It's That Time Of Year
In the next couple of weeks, we have a niece, a nephew, a cousin and a friend's daughter all graduating from high school. All will be going away to college. When I went to college 25 years ago, I went to the local university and lived at home with my folks for a few months before getting an apartment with friends. I was already a Marine, had guns and gear, and had been studying survivalism for several years. Out of these four kids, one is a hunter and fisherman and pretty self reliant, the others I don't think have had to be responsible for much more than grades, household chores, and maybe a summer job. Plus, they are all going "away" to school. Instead of a pen & pencil set or a video game what type of graduation or going away present can you give a kid like this, that would have some practical use in keeping that kid alive if it hits the fan?
First thing to consider is a kit or bug out bag. It should be scaled up or down considering how far away school is from a safe location. Check out our sponsors Survival Gear Bags and Essential Packs for just what your graduate might need.
Sexual assaults and other crimes of violence are no strangers to most college campuses. Unfortunately, most campuses prohibit students from having a gun. It's up to you and your family to decide how much arming to do, but there are a number of options that can provide some level of protection. Cold Steel Inferno is a good pepper spray option. It's easy for anyone to carry a tactical folder knife, or even an improvised flailing weapon such as a caribiner with a leather strap running to the key ring. There is no reason for anyone on a college campus to be unarmed.
A locking strong box is a necessity for a dorm room. A kid is thrust into a close quarters living arrangement a total stranger who may or may not be a scumbag, thief, or other criminal. Anything of value must be secured. Especially anything that might be used as a weapon.
If the kid is going to take a car away to school, I strongly suggest a copy of fellow prepper, Carolyn Nicolaysen's Totally Ready for the Road. It's everything from a guide to basic maintenance and driving in different scenarios and weather conditions.
If the school is in the big city, get a copy of Preparedness Now! by Acton Edwards. For those of us raised in rural or suburban environs, it's a good introduction to surviving urban threats.
Maybe your kid plans on ROTC. Give him or her a leg up with a copy of the SAS Survival Handbook.
These are just a few ideas for some prepping gifts for a new graduate. It's really going to vary depending on the kid, his or her background and interests, where the school is, where home is... there's a lot to think of.
One thing kids going off to college really need is common sense. Jack Spirko quotes sometimes, "Don't go to stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things." That simple sentence will keep a college student out of a whole lot of trouble. I would add for them to pay attention to their surroundings, be picky about whom they befriend, and have fun, but not too much.