13 Must-Have Survival Tools
We do not know whether or not there will be an apocalypse (although film-makers are pretty sure that soon, the earth will be overrun by zombies and aliens!). However, we do know that natural disasters strike without warning – nobody expected hurricane Katrina to cause such colossal damage!
It is safe to assume that more such catastrophes will occur more frequently in the future, owing to global warming and pollution. In fact, according to ourworldindata.org, 100,000 people have been killed in the 2010s due to natural calamities alone.
If this is not enough, political tension is mounting with each passing day and we are on the verge of a third world war. The truth is that disaster looms over us at every corner and sooner or later, we are bound to find ourselves in a SHTF (shit hits the fan) situation.
This might seem like a pessimistic way to view the world but it is better to be safe than sorry. Of course, you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
If all hell does break lose, you should be well equipped to deal with whatever comes your way, and in the worse-case-scenario – you can survive the end days.
Check out this life-saving list of 13 must-have survival tools:
1) Compass and map: For centuries, adventurers, explorers, sailors, travelers and military generals used the humble compass and map to navigate through the world. Now that almost every smartphone has a GPS, these tools are slowly taking a backseat.
However, you have to remember that your smartphone only functions if the battery is charged and your GPS app is quite useless if you do not have access to the internet.
Even if you have a standalone GPS system, you still need a charged battery to operate it.
It is not exactly easy to find an electrical socket if you are left stranded in the middle of nowhere. So carry a GPS unit by all means, but be aware of its constraints. A map and compass will enable you to find your way around even in the worst of times, even without internet and electricity.
We got ours (compass) from Amazon.com for about $6.00
2) A first aid kit: This will prove useful not just in case of an alien invasion, but also on camping trips, bike rides, long drives, picnics, treks etc.
A basic first aid kit includes things like:
- Pain killers (sprays, ointments and tablets)
- Medications for common cough and cold
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Surgical spirit
- Anti-bacterial creams
- and more…
Even a small wound can get infected and become life threatening if it is not disinfected immediately.
Proper first aid kit can be a crucial factor in saving a person’s life. However, you also need to have first aid knowledge or else the kit becomes quite redundant. So get educated!
3) Mirror: Very useful for sending rescue signals. Any mirror can be used to reflect light but specially designed survival mirrors are available in the market.
Mirrors are most effective on clear days with bright sunlight. However, this does not mean that you cannot use them on overcast days and at night. You can reflect headlights, flashlights and even bright moonlight using a mirror.
4) Fire starting tool: Fire is indispensable in a survival situation. Fire provides warmth in cold weather, enables you to purify water by boiling it, facilities cooking, lightens up dark areas, improves your mood and last but not the least – helps to send a distress signal.
All of this can prove to be the difference between life and death. Always carry a fire starter even if you are going on short hikes and treks.
A magnifying glass can also help you to start a fire, provided there is enough sunshine.
Practice starting fires in different situations and weather conditions when you are out in the wilderness – the experience might come in quite handy.
5) Flares: If you find yourself in a survival scenario, your highest priority should be finding rescue; and nothing signals SOS like a flare.
It is visible from miles apart. Some high end laser rescue flares can be viewed from as far as 30 miles (approximately 50 kilometers). These are a tad bit expensive but then, how can you put a price tag on your life?
Remember that many car emergency kits include flares. Use them if your car breaks down while off-roading or traveling upon a lonely road.
6) Swiss Army Knife: This little pocket multi-tool kit has made a name for itself all over the globe, and for good reason too.
It is an immensely versatile and durable survival item.
Even though most Swiss army knives weigh only between 5 and 10 ounces, they are made using extremely high quality materials. Moreover, these pocket devices pack quite a punch.
They include a pair of pliers, scissors, knife blades, saw blades, screwdrivers, wrenches, filers and a lot more.
Nothing beats a Swiss army knife in terms of versatility, practicality and affordability. Do not venture out of the house without one in your pocket!
