Prepper Tools That I Use And Recommend

Occasionally I mention tools and prepper gear that I use and/or recommend in my posts here and there, but this page includes an easy-to-access list of what I use and recommend. I hope it’s helpful!

prepper tools and gear

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Hard To Store Food Items

Augason Farms – Some foods like powdered milk, dry margarine, butter powder, buttermilk powder, cheese powder, shortening, and powdered eggs are difficult to package for long-term storage at home so I buy these prepackaged for long-term storage in #10 cans. My choice is Augason Farms because of their selection, quality and customer service.

Water Filters 

Big Berkey Water Filter – The Berkey company had some issues with their filters in the past but that has been corrected (several years ago) and the Big Berkey is my home water filter of choice. Each purification element has a lifespan of 3,000 gallons. That’s 6,000 gallons for a two-filter system. Two filter elements come with the system.

Survivor Filter – This is my filter of choice when going camping, hiking, hunting and for use in my bug out/get home bags. Works very well as a filter and also as a purifier to remove viruses. And an added plus is the fact that the survivor filter uses replaceable elements so instead of throwing it in the trash when it’s used up like most filters of this type with the survivor filter you can just change the filter elements and you’re as good as new.

Seychelle Water Straw – If you’re worried about a nuclear war or accident (you should be) then you’ll need a way to filter water after the fact which will remove nuclear contaminants as well as the usual contaminants found in untreated water sources. The downside is that this filter is only good for 25-gallons of water so having several is a good idea.

Cooking, Preserving, Canning and Food Preparation

Wonder Junior Mill – The Wonder Junior mill is my top choice for a hand-operated grain mill. You can read my full review here. But most of the time I use an electric grain mill to grind my grains and keep the Wonder Junior mill for a back up for when the grid goes down.

Excalibur Dehydrator – My first dehydrator was a cheap $29.99 model from Wal-Mart that was loud (sounded like the fan was going to fly out of the side any minute) and I only got to use it a couple of times before it stopped working altogether. After that, I decided to order the Excalibur 3900 and have had no more problems or need to buy another dehydrator. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

All-American 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker Canner – Folks the All American 921 is the top of the line when it comes to pressure cookers and is the one I use for my pressure canning. If you don’t know how to can then you need this book.

All American Sun Oven – Rust-proof, highly polished, mirror-like anodized aluminum reflectors Set up in minutes. Lightweight with carrying handle. American made with uniquely American features! Will reach temps of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I use this for most of my cooking needs during the summer months…

Zoom Versa Stove – The Zoom Versa Cook Stove is my number one choice for a long-term grid-down situation because it’s well made, fuel is easy to find and it works. You can read my full review here.

BSG Gold Beer Homebrew Kit – I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I brew my own. If you like the taste of fresh homebrew then this is the kit you need to get started. Everything that you need is included with this kit.

Cast-Iron Dutch Oven – The Dutch oven is one of my favorite cooking methods when preparing food outdoors over an open fire, it can also be buried in the ground and covered under the bottom along the sides and over the top for baking – this is called Pit Cooking or Bean Hole Cooking.

Knives and Sharpeners

Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife – I have over one-hundred knives and if forced to only take one into the bush or to have in a bug out or get a home bag this is it. The Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife is my top choice for a fixed blade “survival knife”. It’s sharp, lightweight, tough, comfortable with the ergonomic grip, and comes with a built fire starter and sharpener built into the sheath.

Victorinox Swiss Army Spartan Pocket Knife – This is the pocket knife that I’ve carried every day for the past several years – it’s a handy multi-tool that will do everything one expects from a pocket knife and at less than $25 it’s not a big deal if I lose or break it even though I’ve never done either I’d rather lose one of these than an expensive pocket knife.

Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie – This is my favorite “big knife” and I keep one in my truck and one in my bug out bag. It has a heavy blade that’s excellent for chopping wood or clearing a campsite of undergrowth.  It’s also sharp and holds an edge very well. And if needed it could be a formidable weapon that could split someone’s head open or completely take it off with a couple of swings of the blade.

Optics

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire – I’ve tried a number of different scopes on .22 rifles over the years and this is by far my favorite and I now have one of these mounted on each of my .22 rifles. I’ve never had an issue with any of them.

Nikon Buckmaster BDC – This is the scope that I have on both of my center fire hunting rifles and after three years of use I’ve had zero problems. Very clear optics that have never fogged up and that hold center very well and the BDC reticle is well calibrated with the .308 round.

Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight – I have an Aimpoint on one of my AR-15’s and an Eotech on another but after using all three I prefer the Holosun over the other two more expensive sites. My favorite feature is that the Holosun comes on automatically when the firearm is moved, so no need to press buttons or turn knobs to turn it on while under stress. You can read our full review of the Holosun here.

