Survival & Nuclear Gear Purchases Increasing

Concerned about war and tensions between Ukraine and Russia, American consumers are buying up survival gear — specifically of the nuclear variety.

Mira Safety Hazmat Suit
Mira Safety Hazmat Suit

But what products are flying off shelves and can the industry keep up? Pew Pew Tactical sat down with a few gear companies to get the details on what consumers can expect moving forward.

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Survival Companies See a Boom

Ready Made Resources in Tennessee is a survival/preparedness gear store in the world.

Owner Robert Griswold is both a wealth of information and a friend of James Wesley Rawles of SurvivalBlog.com.

Speaking on sales of nuclear war survival gear over the past two months, he said purchases have absolutely gone through the roof. For years nuclear war survival equipment, he explained, had been largely put on the backburner. 

Wearing the Israeli Gas Mask
Wearing the Israeli Gas Mask

There were sales of gas masks, hazmat suits, potassium iodide, and the like, but those items weren’t at the forefront of peoples’ minds. 

“Sales of this type of equipment were slack until the whole invasion started,” Griswold said. 

He’s stated that anything related to nuclear war survival is currently “unobtainium.” That’s not just for his business, but for the entire industry. 

Pew Pew Tactical Shooting with MIRA Safety Gas Masks

Geiger counters are difficult to keep in stock (Mazur are the best, he notes). All of his potassium iodide is sold out.

It’s even up the chain to the wholesalers, who are out of stock as well. The only way that people can get potassium iodide now, he said, was via eBay, where what was previously a $12 bottle of pills now costs upwards of $250.

He can keep gas masks in stock, but the filters for them — many of which came from Russia — are now very difficult to find. 

He says this is not only because of the skyrocketing demand for these goods but because of the inability to produce. The manufacturers he deals with can’t find the employees necessary to churn out enough products.

Israeli Gas Mask Filter Expiration
Israeli Gas Mask Filter Expiration

Even Ready Made Resources has found it difficult to find employees of late.

And due to this perfect storm — increased demand, supply chain problems, sanctions, and worker shortages — what was once next day shipping for Ready Made Resources has now been pushed back to two weeks. 

It takes more than just gas masks and hazmat suits to survive a nuclear war, however. Grain mills, night vision, freeze-dried foods — they’re all very hard to obtain right now — with prices increasing or products unavailable.

Sopacko Veggie Lasagna

“It’s all just gone,” Griswold said. “People are buying everything.”

(Psst, we have the deets on how to make your own MREs here!)

Geiger Counters

Perhaps the most infamous piece of gear for surviving a nuclear strike is the Geiger counter. Hollywood has caused its eerie chirp/ticking sound to be etched in the minds of millions.

GeigerCounters.com said it’s currently out of stock of a number of Geiger counters.

Mazur PRM-9000 Geiger Counter
Mazur PRM-9000 Geiger Counter

In the month of February, they sold 28 Geiger counters — a fairly standard number for them. But in March, the company reported a 500+% sales increase — selling 158 units.

The company said a majority of its customers have always wanted a Geiger counter, but it was just a matter of urgency now.

Amazon & Google: A Sudden Burst in Survival Searches

Amazon searches for the past few weeks have also shown a similar pattern. Products related to nuclear war survival seem to be in short supply.

ioSAT, a brand of potassium iodide, ships 3 to 4 weeks after the initial purchase. Hazmats also seemed to be in short supply as well.

Potassium iodide
Potassium iodide

While there were plenty of full-face gas masks, the majority of these didn’t accept NATO canisters. Instead, they’re primarily designed for working around fumes or gasses. Similar problems exist when searching for dosimeters.

It doesn’t appear to just be gear that people are looking for, but information as well.

Cresson Kearney’s Nuclear War Survival Skills is no longer in stock on Amazon — something that happened within the past month.

Nuclear War Survival Skills: Lifesaving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions

14

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

14
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Nuclear War Survival Skills: Lifesaving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions

$14 at Amazon

View Details

14
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Used copies of the US Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Survival Manual now sell for $15 – roughly the same cost as buying one new.

U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological And Chemical Survival Manual

15

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

15
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological And Chemical Survival Manual

$15 at Amazon

View Details

15
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Ready Made Resources’ book section also reported NBC Warfare: Protecting Yourself as out of stock. 

Google Trends

Data from Google Trends, a resource that allows one to search the prevalence of keywords searched via Google, shows massive spikes in “potassium iodide,” “gas mask,” “nuclear fallout,” and “nuclear war” — all spiking immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Potassium Iodide

Potassium Iodide graph

Gas Mask

Gas Mask graph

Nuclear Fallout

Nuclear Fallout graph

Nuclear War

Nuclear War graph

Final Thoughts

Americans are gearing up — from Geiger counters to gas masks to potassium iodine — consumers are grabbing what they can.

Inside the Mestel SGE 150 Gas Mask
Inside the Mestel SGE 150 Gas Mask

And the result is more and more gear flying off shelves as quickly as it’s stocked.

For more on gear you might want to stock up on check our top recommendations:

  • 4 Best Hazmat Suits for Toxic Environments
  • 12 Best Gas Masks, Face Masks, Respirators, & Filters
  • 10 Best MRE Brands & Kits for Survival [Taste Tested]
  • [How-To] Survive a Nuclear Attack & Fallout

Have you bought any survival gear recently? Let us know what you grabbed in the comments below. For more on survival, check out our whole category dedicated to Survival & Prepping.

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