14 Essential Survival Tools You Probably Overlooked
Survival prepping is serious work. There are so many things to think about. After all, the whole point is to be prepared for absolutely anything. This is a list of survival tools that are essential to have on hand but are often passed over or simply forgotten.
With these tools on hand you will be able to create or find food and shelter, abilities that are much more important than cabinets full of dried milk and eggs.
1. Knife and Tool Sharpener
There is nothing more frustrating or dangerous than working with a dull knife. And knives dull quickly when used in survival situations. For example, just skinning and butchering a single deer will take the edge right off your favorite buck knife. In fact, you’ll probably want to sharpen it halfway through. And what about scissors,shears or other tools with a blade? Keeping a simple, small and easy to use sharpener like the Worksharp around will save you stress and a lot of cut fingers. Remember, a dull knife is a dangerous knife, and in a survival situation you can’t afford an injury.
2. Emergency Escape Mask
Most preppers keep gas masks on hand. While these are invaluable in many instances, they are not practical to carry with you every day. Emergency escape masks like this are small enough to fit in your pocket. An escape mask is intended for a single use, to provide you with breathable air and protect you from smoke, dust, debris and biological and chemical compounds. Have one on your person at all times in case of a fire.
3. Needle and Thread
While it may sound mundane, a good sewing kit is an essential survival tool. You should not only have the necessary items to repair clothing but also the skills. Take some time to learn how to sew (by hand!) and practice patching holes and darning socks. With a little practice you’ll be a pro in no time. Not only will your new skills serve you well in case of a doomsday scenario, they are also just plain practical. How many clothes do you throw out that could be repaired? Once you learn how simple it is to sew in a patch you’ll find yourself saving lots of money, especially if you have children.
4. High Quality Multi-Tool
There is nothing handier than a good multi-tool. These days, there are so many options to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming. For the survival prepper, durability is the most important trait of a multi-tool. Choose a quality brand like Stanley to ensure that your tool lasts for years despite heavy use.
5. Survival Geared Multi-Tool
While it is good to have a generic multi-tool like a Leatherman on hand, you may want to look into one that is geared towards survival. One of our favorites is the Smith’s Edgesport 10-N-1 Survival Multi-Tool. Not only does it have a knife and saw blade, but it comes with a sharpener, a safety whistle, tweezers, fire started, a compass, a signal mirror, a paracord and a removable LED light.
6. Credit Card Survival Tools
This is a classic survival tool that should be in your pocket at all times. While different designs are available, credit card sized metal square like this one can function as a can opener, ruler, wrench, screw wrench, screwdriver, saw blade, key chain hole, bottle opener and more. It is lighter and more convenient to carry than a multi-tool. There is really no reason why every member of the family shouldn’t have one. Or two.
7. Book on Wild Edible Plants in Your Region
Nature is full of food, you just have to know where to look. Your survival library should include at least one if not several books on edible plants native to your area. Choose a book with good pictures to help you identify wild garlic, edible berries and mushrooms, chickweed, plantain, anise and even edible roots.
A few of our favorites to get you started include:
- Peterson’s A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America
- Foraging: A Guide to Discovering Delicious Edible Wild Plants and Fungi.
- Foraging for Beginners a Reliable Medicinal Wildcrafting eBook
8. Zippo Woodsman’s Multi-Tool
In addition to a survival multi-tool, consider investing in a woodsman’s version. This handy ax converts into a saw, hammer or stake puller. It has a sturdy build, is lightweight and easy to carry. Of course, you want to have a least one good wood chopping ax at home, as well as a wood saw and a hacksaw. However, this four in one tool is something that can be tossed in a bug-out or emergency bag for those occasions when you need to save on weight and space.
9. UV Paqlite Survival Tool
The Paqlite is a glowing pad that can be charged by any light source, from a flashlight to the sun. It charges quickly and provides a soft green light that will last all night long. While it isn’t great for reading, it does illuminate a tent nicely and allow you to find your way around. Best of all, it requires no batteries or electricity and is usable again and again. They come in various sizes. Keep one in your bug-out bag, another in the car and a few in the safe-room.
10. Cast Iron Cooking Pot
When disaster strikes you don’t know where you will end up cooking. It might very well be over a camp fire or in a bed of coals. Your nice stainless steel or aluminum cookware simply won’t hold up under the stress. You need good, old fashioned cast iron pots. A single dutch oven can be all you need. Once they are well seasoned, you can cook everything from stew to steak to brownies or bread in a solid cast iron oven, right over the fire. If you have the cash and the storage space, consider several dutch oven sizes as well as a cast iron skillet. If you’re feeling like splurging, cast iron bread and muffin tins produce amazing results.
11. Collapsible Bowls and Cups
As essential as it is to have cooking ware, it is also important to have something to eat out off. These squishy bowls from Guyot are nearly indestructible. They can be crammed into the bottom of a pack and pop right back into shape when it’s time for dinner. Their silicon design makes them easy to clean so everything stays sanitary in the kitchen. They also make dog bowls!
12. Sealine Dry Bag Backpack
You’ve probably used a dry bag on a rafting trip. These incredible sacks can be immersed in water for hours and everything inside will still be dry. Now you can purchase a dry bag that is also a backpack. This is the perfect survival pack. It can weather anything from thunderstorms to floods or even tsunamis. While it isn’t as comfortable as your hiking pack that you take on overnight trips, it is infinitely more practical for a survival situation.
13. Goal Zero Solar Powered Lantern
This handy lantern can be charged by Goal Zero solar panels, a USB port or via the hand crank, so you’ll have light any time you need it. It is small, lightweight and easily portable. The light is dimmable, which allows you to extend the length of time a charge lasts. Use it to charge up your phone or tablet via the USB connection.
14. Collapse Survival DVD
Is a DVD really a survival tool? Well, this one is so motivating that we count it as one of the essential survival tools. Watching this film will jump-start you. It will get you to stop planning to prep and start prepping!
This clear, well-researched documentary describes the realistic possibility of a financial collapse that could devastate the modern world, leaving people without power, water or food in a society where money has no value.