SHTF Survival: 10 Survival Tools That Should Be In Your Survival Pack

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Top Tier Gear USA

basic bushcraft tools / basic bushcraft tools isolated on fallen

Let’s be honest, survival is not something you want to gamble your life on. Meeting your basic needs during a disaster is key to survival, and having the right set of tools to fall back on is paramount in your preparedness endeavors.

The ten tools listed below are some of the most important survival tools that should be in your 72-hour bags or survival bags. Of course, other items can be included, but these essentials are a must-have for every survival pack. Practice using these tools regularly so that you know their capability and their strength.

  1. Water Treatment: We simply cannot live without water. The more energy you consume, the more water your body will need. Having a means to purify water in a survival situation will help keep you hydrated, your brain functioning properly and your focus on survival. In addition, if you sustain an injury, water can be poured over the wound for cleaning.
  2. Compass and Map: Knowing which direction you are headed and where you need to be are essential. Keep maps of your surrounding area at home (in case you have to evacuate by foot), in your car and in your survival bags.
  3. Fire Starter, flint bars, matches or lighter: Having a way to produce fire can help you cook food and keep warm and prevent hypothermia.
  4. First Aid Kit: You do not want to be caught in a survival situation without a first aid kit. This kit assists in injury treatment and helps prevent infections from perpetuating.
  5. Mirror: Used for signaling, checking face for wounds, looking at your back for wounds/ticks, and can be used to start fire.
  6. Rope or Paracord: This can be used for making snares or assisting in making other traps lashing branches together to build a shelter, assisting in first aid (splints, tourniquets, slings), or to make survival tools such as spears.
  7. Survival Blanket or BivvyA bivvy or survival blanket can be used as an emergency shelter, sleeping bag or can be an extra layer added to your existing sleeping bag if you are expecting a cold night.
  8. Multi-tool: Used for notching or more complex wood working skills, opening cans, altering equipment, medical uses, if snare wire is around wire cutters can cut it.
  9. Lighting: Lanterns, light sticks, flashlights, and head lamps can help you find your way if in the dark. LEDs, solar and hand crank will get you the most for your money.
  10. Survival Knife: Survival knives should be made of good quality steel. Invest in one you can rely on. Make sure it is well made, is strong enough for rough field use, and is the best you can afford.

Bottom line is your preparedness tools are your life line andwithout them, you could be ill-equipped in a survival situation.

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Contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

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  • ohioguy

    Also another way to start fires in a pinch is steel wool and a battery.

  • madman

    do not forget your gun.

  • chaos

    a small magnifying glass.

  • Jean

    I’d argue a bit about the knife. Better several decent ones than a single expensive (IE, costing other things from the survival pack) knife.

    Break a costly one, and you’re SOL – no backups. Might be hard to sharpen, too. (Victorinox vs. Wenger, Victorinox uses strong hard steel – and is a BITCH to sharpen. Wenger uses softer steel and loses it’s edge – but can be sharpened comparatively easily. Same with a good survival blade, which MUST be a solid blade and a solid tang: Rat-Tail isn’t good, and anything that doesn’t have a solid tang through the handle is inadequate.)

    High Carbon is questionable, but not necessarily bad. Depends on the environment you’ll be in. IIRC, High Carbon is more brittle and prone to rust. A good parang, chappar, or khukri would be great, and case-hardened if possible. these blades can be used as a machete or even an axe sometimes, and the case-hardened (like Cold Steel’s offerings) will go through the wood, and the nail in there as well… Just cleaves through.

    OTOH, a hatchet or tomahawk design will do similar. Bearded Axe shape might even be better. Larger, heavier blade, more useful for killing. Hawk is good too, but the larger blade of a bearded axe design gives more cutting power.

    For the rest – know the area, know the needs. An axe in cold weather areas like northern Alaska? No trees, no reason – dead weight. OTOH, heavy woods – say, US Rockies? Knives won’t do, you’ll want that axe – and a saw, too. (Folding Bow Saws are like $20 for a decent utilitarian one.)

  • Ken, your UK friend

    This article needs not re-writing but a new title “A beginner’s guide to woodcraft”, ref the Ray Mears (google him) school of passion for the Great Outdoors. Post SHTF I know I will have serious withdrawal symptoms from Google, Facebook, even this site!
    I enjoy following Lent, Ramadan, then took the Go Sober challenge this month to raise funds for the Macmillan Cancer Charity. Alcohol is enjoyable but optional LOL.
    However, for practical reasons the need for alcohol and cigarettes will be the greater urgency for most consumers than for a sharp axe when the shops run out almost immediately of ‘booze n fags’.
    I’m appalled no prepping Authority has considered this issue.
    Best advice is learn to live without addictions NOW while there is still time to prepare.
    Good luck.

  • Andrew

    Another great place to find tools and supplies to make a survival kit is from Tons of ideas and help for anyone looking to make a survival kit.