8 Affordable, Pocket-Sized Items on Amazon That Could Save Your Life

Every few weeks or so, we all see that viral post that goes around showing off these cool new survival products that will save you in the event that the moon falls out of the sky and destroys all life as we know it. My personal favorite is the turbine you can throw into the stream to generate electricity in case your new apocalypse-survivors settlement needs to throw a Netflix Party. Actually, since we’re writing about Amazon products, let’s say you’re having a Prime Video party.

The only problem? None of the products I see in those posts are remotely close to practical. You don’t have anywhere in your apartment to store that foldable yacht you saw on Facebook unless you pawn your toaster oven, nor do you have a spare $20,000 to buy a real word Vault-Tec Vault.

Not only are the following items incredibly affordable, but most will fit in your pocket. Plus, in the very likely case that you don’t find yourself in a life-or-death scenario, these each have everyday uses.

Question for you. What’s the first thing you should do in a survival situation? I’m no expert, but I’d try to find shelter first. Where would I find this shelter you ask? In my pocket of course! The aptly named “Don’t Die in the Woods” Ultralight Survival Tent is the most compact tent I’ve seen on the internet. The nice thing about it is that there aren’t any heavy poles or steaks to carry around everywhere. The only thing you need to do is tie a piece of paracord around two trees and run it through the tent. Bam, shelter! Even better is the fact that it’s only about 20 bucks. 

No, it’s not going to be the Ritz-Carlton of camping equipment, and there’s not much you can do with it in the middle of the Sahara Desert, but it’s worth a shot for something you can tuck away in your hoodie’s hand-pocket. Obviously you’ll want to set up shop near a water source, which brings me to our next item!

Good thing you won’t have to look very hard! That’s because you snatched up the LifeStraw, which is so small you could attach it to your keychain! With one of these, you don’t need to worry about boiling your drinking water, and could drink from basically any puddle you find. Even if you don’t end up using this thing, at least you’ll know that the money you spent went to a fantastic cause. The people behind this great invention hand these out in the developing world where safe drinking water is scarce.

 I’m not sure what would happen if you tried to drink orange juice or Pepsi through it, but it’s another under $20 product so it would make a good dare at the very least. You can only last for about three days without water, so it’s a good thing we got this out of the way. Food can wait a little longer, so let’s get a fire going. Before you start looking around for two sticks to rub together, we’ve found a few things that should make this a lot easier.

First things first, you’ve got to gather some wood to burn for your fire. Your only problem, other than being stranded in the middle of the Yukon, is that the 57 people who were previously stranded in this exact same spot used up all the good firewood. No worries, you’ll cut your own! This handy tool from SOSGEAR will cut up all the wood you need.

Plus, if you’re the more DIY type, you could use this to cut up all the wood you need to make a more permanent shelter if you don’t think you’re going to be rescued any time soon. Now that you’ve got some wood all piled up, you’ll need to light it somehow. Stay tuned!

These taser-style lighters are all the rage now, and it’s easy to see why. They don’t blow out in the wind, and you never need to refill them, unless you’re a pedant and insist you’re “refilling” it with electricity. Like everything else on this list, it’s under $20 and can easily fit in your pockets. Most importantly, it has real-world applications. Honestly, who wouldn’t benefit from a personal lightning emitter? It might not do you much good in a grizzly bear attack, but it will ward off annoying people.

Of course, you can’t just zap your wood pile and expect it to go up in flames. Hopefully you’ve gathered some dry grass and some dead leaves or something like that. No, I couldn’t find a Dry Grass Gathering Device on Amazon, but I’ll show you what you could use instead.

Magnesium burns at a whopping 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so there shouldn’t be any issues with getting that wood pile up in flames. There are six bags in this set for just under $10, which should be plenty of shavings for a few mishaps here and there. You really should only have to light your fire once. 

If you do indeed run out of magnesium bags, I’m sure Amazon Prime probably delivers to wherever it is you’re stranded. Perhaps those delivery drones aren’t strong enough to carry you out of the wilderness just yet. In that case, we’ll need some food to cook over our brand new campfire.

As crazy as it sounds, this is a thing. It’s perhaps my favorite item on this list, as it’s easily the most versatile pocket tool I’ve come across. Funny enough, this is the third “pen” tool in your new arsenal, but none of them have the ability to write anything. You could carve a giant “HELP ME” in a tree with knife on this thing, however. More likely you’ll be using the knife to carve up the big fish you’ve caught using the built-in fishing rod. 

It’s got a bottle opener too, just in case you thought ahead and brought a six pack along with you to the middle of nowhere. Among other things, it’s got a whistle that you can use to signal someone to come rescue you after you fall off a waterfall trying to catch a giant salmon. In case they don’t hear you, you’re going to need some first aid. Good thing you bought the next item on the list!

So you got swept over a waterfall. Coghlan’s Survival Kit in a Can has some band-aids and antiseptic wipes for you if you were lucky enough to come away with just a few scrapes. Plus it’s basically got a backup for all the other things on the list here. Battery ran out on your tazer lighter? The can’s got matches. Broke the fishing line when the salmon took you over the waterfall? We’ve got extra line and hooks. It’s got a survival guide too in case you didn’t learn everything you need to know about the wilderness from this blog post. 

What’s more? There’s also a soup packet, tea bag and energy gum so you can pull an all-nighter studying your survival guide. The page says there are 38 different items in this can all for under $15, so check it out on Amazon to see everything in there.

Honorable Mentions

So there you have it! You spent under $20 a piece on all of your survival gear and look where that got you: at the bottom of a waterfall with some band-aids on your broken leg. Great, now you’re far away from your pocket tent and the wonderful fire you built earlier that’s totally going to spread out of control. Smokey the Bear would have been ashamed.

But hey, this list ain’t over yet! We found two more awesome products that would help you out of this conundrum as long as you’re willing to shell out the extra money.

You may be far away from that fire, but at least you brought the heat with you! These heated socks would be great even outside of our imaginary and hopeless scenario. Imagine a future where we don’t have to heat our homes, but the clothes we wear heat us directly. There’s plenty of other battery powered, heated clothing out there to pair this with, and if you decided to shell out the $80 for these you might not even need to build a fire.

We’re fishing for salmon, which is amazing raw, and you can always pick berries and nuts. Oh wait, you fell off a waterfall, so you can’t exactly do much foraging at this point. That brings me to my final item.

All right, that’s enough. Just call the police and have them send a search and rescue team to come get you. Your leg’s broken, the batteries ran dead on all of your tools and the campfire is roaring your direction. The Pixel 4 has a fantastic camera phone that should give the rescue teams a great way to realize where exactly you are. It doesn’t even matter if it’s dark out with Google’s Night Sight technology, which you can use to see the wolves circling in. This would be a great time to do some Facebook Live Streaming, which the Pixel 4 is fantastic with. Just as time’s running out, you’ve been saved by a helicopter.

Of course, you could always choose to just stay where you are and start anew! Again, you’ll probably never be in a situation like this, but at least you didn’t break the bank and run out of space!