Gear

Top Survival Items for your Wallet

wallet with survival items

When putting together your everyday carry kit, you need items that can easily be concealed. These are typically small, lightweight items that you can keep in your pocket. You also want to focus on items that you can keep with you 24 hours a day.

If you are like me, you probably never let your wallet out of your sight. Between my driver’s license, my insurance card, and my credit cards, I never get too far from my billfold. Because of that, items that can fit in your wallet are ideal for everyday carry.

There are two types of items that you can keep in your wallet. There are items that are designed to be credit card shaped and are specifically made to fit in your wallet. There are also items that are just naturally small enough to fit. Both types of items are worth considering for everyday carry.

As is with any survival items you carry, these items need to focus on the four pillars of survival. They include food, water, fire, and shelter. Other priorities to consider are first aid, orienteering, signaling for help, and self-defense.

Also, it is smart to look for items with multiple purposes. Any item that can help you survive in several ways is a good idea for keeping your kit efficient. In this article we will cover the best items to keep in your wallet for survival.

wallet multitool

Multi-tools

One of the most popular items to keep in your wallet is a credit card shaped multi-tool. Be aware that many of these items are not as functional as they advertise. They are often made of flimsy material that will not hold up when tested. However, there are a few good ones out there.

Features included in these tools include gut hooks, hex tools, knives, whistles, serrated edges, bottle openers, arrow heads, tweezers, ferro rods, lens firestarters, screwdrivers, paracord, toothpicks, compasses, rulers, scissors, LED flashlights, awls, fish hooks, sewing needles, snare locks, fishing lures, and styluses.

In my opinion, there are three of these multi-tools that are worth carrying. Many of these tools focus on working screws and bolts. While it is always helpful to have that ability, it is not my top priority in a survival situation.

These tools focus on more important aspects of survival. One is a 12 in 1 multi-tool made of thick plastic and stainless steel. It has a good sized blade, two ways to start a fire, two ways to signal for help, a compass, and cordage. This meets most of your survival needs in one tool.

Another multi-tool I like is a 22 in 1 multi-tool made of entirely stainless steel. It is designed to break apart into pieces that are primarily focused on food acquisition. There are three different kinds of arrowheads designed for big game, small game, and gigging.

There are two different types of fish hooks, and in total 9 hooks are included. There are two types of saw blades as well as several snare locks that double as fishing spoons. There is even a sewing needle included.

The third multi-tool I like is made of thick stainless steel as well. It has 21 functions including a straight edge, serrated edge, gut hook, arrowhead, and four hex tools.

One of the coolest functions of this tool is that it can be taken apart and then reassembled on any pole or handle to create a functional hatchet. That can be a huge advantage when processing wood. It is also very sturdy, and I feel the arrowhead would hold up better than those found in other models.

wallet and bandages

Bandages

You can fit several bandages into your wallet easily. They are very thin and light, you won’t feel the extra weight in any way. You never know when you get a cut or a bruise. Instead of keeping four credit cards you don’t even use, why not replace two of them with some bandages?

Other Items Designed for your Wallet

There are a few other survival items that are specifically made to fit in your wallet. One of the most common items for your wallet is a folding knife. The knife is shaped like a credit card, but has two joints that fold creating a handle and exposing the straight edge, full tang blade.

These are great for self-defense purposes. If a mugger demands your wallet, you can easily slip out this card before throwing them the wallet. By the time they realize what is happening, you can have the blade exposed and be prepared to defend yourself.

It can also be quite helpful if you need to hunt, fish, trap, build a shelter, start a fire, or perform any other survival functions.

Another commonly found survival item for your wallet is a plastic fire lens. These lenses are made of flexible plastic, so there is no need to worry about sitting on it and breaking the lens.

These are an ideal size to help you start a fire by magnifying the rays of the sun onto a focal point. Be aware that starting a fire with a lens is difficult.

It requires tinder that is fine in texture and completely dry. It also requires strong, direct sunlight so do not attempt it on cloudy days.

One item that is a bit less common is a wallet-sized lock pick set. Often people find themselves behind a locked door or trying to get into a locked cabinet in survival situations. Especially in hostage situations, criminals rely on locks to keep captives secure.

If you can just get past that locked door, the hostage takers might be caught off guard. It takes a great deal of practice, but having that lock pick set in your wallet can be a huge advantage. Most are actually disguised to look like a credit card so it is not confiscated during an initial search.

Many signaling mirrors are designed to be wallet sized. These mirrors are ideal for flagging down a plane, helicopter, or boat that may be too far away to see you waving your arms.

Most have a small hole in the center so you can actually aim the mirror at your target. Of course, keep in mind that this does not work on cloudy days or when you are in between your target and the sun.

I cannot necessarily recommend it as being a quality tool, but there are wallet sized tools to allow you to break down and clean an AR-15. Having these tools with you at all times can be quite helpful if you are in a situation in which you carry your AR-15 on a daily basis. I personally have no experience with these tools, and they seem to get mixed reactions from those that have tried them.

The last tool designed for your wallet is used for a completely different type of survival. Identity theft is a huge issue these days. If a criminal is able to access your personal or account information, they can wipe you out in minutes.

