3 Tips to Get the Best Gear this Holiday Season

How to Get the Best Prepper Gear and Gifts this Holiday Season

The holidays are right around the corner, which means ‘tis the season for terrific shopping deals on the survival, outdoors, and home security gear you’ve been eyeing all year long. After all, who needs another necktie to wear to work when what you really want as a gift from your family and friends is an exciting new hatchet or survival knife?

The trick to getting the gear you want this holiday season is preparing early – the gear deals won’t last long and you never know if your family and friends are ahead of the game on purchasing gifts for you this year. We’ll highlight some tips and tricks for how you can get some great new gear to add to your outdoors kit or bug-out bag this holiday season.

1) Mark Your Calendar for Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)

Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – is the quintessential holiday shopping day, and gear companies go all in on discount deals just like big clothing retailers. For example, in past years Knife Center has offered hunting knives anywhere from 50-75% off of their normal price, while other niche retailers have offered 35%+ off on almost all of their normally pricey hatchets on Black Friday. That’s not to mention flash sales on Amazon and at major box stores like Walmart, which is where your family and friends might be looking for gifts for you if they’re out shopping on the big day.

When it comes to finding deals, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have begun to merge as online shopping has edged out brick-and-mortar retailers. That means many retailers are now offering discounts not just for a few hours on Black Friday, but throughout the entire weekend after Thanksgiving. Keep an eye on your favorite gear websites, since many retailers will actually rotate their deals or offer special short-lived deals throughout the weekend.

2) Make a List of Gear Needs

Okay, you know deals are coming – but what gear do you actually want to buy for yourself or receive as a gift? Now is the time to go through your gear to identify gaps or any pieces of equipment you would like to upgrade.

Plus, finding gaps in your gear doesn’t have to be a chore. The best way to remind yourself of what you need is to actually get into the backcountry for the weekend, to take your knives out and use them for a survival practice project, or to do some research online about what how other preppers have their gear set up.

Once you’ve got ideas about holes in your gear list that you want to plug, the best thing you can do is make a list of everything you’d like to have and then pick several priority items based on how critical they are to your setup, the price, and the likelihood that they’ll be discounted over the holiday shopping season.

Many small outdoor accessories – the things that would make your life in the backcountry or in a survival situation easier, but that you never want to buy yourself – are the perfect price for gift requests, especially when they’re discounted. Although REI closes on Black Friday, they and most other outdoor retailers are open throughout the rest of the weekend offering deals on everything from headlamps to portable camp stoves to GPS watches.

When making your list, don’t forget about the big-ticket items for your home that you may have been putting off purchasing. Generators and power tools typically see major discounts thanks to aggressive Black Friday deals from The Home Depot and Lowes – for example, The Home Depot offered a 1,000-watt Sportsman generator for 70% off last year. Electronics stores also compete heavily for shoppers’ attentions, which means deals on home security gadgets like security cameras and motion sensor lights, as well as on useful emergency items like portable batteries and powerful spotlights. For example, Best Buy offered the SimpliSafe Home Security Starter Kit for 35% off and the Ring Floodlight Camera for 10% off last year. While the price tag on these items might be too high to ask for as a gift, the holiday discount season is still a great time to pick up discounted gear for yourself.

3) Track and Share Your Wishlist

You’ve got a list of items that you’d like to buy for yourself or that you’d like to ask for as gifts – so how do you let friends and family know what you’d like and monitor when your choice items are on sale? This is where developing an Amazon wish list can come in extremely handy.

Amazon allows you to add items from anywhere on the site to one of your lists with just a simple click, and then you can share that list with family and friends directly to give them a heads up about what you want for the holidays or just leave it public so they can find it without you directly asking. Even better, it is possible to make multiple wish lists and share them with different people – so if you are comfortable asking family for more expensive gifts than you are friends, you can make two different lists with items of different prices.  You can also move items up and down the list or add comments to indicate the priority of different items to help guide your potential gift-givers. 

Pro Tip: Check out the link below for Amazon Prime.  Try it for 30 days, then cancel if you like.  Tons of benefits with Prime during the holiday season, and worth a test drive if you aren't already a member!  We are avid users at my house.

Wish lists can also notify you when something on your gear list goes on sale. The price tracking site camelcamelcamel.com can sync with your Amazon lists to give you an RSS feed of the price on your list items and send you custom alerts whenever the price drops on an item in your lists. Plus, you can use the service to make sure you’re really getting the best deal rather than just a holiday advertisement by checking the item’s price history on Amazon.

Get the Best Prepper Gear This Holiday Season!

The holiday shopping craze offers a tremendous opportunity to pick up name-brand survival, outdoors, and home security gear at a rock-bottom prices. However, making sure that you get the gear you’ve been eyeing all year long rather than another set of work clothes from your friends and family takes some planning, preparation, and serious hint-dropping. Go through your gear early and make a list of what you want, set up wish lists on Amazon and share them with family and friends, and keep your eyes peeled for Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads to ensure you get exactly what you want at a fraction of the price it costs the rest of the year.