10 Life-Saving Prepper Gear For $18 Or Less

It’s not expensive to set up your own prepper gear. Today, we present to you ten things you can add to your survival bag to make sure you’re always prepared for whatever happens.

$18 or Below Quality Prepper Gear

There’s no denying that Prepping can become expensive very quickly. Between stocking food and water, gathering books and supplies, and building your tool and firearm collections, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars.

Survival shelters and underground bunkers will set you back even further. But the good news is that savvy shoppers can pick up essentials on the cheap, too – and without sacrificing quality.

When you come back to the 5 C’s of Survivability (Cutting tools, Coverings, Combustion, Containers, and Cordage), there is no need to spend a fortune on any individual items. A secondhand backpack will work just as well as a top-of-the-line Bug Out Bag with all the bells and whistles.

You don’t even need to buy secondhand to enjoy low price points on these Prepping basics!

1. UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case


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A post shared by Soulbushcraft (@soulbushcraft) on Mar 5, 2019 at 6:39am PST

Price: $10.99 on Amazon with Prime shipping

Includes 25 windproof and waterproof matches, 3 strikers, and a case that can hold up to 40 matches. These matches are easy to light, will stay lit for 15 seconds, and will relight after being submerged in water. The case is waterproof and floats. Matches are a must-have for Preppers and there are none better than these!

2. Tac-Force TF Tactical Spring Assisted Knife


  • Spring assist folding knife offers rapid one-handed deployment, locks securely into place with liner lock
  • Black half-serrated stainless steel blade

Price: $9.12 on Amazon with Prime shipping

An EMS-approved folding knife with one-hand deployment, seat belt cutter, and a glass breaker on the end, this 4 ½” blade has a pocket clip so you can affix it for easy access. A great knife is always necessary and can be used in a myriad of situations.

3. AOFAR Military Compass

AOFAR AF-M2-B Military Compass Geological Multifunctional- Lensatic, Fluorescent, Waterproof and Shakeproof for Geological Exploration, Hunting, Hiking with Pouch and Strap

  • Durable and Compact: Durable ABS compass. A needle lock to protect the compass assembly during transit and .
  • High Precise: Magnetic declination adjuster to allow for simple compensated bearings; the vertical angle clinometers scale featuring 1 degree increments has a range of 90 degrees.

Price: $10.99 on Amazon with Prime shipping

A reliable compass is a must in your kit, and this one is waterproof, shakeproof, and fluorescent.

4. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter


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A post shared by KF OUTDOOR OFFICIAL (@kfoutdoor) on Jan 25, 2020 at 10:15pm PST

Price: $17.47 on Amazon with Prime Shipping

LifeStraws may be more expensive than iodine tablets or other water purifiers, but their compact size and weight (9x1x1 inches, 2 oz) make them incredibly practical to throw in your Bug Out Bag. They can filter up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water surpassing EPA guidelines.

5. Esbit Folding Stove with Fuel Tablets


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A post shared by @gucci6812 on May 26, 2020 at 1:13am PDT

Price: $12.95 on Amazon with Prime Shipping

This incredibly lightweight and foldable camp stove with solid fuel tablets is a great backup for your other, larger stoves. Each tablet will burn for about 12 minutes.

6. Pepper Spray


Mace Brand Self-Defense Triple Action 3-in-1 Formula, 12′ Mace Police Pepper Spray with Tear Gas and UV Marking Dye, Flip n’ Grip, 18 Grams, 4.5″ x 1.25″ Police Version (80112)

  • STRONG TRIPLE ACTION 3-IN-1 FORMULA: The unique combination of OC pepper spray and tear gas causes profuse tearing, shortness of breath and disorientation, while UV dye leaves an identifying residue on the attacker
  • POLICE-STRENGTH PROTECTION: Housed in a strong, police-strength case, this spray contains up to 20 bursts and produces a stream pattern for protection up to 12 feet.

Price: $11.99 on Amazon with Prime shipping

Non-lethal weapons are a great addition to your stockpile, especially if your ammunition supply is limited. You’ll be able to use this Mace brand one for up to 20 uses, and it will shoot 12’, giving you time to get away.

7. Waterproof Outdoor Knots Cards

Pro-Knot Outdoor Knots

  • Crafted from the highest quality materials
  • Built for performance and durability

Price: $5.95 on Amazon with Prime shipping

The one thing you can’t buy is knowledge, so keep reference cards on-hand for when you need them.

8. SAS Survival Handbook


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A post shared by SURVIVAL 3.0 (@survival3.0) on Dec 27, 2019 at 8:47am PST

Price: $15.89 on Amazon with Prime shipping

John “Lofty” Wiseman’s field guide to survival in any situation is a top pick for thousands of Preppers. Keeping a physical copy ensures that you have answers when there is no power grid or Internet to rely on.

9. Food-Grade Plastic Storage Buckets


Living Whole Foods 5 Gallon White Bucket & Lid – Set of 3 – Durable 90 Mil All Purpose Pail – Food Grade – Contains No BPA Plastic

  • Round food storage containers are economical, durable, and easy to use
  • Heavy Duty – All Purpose – 90 Mils Thick (.09″)

Price: $33.99 for 3 on Amazon with Prime shipping

Food-grade plastic storage bins are another must-have for Preppers – they protect your food supply from light, air, and rodents. At roughly $11 each, these are a steal.

10. Paracord & Carabiner

GEAR AID 80692 para Cord – 550 – Black/Reflective – 100ft.

  • Heavy-duty 550 paracord made of 100% nylon featuring 7 strand construction that unravels and can be used as fishing line, fire starter, thread, or floss
  • Includes carabiner for easy attachment options to hang backpacks, lights and water bottles

Price: $12.95 on Amazon with Prime shipping

You will never regret stocking up on cordage, and here you get 100’ of 7-strand utility cord that can be unraveled for even more uses (a fishing line, firestarter, etc.). Choose between camouflage, black, or reflective orange based on your needs.

Always Go for Quality Prepper Gear

While it can be tempting to purchase even less expensive items, make sure they meet the minimum requirements of safety and long-term use. Quality will be tested in survival situations. Read the reviews and look for a high star rating when you shop.

Do you have any affordable prepper gear that you believe is a must-have? Let us know in the comments section!

Up Next:

  • How To Build An Emergency Preparedness Kit For The Whole Family
  • 32 Must-Have Prepper Gear Items
  • Community And Neighborhood Prepping Tips For Dealing With Unrest

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