Survival gear is more popular than ever for a variety of reasons. Some people had their eyes opened by recent events and want to be prepared in case there’s another global pandemic or some other emergency. Others are concerned about natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, or ice storms that can knock out the power grid for days or even weeks. And then there are those who enjoy hiking or camping in the wilderness and want to avoid the worst should they get lost.
Survival gear can be anything from freeze-dried food to generators, so we’ve compiled a list of made in the USA brands specializing in all kinds of disaster and emergency preparedness products.
Full List of Survival Brands Made in the USA
Legacy Food Storage makes freeze-dried emergency food in partnership with Honeyville Grain. The manufacturing facilities for this company have the certification to prove they meet the strictest quality standards. They source almost every ingredient for their food from suppliers in the US and Canada, although have had to look elsewhere for a few ingredients that are no longer domestically available. Their team is super responsive, so if you have any specific ingredient questions, definitely give them a call.
Augason Farms specializes in shelf-stable survival food and water products for emergency situations. They do all the manufacturing in-house for their emergency kits and bulk meals appropriate for any diet.
My Patriot Supply manufactures emergency food, water, and other survival products. If you are into growing your own food, they also have you covered! There’s even a discount for military members and first responders.
DMT (Diamond Machining Technology) manufactures its stones and sharpening kits in Marlborough, Massachusetts. This brand sources much of its raw materials from North America.
Brunton makes outdoor gear such as compasses. The company’s claim to fame is its pocket transit, a compact and portable surveying tool. Brunton has expanded its product line over the years.
Vigilant Trails is known for its affordable made in the USA small game snares, which are a hit with survivalists. You can also buy other emergency gear from them, but some of these products are not made domestically.
Exotac’s fire starters have a reputation for longevity. One of their most popular options, is ideal for campers or emergency preppers to store in their bugout bags.
Ontario Knife Company’s products include kitchenware, hunting and fishing knives, survival equipment, tactical knives, and more. This brand has such a reputation for excellence that the U.S. military became a customer beginning with World War II.
Zippo still makes some of its famous lighters domestically. Survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts love them because they are waterproof and refillable.
SOS Products makes general survival kits, storage products, shelters, lighting, and first aid products, and much more. However, only some of their stuff is made here, and there’s no made in the USA filter when you shop on their website. However, the product page for each domestically manufactured item is marked with the American flag.
This company makes waterproof storage bags and carrying cases that also offer protection from dust and humidity. Their OPSAK odor-proof durable bags are ideal for food preservation. LOKSAK serves the military, the government, and law enforcement, as well as civilian outdoor enthusiasts.
Four Dog Stove makes outdoor wood-burning stoves and backpacking stoves that stand up to the toughest conditions. They are built to last for generations, even with heavy use in all kinds of weather.
This company’s founder, Fritz Handel, is known for inventing the first portable double-walled and heat-shielded stove with battery-free operation. Today, Bushbody stoves handcrafts its products in a workshop in Alaska.
Atwood Rope Manufacturing makes its rope and cord products in Ohio. This company has a stellar reputation for quality and sells to businesses, industries, electric companies, and the military. Atwood even works with OEM customers to create specialized products.
Mountain House’s parent company, Oregon Freeze Dry, got its start by developing improved rations for the United States Special Forces during the Vietnam era. Today, Mountain House makes tasty freeze-dry meals that are popular with campers, hikers, and survivalists.
Wise Food Storage specializes in freeze-dried food that can be stored for up to 25 years. They make their emergency meals in Utah from locally-sourced ingredients.
Great Eastern Cutlery makes traditional pocket knives at its Pennsylvania facility, where each product goes through an estimated 200 hands-on processes. The company creates a new knife design annually.
Maglite flashlights combine rugged construction and compact design, making them a popular choice for professional technicians as well as anyone who wants to be prepared for a power outage at home.
SureFire’s made in the USA tactical lights are good enough for the military and law enforcement, so they should be good enough for you! Their products are famous for their superior performance and reliability, making them the perfect choice for your emergency kit.
The brand’s built-to-order flashlights can be attached to guns. Customers include law enforcement officers, the military, and hunters.
Princeton Tec produces lighting equipment for use in the water as well as on land. This company makes stopwatches, flashlights and headlamps.
This Florida brand manufactures military and emergency flashlights. In addition to their more traditional models, Phantom makes lights that can be mounted on vehicles or equipment.
First-Light USA’s flashlights are manufactured in Illinois. The vast majority of the materials are sourced from the United States.
HDS Systems’ flashlights are designed for caving enthusiasts, but they also work for emergency use.
This brand makes classic knives, hunting knives, pocket knives, everyday carry knives, cutlery, outdoor knives, fishing knives, limited editing, and web exclusives. You can even order a customized knife with an engraved blade.
