I recently wrote an article that talked about the 27 most underrated prepping items. Now let’s talk about 10 of the most overrated prepping items.
I think sometimes we get really excited about certain products because we see some “celebrity” preppers using them and well, if they’re using it then it must be good!
Some of the gear that preppers talk about is actually good gear, but some of it…isn’t. Sometimes people get paid to hype up a product and sometimes they’re just doing it for the views and don’t really care of it works well or not.
It’s up to us as consumers to do our due diligence and really research a product before buying.
I know a lot of people aren’t going to agree with this list and I accept that. Please let me know in the comments why you disagree and also let me know some other overrated prepping items.
Here are 10 overhyped prepper items:
- Hand crank radios – Probably going to lose some people here but I feel like hand crank radios take way more effort than they give. You could spend 30 minutes cranking it (expending a lot of valuable energy and time) to get just a few minutes of worth-while radio and/or light. I believe it’s a better idea to get a solar panel and charge your device that way. Or get a NOAA weather radio or HAM radio (with license) and use rechargeable batteries (that are charged with a solar panel).
- Raw beans – Beans take a lot of time and resources to cook. I think it’s fine to prep them, they are a good source of protein, but please know how to cook them before storing and make sure you have plenty of resources on hand to cook them in an emergency. I’d also recommend storing canned beans or even dehydrated/freeze dried beans so you can save your resources and time.
- Lifestaw and Sawyer water filters – These are the most popular water filter straws because they have been the most available for so long. You can go to practically any outdoors store and Walmart and find them. So why buy anything else, right? And everyone seems to like the size of the Sawyer. But they are far from the best. They’re okay to have around as backups, I’ve even tested the Lifestraw and it filtered that particular water fine. So as backups, they’re alright. Maybe it’s because I don’t mess around with my water purification, but I want my water purification to have activated carbon in it. I’d suggest getting something that has activated charcoal (carbon) in it like a Survivor Straw.
- Alcohol stoves – Yeah this is gonna be another big debatable item. I have used and tried alcohol stoves many times and even made my own plenty of times. But I don’t get the appeal. The alcohol is heavy to carry and it burns up rather quickly. Way quicker than propane/butane. For home use, it seems alright. My suggestion is to try the various options on your hikes and camping, etc., and figure out what is going to work best for you in longer term situations, particularly away from home.
- Button compass – You see these a lot on paracord bracelets. They might give you a *general* idea of where you’re going but they’ve been proved to be off and wrong more often than not. Invest in a good compass. They’re important enough that you want to spend a little extra money on one to be able to have in your vehicle and in all your kits.
- Hair clip survival tool – This is a weird one. I bought this cause I thought it was cool cause I wear hair clips a lot. A hair clip and a survival tool in one?! Score! Right? Not so much. As soon as I started to use it for anything, it immediately started bending and just not functional at all. Get a real multitool.
- Tampons – Let me be clear, tampons are great for what they were intended for. However, it’s gotten out of control when people keep mentioning using tampons for gun shot wounds or any other medical reason. Please click here to watch an amazing video by Dr. Bones that explains why a tampon is not a good first aid choice. Instead, pack the proper gear, like gauze.
- Wallet multitool cards – I’m not a fan of the wallet survival tools that have like the saw and the wrenches and such all right there. I am a fan of the ones by Grim Survival, though, as they’re super durable, you can pop out the tools and can actually make stuff from them. If anything, just carry an actual multitool.
- Snake bite kits – The problem with snake bite kits is that all they come with is a suction cup and a little blade. There’s a lot of studies these days on what to do when you get bit by a snake and many are saying don’t use a suction cup and don’t cut it. If anything, get the proper knowledge on what to do if you ever get bit by a snake and how to tell the difference between just a bite and a bite that injected venom. You can always put together a little snake bite kit if necessary.
- Bagged water – I think the concept behind bagged water is neat. The water inside the bag is purified, it’s fairly lightweight (because it only holds 125ml (about half a cup) and has a fairly long shelf life (around 4-5 years when stored properly). However, the biggest flaw is that it only has about a half a cup of water. And the bag isn’t as durable as you may think. I did a stress test on it once and it busted on the first test. That amount of water would only be good for an instance in which you are about to die without just a drop of water. I think it’s a bit impractical to carry around a bunch of those bags of water. They’re very popular in pre-made survival kits. Instead, take a water bladder, carry multiple forms of water bags and purification methods and find other ways to store and carry larger amounts of water that’ll be more useful for you.
None of the products above are necessarily bad, they’re just overrated and there are probably better options out there.
Do your due diligence and make informed decisions. Read and watch lots of reviews first before buying anything. And really think hard about how it’s going to be utilized in YOUR plans and gear.
Now it’s your turn to yell at me, agree with me or offer your own advice and opinion about what you feel is an overrated prepping item.
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!