Survival Tools and Equipment: Don’t Be Caught Without These 10 Items

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Having the right tools during a disaster or survival situation is a vital necessity to ensure your survival. There are a lot of ways to prepare for a disaster or emergency situation but it is important to keep in mind that everything can happen in a disaster. You may be well prepped for indoor survival or ready to evacuate with your survival kit anytime, but not having the right tools to help you function efficiently during these times can cost you and your family’s survival. Here is our lit of the top 10 must have tools during a survival situation:

Water Treatment

Living without water is virtually impossible for human beings. You may consume a lot of energy during emergency situations and your body will surely need a lot of water to compensate for it. As anything can happen during a disaster it is best that you are equipped well to be able to produce clean drinking water indoors and outdoors as well. Keeping hydrated will ensure that your brain will function properly and help you focus on surviving.

Water filters are a good option for water treatment. You can choose from a variety of sizes depending on your needs. If you are looking to treat a water supply for a group you may want to get filters that can filter up to 100 gallons (378 liters) without needing to replace a new purification cartridge all the time. Water filter models now can work really fast and has the ability to filter a quart of clean drinkable water in just a few minutes. Storing water filter tablets is also advisable.

Check out our top choices for survival water filter and water filter tablets. We included links to amazon in case you want to add them to your survival kit:

1.  LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

  • Award-winning LifeStraw has been used by millions around the globe since 2005
  • Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
  • Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns
  • Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water WITHOUT iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals
  • Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for storing for emergencies

2. Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System

  • Emergency water filter system ideal for hiking, traveling, and emergencies
  • Particle blend removes more than 99.9 percent of cryptosporidium and Giardia
  • Compact body slips easily into a daypack, shirt pocket, or travel bag
  • Single unit filters up to 30 gallons of water; improves tastes and eliminates odors
  • Weighs less than 1 ounce; use in conjunction with treatment drops or tablets for best results

3. Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets

  • Potable Aqua Water Purification Iodine Tablets (50 Tablets)
  • Iodine tablets designed to make contaminated water suitable for drinking
  • Tablets prove effective against Giardia lamblia when used as directed
  • Intended for short-term or limited emergency use only
  • Water is ready within 30 minutes; neutralizes iodine aftertaste and color
  • Ideal for campers, travelers, hikers, militaries, and emergency organizations

Compass and Map

As some disasters may force you to leave your homes or shelter having a compass and a map will help you know which direction to take to go to where you need to be like a higher ground or another shelter. Having a map and a compass of your area will help you pinpoint specific locations and help you get to where you want to be. Even though you get stuck on a map having a compass will get you going on the right direction. It is best to keep maps of your area in case you need to evacuate to survive.

Although GPS equipments are more accurate in pinpointing your location, their efficiency is limited to their batteries as well, so it is still best to carry a compass that only relies on the earth’s magnetic field to have a dependable and fully functioning equipment all the time.

First Aid Kit

Quick injury treatment and prevention of infection is one of the top priorities when you are in a survival situation so having a first aid kit is a must. Knowing what to put in your first aid kit is really important, it is always good to begin with a supply of wound-cleaning treatment and basic medications like alcohol, peroxide, anti-bacterial ointments, pain relievers, antihistamine, aspirin, and antacids.

Packing some eye wash, gauze, tweezers, and bandages is also advisable. If you have prescription meds it is best to keep emergency supplies for them as well. Fires are common during a disaster so you may want to pack some hydrocortisone cream for burn and rashes treatment. Having a first aid manual is also very important to guide you for any accidents that may happen.