Steiner 10×50 Binocular – These are a little expensive when compared to a lot of other binoculars but then you sometimes get what you pay for and this is one of those times. Simply awesome.

Flashlights 

Pelican 2360 Flashlight – I have two of these flashlights, both for several years and no issues at all. I keep one in my truck and the other on the nightstand beside my bed. One of the best “all around” lights that I’ve ever owned. Next on my list to buy is the Pelican 2350 Pocket Size Flashlight.

SureFire G2Z MV Combat Light – This is my choice when it comes to a “tactical light” because it’s well made, excellent switch and ergonomics and it’s super bright.

Generators/Home Power

Renogy 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit – This kit is the basis for my solar system – I don’t have the money to put in a $10,000 solar system to power my entire home so I use this set up to power 12 volt lights, 12 volt fans and communications equipment and to charge batteries and cordless tools.

I’ve also added a SunJack 20W Portable Solar Charger and a USB Battery Charger for Rechargeable AA/AAA Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd Batteries.

Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator – this one is great for camping and for any other application where mobile power is needed. The unit is lightweight and smaller than a suitcase so it’s portable and includes everything needed built into the unit. Just pick it up and go.

Humless Portable Generator – this is my newest addition to my “home power options” but I’ve only owned it for a few months and although it has worked great and without any issues to report I cannot give it my full recommendation until I’ve owned and used it for a year or more.

Honda 2000 Watt Portable Generator – After years of owning and having to work on and or replace several gasoline powered generators of lesser quality I decided to spend the extra cash and get the Honda 2000 Watt Portable Generator and I’m glad that I did. I’ve owned this mine since July 4, 2015, and not had any issues other than that it can sometimes take five or six cranks before it starts.

Security and Alarms

Dakota Alert MURS Wireless Motion Detection Kit – I’ve had a Dakota Alert set-up (with four sensors) for over two years and have never had a problem with it, besides a few “false alarms” caused by animals passing in front of the sensor and having to change the batteries every few months. These are also great to put up inside your workshop, garage, and food storage areas to let you know when someone is trying to sneak in and steal your stuff at 3:00 am.

Be sure to order the bird house kit and a hand-held unit that will allow you to monitor your property even when the power goes out + communicate with the base unit when you away from home.

Update: I now use the Vehicle Detection Probe Sensor for my driveway because it gives no false alarms – you’ll also need the Dakota Alert base station or Dakota Alert MURS Wireless 2-Way Handheld Radio. I prefer the two-way radio that way the alarm can still be used even when the power goes out.

SimpliSafe DIY Home Security System – This is the alarm system that I use to protect my home when I’m away. I started using the SimliSafe security system after hearing Glenn Beck promoting it on his show, and while I don’t always agree with Glenn Beck, he was spot on when he recommended this system.

Samsung 8 Channel 1080p HD 1TB Security Camera System – this is the system that I use to keep an eye on what’s going on outside my home. If you look at this photo of my house you can see on one the cameras mounted on the outside wall – did you spot it?

Radios 

MURS Wireless 2-Way Handheld Radio – this is the same two-way radio that I mentioned above it works with the Dakota Alarm system and also is a great two-way radio to keep in contact with your family or survival group.

Kaito 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio – for the price this “multi-powered” radio is hard to beat. I have two and have taken one of them on numerous fishing and camping trips without any issues. Works great. Be sure to also order the Kaito T-1 Radio antenna for even better reception.

Where To Next

Check out my post The Quickest Way I Know To Get a Family of Four Prepped for The Coming Collapse you’ll love it.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.

Comments

  1. JP in MT says:

    My Mora knife is the HD Companion. They are less expensive than the on you show, about $16-20 and don’t come with the fire-steel. But such a great knife I have one in my truck, ATV kit, rifle pack, hunting vest, camp trailer, and every other place where I might need a quality knife.

    Good list!

    • M.D. Creekmore says:

      JP in MT
      The companion is a great knife also, however, the Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife has a thicker blade that goes all the way through the grip to increase strength and a better grip.

      • JP in MT says:

        Good to know!

        I don’t know if the blade on the HD goes all the way through the handle, but it is the thicker of the 2 Companions.

        • I’ve never broke an HD and it took forever to break the regular Mora, (hammered the crap out of it lol)

          The bushcraft are nice. For money to quality, I’ll stick with companion HD or standard- I buy 12 Ferro rods for $10 And wrap with cordage etc.,

          But again, each to their own 🙂

          • anonymous says:

            Jesse, I wrap my fire steel ends too, but use Gorilla tape instead. I find I use that more often than cordage. But that is just me. I wrap G.I. trip wire on a standard sewing bobbin and glue that onto a smaller fire steel rod.

