The Complete List of Nuclear Fallout Gear

By | March 1, 2023


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The Complete List of Nuclear Fallout Gear

On January 24, 2023, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists updated the Doomsday clock, setting it to 90 seconds to midnight. This is the closest to midnight it has ever been, which means these scientists believe we’re closer to doomsday than ever before.

They cite several reasons, but the main one is the war in Ukraine, and they have a point. This is probably the closest NATO and Russia have ever come to a direct confrontation, and it keeps getting more tense.

Despite struggles on the battlefield, Russia refuses to surrender, and they probably never will because if they do, they’ll have sacrificed billions in military equipment and over 100,000 Russian lives for nothing.

Meanwhile, NATO also refuses to back down, promising to send Ukraine all the weapons they need. And over time, they keep sending better weapons. Originally, they were only sending defensive weapons, but recently, they promised to send tanks, which are considered offensive weapons. And now they’re talking about sending fighter jets.

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As both sides get more determined, the situation continues to escalate. There could come a point where Russia decides that nuclear weapons are the only card they have left.

If they detonate a nuke, it will be in hopes of scaring Ukraine and NATO into backing down, but the opposite could happen, and the situation could quickly escalate into World War III, putting all of our lives in danger.

As much as we want to believe this would never happen, it’s a very real possibility, which means we need to be prepared. If a nuclear war broke out, tens of millions of people would die right away, but even more people would die in the following weeks due to fallout and radiation exposure.

So in this article, we’re going to list all the nuclear fallout gear you would need to survive.

Preparing for Nuclear Fallout

Nukes are so powerful that they effectively split atoms when the bomb goes off. As these radioisotopes are blown into the sky, they can be carried long distances by the wind. As they start to break down or decay, they emit the gamma radiation that is so harmful to us. 

Exposure to varying levels of these particles not only damages your cells but inhibits your body’s natural way of healing itself. To survive both the initial blast and the following periods, you must protect yourself.  

Immediate Effects

The initial blast would decimate most of the structures and natural habitats in the area. Depending on the size of the warhead, that could be a distance of up to several miles from the point of impact.

The best thing you can do here is to take shelter somewhere underground and wait out the destruction. If you have something akin to a bunker underground where you store your emergency gear, you’ll need to head there and stay there for at least a few days.

Post-Nuclear Collapse

Radiation can stay in an area for a few days or even several decades, depending on the amount. Once the explosion has ripped through everything and the proverbial dust has settled, then the game begins. 

There will most likely be an evacuation effort from the military to get people safely out of the area. While that is happening, there will be widespread chaos, and this is why your fallout plan is so vital. You’ll need to keep a cool head so you can make smart decisions until you can get somewhere for the long term.

The Complete List of Gear You’ll Need

Purchasing and maintaining high-quality fallout gear will further your chances of escaping and surviving a nuclear blast. While a lot of these items have cheap versions that are significantly less expensive, they won’t be nearly as effective. I recommend exploring several brands, reading reviews, and finding the most reliable equipment.

Here’s all the nuclear fallout gear you’ll need to survive World War III.

Nuclear Explosion in City

Hazmat Suit

A hazmat suit is a combination of attire that protects you from the effects of radiation and other chemicals.

In the United States, Level A offers the highest level of protection as it includes all of the components for the garment, but a pressurized oxygen tank to seal you off from the environment as well. Ensure you purchase a suit with a full hazmat mask/respirator as all of your skin needs to be covered.

Related Article: Hazmat Suits 101: Everything You Need to Know

Geiger Counter

An essential tool for detecting gamma radiation in your area. By using a tube of inert gas that conducts electricity which is impacted by high-energy particles, you can determine how much radiation is in the area, although it won’t show you where.

Personal radiation detectors are an alternative to the Geiger counters as they offer some additional functionality.


A vital piece of equipment if you need to understand how much radiation your body is absorbing over a given time. A dosimeter is to be worn by the person and is a digital record of how much radiation that person is potentially absorbing. A lot of modern ones will give you a continuous, cumulative readout. 

Potassium Iodide

Potassium Iodide (KI) is a compound that can help stop your thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine. The thyroid is a problem area because of how sensitive it is to absorbing radiation. It’s the primary location for thyroid cancer since the radioactive particles mutate your cells. 

Activated Charcoal

Another great detoxification product, activated charcoal is used commonly in medicine today. Not only does it do well for just general detoxing, but it’s also an antidiarrheal and can help kidney functions. Applying it topically or ingesting it through tablets or capsules are popular forms of consumption. 

Eyewash Kit

The eyes are one of those exploits that we have as humans where pathogens and other bacteria can enter and cause issues. Not only that, but our sensitive eyeballs can become damaged by small pieces of metal or wood. A good eye wash kit should come with multiple bottles and some high-quality eye pads for any potential injuries. 

Solar/Crank Radio

Solar and hand-crank radios are important to have as they can provide vital information about the surrounding area. This can include updates from the military and humanitarian groups, and information from local community outposts.

Ensuring that it can be powered by a crank eliminates the need for batteries or power, both of which will not be available after a fallout.  

Faraday Cages

Faraday cages are used to block EMF and RF frequencies which can cause interference and noise. Essentially, they are a container that can block out electromagnetic radiation. 

