Prepping is so multi-faceted, that it seems like you never have all the prepper tools you need. I like to go for multi-purpose tools as much as I can, as they give me more capability than what I can get otherwise, for less cost, less space and less weight. Actually, I’m talking about survival tools more than anything; but to me, the distinction between the two is very slim. So, here are a few of my favorites:
Gerber Steadfast – Fine Edge knife 22-41120 – Out of all the survival tools available the knife is the number one survival tool, bar none. If I had to head off into the woods with only one thing to help me survive, it would be my knife. I use a Gerber Steadfast survival knife, their model number 22-41120. This is a fairly simple sheath knife, without any serrated edge, double edge or other fancy modifications you’ll find on some knives. But it’s a quality blade with a fine point and a rubberized, easy grip handle.
Chainmate CM-24SSP Chainsaw – Since I don’t have a saw on my knife, I need one in my kit. I carried a three wire saw for years, which was all right, but then I found this baby. This is actually a manual chain saw, with a 24 inch chain. Straps at both ends give you something to hang onto firmly while cutting. The chain-saw style teeth are great for cutting off limbs and cutting up firewood.
Sona Enterprises 9-in-1 Emergency Tool Kit – I used to carry a separate camp shovel and hatchet before finding this one. Granted, the hatchet had a hammer too, but it wasn’t as versatile as this one. This one tool combines a shovel, hatchet, hammer and saw, along with a few smaller tools. It’s not all that heavy either and takes up less room than the separate hatchet and shovel did.
Multi-tool – There are lots of good multi-tools out there. I turned to Leatherman for mine, as they are the original multi-tool company. I like their “Rebar” model because the wire cutter jaws are replaceable. I’ve replaced more than one tool in my life because of ruining the wire cutters on something that was just too hard for them. This way, I just replace the cutters and save myself money.
WAPI (Water Pasteurization Indicator) – Water purification is such an important part of survival. Everyone knows that you can purify water by boiling it, but not many people realize that you don’t need to boil it, you can pasteurize it instead. This means raising it up to 160oF, rather than the 212oF required for boiling. That saves fuel and allows the water to cool down quicker for drinking as well. The WAPI is a plastic capsule that floats in the water. A wax pellet inside it melts and drops when the water reaches 160oF, letting you know that it’s hot enough.
Lifestraw – Speaking of purifying water, I always keep a straw-type water filter with me. The one I prefer is the Lifestraw. It was actually designed for use in third-world countries, where they don’t have enough clean water. A Lifestraw allows you to filter 1,000 liters of water for personal consumption. It’s larger than the other straw-type filters around, which I think makes it filter better.
Headlamp – I’ve become so addicted to headlamps that I have several of them I use. The headlamp allows you to keep your hands free, while providing light right where you’re working. Some of the newer ones are really bright as well, providing as much light as a tactical light does.
What would you add to the list and why?