About Survival Life

By HighYa Staff

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just beginning to learn about survival and preparedness, it’s very likely that you’ve come across Survival Life. As the self-proclaimed “nation’s #1 group of preparedness-minded individuals,” the company claims to provide access to logical, no-nonsense original content, product reviews, survival tips, and curated articles from around the web.

But is this really the case? Let’s “prepare” to find out.

Quick Facts About Survival Life

As one of the top destinations for knowledge, skills, and tactics related to survival and preparedness, the Survival Life website is divided into five main sections:

  1. Do it Yourself – Subsections include food production and preservation, alternative energy, homesteading, medical care, and more.
  2. Survival Skills – Includes sections about emergency communications, fishing, hunting, & trapping, water purification, and more.
  3. Survival Gear Reviews – Professional, in-depth reviews about products ranging from weaponry to food dehydration, and everything in between.
  4. Members’ Area – After paying for a membership to the Lamplighter society (more about this below), you’ll gain access to all current reports, the full archive, the entire survival guide library, in addition to exclusive interviews.
  5. Experts – Here, you’ll find detailed information about some of the Survival Life contributors.

According to the Survival Life website, membership to the Lamplighter society provides an easy, practical way of obtaining information related to survival preparedness, without having to spend years of trial and error. With this in mind, membership is claimed to provide the following benefits:

  • 3-5 new how-to articles each month
  • At least one special report each month
  • Monthly cutting-edge newsletters
  • New books, videos, and websites that you’ll find pertinent
  • “Private Intel” reports on situations occurring around the world
  • Real-life case studies
  • In-depth analysis of common prepping mistakes
  • Seasonal tips and tricks

The Survival Life Credit Card Knife

The Credit Card Knife is perhaps Survival Life’s biggest namesake. This small knife starts out about the same size and weight as a traditional credit card, but unfolds in seconds into a fully functional knife. It features a surgical steel blade, protective hand guard, and even a built-in safety sheath to keep it from becoming dull, and from accidentally opening in your pocket or pack.

Survival Life Pricing & Refund Policy

Lamplighter membership is currently priced at $19.95 per month. Enrollment is on a recurring basis, which means you’ll continue to be charged each month until you cancel your membership.

All Survival Life products and services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. As a result, Lamplighter memberships come with a 30-day refund policy, while all other products come with a 45-day refund policy. However, keep in mind that physical products will be assessed a 10% restocking fee upon return. To request a refund, contact customer service at 512-366-3332.

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About Survival Life?

Survival Life is based out of Austin, TX, and is not listed with the Better Business Bureau. Outside of the BBB, we were only able to find one online review regarding Survival Life or the Lamplighter society, which referenced difficulty ordering online.

Regarding the Credit Card Knife, online reviews appear to be mixed, with the most common complaints citing that it was difficult to hold on to, and that it was constructed of flimsy plastic.

What’s the Bottom Line About Survival Life?

When it comes to Survival Life, it may be the case that “no news is good news,” but we can’t be sure. While we weren’t able to locate many online customer reviews during our research, here are some of the positives we encountered:

  • The company appears to have been in business for quite some time (at least as far back as 2010)
  • Their website is professional and easy to navigate
  • They appear to offer a wide variety of products
  • Some of their contributors are prominently in the public eye
  • Only one negative online customer review

With this in mind, if you’re even remotely interested in survival-related topics, it’s highly likely you’ll find something useful over at Survival Life.

Do you have experience with Survival Life? If so, cut to the chase and share your opinion with the world by writing a review!

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Read 48 Survival Life Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 2.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 9 4 star: 6 3 star: 5 2 star: 3 1 star:  25
Bottom Line: 38% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 48
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  • 11 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Survival Life Review

    • Long Island, NY,
    • Jun 11, 2015

    I saw the YouTube ad for the EverStryke match and it said it would be free so I thought I would check it out. I bought the Hoffman Richter (if that's how you spell it) knife too and it was cool at first but (not joking) after whittling just a tiny spoon the blade play was insane and the lock barely works anymore. Don't even get me started on the EverStryke matches, it came with two and the first one's metal striker thing on the match broke off the first time I tried to strike it, the second one's wick burnt out in the first three days of having it.