The principle works like this: If an electromagnetic field hits a container that conducts electricity, the resulting charge will stay on the surface of the container instead of traveling into it. It can be made of any electrical conductive material including coiled wire and metal sheets.

The most popular example of a faraday cage is the container that can prevent an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) from affecting the electronic contents inside. 

Ever wonder why you don’t hear about people getting struck by lightning while sitting in their cars? Most attribute it to the rubber tires, but in fact, it’s the car itself that acts like a faraday cage that blocks electromagnetic energy from penetrating the surface.

Nuclear Survival Books and Resources

The best defense against the effects of nuclear fallout is knowledge and experience. While having one nuclear experience would be enough for anyone, knowledge seems to have the advantage here. 

Look for books that teach you how to live off the land with minimal resources as these will be indispensable in the case of a collapse. Join online communities and forums with like-minded people who can help you and your family prepare. 

High-Quality Plastic Trash Bags

Disposing of irradiated clothing must be done in high-quality plastic bags or there is a risk of contamination.

Since you’ll more than likely be ditching your clothes after extended exposure in a high-radiative zone, having these bags around is a wise idea. If you want to spend the money you can purchase some polyurethane radioactive biohazard bags.

Solar Generator

In the event of a nuclear blast all critical infrastructure will be damaged or destroyed, including the power grid. If you have any crucial devices that need to be plugged in or charged, a solar generator is a must-have.

Having the ability to charge your devices using the sun can provide power to life-saving devices as well as flashlights, GPS devices, and data devices. They come in a variety of sizes with the smallest being easily carried in a pack with your gear. Most panels available for these generators are foldable and have convenient handles for carrying. 


Civil unrest is unavoidable once something as catastrophic as nuclear fallout happens. Opportunistic raiders will take advantage and rob homes while panicked people will attempt to make poor decisions. Protecting yourself and your own is a primary objective, and everyone should be equipped with weapons. 

Those who are fully trained and comfortable using firearms should have their own. Others should have various things like knives, axes, tasers, pellet guns, bows, or slingshots. 

4-Season Capable Clothing

If your family isn’t used to being outdoors, then planning the right clothing is a vital step in your plan. The key to survival outside is to stay comfortably cool while active and comfortably warm while not active. This involves using a lot of little layers that can trap heat. 

If you use a bulky jacket on top of a t-shirt, you may find yourself getting chilled pretty easily. Wearing base layers made of merino wool is a great way to retain heat without getting too hot and sweating. 

Emergency Shelter

Most survivalists will tell you to have a backup of everything, and shelters are no exception. There are a ton of products on the market from emergency bivvies to mylar shelters. Another idea would be to research different DIY shelters that you can build yourself, you’d be surprised at what you can build with a wooden tripod and some debris.  

Hand Crank Flashlight

Hand-cranked devices are incredible for these post-societal collapse situations because they work off the electricity generated by manually turning the crank. Some crank flashlights can produce enough juice to power some USB devices. They can even power your cell phone enough to make an emergency call.

Combustion Devices

Knowing how to start a fire is considered a rite of passage for many bushcrafters, and it might be a skill that will save your life one day. Fires can do everything from cooking food, purifying water, sterilizing bandages, and creating charcoal.

Having some tools that enable you to start fires in any condition is a must. This can include things like a magnesium fire starter, Ferro rod, or weatherproof matches. 

Water Filtration

Most people have probably heard of a Lifestraw by now, and for good reason. In a pinch, these little membrane-style filters can give you the drink that you need. Additionally, products like Ketadyne Micropur can provide chemically treated water that is safe to drink.

Keep in mind that this does not filter out any irradiated water, but there are products on that market that can filter irradiated water, primarily Seychelle filters. 

Nuclear War Survivor

Twig Stove

Don’t rely on propane or isobutane fuels to last time or work in all conditions. Wood fuel has been around far longer and is a consistent source for you. A twig stove is a mini metal stove that you feed small sticks into. It’s great for boiling water, warming your hands, or even deep drying if you have the right tools.


Eating freeze-dried meals or skipping them entirely can wreak havoc on your already taxed immune system. Keeping some chewable vitamin supplements handy can provide some nutrition and a quick burst of morale-boosting flavor to your day.

Camp Shovel

Everyone needs to poop and a camp shovel is foldable, easy to pack, and can be used in a variety of washroom situations. Beyond digging cat holes for when you need to go, a shovel can be handy for stoking a fire, digging out a shelter, and even as a weapon against predators. 

Survival Backpack

Any backpack can work in the short term but a survival backpack will outlast any of them. Survival backpacks are geared toward people who need to carry a moderate amount of gear with plenty of organization. 

Military backpacks are a great place to start as they are designed to hold a lot of weight with minimal stress on the user. Look for gear that has MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) webbing for additional carrying capacity. A lot of manufacturers make pouches and bags that integrate into the MOLLE system.

Medical Supplies 

First aid kits can help with wounds, infections, and internal problems. The best way to outfit your group is that everyone should have a portable med kit on hand, and the main bag should have a kit large enough to re-provision everyone once they get low. Ensure you have some form of pain relief, gauze, bandages, stitching, antibiotics, and antiseptic products.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for a nuclear event can seem daunting, but if you start planning now and tackle one thing at a time, you’ll have a good plan and proper equipment before you know it. The last piece of advice is to be diligent in researching your products because your life will be at risk and subpar gear will fail under the stress of fallout. 

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