These criminals use reading devices to swipe your information right out of your wallet without you ever knowing the difference. By adding an RFID blocking card to your wallet, you can block those devices and ensure that your personal info is protected.

Small Items to Add to your Wallet

There are also survival items that just happen to be small enough to add to your wallet and carry on a daily basis. Again, these items should focus primarily on the four pillars of survival.

Fish hooks are items that I like to keep in my wallet. They are hard to recreate with natural materials and can make it easy to catch a meal.

Paracord is another item that takes up little space and can fit in my wallet. Each strand of paracord has several internal strands that are strong enough for most survival uses. Having just 12 inches of paracord can give you eight feet of total cordage.

There is also paracord available that has copper wire, fishing line, and a fire-starting material inside in addition to the interior strands that make it so strong.

water tablets

For water purification, keeping a few water purification tablets in your wallet can be a lifesaver. Just two tiny tablets can purify about one Liter of water for consumption. It takes about 35 minutes for these tablets to do their magic, but it might be well worth the wait.

I also have a penny sized compass that is flat and fits well in my wallet. It is perfect to take out and use for orienteering as long as I remember to lay it flat and keep it away from anything metal.

There are fire starters that are small enough to fit in your wallet. Ferro rods are the only reliable fire-starting tool that is waterproof, windproof, and requires no fuel. You just have to be sure you have some high carbon steel with which to strike it.

Most strikers are also small enough to fit in your wallet. Copper wire takes up almost no space and is ideal for trapping. Unlike cordage, wire can be shaped however you like which makes positioning of snare traps much easier. A little wire can be an easy way to catch a meal.

In Conclusion

When selecting items for your wallet, you are somewhat limited on how much you can carry. Take your time when selecting these items, and pick the ones that will best help your situation. Remember that your life may depend on these items, so go for quality and keep that wallet with you at all times.

wallet survival items Pinterest image

Ryan Dotson

About Ryan Dotson

Ryan isn't just a prepper, he's a survivalist. Every year, he plans several survival challenges, where he pushes himself to the limit to survive in various wilderness scenarios with very little food and gear.
View all posts by Ryan Dotson →

6 thoughts on “Top Survival Items for your Wallet

  1. I know this is way off topic but I was just on Facebook and it irks the stuff right out of me to see a post by The Survivalist Blog.net and thinking it is something from here and see it is MD Creekmore flogging his books and you tube videos. I’m sorry yall let him get away with keeping that part of the name because it looks bad for this site to be tagged with his money making schemes.

    Sorry for the rant, I’m in bad need of a vacation and to get off the computer for a while.

    Have a good weekend.

    1. Cliff in,

      I know this is way off topic but I was just on Facebook and it irks the stuff right out of me to see a post by The Survivalist Blog.net and thinking it is something from here and see it is MD Creekmore flogging his books and you tube videos.

      I’m rarely on Facebook and then only for a few specific groups. Was this a recent post?
      TSB used to be his domain until he sold it to Dam, so an old post could explain why it’s there.

      I’m sorry yall let him get away with keeping that part of the name because it looks bad for this site to be tagged with his money making schemes.

      I don’t know that the name is his to use, so unless someone reports it and complains, I suspect he’ll keep doing it, since some email’s I received or had forwarded to me by other pack members seems to indicate he’s desperate.

      1. TOP,
        Just walked in from the 5 day cruise about Carnival Ecstasy where we visited Nassau and other points and had a great relaxing time.

        The post that upset me so much was from the day of my post. I understand from his rants and such that his you tube readership is dropping and sales of his books and stuff are in a downward spiral.

        The part that gets me is his continues use of The Survivalistblog user ID on Facebook. I realize he probably set that up back when he owned this site but his continued use gives unearned credence to his posting on Facebook.

        I have to say, at least in my case, that it is sour apples for the way I was treated when he moved over to his new site. I admit I’m old and while I may not remember everything, I do remember a lot of things with a vengeance.

        I won’t bring it up again, I can ignore him and never see a post on that site and I’ll not visit his current site even though I did take a look at some of the post on his couple of week old “what did you do to prep this week” and noticed quite a few names from here. Everyone has to do what suits them the best.

        1. Cliff,

          Just walked in from the 5 day cruise about Carnival Ecstasy where we visited Nassau and other points and had a great relaxing time.

          Congratulations on your vacation.
          I’ve never much thought of taking a cruise with the exception of those where SCUBA diving was involved some 40+ years ago; but, glad you enjoyed yours.

          The post that upset me so much was from the day of my post. I understand from his rants and such that his you tube readership is dropping and sales of his books and stuff are in a downward spiral.

          I watched a few of his videos and they have the problem that they are obviously and blatently starring him, as the main narcissistic attraction.
          One I watched on carrying and using knives jumped the shark when he pulled out and brandished a sword like someone about to do battle.
          His publisher (Paladin Press) went belly up when one of the owners died and the business quite literally died with him. Add to that he was pushing the same old titles going back 10 years with nothing new, and the books as originally published were not really all that informative.

