8 Gadgets That Might Save Your Ass

These gadgets are essentials for the ultimate survival kit.

I like to occupy my mind with thoughts of awesome stuff, like the sound of a gadget being unboxed or the way I assume Rachel Bilson smells. But with Mother Nature on a full-blown rampage, the thought of natural disasters is hard to avoid. That’s why it’s past time to build a survival kit. FEMA has a pretty good list of the basics, but the stuff below is for those of us who cannot live on bottled water and canned tuna alone.

1) MSR MiniWorks EX Water Purifier, $85

It still doesn’t hurt to have a few gallons of the clear good stuff laying around, but having the ability to turn disease-ridden swamp juice into a drinkable liquid can come in very handy if the rescue crews can’t get to you in a hurry. This little pump is light and durable, plus it can churn out up to a liter of clean water per minute. Take that Cyclosporiasis.

2) Etón FR500 Solarlink Survival Radio, $80

Electricity and information can be tough to come by after a disaster, which is why it pays to have a reliable radio on hand. The Solarlink offers a ton of power options, including solar, battery, AC, and even a crank. It also gets all of the AM and FM stations, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stations. Trust me, that sound a lot less boring when the roof is blowing off of your house. On top of all that, it has a built-in flashlight, siren, and cell phone charger for those long calls to the insurance company.

3) OtterBox Waterproof Case, $31

That filthy water is bad for you, but it’s worse for your cell phone, which is why this waterproof, dustproof, and crushproof box is a great place to store it. It comes prepacked with foam, and has enough space for the small important stuff like your wallet, keys, and any other electronic device you can salvage. If only they made one big enough for your whole body, you wouldn’t have to worry about disasters at all. 

4) Leatherman k503x Pocketknife, $69

Your Boy Scout leader would be rolling over in his short shorts if he knew you were walking around without a good knife. The k503x has a partially serrated blade, as well as a carabineer, a bit driver, and a can opener without much extra bulk. It’s no Rambo knife, but it will do in a pinch.

5) Nalgene First Aid Bottle, $25

It won’t be much help if your severed leg is 30 feet away under a rock, but treating small wounds with care can save you from hassle, and possible amputation, in the future. The supertough bottle is filled with all the stuff you’d expect to find in a school nurse’s office, as well as a first aid fact sheet in case you can’t figure out how Band-Aids work.

6) Zippo Outdoor Utility Lighter, $30

No matter how many times you’ve seen that episode of The Fresh Prince where they get stranded in the woods, you’re probably not going to get a fire going by rubbing two sticks together. The Outdoor Utility Lighter has an adjustable wind-resistant flame and a water-resistant cap to keep it from getting soggy inside. 

7) Energi To Go Instant Cell Phone Charger, $10

Plugging into an outlet will probably be out of the question, so unless you’re up on your smoke signals, you’re going to want some extra juice for your cell phone. Cram in two batteries and plug in your dead handset and you’ll be ready to call in 30 seconds. Just make sure you buy the right one for your phone.

8) Duct tape, $4

Any self-respecting guy should have a friggin’ pallet of the stuff kicking around all the time anyways. In case you don’t, consider this your official kick in the ass. You’ll be glad you bought it when you’re crafting a makeshift splint for your horrendously broken arm