Your bug out bag is the tool that keeps you alive during a crisis scenario and the survival gear you chose should have multiple uses, without adding extra weight. Bigger isn’t always better and all the tools you have shouldn’t break your back on the long haul.
We are used to living by the “the bigger the better” social imposed trend and we have a big house, big car, big knives. Everything that surrounds us, seems to follow this pattern. However, when it comes to your survival gear, bigger isn’t always better. You need to compromise if you want to be able to carry your bug out bag for more than a mile.
It’s all about your EDC
When I look for new survival gear to buy, I always look for the following characteristics: small, lightweight items with multiple uses.
The reason for this is pretty simple. I want to be able to carry some of the survival gear on me. I’m the type of guy that has a backup plan for his backup plan. In case I get separated from my bug out bag, I want to have a fighting chance. Some of my previous articles are covering the versatile items and why they should be in your bug out bag.
With all the preparations you make, there will always be something new that you can add to your survival gear. Technology advances in every field and survival gear follow the same track, there is always some kind of new innovation that makes our tools obsolete.
When it comes to survival tools, you should always opt for something small, something that can be carried on you at all times, regardless if you’re in the woods or at the mall. There are some interesting choices out there, some which will even fit on your key ring and in this article you will find 10 useful, lifesaving items that are compact and very effective.
Survival Gear choice #1 – Real Avid Gun Micro-tool
The Real Avid company produces three tools that have different applications in a survival situation. We have the AR15, the 1911 and the Shotgun. Each tool is made from stainless steel and comes with a key ring a strap, so you can carry them with you at all time. All three tools have a bottle opener incorporated, a small cuter, a ruler and a carabiner.
Here are the differences between the tools:
The AR15 tool has a boat-tail, firing pin scrapers, a 5mm bit driver and a bolt face. In addition, it comes with a front side adjuster and ¼, 3/16 and 1/8 inch wrenches.
The 1911 tool has a barrel bushing wrench, a spring plug stopper, and a flathead screwdriver.
And last but not least, the Shotgun tool has 4mm, 5mm, ¼ inch and 3/8 inch wrenches a scope and a windage/elevation adjuster. In addition, it has a universal choke that fits most shotgun gauges.
Survival Gear choice #2 – Swiss+ Tech Micro Max 19 in 1 tool
This is something I got last year for $10 and I’m very pleased with it. This stainless steel multi-tool will fold into different professional grade tools and will get the job done. It weighs only 3.4 ounces and it fits in your pocket without problems.
The tool includes six screwdrivers, two hex wrenches, wire stripper, wire crimper, pliers, file and hand drill. Like most tools, it also comes with a bottle opener and in addition, it has two rulers and two ruler extensions. It’s on sale even today and if you need such a tool you shouldn’t miss this deal.
Survival Gear choice #3 – CCRKT Eat’N tool
This is actually a micro tool that my wife has and as the name implies, it is not just a tool for eating, it is more than meets the eye. First, I have to specify that this tool comes in six colors and second, you can even choose the fuschia one, just like my wife did. At first glance, you can notice that it has a spork (a combination between a spoon and a fork) incorporated.
Suggested reading: What blade type should you choose for your survival knife?
The CCRKT Eat’N tool is made from 3CR13 steel and it weighs only 1.5 ounces. It has a bottle opener, a screwdriver and a wrench set (6, 8 and 10 mm). The right side of the handle provides an emergency screwdriver blade, which will also work as a pry for opening canisters. It also comes with a carabiner for easy snap-on carry.
Survival Gear choice #4 – Griffin Pocket Multi-tool
This is a key chain multi-tool made from stainless steel or titanium, with a length of 3 inches and a weight of just 0.8 ounces. It has incorporated a minimum of 11 tools that can be useful on a day to day basis. It has even a pocket clip so that you won’t lose it, not even when you are on the run.
The Griffin has a flathead screwdriver that can be used also as a prying tool, it has a scoring tool, a bottle opener, and a 5.16-inch hex. The ingenious design made it possible to incorporate 4 different hex tools (4, 5, 6 and 7mm) in this unique micro tool.
