NEW YORK -- There are survivalists ready to keep themselves alive for months with nothing more than a plastic fork (perhaps an exaggeration), then there's a greater universe of preppers who might need some help with bug-out gear come the end of the world.
While you may think Uncle Philbert is off his nut, consider playing along for the holidays with a pricey gift that would otherwise bust his disaster budget. Because, you never know.
THE ZOMBIE KNIFE: Which mega-knife to pack is a highly personal prepper decision, one that your average harried holiday gifter may not understand or have time to deep-dive research. In the alternative, choose nice-looking with good reviews from those in the know online and go for an accompanying sheath to fancy up the offering.
A fun name is a plus, such as the Zombie Tinder Survivor 1 at $210, handmade in the USA. It has an exceptionally sharp choil, or the section of the blade next to the handle, according to the makers at Zombietinder.com. That part, the company declares, is good for cutting rope, limbing small trees, splitting the rib cage of large game and making fuzz sticks for fire starting.
Take that, zombies.
WATER, WATER, WATER: It's used by NATO, the U.S. military and the Red Cross, according to Filtersfast.com. It's the free-standing, hand-operated and high-capacity Katadyn 8016389 Expedition KFT Water Filter System -- and it's a beaut from the Swiss company at $1,499.
Water, in the event of disaster, is liquid gold, the same color as this sleek system.
The Katadyn can steadily filter large quantities of water. The maker promises that its Katadyn 1040 KFT ceramic filters remove bacteria, cysts, algae, protozoa, sediment, dirt, spores, some viruses and other disease-causing agents down to 0.2 microns, also taking care of any radioactive particles.
Widely available. Bases. Covered.
THE COOL GUY BUG-OUT BAG: Heading into the great unknown doesn't have to mean unattractive. The Seventy2 kit comes highly rated, fully loaded and it's DARN cool at $349.99.
It's called that because it's designed to get one through the first crucial 72 hours of a crisis. It's also inspirational, with handy advice right on the bag: "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast," as in don't freak out.
There's a backpack within the backpack for double duty. Supply pockets are color-coded and stuffed with Datrex food bars, water filtration and storage bladders, first aid, tools and wilderness electronics.
Pro tip: The puff ball on the warm and cozy beanie hat can be cut off and used as a fire starter. You can also bread crumb your way out of any situation with a healthy portion of bright orange duct tape and recharge cellphones with a hand-cranked power source.
Plastic interior panels with holes can be used as splints or snowshoes, laced with some of the 100 feet of red paracord provided. The whole shebang: 11.4 pounds, as seen on "Shark Tank."
UP LIKE A TENT, STRONG AS A BUNKER: Planning to survive in place or take shelter in the wilderness?
Several dome home designs are available at Intershelter.com . Intended for disaster, the military and other uses, including a solution for the homeless, these fiberglass composite shelters are pre-drilled with bolt holes, quick to assemble, and they're small enough in pieces to fit into the bed of a pickup truck.
They're built to sustain hurricane-strength winds and large enough for an entire family. The original 14-footer with a height of 9 feet at the center offers 154 square feet and weighs 600 pounds. A 20-foot version offers 314 square feet and is 12 feet high at the center.
The Juneau, Alaska, company offers price quotes online, depending on what size, insulation, flooring and window options are chosen. Lots of colors for one's dome are available: bright yellow or hot pink, anyone? Base prices range from $7,500 to $12,500.
The best part: Join domes for multi-room dwellings, or future cities.
WHEN EVEN THE DARK WEB GOES DARK: So, there you are, in your emergency dome, eating your emergency food, drinking your fully filtered water. Now what?
Is there life in the way of entertainment with no internet? There's not a People magazine in sight.
Anne Washburn has written a dark comedy, "Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play," that offers an idea or two on exactly how to pass the time post-apocalypse. The key, Washburn thinks, is "The Simpsons."
Picture a group of survivors around a campfire struggling to remember a certain Simpsons episode. Specifically, it's the one based on the film "Cape Fear." Now, picture the same group quickly transforming into a theater troupe, recalling better pop culture days in song and dance, Simpsons masks on.
"You would really want things to be comforting and familiar, and exactly the way you remember them," Washburn explains of "Mr. Burns" at Playwrighthorizons.org. "The way it is for small kids after a crisis. The way it is for anyone after a crisis. You really want to remember how things were."
Prep that preppers.