Swine flu, nuclear tests, global warming—signs of impending doom abound. Should the unthinkable happen, the smart survivalist has two options: flee the planet or, for those of us who aren’t Richard Branson, stock up on gear that will meet your basic needs during Armageddon. If the world doesn’t end, you can always take your new gadgets camping.
Filter out ammonia, chlorine or swirling toxic dust. The Advantage respirator gives a snug fit in seconds, using a harness that tightens two head-straps with a single clip. Its facepiece comes in three sizes to protect all types of people. Advantage 420 Half Mask Respirator $40;
Food and Shelter
The latest Leatherman packs bigger, stronger pliers, plus 18 more tools to build your house and skin your dinner. A new locking mechanism causes dull-edged tools to pop out together but knives to stay safely in place until you pull them. Leatherman Super Tool 300 $84;
The ultraviolet light built into this 32-ounce bottle zaps waterborne bacteria, viruses and protozoa in 80 seconds. If you can’t stand still while it’s working, grab the leakproof container and run. A rechargeable battery hides inside the lid. CamelBak All Clear UV Water Purification System $130 (winter);
Grid down? Plug in with the solar-powered SN-3 flashlight. While its bright LEDs shine, a universal jack charges your other electronic gear. An hour of sun provides 15 to 40 minutes of gadget use. SunNight Solar BoGo SN-3 $50; sunnightsolar.com
This phone lets you talk even when the cell network fails, because its built-in walkie-talkie can radio similar phones within six miles. A full keyboard makes it easy to search your phonebook for an emergency contact. Motorola Clutch i465 $130 plus service;