How to prep your non-prepping family members and friends: 12 sneaky gifts

It’s hard to be known as the crazy prepper. It’s even harder when you try to talk about the importance of preparing now; and if you’re like most of us here at Natural News, buying presents for your family and friends becomes even more difficult when you’re already known as the “nutcase” who gives “thoughtful but useless” prepper gifts. The thing is, it’s actually understandable. Buying a tent for someone who has never hiked in their life is either very optimistic or stupid. Thankfully, there are 12 sneaky gifts that you can gift your non-prepper friends today. These gifts seem “normal” but are actually highly valuable prepper items. (h/t to

  1. A multitool — Okay, this may look like a blatantly obvious prepper gift, but even laypeople will enjoy this one. Multitools offer solutions to various jobs all the while being small and compact. There are many configurations to choose from. Some multitools can have as many as 20 functions. We’d recommend getting a basic one for your friends; one that has around four functions.
  2. A car emergency kit — There are many ways to go about this. For people who are adamantly “non-preppery,” we’d suggest giving a pre-made kit with some official logo. This would make it look like you’re just more of a concerned relative rather than the anxious prepper. For people who are most open to your views, you can give them a kit that you’ve crafted yourself.
  3. Fishing or hunting kits — Gift your loved one with a specialized tool kit. It looks like you’re encouraging a restful hobby, but these tools are useful during survival situations.
  4. A weather radio — It’s “cool” and irrepressibly “vintage” but these radios will keep your loved one informed of tornadoes and other weather events. Most counties have their own civilian alert systems yet having a weather radio of their own will ensure that your loved one is always kept up to date on the latest happenings.
  5. An heirloom-quality blanket — This extends far more than just memorabilia. An heirloom blanket is thick and warm. It is an excellent way to prevent hypothermia.
  6. A watch — Most people don’t wear one anymore. However, a watch is far more reliable than a mobile phone. Give your non-prepper friend a good mechanical watch.
  7. Oil lamps — This is a good, sneaky gift to give to your friend who loves candles. Oil lamps these days come in many nice designs so it’s very easy to pass this gift off as just a beautiful decoration. Try sneaking in lamp oil and extra wick to increase the lamp’s utility.
  8. Hand warmers — Old-fashioned hand warmers can be used to alleviate stiffness too. Why don’t you give this to someone who is always on the computer or to your favorite teacher who is always outside?
  9. A water filter — We’d suggest gifting your parents with a serious water filter, preferably one meant for daily use. Try encouraging them to try a gravity filter, which lasts longer than more expensive pitcher-type ones. You not only look like a concerned and practical child, you are teaching your non-prepper parents valuable life lessons!
  10. Solar phone chargers — This is self-explanatory.
  11. Solar yard lights — We love this one for people who are into gardening. Gift these people with a set of solar lamps with upgraded rechargeable batteries.
  12. Hanging window plant shelves — This one is perfect for little children. They provide a beautiful aesthetic, but can be used to grow microgreens instead of decorative plants.

If you decide to not to be sneaky at all, here are the most important items that need to be in everyone’s survival kit:

  • A good, sharp knife
  • Some way to communicate (such as emergency radio signal devices)
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter and fire starters
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror

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