Emergency Preparedness

Top 10 Budget (but quality!) Survival Tools Under $20

Buy cheap buy twice? Not if you buy the right one!

So, you’re setting up your emergency loadout bag with awesome survival tools to prepare for disasters and the apocalypse? Well, I have good news and bad news for you.

Let’s start with the bad news expensive doesn’t always mean “quality”. Hence, if you’ve ever fallen for marketing b.s. and let your credit card do the exorbitant math, then you may have just thrown your money down the drain.

Worse is discovering an unbranded version soon after with the same material and quality but 10 times less expensive. Yeah, we’ve all been there.

The good news? Cheap or inexpensive doesn’t always mean “junk”. Especially when they are sold directly to consumers without costly advertising and luxury branding.

Thus, be smart. Focus on the specs, not the name. Research. Know the manufacturer. Scrutinize reviews both positives and negatives. Analyze product fact sheets. Do a scientific and algorithmic investigation. Study the atomic… okay you get the point.

But who’s got time for all that headache-causing chores? Besides, you aren’t Sherlock Holmes, are you?

Lucky you. I already did the legwork and removed the guesswork. For you my busy friend, I’ve compiled the top 10 budget survival tools worth every penny. And let me tell you, they’re not your typical throwaway rejects. If used properly, can be up to par with their Ferrari counterpart.

And yes you’ve read the title right under $20!

Ready to save money without sacrificing quality (or making your accountant wife angry)?

Let’s line them budget survival tools up!

1.LUMINTOP Tool AA 2.0 EDC Flashlight

Illumination is a must for any survival/emergency kit. But that doesn’t mean breaking the bank for the flashlight that can make the new moon full moon.

All you need is something durable yet lightweight, waterproof, and without frills. The Lumintop Tool AA is just that. What’s more? You can turn it into a lamp thanks to the included diffuser. Cool!

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Military-grade (HA-III) anodized surface and aircraft aluminum build.
  • Four lighting modes plus strobe with the high mode blasting a non-diminishing 650 lumens from a single 14500 cell.
  • IP68 Waterproof Certified (2 meters submersible) and 1.5m impact resistant.
  • Ergonomic and easy-to-access tail switch with an additional magnetic tail cap so you can stick it on any metal.
  • 30 days money-back guarantee and a 5-year free repair warranty.

2.ENERGIZER LED Headlamp Pro360

On top of a flashlight, having a headlamp to keep both your hands-free is a lifesaver.

Now, in case you didn’t know already, Energizer makes top-notch batteries that are second to none. And them also killing the competition in the headlamp arena is nothing short of extraordinary.

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Durable construction withstanding a 1-meter drop, a shatterproof lens, and a water-resistant IPX4 body that’s rainproof.
  • 7 light modes: high, low, wide, wide low, red (prevents glare), flashing red (for signaling), and green (improves night vision).
  • Illuminates up to 85 meters with a 360-lumen high beam
  • Long runtime of up to 50 hours in low mode.
  • Powered by 3 AAA batteries (included) hence you’ll never run out of power since AAA is available everywhere.

3.überleben Zünden Fire Starter with Neck Lanyard & Multi-Tool Striker

Another critical survival tool is the means to start a fire. While you can’t beat a regular Bic lighter in terms of price and convenience, it can run out of fuel and the igniter may fail.

Enter fire steel. It’s a piece of solid steel that showers sparks (tens of thousands of times) when struck (properly). No moving parts, no points of failure.

But save yourself from gimmick ones and choose überleben Zünden instead.

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Their trademark Sånft-korr ferrocerium blend boasts a perfect balance of softness and durability easy to ignite but not easy to break.
  • Handcrafted hardwood handle for a natural grip feel.
  • Comes with a mil-spec 550 paracord lanyard and a 6-function multi-tool (striker, tinder scraper, map scale, ruler, hex wrench, bottle opener) you can’t get a better deal than that.

4.Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Spiral Notebook, 3″ x 5″, 6 Pack

The ability to record and convey information during an emergency in any weather is a must. That said, you’ll never go wrong with having a Rite in the Rain notebook in your survival kit.