    Not to mention they sneakily take your money every month by signing you up for a FPA membership without telling you until you've actually bought it already. They say you can cancel at any time but I've been trying for a week now and every time I call them it goes nowhere and if I email the help branch they don't respond. Please don't scammed like I did.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 9, 2014

      Freelunch1101,

      Reviews are stupid. Really bro. I get plenty of stuff from survival life and I love all my gear. Just read what the hell you agree to and chill out man. Check out my YouTube video "Lee's knife"

    • Dec 16, 2014

      Joyce Swanson,

      On Oct. 29, 2014, I ordered the Cross bow for $49.99. I still have not received this even after I was told it was on it's way, three weeks ago. Now when I call I get a recorded message say you are having a high volume calling day and to call back later. There is no way to get in touch with a live person. I also ordered several items on Nov. 3, 2914 one for $4.95, one for $29.25, and one for $9.90. I have received none of these yet these were deducted from debit card as soon as they were ordered. I want what I ordered, and I want it now with no more excuses. I really did think this web site was a legitimate one. Please prove to me that you are, and send me my products that I ordered months ago.

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Your money would be best spent elsewhere

    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Feb 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined Survival Life and was a member for over two years.

    In that time, I ordered some of the items they had to offer. I was disappointed that their stated 15 to 21 business days to deliver a purchased item was standard for them. It got a little better over time, but never got below 15 days.

    I've called their customer service, and it's hit-or-miss on being helpful. I canceled my membership when they persisted that I was not a member, despite regular monthly billing. They were finally able to find it, but I thought I could do better with my money elsewhere. The things they sell are not cheaper than the same items elsewhere online when you add in the $19.95 a month charge.

    The quality of their items is certainly not better than what you can find on your own. Most of the videos that are hosted are easily available on YouTube, and for free.

    The bottom line is, for preparation for when "things hit the fan," you can do just as well to research it on your own.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Can't get a hold of anyone from customer service

    • Greensboro, NC,
    • Jul 31, 2015

    Five of my orders have not been shipped, it's been more than 34 days. I contacted them, they said they were going to reship it but I think it's crap. Honestly I'm going to try to contact a lawyer to sue them for tricking people. Ok cool, I've been trying to get through to customer service, calls and emails, to solve all the problems with all the orders I place 32 days ago. My stuff didn't even get shipped. I asked customer service before the shipping time frame was reached to help them ship my items on time. I had issues with survival life prior to this last order placed on Nov 27, I haven't heard from them since Thursday last week. They took my money and customer service is highly bad, despite the fact that some companies are doing extra work to ship our stuff on time because most of the stuff purchased on these dates are gifts. This people don't even care about our survival stuff. Obviously there is an issue with this company. Sells tactical gear but they take forever to be deliver. Wow, very ironic don't you think? This company has several complaints online due to several times they failed to ship our stuff or even process the order but sure thing they can charge your bank account. Be careful fellows. I'm not ordering from survival life again. I regret doing it through survival life. Amazon offers full coverage if you buy from them, refunds or replacements, if something doesn't get to your hands they will give you your money back. By the way, Amazon has what this company sells. This is such nonsense.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jan 27, 2015

      H.K. Roemer, Hudson Valley, NY,

      I too fell into this scam. I just received their order yesterday from an October date. They also charged me $19.95 for no apparent reason, of which I quickly "squashed". The "Ever strike" match does appear to work, although in a "real life and death" situation its reliability would be questionable. The "acclaimed" Hoffman Richter knife is nothing but a 'cheap Chinese" knock-off. This knife sold by the "true" manufacturer is a custom handmade knife which on the "low-end" sells for $1600.00. As we should all be smart enough not to fall for the "If it's too good to be true", it surely isn't. Including myself we all fall 'prey" on occasion to "slick marketing". Does the content of some of their articles have merit? Maybe? A lot of it is good "ole" common sense. The same source information can be purchased through the NRA or any reliable source for much less than having your credit card 'tagged" for $19.95 a month. Maybe we should say, being aware of people like this is truly a "survival skill".

