Holiday Gift Guide
By Robert Kreutzer
They say The End is coming—so here are a few ideas to make your Doomsday gift-giving a bit more meaningful
Exactly when or how is where it becomes a little hazy. No doubt you’ve heard that the Mayans predicted the end to happen sometime around the end of this month, but they’re not the only ones saying it’s all gonna hit the fan. Dispassionate intellects like Glenn Beck and Alex Jones have long been imploring people to stock up on emergency supplies and guns before President Obama decides your next address might be a FEMA camp. Others expect flesh-eating zombies to overrun civilization.
Maybe we shouldn’t laugh too much or accuse the fearful of being tinfoil hat wearers. We do sit on a veritable spider web of earthquake faults. Maybe that’s not end-of-the-world stuff, but if it does happen it could make for some very unpleasant days or weeks, especially for the fat and happy crowd.
While some of us may find all this a little nutty, it’s not nearly enough for you to cross anyone off your Christmas list. In fact, maybe you can make it a survivalist Yule this year. Here are some gift ideas for the asteroid-collision-minded or for yourself if you think you’re hearing four colossal hoof beats. Consider this 12 Days of the End of Everything.
Home Sweet Home
1. You’ll have to shelter yourself, most likely with something lightweight so you can keep on the move. A good choice is the aptly-named Zephyr, a one-person, aluminum-pole tent with mesh to allow breezes but still shelter you from bugs. A two-pole design promises ample head room. The aircraft alloy aluminum poles are strong and lightweight, and a single door at the end makes for easy exit and entrance. There’s also a vestibule over the door that for storage. Maybe you’re not fleeing zombies—maybe you just want to sleep outdoors without sleeping outdoors. The Zephyr makes that possible.
$122. My Camping Supply, 2279 Eagle Glen Pkwy., Ste. 112-143, Corona; www.mycampingsupply.com.
2. Living in the desert, water could be a gigantic problem if all our pipes go belly up. Aquamira Water Treatment Drops could be just what the prepper in your life needs. Whether the water is muddy, clear, warm or cold, these drops will turn most suspicious water sources into safe drinking water. Guardia, bacteria, Cryptosporidium and other microscopic creepy-crawlies will cause no problems. These drops also promise to do the job without the unpleasant taste left by iodine. Maybe you’re not worried about the Mayan prophecy; maybe you’re just traveling to another country, these drops will whup Montezuma’s Revenge with ease.
$11.90. Cal Quake Inland Empire, Highland (877) 282-7673; www.calquakeinlandempire.com.
Getting Jerked Around
3. Getting food will also be at the top of your list. What if you’re on the run and can’t use all those canned goods you stacked up in your garage? Jerky, which is light and has plenty of protein, could be the answer. A good place to find it: Grandpa’s House of Jerky in Idyllwild. The store offers beef jerky in several styles and flavors. If beef isn’t your thing, they also offer buffalo jerky, which is even higher in protein and iron; or maybe you want something really exotic, such as kangaroo, ostrich or wild boar jerky.
Defense Wins the Game
4. The next thing to consider is protection from zombies, hillbilly cannibals or other survivors looking to take your stuff. Or maybe meat consumption at this point becomes KYO (Kill Your Own). A long gun might be needed, and the Weatherby Threat Response Home Defense ($424.99) could do the job. The 12 gauge, three-inch chamber, 18.5-inch pump-action shotgun features a chrome-lined barrel. The piece is also easy on the eyes, thanks to its matte black finish. The adjustable rear LPA-style ghost ring sight should ensure lots of splatted zombie heads. If a handgun is better for the job, think about the Smith & Wesson PX4 ($582.99) Storm. The .40 caliber has plastic grips and a technopolymer reinforced fiberglass frame construction. The gun also has a rotating barrel lock system.
$424.99, Weatherby; $582.99, Smith & Wesson. Centerfire Firearms, 3696 Central Ave., Riverside, (951) 781-6140; www.centerfirearms.org.
Silent But Deadly
5. But maybe you or your special survivalist don’t want a gun—that blast could attract unwanted attention. Knives will do the job more quietly—plus you can use them for stuff besides killing. A good bet might be the USMC Camillus knife. The seven-inch blade is made of high carbon steel, which makes it strong but easy to sharpen, and holds that edge for a long time, so you can slice and dice a lot—intruders and otherwise—without having to be sharpened. With all that carbon in the blade, it’s dark, so it won’t reflect light. Hey, if the Marines use this, then it’s probably pretty good. The blade is set in a five-inch hardwood handle and the sheath is included.