Bear & Son produces a number of knives for hunters, campers, and fishermen. Most of the steel for these knives is sourced domestically, but a few are made from Swedish steel. Fortunately, the company’s website is transparent about where their steel comes from.
Hogue Knives are designed for the police and military, but they are also great for survivalists. This company is well-known for its Extreme tactical knives, which are easy to use.
Benchmade makes all kinds of knives, but our favorite is the Griptilian. This model features a GFN (Glass Filled Nylon) handle and a 3.45-inch stainless-steel point-drop style blade. It is lightweight yet durable.
Spartan Blades’ award-winning knives include fixed-blade and folding designs. We especially recommend their Damysus fixed blade model, which has a carbon steel drop-point blade.
Case specializes in handcrafted, smaller multi-blade pocket knives. This brand makes sporting and specialty knives. You can order personalized knives.
Emerson Knives have served the world’s most elite special operations soldiers for more than two decades. They make flipper knives, fixed blade knives, mini knives, hunting knives, rescue knives, and more.
Medford stands out because it does all the heat treatment for their steel in-house. All their steel is from California. Their knives might cost more than those from some other brands, but many consider the expense worth it because of the quality of their products.
Leatherman makes multi-tool knives for hunters, outdoor lovers, and adventurers. We love their reasonable prices. However, you should be aware that although their products are manufactured in Oregon, a few parts are imported.
This brand makes a variety of pocket knives, including fixed-blade and linear lock models. Most are still manufactured domestically, but some models are now made overseas. Fortunately, the Utica website has a “Made in the USA” section, so you don’t have to click on every product to see whether it is imported.
Microtech Knives uses a range of different steel to make their products, which include OFT, folding, and fixed blade knives. A note of caution: some materials aren’t labeled as being made in the USA, so it is best to assume they are sourced from overseas.
DPx Gear partners with U.S. manufacturers to make their fixed-blade and folding pocket knives. Their best-selling domestic models include the Urban, HEST Original, and HEST 6. Some of their knives have imported materials, but the ones truly made here are labeled as such.
How to Find Survival Gear Made in the USA
Some types of survival gear are more likely to be made domestically than others. As you’re doing your own research, check out our tips below on finding any kind of product that’s “Made in the USA.” We skipped the usual materials section that we have in these guides since the survival gear category is so vast. Feel free to shoot us an email if you have any specific questions.
The first step is to define what that phrase means. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says an item must be “all or virtually all” made domestically to be considered “Made in the USA.” This means all significant parts are sourced domestically; the processing takes place here, and the product does not contain any foreign components.
For more information, take a look at our detailed labeling guide.
According to the U.S. Code, all imported products must be labeled as such on the product or its packaging. In addition, the FTC protects the “Made in the USA” label.
But here’s where things get confusing: the FTC doesn’t require companies to follow a pre-approval process to use this label. This makes it relatively easy for brands to claim their goods are made here when they aren’t.
Also, some brands will mislead shoppers by using the following labels:
- Assembled in the USA
- Made in the USA with imported parts
- Made in America (this could mean the product was manufactured in Mexico or Canada)
In addition, keep in mind that the FTC doesn’t police the use of the American flag. This means companies are free to use the Stars and Stripes on labels even if their products aren’t made here.
Besides looking at the label, here are some other things you can do to ensure the survival gear you buy is American made.
Visit the Brand’s Website
If a company makes its products in the USA, it generally won’t be shy about it because this is a big selling point. Check out the “About Us” page or click on individual product pages to see if the brand mentions anything about where its goods come from. Sadly, companies have no legal obligation to disclose online the country of origin of their products.
Another tip is to look at the manufacturer’s social media platforms to see if they mention where their survival gear comes from.
Call or Email the Manufacturer
Still can’t find where a product was made? Sometimes the easiest thing to do is call or email the company. Make sure to ask where the product was manufactured and where the materials were sourced from.
Survival Gear Not Made in the USA
Below are all the well-known survival gear brands we found that are not made here. Let us know if we missed any.
- Most Gerber Gear knives – Only 21.8% are made in the USA.
- Most Spyderco knives
- Most Kershaw knives are made in China.
- Columbia River Knife and Tool Company – They use a lot of foreign steel.
- Boker Manufactory – This is a German knife brand.
- Cold Steel Knife and Tool – Only 6 of the 19 types of steel this company uses are sourced domestically.
- Blue Ridge Knives – This distributor imports many of its knives from Taiwan and other Asian countries.
- SOG Knives – They say they are “born and based in the USA,” but their knives are made in China.
- Fenix Flashlights – This company is based in China and manufactures its goods there.
- Elite Tac Flashlights – Don’t be fooled by the American flag in their logo; their flashlights are imported from China.
- Jackery – This company may be based in Fremont, California, but all their generators are manufactured in China.
- Westinghouse – Their generators are Chinese imports.
- Predator – The main models and engines of their generators come from China.
- Champion – This brand manufactures its generators in China.