    • Feb 28, 2019

      Franklin M.

      Never received the match lighter. I paid for it AND did not fall into the membership trap for an additional "free" item. It has been 10 weeks. I didn't even get an email receipt. Sketchy outfit...

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Very honest company

    • Clovis California,
    • Sep 15, 2015

    I tried for 14 days and then I find out I had to move. I called the phone number which was very easy to find and they cancelled my membership and still sent me the knife and the match striker. I mean let's get real people, you're paying $15 for a knife and a survival match. Are there better ones out there, of course. Are there better ones out there for $15, I highly doubt it. They were very courteous and took care of my cancellation and I was never billed, except for the shipping fees of the items that I bought.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Shipping is terrible

    I've been waiting almost 30 days now on 4 different orders, about 10 days on another order, and have only recieved 2 orders out of the orders I have placed. They say the items are on back order, but they still send emails every day trying to sell the same items they say are on backorder. I'm completely disappointed in Survival Life; their shipping is downright awful and just a slap to the face. Do they not want your repeated business?

    I recieved the very first order I placed there, which was a less than $3 transaction for the Hybeam Micro and I had it within 2 weeks. I've also ordered the Hybeam Mini, Hybeam Poplamp, Hoffman Richter Reaper, and ordered them all within 3 days of September the 25th, 26th, and 27th. Well now it's October 22nd, and I haven't received any of those items. I ordered the Hoffman Richter EDC tool and received it within 2 weeks also, but this was also about a $5-$6 purchase.

    It's bad for the customer to order things and still not get them a month later. It's just bad business and not how you want to treat a repeated customer. I mean, what do they do, wait until the end of the month and send an employee across the country to deliver packages to try and save money? Heck, I thought I was the one paying shipping, or at least that's what my receipt says, so why take so damn long?

    They don't even send an email to apologize or anything to tell you what's going on unless you contact them 1st. Maybe they hope you forget about ordering anything after so long? I have noticed in the other reviews they all had the same complaints about slow shipping, like they only ship out on Christmas day or something. My wife has already chewed me out for buying the items, so I would much rather have had the items than the money back since I've already paid for them (twice).

    They need to figure out a better plan to get things out and to their customers. This is going to cost them their business if they don't do something different than their current shipping. Or maybe it's in their warehouse and the workers just don't work but are packaging one shipment a day. Goodluck if you make a purchase from them, I hope you get your item in a reasonable amount of time.

    They obviously sell things they don't even have in stock, or maybe that how they buy their stock; you buy from them and then they order from someone else? That would explain a lot of this crap, but someone needs to be held accountable for this. It shouldn't be a hit or miss on getting an item you have already paid for in a reasonable amount of time. Three weeks should be the latest you get anything through the mail, and that's if it is shipped from China, not 3 states over. It's a 12-hour drive from my home in Alabama to Austin, Texas. I know for a fact because I used to make that drive when I was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas and had to drive through Austin, which was about 45 minutes away to get there.

    I just want the items I ordered before I die. If you can have something here within 2 weeks on other orders it shouldn't ever be a month on any others. If something is on backorder then don't sell it, or at least tell the customer it's on backorder and it might be a while before you get it before the customer spends their hard earned money on something they could get somewhere else within days. That's how you earn respect and trust, that's how you build a business; on the trust and respect of your customers. Make sure you save and keep up with your emailed receipts and order numbers; if you don't get one then email them ASAP and ask for it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 9 people found this review helpful

    OK products, but use good judgment

    I've ordered a number of products from them -- the Hoffman Richter knife, credit card knives, flashlights -- and never had a problem. Shipping seemed pretty quick, actually.

