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Thread: Gift ideas?

  1. #1
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    Gift ideas?

    In the past few years I've been giving gifts to members of my family with the intention of improving their safety. I've given things like flashlights, weather radios, candles, and other things that one might need to ride out a storm. I've also given fire extinguishers, jumper cables, gas cans, tire pressure gauges, and other things to make travel safer.

    I thought I'd start this thread to give some people ideas and to get some more ideas for myself. I'm also wondering how to figure out how a family member might respond to a gift before I give it to them. This is important when it comes to something that is intended, or could be construed, to be a weapon. Things like knives, stun weapons, and pepper spray might not go over well, especially with my brothers and sisters that have children.

    I've given NRA memberships to family members before but that did not seem to go over well in a couple cases so I've stopped. I don't want to give a gift that will not be appreciated. I want to avoid giving books, unless they gave a good hint they wanted it, as I have no idea if they are going to read it. I want to avoid things that might be too political, but if I keep away from books then that might not be an issue.

    I'm looking for ideas that are less than $20 or maybe $25. Bonus points for gifts that can be easily carried on a plane since some of my family live out of state.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  2. #2
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    Thinsulate gloves.

  3. #3
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    Gift Idea

    Last year I gave Emergency/Rescue Knifes (knife blade/seat belt cutter/glass breaker). They appeared to go over well.

    Another good item is a high quality tire pressure gauge. Several years ago I was given a gauge. It is a gauge on a stem with the tire fitting in the end. It is much more convenient than the old style pens with the displacement rod. One caution, many auto parts stores are now stocking cheap copies that are not reliable.

    Purchased in bulk, you should be able to get the knives for $5-7 and the tire gauges for $7-10.

  4. #4
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    Ditto on the emergency car escape tools, plus some secure way to mount them to be reached trapped in a seatbelt.
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

    http://czforumsite.info/

  5. #5
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    You can build a very good vehicle first-aid kit for ~$20, minus the box/bag. I've made two more for bikes recently (more focused on contusions/cuts/scrapes for obvious reasons) and it didn't cost me much to assemble them, although I think I'll be moving to a standardized case once I find the right thing. Currently there are 6 different FA kit bags/boxes, not a one organized like another ... start from scratch and you'll be able to make them identical.

    You can get into a CPR or first-aid class for low cost, check the Red Cross and/or community colleges
    As a bonus, having a FA/CPR certification can be a good thing to stick on a resume, particularly for anyone trying to get into child-care at any level.
    DON'T PANIC

  6. #6
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    Rechargeable batteries and a quality charger. Many people think about flashlights, radios, etc but few consider that batteries go dead in storage.

    Better still is a power inverter that converts 12 volt DC to 110 AC with enough current to run a radio and a sixty watt light.

    For a vehicle, rather than the standard flash a battery powered strobe is more effective for attracting help than the standard light. Tool kits are handy but usually end up under the seat completely unfindable when needed. If the receiver is like me and tends to 'lose' things a magnetic key holder can be a life saver.

  7. #7
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    Officers'Wife, all my vehicles have a crank-powered flashlight in them, and everyone who uses those vehicles brings a battery-powered LED with them.
    You're absolutely right, tossing a battery-operated device in the glovebox and expecting it to work in two years is a losing plan.
    DON'T PANIC

  8. #8
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    MREs,multitool,Cabela's-Gander Mtn. gift card
    NRA life member, Support Our Troops,
    Pointman Ministries Member
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  9. #9
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    Throw blankets -- the type you might roll up and keep in your car in case you are stranded for awhile, or keep over top of yourself in your chair should you lose heat at home. I have 3 or 4 around and although I seldom need them I do find them "comforting"....
    Paul
    People have some respect for the complexity of technology. But almost every ignorant fool thinks he understands money and economics.

  10. #10
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    Hi Paul,

    Good call! My husband teases me that I keep 5 wool horse blankets in the car. Hopefully the time will never come that he sees why I have them.

  11. #11
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    You're absolutely right, tossing a battery-operated device in the glovebox and expecting it to work in two years is a losing plan.
    Hopefully this has changed?
    Been doing a lot of light/battery research lately-most of my vehicle lights (recently upgraded) have the newer generation LEDs with lithium batteries.
    I installed a lithium battery in my remote transmitter for my clock/outside temp unit, and the lithium works much better than alkalines (not affected by temperature, etc).

    For intemittent/emergency use only, I tend to shy away from rechargeables.

    Back to the OP's point-I know he has already given lights, but he might want to revisit 'em now that prices have dropped. I recently bought a number of smaller Streamlights to do my own comparison-I really like their Nightfighter, and I carry their PT-2L on my belt at all times.
    It only becomes class warfare when the working class decides to fight back.
    When they don't, it simply becomes a case of economic genocide.
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  12. #12
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    New lights and batteries are better, but for something I'm tossing in a glovebox or saddlebag semi-permanently, I'm going cheap and reliable ... and that means crank for me.