And what’s better than 1 weatherproof notebook? 6 weatherproof notebooks! That’s right. For just under $20, you’re getting 6 packs.

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • 100 pages or 50 sheets per notepad that repels water, sweat, grease, mud, and even survives the accidental laundry mishap.
  • Tough impact-resistant Wire-O binding that won’t lose its shape even when stuffed in your pack or pocket.
  • Cover made of Polydura material that’s tough, flexible, and protects your notes from scratches, stains, and invaders.

5.Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Single Wall Stainless Steel Water Bottle

With a stainless-steel water bottle, you kill two birds with one stone water storage and disinfection thru boiling. And with it being metal, not plastic, you can be confident it won’t break on you.

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Leak-proof and all stainless-steel build (except for the BPA-free polypropylene #5 cap) without coatings. Thereby, it’s perfect for long-term use with nothing to contaminate your boiling or frozen water.
  • Easy to clean with its wide mouth.
  • Esteemed company with extensive quality control.

6.LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw

As a complement to your steel bottle, LifeStraw can filter out nasties on the go without needing to stop and make a fire saving you time, effort, and resources.

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Protects you from microplastics, organic chemical matter, sediments, bacteria, and parasites (goodbye diarrhea) thanks to its 0.2-micron hollow membrane and activated carbon filter.
  • The membrane can filter up to 4,000L plus 100L for the activated carbon.
  • Durable, reusable, and BPA-free construction that stores 22 oz (650.6 ml).

7.S.O.L. Reflective Emergency Bivvy

Lest you forget, you can only last for 3 hours in a harsh environment without shelter. The main culprit being is body temperature drop. Hence, the importance of having a survival bivvy in conjunction with your main shelter can’t be stressed enough.

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Effectively reflects your body heat to prevent hypothermia, especially in cold seasons.
  • Lightweight, waterproof, windproof, and tear-resistant material that protects you from the elements without weighing you down.
  • Includes a tinder paracord for fire starting plus a whistle for signaling.

8.Wells Lamont Men’s Slip-On Work Gloves

When SHTF, modern machinery will be down. And when every work (DIY repairs, farming, construction, etc.) is done by hand, heavy-duty gloves keep cuts, infections, and injuries at bay which your hands will thank you for.

And speaking of which, Wells Lamont’s work gloves have got you covered (literally). Your hands’ safety for under 20 bucks? Absolutely!

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • 100% grain cowhide with the tried and tested HydraHyde technology making the gloves resistant to puncture, water, and wear.
  • With slip-on wrists to keep gloves in place while keeping dirt and debris out. Plus, it makes taking the gloves on and off a breeze.

9.PARACORD PLANET 100′ 550 Type III Paracord

The benefits of paracord are only limited to your imagination. Not only is it useful in everyday use but more importantly in survival situations, bushcraft, self-defense, repairs, lashing, leashing, fishing, anything.

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Generous length at 100 feet with a tensile strength of 550 lbs.
  • Weather-resistant nylon resistant to extreme temperatures, moisture, and abrasion.
  • Multi-purpose and the 7 inside strands can be used individually.

10.Gorilla Duct Tape, 1.88″ x 35 yds, Black

God made duct tape and saw it was good!

Whatever needs taping, binding, fixing, sealing, sticking, splinting, and all verb wording you’re thinking, duct tape is fitting. And if there’s a budget-friendly brand that smashes the competition, it’s Gorilla duct tape (King Kong approves).

Awesome features you’re getting:

  • Heavy-duty and reinforced double thickness backing.
  • Weather-resistant and sticks strongly even on rough and uneven surfaces.
  • Put it this way… your regular duct tape but on steroids.

Prep wisely not lavishly

As you can see, your humble $20 can go a long way if spent wisely on budget survival tools that don’t sacrifice quality. Money, therefore, shouldn’t stop nor dismay you from your SHTF preparedness, bushcraft endeavor, outdoor adventure, or anything in between.

Although inexpensive survival tools may not be perfect, so are the expensive ones. The thing is, you really don’t have to spend more than you have to no more hiding receipts from your budget-conscious spouse or partner.

So, go forth and spend wisely… Andrew Jackson will be proud of you.

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