$54.90. ABMA Chino Army Navy Surplus, 1449 S. Baker Ave., Ontario, (909) 923-2222; catalog.westcoastarmynavy.com.
Off the Grid
6. How are you going to power things, especially when the grid may become toast? Fortunately, some have considered this possibility, and there are a variety of products that don’t require plugs or batteries. Need light? The Lighthouse USB power hub from Goalzero can take care of that. This handy-dandy lantern can be charged from a regular wall outlet or from your car, but it also features hand-crank charging. If you really want to be prepared, the company also offers solar panels. As if that’s not enough, there’s also a USB hub, so even if civilization takes a dump, at least you can have your tunes or tablet.
$54. Hayden’s Gun Locker, (951) 642-0291; haydensgunlocker.com.
Lines of Communication
7. There may not be too many survivors, but if there are, they’ll need information. Don’t worry about the government—they’ll take care of themselves, though they may want to talk to you, too. The Kaito Voyager Trek will help you tune in to the dispatches of our fearless leaders—or maybe find a good refugee camp. The AM/FM/NOAA radio actually has six ways to power up, including batteries. But when those crap out, no worries. There’s a solar panel that powers the radio, and at night you can rely on a hand crank. The Voyager Trek also has a USB port. Compact and light, this travels easily and won’t tire you out as you move from place to place.
$49.95 Kaito Electronics, 5185 Cliffwood Dr., Montclair, (909) 628-6088; www.kaitousa.com.
Food For Thought
8. Cooking during the end times won’t be a problem if you have the The Global Sun Oven Solar Cooker. Relying on el sol to generate heat, you can roast a turkey weighing up to 18 pounds. The solar cooker also comes with dehydrating racks, plus pots, loaf pans and other accessories.
$299.95. Be Prepared 911, 26019 Jefferson Ave., Ste. A1, Murrieta, (951) 304-1245; www.beprepared911.com
On the Mend
9. With all the hell breaking loose, it’s a safe bet that there will be lots of owies to fix. The Universal Medic Bag by Voodoo Tactical (how perfect is that?) has all the essentials. While it doesn’t include a reverse-zombie elixir or anything like that, it does have all the essentials. The reinforced-stitched bag has three compartments. The 115-pieces include the requisite snips, scissors, bandages, blood stoppers, latex gloves, surgical blades and sutures.
$39.95. Hemet Survival Gear, 910 E. Florida Ave., Ste. B3, Hemet, (951) 929-3700; hemetsurvivalgear.com.
Soothing the Soul
10. All right, enough of the doom and gloom. At some point, you’ll need to relax and take your mind off the death and devastation all around you. Perhaps its time to unwind with a little music? There is no shortage of portable, light instruments at the Folk Music Center in Claremont. Under these circumstances, you’ll want to forget the Stratocaster and pluck something acoustic, like the 1920s/1930s vintage ukulele ($360) or pound out a beat on a Handmade African Djembe Drum ($160) or check out any number of the store’s vast selection of folk instruments.
$360 Vintage Ukulele; $160 Handmade African Djembe Drum. Folk Music Center, 220 Yale Ave., Claremont, (909) 624-2928; folkmusiccenter.com.
Humans’ Best Friend
11. Maybe you need early warning or maybe you just need a friend. They’ll be hard to come by when resources are scarce. Dogs work great. Avoid the pet stores—they usually carry puppy-mill dogs. You might start instead with the Redlands Humane Society (or any local humane society). There’s always a wide array of pets eager to find a permanent home. Pets are vaccinated, ID’d, spayed and neutered. Staff and volunteers know the animals very well and are experienced matching customers up with the very best pet.
Redlands Humane Society, (909) 792-6199; redlandshumane.org.
12. Assuming, after all of the preparation and fighting you’ve done, you and your family actually survive. What’s next? The food delivery system will probably take years to come back, if it ever does. You may have to grow your own food. Guardian Survival Gear has a variety of cool seeds. For grains, you can get the Ancient Grains Preparedness Seeds ($47.99), which includes non-GMO varieties such as Quinoa, Amaranth and Hopi Blue Corn. Other seeds include garden vegetables, medicinals and even salsa ingredients.
Rizin Survival Products, 387 Magnolia Ave., Ste. 103-105, Corona, (951) 817-7991; rizinsurvivalproducts.com.