    And I have a source of good alkaline batteries for damn near free AND a number of good LED lights that I actually use, but I'm still not going to remember to swap them out every 3-6 months. Trust me, the morning you launch a deer into th woods and destroy every light on the front of your car is NOT the time to be fumbling with a battery light about to die ... I had both back then and the battery light is now a toolbox light, the crank lives on and has been allowed to reproduce and populate every vehicle and every FA kit not in a vehicle.
    DON'T PANIC

  13. #13
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    And I have a source of good alkaline batteries for damn near free AND a number of good LED lights that I actually use, but I'm still not going to remember to swap them out every 3-6 months.
    I've 'bout given up on alkalines-'bout the only thing I use 'em in are TV remotes, etc.
    The CR123's I use in many of my lights are supposed to be good for 10 years. The last Energzier Ultimate Lithiums I bought have a use by date of 2025.

    Somebody in one o' these High Roads (don't remember which) sent me a document of Lockheed battery tests-seems NASA uses Energizer Ultimate Lithiums as in space, they want a wide temperature operating range, they can't vent/leak, need a long shelf life, and can't self discharge-sounds like they'd be ideal for glovebox lights etc.

    I wince a little every time I shell out 'bout $2 each for the Ultimate Lithiums, but with all the benefits they offer, they're probably actually cheaper than alkalines over the long haul.
    Last edited by basicblur; October 25th, 2010 at 07:40 PM. Reason: sp
    It only becomes class warfare when the working class decides to fight back.
    When they don't, it simply becomes a case of economic genocide.
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  14. #14
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    Being the old curmudgeon that I am, I give my kids each a crisp $50.00 bill for Christmas. It goes with everything, it always fits, and it never gets returned. Plus, I can do all my Christmas shopping in one stop at the bank.

    The wife always gets something sparkly. Which reminds me, it's time to start looking for sparkly goodness.

  15. #15
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    Dennis, I love my mother, but in close to 50 Christmases I remember she has always messed up either the size or the color. So last year, my wife thought she would help her. "Get him a gift card to Lowe's", she said, "he always needs something there every month or two..."


    So she bought me a gift card -- to Home Depot! The closest one is an hour and a half away....
    Paul
    People have some respect for the complexity of technology. But almost every ignorant fool thinks he understands money and economics.

  16. #16
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    Maybe you guys are just too hard to please. When my husband came back for his first tour of Iraq he handed me a small piece of quartz. He told me that when he saw it he felt it too beautiful to be there and needed to be with me.

    He was loading me with pure, triple sifted, USDA certified male bovine animal byproduct but I treasure that little piece of quartz.

  17. #17
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    Following in Sunray's steps, cold weather hats for each vehicle. Space blankets, walmart here in North Carolina has them for about $2, they are about the size of a deck of cards.

    Milo H.

  18. #18
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    Bump.

    Tell me more about how to assemble a car first aid kit. I've seen the prepackaged ones and they seem WAY over priced. I'm thinking I could get some of those large disposable plastic food containers and fill it with things a person might need to treat a number of typical minor medical emergencies. I could buy some large packages of things and break it up and put some in each box, for example buy a big box of band-aids and put a handful in each box.

    Besides band-aids what could or should I include? Where could I find such items? I am so clueless on this I don't even know where to start. Remember that I want to keep the total cost below $20. Assume that I'll be making about ten of these first aid kits if it comes to getting bulk items and divvying them up among the kits.

    Getting just some generic cold weather accessories sounds like a good idea. Scarves and stocking caps are generally one-size-fits-all. Blankets to be kept in a car sounds good too.

    I'll have to look again for those car escape tools, those things that have the seat belt cutter and glass breaker, since the place I saw them before is not selling them any more. Any suggestions on where I can find them?

    After some thought I think I'll avoid giving flashlights. I believe that there were plenty of them given in gift exchanges in the past and I don't want to give something they won't use. They are great gifts but I'll let a few more years pass for flashlights to get worn, broken, or lost.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  19. #19
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    Hi Farmboy,

    Tell me more about how to assemble a car first aid kit.
    The kit that Dad has in his truck is a plastic tackle box. Inside:
    Band-aids, gauze & tape
    antiseptic creme
    small bottle of alcohol
    several electronic 'alligator clips'
    analgesics
    tincture of iodine (I know but he's old.)
    Baby wipes
    antacid tablets
    tweezers
    Ace bandage
    And several wide strips of denim with Velcro sewn on it.

    Not a complete list but the highlights

    He also carries a couple wool horse blankets, overshoes, and coffee cans full of fertilizer. (He prefers nitrate of soda)
    The fertilizer is for (among other things) snow & ice melt and to help get a fire going.