            I like Moras and have a few around. A helluva great knife bargain. For an extremely lightweight user knife, I use an Old Hickory paring knife, it gets the job done but you do have to provide your own sheath. Very easy to touch up the edge for a sharp edge.

      • I carry numerous Ferrocerium rods from Swiss fire steel to the Strike Force. I’ve also started putting together some potassium permanganate and glycerin with the PP in little capsules and the glycerin in plastic straws with the ends heat sealed.
        For cordage I carry some 50 or 100 foot loops of paracord and spools of unwaxed dental floss which can be very strong, although you may need several layers of it.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Nice!

  2. My Swiss Army knife is the Tinker model–identical to the one you carry but with a phillips head screwdriver tip in place of the corkscrew. I have one in every vehicle and get home bag.

    • While I use leathermans for tools, I also tend to stick with a small kit specifically designed for the firearms I use. 🙂

      Regardless always a good idea to have a solid multitool

      • yes im a fan of the leatherman myself however finding a firearm that requires no tools is my first objective

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Jordy that does not exist.

      • jordy,
        I have to agree with Jesse. The most simple firearm I own is a TC contender and I guess it fits the bill unless you want to use its best feature, multiple barrels, in which case you need a screwdriver. I carry a Gerber multitool and a small gunsmith tool that has a hollow handle with 8 different bits (Torx, Phillips, Flat) that can pretty much attack anything on a gun except for the hex keyed fasteners. I have a small set of hex keys that I also carry in my EDC.
        I think that’s about the best you can get.

  3. I disagree about the SimpliSafe system. I had it and hated it.

    • Never used anything like it, but I do have solar charged led spotlights, and cameras;)

      • Jesse,
        I have one of the Harbor Freight solar powered 36 LED security lights mounted on the house that works well. I just picked up another on sale and I keep the solar panel in an east window to keep the system charged. If we ever need extra light, I can take that unit and turn it on, since it’s bright enough to completely fill our 15×30 foot living room and light enough to carry anywhere you might need it. The one on the house comes on at dusk and stays on all night (8-12 hours)
        It’s just another inexpensive solar powered option.

    • SGB,
      From an engineering perspective SimpliSafe is anything but. The commercials talk about either an MIT or Harvard engineering student who developed the system and I have no doubt that the hardware can be made to function properly; however, a lot of young and new engineers don’t have the experience and perspective to see potential flaws in their designs. This system IMHO falls into that category. It seems that the radio signal (the wireless part) has no encryption or security and can easily be hacked / broken withperhaps $100 or less of components.
      I have a friend who has one of these basic systems and he was able to use simple techniques to break it.
      For details, see the following:
      Breaking SimpliSafe Security Systems With Software Defined Radio
      Best that everyone considering this system should know this going in.

  4. The beer kit is an amazing one!

  5. I have powdered milk from numerous places including the LDS and its all OK, especially when used as a dry ingredient in something that requires milk.
    Dry margarine, butter powder, buttermilk powder, and cheese powder are not something currently in the larder; but, something worth looking at.
    Eggs we keep frozen; but, are planning on trying the freeze dryer at some point.

