degrees of lighting for any task or adventure. It also includes a threaded mounting point for attaching to tripods and Gear Aid, RAM and GoPro mounts. The ARC Light & Power Station includes light, diffuser bag, USB charging cable and stainless steel hook.
Powered by two 2016 lithium coin cell batteries, the Radiant Microlight packs some surprisingly powerful performance. With an effective range of up to 50 feet and 1-mile signal visibility, the Radiant Microlight features four lighting functions, including “high,” “low,” “strobe” and “signal.” It also features a water- and crush-resistant body and a stainless steel universal clip that attaches to keys, zippers, purses, backpacks and more.
The i3E EOS keychain light can be taken virtually anywhere and is ready to provide a surprising amount of light for such a small package. Simply twist the head to activate the light. The aircraft aluminum body has a tough, MIL-SPEC Type III anodized finish and is waterproof to the IPX8 standard. Replace the alkaline battery with a NiMH AAA battery to increase your runtime to 70 minutes.
Building on its groundbreaking Titan keychain light, SureFire has added several useful features to the Titan Plus, including over twice the maximum output, taking it to 300 lumens of blinding white light. It can also be switched to 75 lumens at its “medium” setting and 15 lumens on “low.” The small and stylish light is constructed of durable nickel-plated brass that resists scratching and corrosion. This rugged light features a removable pocket clip and a stainless steel split ring for attachment to your keyring.
If you’re looking for a tough, portable refrigerator/freezer to store critical meds or other items that must stay cold—come hell or high water—consider the 50-quart ARB Fridge Freezer. This unit works with both AC and DC power inputs, so you can take it with you when the need arises. It will even maintain subfreezing temperatures in 90-degree (F) external temperatures! If things really get rough, this power miser is compatible with generator and solar power sources. Two internal compartments help keep contents organized.
Dimensions, external: 20 x 15 x 27.8 inches
Dimensions, internal: 15.8 x 11.2 x 13.3 and 8.1 x 11.2 x 6 inches
Inspired by life on the trail and built for life on the move, the Black Diamond Creek Transit 22 Pack is a modern, commuter-style pack that provides sleek and functional storage for your daily gear. Built with a durable, waterproof shell fabric that offers rugged toughness, the Creek Transit sports a zippered-top lid with internal pocket storage.
Exterior-access laptop sleeve that secures a 13-inch computer
The Targhee boot’s fit, durability and performance have earned it a loyal following. With a bold, new design, this update is tough, lean and ready for the next chapter of epic adventures. It features a KEEN Dry waterproof, breathable membrane and a polyurethane-coated leather mud shield for durability and easy cleaning.
Reinforced eyelets for easy lace adjustments
Injected TPU heel-capture system increases stability
This superlight jacket keeps adventurers dry during light squalls or heavy downpours. Tailored from nylon neo-stretch material that is waterproof and breathable, Stormlight delivers comfort and freedom of movement, whether you’re rigging gear or hiking a tough trail. This jacket features a waterproof zipper, adjustable hem and hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs to help seal out rain and spray.
40D two-layer nylon shell with polyurethane laminate
FastFit CR5A5 cut-resistant gloves protect working hands with CE level 5 and ANSI A5 cut-resistance on the trail and at the campsite. An internal layer of high-tenacity Armortex on the glove’s palm and fingers prevents abrasions and lacerations when working with sharp tools and materials.