    I suspect that some customers are either very young, or just don't know much about the products offered. The Everstryke lighter I never bothered with. The same thing has been offered cheaply since I was a kid in the 1950s; it was never as good as a real lighter & always gets thrown in a drawer & ignored. Now that Bic disposable lighters are only a buck & give you a couple of thousand lights -- who would bother with wick-type lighters? Bics have a shelf life of many YEARS. I was a heavy smoker for years & know from experience.

    The Hoffman Richter knife is WAY heavy, nothing I'd carry everyday, but seems sturdy & I keep it in one of my vehicles for emergencies. There are certainly better knives available (I have a number of them), but usually at much higher price. A $10 Chinese fixed-blade hunting knife from eBay is a better survivalist tool, if you can sharpen properly.

    The credit card knife is a neat little niche tool, and I carry one in my wallet. Obviously it is NOT a sturdy hunting knife, but definitely has its place. When I blew a radiator hose, it did a fine job of cutting through the old one. It's for EMERGENCY use when you have no "real" knife. I like mine & ordered more for friends, all of whom loved it. Get a grip, guys -- it isn't designed to skin out a deer.

    I've only used the flashlight a couple of times. It worked fine, is very bright, and seems sturdy, especially for the price.

    The spy pen is probably OK, but cheaper models can be found on Amazon & elsewhere. It's basically just a big pointed piece of metal, like a fat nail. Don't overpay. You could make one in your basement with a bench grinder.

    You can't just buy blind on Survival Life. Go look at reviews of the specific product (and prices on Amazon) if you are uncertain.

    I'd recommend them to friends, but some of the comments about monthly fees & bad service do make me a bit hesitant, even though my experiences have been all good so far.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Beware!

    • Texas,
    • Sep 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered the Hoffman Richter Talon knife for $24.95 with a promised delivery date of 7-12 business days. I called for status at the 18 business day mark and was told the order was "misplaced." They said my money will be refunded, but we'll see. Although they list an Austin, Texas physical address and a phone number with the correct Austin, Texas exchange (512), the number connects to a "customer service" contractor company in the Philippines.

    I would steer clear. I don't know if they're actually running a scam but seems quite suspicious. They are not very upfront with who they are or where they are. Do honest/ethical companies hide?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Do not buy from this company!

    • California,
    • Dec 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    You order stuff, and they never ship you the product. I am still waiting for the crossbow that I ordered 6 months ago. Also, their customer service is useless and unhelpful. After 3 months of waiting for my first order, they decided to cancel my order without my permission. Then the company sent me an email to order the same crossbow on November 21st, and now again I still do not have my order, and they can't tell me when I will receive it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Never again.

    • Castle Rock, CO,
    • Jul 13, 2015

    I ordered the Hoffam Richter knife and the ever Strike Match. It took two months to get this stuff and the matches are junk. The knife I guess from the reviews will fall a part if I ever use it. Well I have a paper weight. They better know that I will check and see if I am being charged monthly like most people. I thought I was just unlucky but then I read the reviews on Facebook and on this site and realized I'm not the only one.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Mar 5, 2015

      Robert

      I've gotten two knives, different from the Hoffman Richter and a couple of flashlights from them without ever being charged extra money. I also got the Strike Match from them. Sure their shipping does take longer than usual, but I've never encountered a reason to call them a rip off. Also in general, when comes to things like knives, I typically review them after I received the knife and have had a chance to use it. I don't normally review an item based on reviews I've read. That just doesn't make sense.

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  • 2 out 5 people found this review helpful

    "Free", just pay shipping

    • Boise, Idaho,
    • Aug 11, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up for the website and should have received the folding survival knife. Before I became alarmed I ordered 2 more items: hi-beam flash light - free just pay shipping of 4.95, and a spring loaded survival knife - 9.95 shipping. I have tried to contact their help number that was supposed to be 24/7 with no avail. I have sent emails to the support group and received a canned answer of we will contact you at first chance. Now the web site is down. They have charged my credit card and it's been almost 3 weeks for a 5 -7 working day delivery. I am reversing my charges after reading the BBB report, The RipOff Report, And Scambook.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 22, 2015

      Randy

      Maybe they should give all their stuff away, and pay you to take it. Great business model my friend. Free is a relative term, and someone somewhere along the ride should have told you nothing is free. But it's free if the folding wallet knife sells for $8 with $5 shipping and handling, and all they charge you for is shipping. Were you actually hoping someone would pay the shipping to give you something for free? If so I want some of that cool aid.