    A kit is mainly just common sense, consider what might happen then what is most likely to happen and plan accordingly.

  20. #20
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    First aid kit. Car accidents these days are characterized by the possiblilities of major trauma and eye contamination from the explosive in the airbag. I would recommend a product like QuikClot to help stanch major bleeding (it's not cheap, so maybe more for you than part of a <$20 kit), and an eye wash bottle to be used if it's clear the eye has not been punctured.

    Sometimes you can find the pre-packaged first aid kits for around $20 at one of the warehouse stores. Often has a lot of stuff in a well-organized package.

    As to car rescue tools, the ol' S&W standard is being discontinued, so they can be picked up for $10. I think they're fine--and I just bought a few! For about twice as much you can get a CRKT ExiTool that clips on the seatbelt. Pros and cons, there: you know where it is, but one of the reasons for a seatblet knife is that in a side-impact especially, you may not be able to get at the seatbelt release--and if the rescue tool is right next to the release....

    Lots of options. I have an old Benchmade Rescue Hook attached to my car's driver seatbelt.

    If you gift a knife, I'd advise getting a coin in return: bad luck to give a knife, but you can sell it real cheap.

  21. #21
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    Tell me more about how to assemble a car first aid kit.
    Get a sturdy container that won't open if crushed/tossed/neglected/rattled/etc. You can always add the universal FA kit symbol yourself ... and do add it, you never know if you'll be sending someone to get the kit, so it should be visible and obvious. That is why I don't stash a gun in a FA kit, too (even though I'm often tempted)

    You need some basic trauma stuff, sterile dressings, bandaging, tape, adhesive bandages, maybe some quick-clot, maybe some superglue (instant stitches), probably a couple ACE bandage type things, and some instant ice-packs. Get the big cheap bottle of saline, it is good with the squirty cap for wound irrigation and with no cap it is an eyewash. Include some antiseptic, Iodine isn't such a bad idea, it lasts a long time, isn't flammable, and makes an obvious mark for "this got at least half-assed sterilized".

    The above list (which is off the top of my head and NOT all inclusive!) contains no expensive items except for the quick-clot and ACE bandages, the rest is cheap in bulk or not.


    You need some illness-type stuff, but not a lot unless there are ongoing health issues that need frequent care. A couple types of painkillers in single-serve packets, antacid, hard candy, instant wake-up stuff, tweezers, instant ice-packs, etc. I'd include water, but I just have a couple half-liter bottles I change out whenever I think of them, they're pretty nasty and I need a better water-storage solution. I have the Bayer painkiller powder with Aspirin and caffeine in it for Sublingual administration, combining wake-up and pain relief, but then I have eye-strain issues and a bad knee, so I go through them (and that nasty water) ... pills in packets might be best for long-term storage.

    But really, the bottom line is that without some training a FA kit won't be particularly helpful for anything past a boo-boo or headache. Seriously take a look at community colleges and see if they have a decent FA class offering, I've always had mine through an employer, but most of the instructors are from the local colleges, where they teach EMTs and FA.
    DON'T PANIC

  22. #22
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    maybe some superglue (instant stitches),
    We are on the same page except for this... In the field it is very difficult to sterilize a wound and determine if there is subcu or muscle damage. You are far better off clamping the wound shut than sealing it. The idea of field aid is to get the patient stable enough s/he won't bleed out before they can get to a hospital or clinic. This is why Dad keeps the alligator clips, once sterilized they are strong enough to hold a cut together yet small enough if a pressure dressing is needed it can be applied. While I wouldn't recommend the practice it would be far better than the superglue.

  23. #23
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    You know, I never implied that slathering superglue onto every wound was SOP.

    There are times that you need something to stop bleeding, there are times when you have no means of affixing a bandage. Glue or tape can be (literally) a life-saver.
    Considering that a tube only costs a few bucks and doesn't have to be used every time you open the case, why not include it? If you're talking about electrical alligator clips, I'd take a few well-applied dabs of glue before I strapped a bandage down on clamps that might dig in or come free under the bandage and allow bleeding to re-start, in most cases.

    To add to my post above, you need gloves in the kit. Get a couple different sizes and styles, this is somewhere you can save cash buying in bulk, you can buy a few 50 or 100-pair boxes of different types/sizes and re-pack them in labeled baggies. And toss in some extra baggies, they can come in handy, too.
    DON'T PANIC

  24. #24
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    Thanks for all the ideas. I hope someone besides me is taking notes. I'll be a bit busy for the next few days because of Thanksgiving but I'll get back to looking up these ideas when I can.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  25. #25
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    Paul,

    That is a funny story on how your Mother mixed up the store when it came to your gift card! Geesh.

    Cate
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