    I have some filter elements I’ve used to make a gravity drip bucket system that works like the big Berkey; but, is a lot less expensive to implement.
    My personal filters are both the Seyschelle bottles I bought from the LDS online store. I still need to get a few of the nuclear filter cartridges for them. I also have some Survival Spring filters that are much like the life straw.
    I now have three hand grain mills including the one I just won from this site that was a Wonder Junior. It’s not mounted for use yet; but is slated for installation in the summer kitchen at some point when we get an appropriate counter top on which to mount it. The countertop is also required for mounting the Victorio strainer. Our electric Blendtec is the best / easiest one to use at the moment.
    My first dehydrators were the little round Nevco’s that worked OK; but, not really all that well since they didn’t have a fan. Once I added a small fan they worked much better. I still have two new ones with their original price sticker of $14.95. I think I probably bought 4 at the time and the others have long been discarded after they finally stopped working. This past Christmas I received an Excalibur 12 tray without the timer and it will be used sometime as soon as we finish the decluttering and get the summer kitchen in better shape.
    For canning I still have my original enamel water bath canner and my Mirro pressure canner; however, the All American is definitely on the wish list.
    I’ve built several sun ovens over the years that all worked rather well and have some large Fresnel lenses that I will b experimenting with later this summer. I plan to build a refractory brick chamber and focus the sun on it with one of the lenses.
    I’m not a big beer drinker; but, I have thought about makein some root beer that is made pretty much the same way.
    I have quite a lot of cast iron including a few Dutch ovens and I agree that they are a great way to cook; but, especially bake. I think that it is probably one of the most versatile primitive pieces of cooking equipment. A lot of local Boy Scout troops use these at their camps to cook for a group.
    I have several varieties of Swiss army knives in my collection; but, my one problem with them is that they are not a locking blade. I have shown numerous folks how to sharpen and properly use a knife over the years, and every now and then someone will misuse the knife, have it fold up on them, and proceed to make a nasty cut. I have numerous other knives in my collection and for hunting and processing game I really prefer the Condor line that is unfortunately no longer in production.
    The knife that’s tucked into and clipped to my pocket at all times is the Hoffman Richter HR-15 Tactical Folding Knife and my EDC vest holds a Camillus Heat Rescue knife in bright Orange. I have several Mora knives; but, none with the sharpener or ferrocerium rods which I carry separately along with other flame making methods.
    For multitools, I carry a Gerber in a sheath on my belt at all times. I like the Gerber because you can get it from the sheath and deploy it for use as a pair of heavy duty pliers with one hand. I can do the same with both of the knives I normally carry.
    For a large knife I have one of my large Condors; but, I don’t often carry that one.
    I’m not sure what optics I have on my various rifles since they’ve been there in most cases for decades, and to be honest, at this moment I’m too lazy to get up, open the safe, and check, LOL. My TC contender has a TC 3-9 on it and is used with the .357 magnum barrel for deer hunting or the 5.56 barrel for groundhogs and other pests.
    For my vision problems, I do have a rather special pair of binoculars. The Bushnell Spectator 4x 30mm with low magnification; but, a very wide field of view that also works rather well in low light. I also have both a Red Dot and a Green projected laser that can be moved around as needed.
    I have numerous Flashlights in various sizes, brightness, and costs, and with the modern LED lights, pretty much anything with a Cree module in it will work well.
    For power, I’m just starting to play a bit with solar after getting the whole house 16KW generator installed last November. I am using the Harbor Freight solar security light and it works well with the battery charge during daylight running the 36 LED panel all night. For portability or actually luggabilty I still have a Champion 3500 / 4000 watt unit that I’m planning to sell. I don’t plan to be portable or to bug out.
    Our EMA has several Honda generators that we often deploy in the field to support EMS units. They are whisper quite and very reliable and we’ve been using them with nothing but normal maintenance (plugs, oil, and filter) for at least 5 years. Very good pick on this one that you NOT regret.
    I’ve looked at the MURS radio-based systems and perhaps this is the time to bite the bullet, Note that you’ll only really need one of the Dakota Alert MURS Wireless 2-Way Handheld Radios, M538-HT to receive and decode the alarm alerts codes since any Baofeng or other inexpensive VHF or duel band radios can be programmed to use the MURS frequencies for voice communications with those units.
    The Kaito radio looks like a good value and has a good reputation; but, you can use any piece of wire for an antenna; although, the one linked to is inexpensive enough and saves one looking for the proper connectors if you don’t have the parts bin that I have, LOL.
    We may not have as much toothpaste as you list; but, we are always well stocked on TP since it is one of the more important papers in our house, LOL.
    I’ve had the Hesperian dentists and doctors manuals as well as others you can download from their website. They are a great resource.
    I saw an read your article: ” The Quickest Way I Know To Get a Family of Four Prepped for The Coming Collapse” recently as I missed it when it was originally posted a bit before my stroke in January 2015. It would be great to allow some comments again, since I always have an opinion to add doncha know, LOL

  6. MD, a question. Have you tried canning on the EcoZoom stove as you suggested the company do? I recently contacted them and no research using the EcoZoom for pressure canning has been done. I live at an altitude where pressure canning is required for all foods.

    • Docj,

      No, I’ve never canned on it and the company didn’t follow up with me about it after my review for whatever reason. That’s something that I need to do and post about it here – thank you for the idea.

      • I am ordering an EcoZoom this month. I like the low smoke production. I will need it raised due to a very bad back. Bending is a real issue. If pack members have any ideas to raised with fire proof material, I would love to hear.

      • Docj,
        You could use some 8”x16”x2” or 2’x2’x2” pavers / patio stones and stack them. Each one is manageable and they are fireproof. We use them for quite a few things around here.

  7. i have several knives including swiss army, I love my swiss army knives, they have so much on them that I need at times. I also bought from amazon a new flashlight that a co worker recommended and it is an o’light, SR-1 baton. it is almost 1000 lumen and barely a few inches long.

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