About Survival Life

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 45 Survival Life Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 2.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 9 4 star: 5 3 star: 5 2 star: 3 1 star:  23
Bottom Line: 38% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 45
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  • 10 out 10 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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  • 10 out 10 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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  • 9 out 9 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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  • 9 out 9 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Be careful - the key is their survival ($$)

    I purchased a knife from this company back in 2015, and now I’ve learned my credit card information was used to charge me for an online subscription for Family Survival without my knowledge or permission. Needless to say, they are being very slow in answering questions about this and providing any document that authorizes them to sign me up for this. Be warned!

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

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your time or money!

    The only thing you will get from Survival Life is a lot of emails. Did the EverStryke thing for "FREE" which cost $4.95 Shipping and The Hoffman Richter knife with membership for $19.95. Also, a downloadable eBook was suppose to be included. The link for eBook from email confirming my purchases didn't work. Emailed support about link not working and the reply was "Not sure what download you are talking about. Please advise." After almost a month later NO EverStryke, Knife, or eBook. Emailed for cancelation and complete refund. PRESTO, all of the sudden I receive the $4.95 refund and cancelation notice but not the $19.95. Emailed again requesting refund of $19.95. Suddenly a package comes in the mail included EverStryke and Knife. Email requesting refund again. No refund.

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

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  • 5 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Pretty clever on how they scam you

    • Orlando, FL,
    • Apr 22, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered an outdoor bracelet and then I had received an email saying that I've been signed up for a $19 per month recurring payment for family protection. It's pretty sad that companies out there can just scam people and get away with it.

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

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  • 5 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Spammers & Scammers

    • Ohio,
    • Sep 21, 2015

    How to survive the apocalypse? Start by avoiding rip-off artists like Survival Life. Why are there so many negative reviews about them? Because they just keep practicing their sneaky, deceitful marketing practices. How many bad reviews do we have to read about the same thing?

    - I clicked on a link with a "Free" offer.

    - Without wanting to, or knowing I did it, somehow I found myself subscribed to their $20/month magazine.

    - I cancelled my "membership" but am still receiving crap in the mail (a "Survival Knife" I never ordered or even saw advertised. Now I have to watch my bank statement like a hawk because I'm quite certain they'll try to bill me for this junk.

    By the way, I also got a "paracord bracelet." This would actually be kind of neat if it wasn't sized for a four-year-old girl. That's what happens when you source your American survival stuff from China, where 5'5" 135 lbs is considered XL. Really? from China?

    If you're relying on these people or their products for survival, good luck to you.

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

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