"Gear" is one of those words under which you can lump a lot of different things. What is "gear" to one person may not be to another person. However, for the most part, people have a common understanding of what "gear" is especially when it comes to survival gear. Survival items are basic in function and are designed to make your life (in a survival situation) a little easier and a little less stressful. Here are some tips in deciding what survival gear you should get.
1. Select items that you will need, not items that you would like to have. Here you will need to exercise a little judgment and a little self-control. Do you really need a 8-person tent for just you and your wife?
2. Don't select an item that you already have unless the item you have doesn't work well or is broken and needs to be replaced. Another exception to this tip would be if the survival gear item has a feature that you need. Maybe you already have a multi-tool but your multi-tool doesn't have an awl that you know you will need and by purchasing a different multi-tool that includes an awl, you can fill that need.
3. Obtain at least 3 survival gear checklists, go through the lists, and do two things. First, identify those items that are mentioned on all of the gear lists. This will help identify the survival gear items that you really need. Second, bearing in mind you and your family's own personal needs, go through the lists and identify items that will help meet you and your family's personal needs. Again, not "wants" but "needs".
4. As a double check, participate in one or more of the survival blog websites for a while and see what others are recommending in terms of survival gear, the pluses, and the shortcomings.
5. Once you have identified and made a list of the survival gear that you need, take the time to read through customer reviews (e.g., I have found Amazon.com to be an excellent source for customer product reviews) to see what someone other than the manufacturer has to say about that particular product. How a product performs in practice may be entirely different from how it reads in print!
6. Quality is more important than price in selecting survival supplies! In the middle of a disaster or crisis, you won't be able to run to the store to find a replacement for an item that breaks or doesn't work.
7. If you consider a particular piece absolutely "critical" to you and your family's survival, it would be wise to purchase at least two of them.