This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Robert
Since high school I have been in the survivalist mode. Eight years in the Army opened my eyes to a whole new set of factors to consider when looking at living off the land or surviving in an urban area both short-term and long-term. What was needed was basic hand tools.
A quality fixed blade knife, pliers, an adjustable wrench, pliers and screw drivers (#2 phillips most common and a flat tip).
With these basic items it was possible to fix many minor items on a vehicle and other equipment, scavenge (very overlooked) needed parts and many tools double as weapons, bludgeons or stabbing.
Depending on your own set up, take the time to see what you have that will need to be maintained and then verify you have the means to do the work. Ideally, the proper size wrench or socket will be on hand due to your preparedness but tool sets are heavy and if you just have a bug out bag pack the essentials.
Does your safe haven have electrical power? Do you have insulated tools (safety first) to work on it in the event of a an animal chewing through a wire or accident? Spark plug wrench or spark plug socket, not the same as a deep well socket. Is it a standard or metric device(s)?
If you are running off gas (liquid or compressed) what is needed to work safely on that system needs to be addressed.
Other tools with multiple purposes whether by design or intentional that are good to have:
Fencing pliers insulated handles, hammer, wire cutters, small pliers, fence staple remover, ability to twist wires or crimp connectors. hammer or spike end great for defense
Hand saw-precision cuts mean better repairs and fairly quiet to operate. Can be swung against adversary teeth first
Vise Grips-pretty much any shape can be gripped. Two pair would be good, great for pipes, lighter and easier to carry than pipe wrenches. good bludgeon
Axe and machetes-self explanatory
11-1 screwdrivers-not some cheap-o, spend the money on an electrician grade tool. newer models also include some Torx bits and shafts from 1/4 to 3/8ths for a driver depending on model. Stab or blunt attack
Screwdrivers wear out, have a few spares, good trade fodder too.
Pry bars-lift heavy items, pop open doors, break locks, move hot objects. Good club, thrusting, parrying or smashing adversary
If you have firearms, what specialty tools are required to work on them to replace firing pin, extractor, ejector or broken butt stock? Your reloading set up may need maintained as well.
On a guess food plots are part of surviving, shovels, hoe, rake and other implements need to be staged or the gardens won’t be very productive. Are specific tools needed for harvest, IE potatoes spade. Tools with long handles give great stand-off for defense. The basic bayonet rifle drills work well also.
Often overlooked is a means to sew heavier items such as foot gear or heavy clothing/tent, an awl or leather working tools.
Most importantly take care of your tools. Take time to clean them, wipe them down with a light coat of oil. Wood handles need care as well, generally a light sanding/steel wool and linseed oil. Keep edges on tools sharp with a file. Remove dings from shovel blade and hoe or they will get worse and render it fairly useless.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list nor does it fit everyone’s preparing scenario. It is simply a tool to help you plan by making you think about what tools you may need to fix things that will eventually break and to think of them as weapons as well. Look at each item around you and ask “how can this defend me” versus “what does this do?” Some examples: Flashlights are great to see in the dark, can temporarily blind attacker, great club. Writing instruments make great impromptu stabbing items. A full gallon of water (8lbs of kinetic energy) swung at someone is like hitting them with a large hammer.
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
First Prize) Winner will receive a Stealth Body Armor Level II vest courtesy of SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC and a $150 gift certificate for Wolf Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com A total prize value of over $600.
Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.
Contest ends on June 5 2012.