      I wonder how many whiners like you there are out there? Since America put a Leninist Muslim in the highest office in the land, I guess anything is possible.

      The biggest poke (from where I stand), is that not only did you want it for free, you wanted it yesterday. You complain about the shipping costs, then about the shipping time, then threaten to reverse a $5 shipping charge that they have already paid. Wow, you are a special kind of hump.

      I've ordered for items from them now (folding wallet knives, magnesium fire starter, LED flashlight, and this week a Hoffman Rickter multi-tool), Each arrived in a reasonable period of time, and my last order the wrong multi-tool was shipped. I sent them an email and had a same day response, with five follow-on emails. They were quick to admit their mistake, said they would correct it, and told me to keep the incorrectly shipped item for my inconvenience. It took a week for the correct tool to arrive, but what was my hurry. And if I was in a hurry, I should plan in advance, and give enough time for it to arrive (with consideration for weather, etc).

      Hello McFly!

    • Oct 23, 2015

      Steve C.

      Randy,

      You seem pretty confident in your knowledge. Anyone over 8 years of age knows that the shipping "I paid for includes the price of the product". It does not cost $10 to ship a knife USPS. We are not talking sterling steel here. I had joined their group and was anxious to get started. I do not like some one saying it will be there in 5 days. And charging me the minute I hit enter. I also don't like a 24/7 support line saying this line is no longer in service. And the web page was not available for the information I needed. So they maybe valid or not. I am glad you were lucky. I gave them 2 weeks. You should get more facts before you criticize someone who has been scammed before. (And not over free items). The Better Business Bureau had to get my charges reversed.

      By any chance do you work for them?

    • Oct 23, 2015

      Steve C.

      Randy #2.

      As for me being a whiner. Writing the facts down as they occurred is reporting a site that thousands may fall for, if it is a scam. You and your know it all attitude probably put the Muslim Marxist into office the first time. Why don't you get a pair and quit showing your egotism to the whole world. There was no reason for a reply like you made. Were you born in Texas or something?

    • Oct 26, 2015

      Randy,

      Your post is it's own self-criticism. I'm certain the world waits baited breath for how you feel or what you like. Your reference to an 8 year old knowing the ins and outs of shipping costs are laughable, almost as much as your initial complaints. What kind of coward defames a company that is trying to help folks get their hands on these things for cheap? And if you get a $4.95 product for $4.95 shipped, my question stands - what is your complaint. You must stay busy complaining about companies who don't push you to the top of their free product for $4.95 shipping list. From your own testimony it sounds like you get scammed a lot - probably over pay for your phone bill, bought a few time shares, and are heavily into MLM?

      Ps. I might not know a lot, but I know bs when I step in it, and for your post I'm glad I was heading out fishing.

      By the way, the BBB cannot get your charges reversed, as they have NO power over Credit Card companies. As a matter of fact to remain independent, they can't even make contact with CC's unless it is for their own charge. It's a privacy thing.

      So if we are focused on getting facts straight, start with your own story, because no one is buying it. Now take a deep breath, stop crying, and respond to the Nigerian Prince who needs your credit card number so he can transfer your $147 Million windfall.

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Multi-tool

    • Northbridge, MA,
    • Oct 20, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received my H.R. Richter multi tool today and was pretty disappointed with the size of the tool, it was no bigger than my index finger. Yhe saw on the end of one of the blades looked as if it was only good for cutting tooth picks, and the blade was only big enough to gut a chipmunk. Sorry but for twenty dollars and five dollars for shipping and handling, I'm pretty disappointed.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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