These are our top picks for emergency first aid kits with amazon links included in the description in case you need to get one for your survival kit:

1. Medique 40061 First Aid Kit, 61-Piece

  • Ideal for any home and office or sports activity
  • Compact plastic case and 61 pieces
  • Designed to meet OSHA requirements
  • Kit contains detail listing below

2. The Complete First Aid Kit – Includes Save-A-Tooth, 100% Made in USA

  • Contains Save-A-Tooth, the best way to save a knocked out tooth
  • Made and Manufactured in the U.S.A. 510K Certified
  • Includes CPRotector, the safest CPR barrier
  • Exceeds 2013 ANSI Standards
  • Contents are Individually Boxed

3. First Aid Only First Responder Emergency First Aid Kit, 159-Piece Bags


This is one of the most important tools for survival because it can be used for almost everything from notching or more complex wood working skills, altering equipment, medical uses, opening cans, and cut wires. There are a variety of multi tool available in the market today and you can choose the best that fits your needs. Multi-tools are basically composed of two haves that are joined together by pliers in the center. They weigh between 5 to 10 ounces and are equipped with can openers, flat and Phillips screw driver, saw blades, bottle openers, and pokers.

Some multi-tool models also come with metal flies, allen wrenches, serrated knives, and scissors. But when it comes to survival you may want to choose the one that has the most knife blade options as they always come in handy. These are our top picks of the best multi tools in the market today, we included links to amazon in case you want to get one for your survival kit:

1. Swiss+Tech ST53100 Micro-Max 19-in-1 Key Ring Multi-Function Pocket Tool

  • 2 hex wrenches (1/4″, 7/16″), 6 screwdrivers (#0,1,2 flat, #0,1,2 Phillips)
  • Pliers, bottle opener, wire cutter and stripper, wire crimper
  • Hand drill, file, 2 rulers (mm and inch), 2 ruler extensions (mm and inch)
  • Limited lifetime warranty

2. Gerber 31-000750 Bear Grylls Compact Multi-Tool

  • Ten components
  • Compact and lightweight, fits on keychain or in pocket
  • External components and nail nicks for easy access
  • Priorities of survival, pocket guide contains Bear?s survival essentials
  • Open length 4.3 inches, closed length 2.5 inches

3. Leatherman 831426 Wingman Multi-Tool

  • 420HC Combo Knife, Spring-action Regular Pliers, Spring-action Needlenose Pliers, Spring-action Wire Cutters
  • Wire Stripper, Small Screwdriver, Medium Screwdriver, Phillips Screwdriver
  • Spring-action scissors
  • Wood/Metal File, Bottle Opener, Can Opener

4. Survival Life Credit Card Knife

  • Superior quality knife with a thickness of 1/10th your standard utility knife it is also very convinient to use as it can be folded 2 mm thin like the size of a credit card.
  • From an unassuming card in your wallet you can transform this tool into a fully functional knife in just seconds.
  • With a durable stainless steel construction and rust-free sharpness the surgical steel blade in this knife is top of the line quality.
  • Its easy to grip and use with protective hand guard that prevents the blade from slipping.
  • The built-in safety sheath enables you to comfortably carry the knife in your pocket or pack while preventing the blade from becoming blunted.
  • This penknife is easiest to open compared to other povket knives because it uses Snap-Open, Waterproof Locking Mechanism without metal hinges that usually rust.

Survival Knife

Survival knives are very useful in an emergency situation as they can be used in a variety of ways as well. Most survival knives have long blades with serrated edges on another side and have a hollow handle. The hollow handle is used to store a small survival kit with a needle and thread, compass, matches, fish hooks, and lines. When buying a survival knife make sure to invest in one with good quality blade that you can rely on. A strong knife that can withstand rough field use and is well made would be a good choice.

Checkout our top picks for the ultimate multi use survival knives with links to amazon in case you want to buy one for your kit:

1. Rothco Deluxe Adventurer Survival Kit Knife

  • Be prepared for anything on your next outdoor adventure with this survival knife
  • Kit has everything you need to make the most of your surroundings
  • Knife is 10.5 inches long; hollow handle contains fish line, hook, sinkers, bandages, small harpoon, signal mirror, finger tip saw, pencil, and more
  • Blade is 5.25 inches long, and slides into included accessory sheath, which has peg for use as wire-cutter
  • Handle’s screw-off top has compass, and helps keep contents dry; note matches not included

2. Survivor HK-690 Series Survival Knife 8.5-Inch Overall

  • 8.5-Inch overall
  • stainless steel blade with reverse serration, silver
  • metal handle
  • survival kit includes matches, fish line, hook, compass
  • nylon sheath

