You’ll need several essential items to survive off-grid or during the apocalypse. Whether you’re a doomsday prepper or want some tech gadgets during an emergency, here are a few things I own.
Having a good “go-bag” and some survival gear (and tools) is a good idea in general, but I could ramble about that for hours, and it’s a story for another day. And no, not everyone wants to hoard supplies, buy random gear, or stash emergency food, but modern tech gadgets can provide you with several options when necessary.
While I won’t be going over all the gear I have ready and waiting, here are a few things everyone should stock up on or have at home. That way, you’ll be better prepared to survive off-grid or handle a natural disaster.
Portable On-Demand Power
An Endless Supply of Power (Solar Panels)
Transportation When There's No Gasoline
A Few Other Random Items
If the Apocalypse Happened, I'd Be Set (Other Non-Tech Items)
Portable On-Demand Power
Access to on-demand power is important during an emergency or natural disaster. You’ll want a way to recharge devices to stay in touch with friends or family, keep the lights on, or even run a heater to stay warm.
And while portable battery packs are great and have several uses, I’m talking about a bigger portable power station or electric generator. The Anker 757 PowerHouse packs 1,500W of power and 13 ports to charge or run anything and everything. It’s a great item to have at home.
Most portable power stations are roughly the size of a small cooler, have tons of ports, and store enough energy to charge smartphones for weeks on end, power a heated blanket, keep the lights on, or power an emergency radio to listen in after civilization crumbles.
You may wonder what good a smartphone would do in the unlikely event of an apocalypse, but they still have uses. Take advantage of the flashlight, and use it to track the time, days, weeks, or months. Plus, during the initial stages of a natural disaster, you could use Google or Apple Maps for navigation using GPS, even without cell service, not to mention the compass app.
I own several different power stations, from highly portable 500W models to options delivering over 2400W of power. You’ll want one if you need to get through a winter weekend without power. And if the emergency lasts longer, you can recharge it with the sun. Here are a few power station options.
Anker 757 Portable Power Station
The Anker 757 Powerhouse delivers insane amounts of power, 13 different ports for everything you own, offers solar charging, and is a good item to have in any emergency.
ECOFLOW Delta 2 Portable Power Battery
If you need on-demand power in an affordable, reliable, and portable package, consider the EcoFlow Delta 2.
An Endless Supply of Power (Solar Panels)
Having on-demand power is invaluable during a power outage, natural disaster, or emergency, but it only lasts so long before the juice runs out. If the power is out for days or weeks at a time, you’ll need another way to keep the lights on and gadgets running.
The easiest way to do that is with a portable solar panel charger. These panels come in all shapes and sizes, and if you have one big enough (or multiple), you can quickly recharge a massive power station and then run household essentials for weeks on end.
For example, I have the Anker 625 (100W) portable solar panels, which can recharge a phone, flashlight, battery pack, or a bigger power station. It comes with an adapter so you can pair more than one panel together, then recharge big items faster. And since most brands use the same plug, I can combine my Jackery, EcoFlow, and Anker solar panels into one parallel string and recharge anything easily.
Anker 625 Solar Panel and Charger with Adjustable Kickstand (100W)
When the power is out, and the going gets tough, this Anker portable solar panel charger will keep you up and running.
Transportation When There’s No Gasoline
If society really takes a nosedive, there’ll be a run on gasoline, food supplies, and things of that nature. Eventually, cars won’t be all that useful, and if you’re living off-grid, a gas station could be hours away. You’ll still want some form of transportation, and that’s where an electric bike could come in handy.
Obviously, a regular pedal bike (or a horse) is a great tool for the apocalypse and never needs a recharge. Still, with so many electric bike options available, like my full-suspension fat tire Super73-RX shown above, you might as well take advantage of the latest technology.
Electric bikes are fast and easy to ride, can help you preserve energy, and most of them come with cargo racks making them great for transportation. Many of them go upwards of 50-60 miles per charge, so every few days, you could recharge it with that portable power station mentioned earlier.
And with an off-road capable fat tire bike like the Super73 or Volcon Brat, you can go off the paved roads and still be just fine. I’m not talking about outrunning zombies, but you’ll want to be able to navigate off-grid with more than a bike only built to handle paved roads.
You’ve probably heard the term “bug-out bag” or “go-bag.” They’re an absolutely fantastic item everyone should have. One backpack full of essentials to start a fire, defend yourself, MRE (meals ready to eat), an emergency blanket, or patch up an injury with a first-aid kit.
Again, I could go on and on about some of the things I have in my go-bag, but everyone is different with their wants, needs, preferences, or ideas. What’s important to my bag might not be for you. However, we all can agree that a good waterproof backpack is highly recommended. Something that can store enough gear to last a weekend, or an entire week, all while keeping the contents organized and dry. Here are a few excellent options from our sister site LifeSavvy.
A Few Other Random Items
You can find survival gear or off-grid supplies everywhere if you know where to look. And thanks to technology, there are all sorts of useful items that not everyone thinks about. For example, the BioLite Camp Stove runs on nothing but a little firewood, which you can use to boil water, and it’ll also recharge your phone or an emergency flashlight. It’s not the fastest charger, but every little bit counts.
I also have a collapsible solar-powered lantern that’ll give me light anywhere, even when the power goes out. It’s small enough to pack in my go-bag yet expands to fill a room or tent with light. It has a USB-A port for charging other devices, but your best bet is to use it primarily as a light source.
And we can’t forget fire. It’ll keep you warm, the animals away, and let you safely boil water or cook dinner. I can start a fire anywhere without tools, thanks to some training during my younger years, but not everyone has that skill set. However, you can buy a USB-C rechargeable electric lighter that’ll never run out of lighter fuel or butane. Charge it with the stove above, a solar panel, or your battery bank, and you’ll be able to start a fire in seconds.
It’s also a wise idea to have an emergency radio, and if you’ve ever watched The Walking Dead, you know what I’m talking about. A good emergency radio can run off batteries, wind up, or have a rechargeable battery you can top off with a portable power station. Here are three excellent radios for all you pessimists.
KIZEN Collapsible Solar LED Camping Lantern with USB
This collapsable LED lantern will give you light for hours on end, and can easily recharge in the sun. Plus, it has USB to recharge other gadgets in a pinch.
If the Apocalypse Happened, I’d Be Set (Other Non-Tech Items)
Of course, tech isn’t everything, and being as prepared as possible is never a bad idea. In addition to portable battery packs, solar chargers, ebikes, a portable car jump starter, or an electric grill, I also pack everyday items.
And yes, I have the necessary equipment to defend myself and hunt as needed, whether that’s something with a blade or bullets. However, this post is more about general tech and valuable items to wait out an emergency or temporarily live off the grid.
I have a firestarter and several tents (although I prefer my hammock). My Toyota truck will run forever as long as I can find gas and oil. I have MREs, first-aid kits, a compass, rope and other cordage, signal mirrors, fishing gear, and a solar blanket. Don’t forget a rechargeable flashlight and headlamp, a LifeStraw water bottle with an integrated filter, and things of that nature.
Some will call this overkill, while others won’t think I have enough. Again, I didn’t cover everything I own, but these are some helpful items to give you a good start. At the end of the day, I’m confident with the gear I own, my training or abilities, and all these gadgets are just extra luxuries worth using in any way possible.
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
Safe drinking water is vital. The LifeStraw has an integrated (and replaceable) filter that removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria and parasites. I have several, and you should too.