          The part that gets me is his continues use of The Survivalistblog user ID on Facebook. I realize he probably set that up back when he owned this site but his continued use gives unearned credence to his posting on Facebook.

          I have volunteered with my county EMA for 20+ years and only recently joined Facebook since EMA has a page for private communications with members.
          I’ve also joined a group called OHG (Ohio Homesteaders and Gardeners), on the advice of one of the group administrators, our own Grammyprepper, and other than those groups I rarely see or look for anything on FB, so I was unaware of the TSB group; but, fraudulent use of the name unfortunately doesn’t surprise me.

          I have to say, at least in my case, that it is sour apples for the way I was treated when he moved over to his new site. I admit I’m old and while I may not remember everything, I do remember a lot of things with a vengeance.

          Here we would call it ”Sour Grapes”; but, I get your meaning and agree. I tell people that you will never find a better friend than me; but, by god you do not want me as your enemy, since I am old, intelligent, and patient.
          Me, Bam Bam, and perhaps a few others were banned from his site, and quite happily landed here. I think he needed us more than any of us needed him; but, he is too bullheaded, stupid, or something to realize that fact, and only blames us, or the president who has somehow lulled us into a false sense of security, for his woes.
          Clinically they call people like him, ”Grievance Collectors or ”Wound Collectors and the only fix is for the person to have some introspection and realize where the problem lies.

  2. If you are like me, you probably never let your wallet out of your sight. Between my driver’s license, my insurance card, and my credit cards, I never get too far from my billfold. Because of that, items that can fit in your wallet are ideal for everyday carry.

    Those items are handy; but, they tend to make the wallet a bit bulky, so while I used to carry a lot of extra stuff in the wallet, I’ve skinnied it down to ID’s, licenses, Credit & Debit Cards and cash with only a few of those credit card form factor tools.

    These tools focus on more important aspects of survival. One is a 12 in 1 multi-tool made of thick plastic and stainless steel. It has a good sized blade, two ways to start a fire, two ways to signal for help, a compass, and cordage. This meets most of your survival needs in one tool.

    I actually have all of these tools you listed and a few more; but, only carry one of them on a regular basis.
    My EDC is a 5.11 tactical vest I wear everywhere, since it allows me to carry more kit and also acts as a cover garment. For those who carry it’s obviously a cover garment; but, to most it means nothing, since I’ve had complements on it, asked if I had been fishing or if I was a photographer.

    You can fit several bandages into your wallet easily. They are very thin and light, you won’t feel the extra weight in any way. You never know when you get a cut or a bruise. Instead of keeping four credit cards you don’t even use, why not replace two of them with some bandages?

    A sealed packet of antibiotic ointment and some moleskin can also be handy. Nothing can stop your progress quite like a blister on the foot.

    Another commonly found survival item for your wallet is a plastic fire lens. These lenses are made of flexible plastic, so there is no need to worry about sitting on it and breaking the lens.

    I have several of the ”Fresnel” lenses that work well taking into account the constraints you listed.

    One item that is a bit less common is a wallet-sized lock pick set. Often people find themselves behind a locked door or trying to get into a locked cabinet in survival situations. Especially in hostage situations, criminals rely on locks to keep captives secure.

    I have several sets of those; but, be aware that in some jurisdictions, they can be considered burglar tools and being caught just carrying them can force you to do some splainin’.

    The last tool designed for your wallet is used for a completely different type of survival. Identity theft is a huge issue these days. If a criminal is able to access your personal or account information, they can wipe you out in minutes.
    These criminals use reading devices to swipe your information right out of your wallet without you ever knowing the difference. By adding an RFID blocking card to your wallet, you can block those devices and ensure that your personal info is protected.

    You’ll need more than just a card to do this, depending on the RFID reader and the position of the cards in the wallet.
    Wrapping your ”RFID enhanced” card with simple auminum foil will take care of the issue.

    Paracord is another item that takes up little space and can fit in my wallet. Each strand of paracord has several internal strands that are strong enough for most survival uses. Having just 12 inches of paracord can give you eight feet of total cordage.

    I generally carry 50 or 100 feet of 550 or 850 cord in my EDC; but, I’ll have to think about adding a hank of it to the wallet, since you do make a good point here.

    For water purification, keeping a few water purification tablets in your wallet can be a lifesaver. Just two tiny tablets can purify about one Liter of water for consumption. It takes about 35 minutes for these tablets to do their magic, but it might be well worth the wait.

    While some potable aqua or other tablets could fit in the wallet, you’ll still need a container for the water.

    I also have a penny sized compass that is flat and fits well in my wallet. It is perfect to take out and use for orienteering as long as I remember to lay it flat and keep it away from anything metal.

    I have several of those and they are quite handy.

    There are fire starters that are small enough to fit in your wallet. Ferro rods are the only reliable fire-starting tool that is waterproof, windproof, and requires no fuel. You just have to be sure you have some high carbon steel with which to strike it.

    I assume that everyone carries a knife, so that take care of the steel; but, a short piexe of hacksaw blade also fits nicely in the wallet and work fot this.

  3. I do not put metalic stuff in my wallet. I sometime go to the court building to get building permits and I do not want to get buzzed at the metal detecter.

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