3. United Cutlery Bush Master Survival Knife

  • Fixed blade knife with survival kit and emergency materials stowed in the handle and sheath
  • Knife measures 15.25 inches overall with a 10-inch 420 stainless steel mixed edge, clip-point blade
  • Nylon sheath stores a G.I. can opener, flashlight, animal snare, fishing equipment, and matches
  • Additional survival equipment includes sewing needles, band-aides, matches, surgical blade, and magnifier
  • Black cast metal handle with compass built into butt cap; detachable hand guard

Update: Here you’ll find more information on knives:

5 Best Small Survival Knives

The perks of using small survival knives is that you’re not weight down by one, it’s easy to conceal and has an infinite amount of uses. If you find yourself in a pinch, likely having a small knife around can help, if you know how to handle it.

High quality large survival knives and how to use them

When a small knife just doesn’t do the job, these big knifes can pick up the slack.


Lighting is one of the essentials that need to be included in everybody’s survival kit. Seeing in a dark environment is very important as it can literally mean the difference between life and death in a disaster or emergency situation. If you want to get the most of your money you can always choose LEDs, hand crank, and solar flash lights are the best choice for you. Hand lamps, light sticks, flash lights, and lanterns are efficient equipment to help you find your way in the dark as well. Checkout our discussion for the best survival flashlights here for more information.


This equipment may seem very unlikely to be added on the most important tools for survival but don’t let it fool you. As simple as it may seem a mirror can be used in a variety of ways to help you survive. It can be used to start fire, signaling for rescue, and checking your back and face for wounds and other injuries.

Although you can use any old mirrors for signaling there are specially manufactured mirrors that is suited for survival use. Survival mirrors are made of lexan and not breakable glass. Some are made with nylon ties that you can use to tie to your packs. Mirrors are very good signaling equipment as a small 2 by 3 inch mirror flash can be seen from a distance of 100 miles. Mirrors can also reflect bright moon light, flash light beams, and headlights for rescue.

Fire Starter, flint bars, matches or lighter

Hypothermia is one of the common dangers when surviving outdoors and can be very fatal. Having a way to safely make fire can mean the difference between life and death in a disaster or emergency situation. With fire you can cook food to survive and keep yourself warm and prevent hypothermia.

Using a water proof box you can pack weather proof matches, a small magnifying lens, a flint, and at least two lighters. You can also buy a package of sparklers and cut their stems off which can be very useful is starting emergency fires for kindling and moist leaves.

An EverStryke match if the perfect addition to your survival tool boxeverstryke match.

Top of the line all in one fire starting kit which includes fuel, ferro rod, and wick that can easily fit in your pocket.

A reliable match that is capable of 15,000 long burning strikes with a ferro rod strike that can produce 3000 degrees heat and a strong flame that burns over 600 Fahrenheit.

You can start a fire easily in the rain sleet or snow without burning your fingertips using this safe and durable match.

Rope or Paracord

Ropes and paracords (like these) are one of the most essential survival tools and must never be left out of your survival kit. This is very useful especially when you are forced to survive outdoors. It can be used to snares or traps, lashing together branches when building a shelter, and making slings, splints, and tourniquets for first aid. Ropes can also be used in making useful survival equipments like spears, knives, etc.


When you are in a survival situation there are two essential things that you need to do, first is to stay alive and second is to find rescue. Smoke signals and mirrors can be used as good signaling equipments for rescue but may not be very useful when you are trying to signal a ship, helicopter, or a plane and that’s where flares come in handy.

There are a variety of flares you can choose, there are flares that require a gun and shoot into the sky and some are hand held that emit red flames which you can wave over your head. There are also high-end laser flares that can cast a beam which can be seen from a distance of 30 miles day or night. It doesn’t matter which flare you choose as long as you have one stored in your kit then hailing for rescue during disasters will never be problem for you.

Check out this example of a compact survival kit:

In : Prepping

About the author

Learn More About Being a Survivalist. My name is Jack and my blog is a great way to get new and useful tips on how to get your house ready for anything, whether its a terrible storm or a really long power outage.

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