Prepared for Christmas: Stocking Stuffers
Holiday giving is just around the corner and I’ve found that it’s best to get a jump on the small items as well as the biggies. If you are looking for inexpensive and thoughtful preparedness gifts, you will find them here.
I usually save these stocking stuffer gifts for last, mainly because they’re an afterthought. We think of all the big cool stuff and then realize that a limp stocking is pretty lame no matter what you found under the tree. While you may not be getting any of this for your kids, your husband is likely to get a well stocked sock this year.
Don’t forget to put something in for yourself!
The key to stocking stuffers is they need to be small. Usually these are last minute items that have little value or meaning (unless you have an amazing husband that puts jewelry in yours). Time to make a change – this year your kids may still think they have little or no value, but when it comes to crunch time, you will be deemed the greatest mom/Santa ever.
So here is a list of options ranging in price and size but all should fit nicely into your lovely matching stockings. Warning: You may want to avoid a fire in the fireplace with some of these items until after they’ve been removed from the mantle.
Stocking Stuffers: Unlimited Options for Limited Space
5 in 1 Whistle – $4-5 Features include compass, whistle, waterproof matchbox, fire starter, signal mirror, lanyard. There is a 7-1 whistle for the same price but it looks a bit cheap so I wouldn’t recommend that one. My kids like to steal my husbands out of his pack, I’ll testify that the whistle works great.
Mylar Blankets – $7 for a pack of 10 (Amazon) or $1 in most camping sections. There’s also the Mylar Sleeping Bag – $15 for a 4 pack
Swiss Army Pocket Knife – My mom carries one in her purse and this is on my wish list this year. I recommend going for the real thing and not a knock off as their quality is impeccable. www.swissarmyknife.com has some of their camo selections on sale for a way better price. Amazon has the best prices for new and used knives. I recommend anything above a basic since these usually include a few valuable tools along with the usual knife and scissors. Personally their tweezers are my favorite, even though I dreaded seeing my dad pull them out of his knife when I was growing up. I HATE SLIVERS!
Emergency ponchos – $1-5 The cheaper the price the cheaper the quality. If you live in the Pacific NW like me, go for the $5 version as you will be living in it.
Compass– If you have a scout they love these. Once again go for a more expensive variety as the cheaper ones tend to have poor polarization. Go for a mid range price to get a reliable compass, this ones around $16. (Side Note: a compass can reverse polarization if around too many electronic gadgets for too long. Interesting?!)
First Aid Kits – Amazon has so many sizes and varieties to pick from its amazing! They have a broad range of quality and specifications as well. It’s also easy to create a first aid kit from the dollar store using a small plastic container, Altoids tin, zipper pouch, or any small box with a latch. Simply fill the choose vessel with Band-Aids (for kids go character its like getting the sticker and the band-aid at the same time), alcohol wipes (can be bought in a box of 100), some tweezers, medical tape, small scissors, and a variety of Band-Aid sizes (butterfly, large, round, small, etc), and lastly a roll of gauze.
Headlamps, flashlights, and small camp lanterns – Fenix and Maglite are some of the top brands. LED’s are some of the best out there. There are so many sizes available, but you can’t go wrong with a basic Keychain Light or smaller flashlight with a carabineer. See our in-depth post on Let there Be Light options.
Weather Radios – These can come in a variety of sizes, qualities, prices, and functions. Your radio should to have two things: Public Alert ™ Devices and the NWR All Hazards Logo (NOAA) . There are a variety of these radios out there with numerous features and costs. Which one you get depends on what information you want to receive and your location. As far as information goes you can get just the weather radio version or multi-band/function receivers with the weather band. Some radios can actually act as your alert system, which is great to have in your house but it won’t do a lot of good in your kit. If you’re looking for a good basic model get a standalone receiver with an AM/FM and weather radio broadcast. If you feel like you need more information then get the multi-band function which picks up everything from radio to TV, VHF Marine and shortwave receivers. Just remember the more functions it has the bigger and more expensive the radio will be. Check out simple hand crank weather radios / flashlights. They are the perfect size for a stocking and cost about $35. Most will even charge your cell phone.
Pocket Knife – Ask any guy, these are different than a Swiss Army Knife. My dad always carries both. Apparently the army knife is a tool, not a knife. My husband never goes anywhere (well, that does require security and a metal detector) without his. Anything Army issues is a good choice. Be sure that the blade locks both into the sheath and when open. Most guys prefer one they can open and close one handed, but if you’re like me, it still requires two hands.
Hand Warmers – there are disposable cheaper ones and a variety of “reusable” hand warmers. They range from chemical reactions in a bag to battery operated mechanics. The cheaper hand warmers (the pop the bubble inside kind) are pretty reliable. But I have to admit the idea of a reusable hand warmer really intrigues me, but I haven’t seen any reviews on them yet. 10 pk for $10 for hot hands single use. Body Heaters reusable heaters are about $5-15 depending on the size. The Zippo reusable $10-20 is fueled by lighter fluid while most battery operated hand warmers run from $2-20 and some up to $40.
You can find all of this stuff on Amazon.com (we have included our affiliate links at no extra cost to you!), military surplus stores/sites, sporting goods stores, or at your home town Wal-Mart or Target.
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