We recommend the Cevinee Multi-functional 16 in 1 EDC Folding Knife, Available on Amazon.com for $16.99
7) Machete: This is one of the most important survival tools – even if you have nothing else on you, a machete can help you to find a way back to civilization.
You can pretty much do anything with it:
- You can carve a path in a dense jungle by hacking through foliage.
- You can use it to cut open coconuts and to slash down thin trees.
- You can then use these felled trees to build a raft or a hut.
- A machete also provides protection against wild animals.
Your Swiss army knife might not be enough to thwart a vicious predator like a jaguar or a crocodile. However, a machete can wound almost any animal mortally. Hence, it is also an incredible hunting tool.
8) Water filtration system: This one is pretty obvious! Without water, you will be dead in as little as 24 hours!
Water purification tablets are fine, but you need something more reliable and substantial in a survival situation.
There are several types of personal water filtration systems. Some weigh as little as 2 ounces but can filter at least 1000 litres of water. Even if you drink two litres of water per day, such a filtration system can last you for 500 days (almost 17 months)!
A good filtering unit removes debris and virtually all types of bacteria and parasites.
However, if you find yourself stranded in an emergency scenario without any device for filtering water, just pass the water throw a piece of cloth to remove debris and then boil it. You will need some sort of pan or a pail to boil it in though.
Tip: A non-lubricated condom is a good way to transport water from one place to another. Place the condom in a sock or in a handkerchief to prevent it from breaking.
For this, we HIGHLY Recommend the LifeStraw. Once again, you can pick this bad boy up at amazon.com for just $20 or so.
9) Rope: Always carry a strong rope (such as parachute 550) with you on camping trips and hikes.
A rope has countless uses.
You can use it to build a spear by tying a knife at the end of a long stick. A rope is also indispensable if you want to build a raft or some sort of shelter.
Tie meat in a bag and hang it high above the ground to prevent other animals from stealing it! When you tie a knot, make it wet – the knot automatically becomes tighter as the rope dries.
Note that having rope is pretty much useless if you do not know how to tie it properly. So learn at least the basic survival knots.
10) Shelter: A folding tent weighs little and protection from the elements. If you are in a desert, chances are you won’t come across trees for miles.
A tent can prevent you from getting roasted in such a situation. Similarly, if it is raining heavily, having a roof over your head is an absolute must.
Even a common cold can become life threatening if you do have the proper means to treat it. A tarp or a large plastic bag can also double up as a temporary shelter.
11) Food supplies: You can live up to 3 weeks without food. However, you will become very weak if you go without food for more than a 3-4 days.
Your body will begin to cannibalize itself by breaking down muscle tissue. Even worse, your brain will not be able to function normally.
If you don’t have your wits about you, it becomes impossible to survive. So carry food supplies at all times. Canned and dried food lasts for many years (find out how to store food long term here). You can also get emergency rations, MRI’s, food bars etc from amazon or most hunting supply stores.
12) A backpack: Where are you going to put all that gear? Are you going to stuff it in your pockets?
A high quality, lightweight backpack is a highly underrated yet extremely useful survival tool.
Without one, you will have to put your stuff in makeshift bags – these are not easy to carry. They exert unnecessary pressure on your back and may cause you to lose your balance.
13) Weapons for self-defense: If shit does hit the fan, there is a definite possibility that law and order will be severely compromise. Thus, it will be every man for himself (yeah women too, before the feminists start yapping!). Only those who have firearms and the knowledge to use them will survive though such trying times. Invest in a weapon (handgun, shotgun, rifle) and learn how to use it properly. A weapon is also useful for hunting down prey.
Again, for this you MUST go “Full Bad Ass Mode” here – for this we highly recommend the Gerber 30-000601 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit, (pictured below) from amazon.com
Having a friend or a companion helps you to keep your sanity in the event of a catastrophe.
Any questions, let us know below!
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Jeff – SurvivalCrackas.com