Survival Gear choice #5 – True Utility TU200US Pocket tool
This is one of those tools that seems complicated at first, but you end up loving it after you discover how many uses it has. This tool is made from 420 Grade Black stainless steel and has 20 tools incorporated. It can become a trustworthy friend in an emergency situation if you know how to use it.
This pocket tool has a bottle opener, a measuring ruler, a razor-sharp cutting blade and it comes with a quick release clip. It has various screwdriver heads and multiple wrenches (1/4, 5/16, 3/8, ½, and 9/16 inch) incorporated into its design. The TU200US has a bicycle spoke wrench and a box opener. This is on my wishlist for my get home bag.
Survival Gear choice #6 – Survco credit card tool
I’ve seen this one in action while going camping with some of my friends. I was impressed when the owner made an axe using this small tool, a paracord, and a wooden handle. This 304, 12-gauge stainless steel tool has more than 20 functions and it fits perfectly in your wallet. It can be used as a shovel, saw, skinner, knife, and scraper.
Like all tools, it has a bottle opener, but it also has a water/gas valve wrench and a flathead screwdriver. Part of it can be separated in order to make a sturdy tip of a spear or arrow. The Survco credt card tool, incorporates a Nail Puller, 1/4″ Socket, 3/8″ Socket, 7/16″ Wrench.
Survival Gear choice #7 – Gerber Artifact Pocket tool
When it comes to Gerber tools, there are many debates regarding their quality. On my side, I have to admit that I’ve tried quite a few of these tools. While with others I’ve been lucky, there were some that weren’t as qualitative as I thought they would be. Gerber artifact, was a lucky find because I got it for free. I got it on an Amazon deal when I bought my Gerber hatchet.
I carry this small, eight-function multi-tool on my key chain and it’s no burden for me. It weighs only 1.5 ounces and it offers tools that enable you to strip wire, pry out nails, screw, bolt, slice and open a box. Gerber Artifact is made from stainless steel coated in titanium nitride and it’s quite a sturdy tool. It is worth mentioning that this tool comes with three replacement blades.
Survival Gear choice #8 – Klecker Ax System (KLAX) Lumberjack tool
This is a multi-tool that doesn’t come cheap and your budget will be $180 short after you get one. Nevertheless, I wanted to list it here because I find the design quite interesting and useful. The designer of this tool took the concept of primitive stone tools and adapted it to our modern times.
Instead of attaching a rock to a wooden handle to make a primitive axe, you can use this tool and build a state of the art axe. Besides the incorporated nested clamps system that allows you to safely secure it to any type of handle, this tool has multiple features.
It is made from SUS420J2 steel that allows cold and warm workability, it weighs 14.4 ounces and it comes with a ballistic nylon sheath. It also has a hammerhead and a cutting/gut hook. The KLAX incorporates a bottle opener, a hex wrench set, a ruler, a ¼ hex bit driver socket and it comes with a carabiner. This tool isn’t available on Amazon, but you can buy it from the manufacturer’s website.
Survival Gear choice #9 – Patriot Micro Croc tool
This small tool is made from grade 2 ultra-versatile titanium and it weighs only 0.3 ounces. It can fit in your pocket due to its key chain size and has an interesting design. The tool has a bottle opener a ¼ and a ½ inch hex and a flathead screwdriver. The Patriot micro-tool has attached a genuine DeWalt P2 Phillips bit and a pry bar. It is advertised as the most sturdy pocket tool because it was made from the highest quality US metal alloys.
Survival Gear choice #10 – Nite Ize DoohicKey multi-tool
This is another lightweight (0.4 ounces) key chain tool that features half-dozen functions. You can use it to tighten bolts and screws or you can use it as a box cutter. It incorporates a series of wrenches (1/4, 5/16 and 3/8 inch) and has a carabiner attached. It has a bottle opener and an etched ruler for precise measurements. The flathead screwdriver is sturdy and can be used to pry out nails.
Related reading: Household items that can be used in an emergency situation
If you have a desk job, or if you work in retail, you don’t want to have something big that will look conspicuous hanging from off of your belt. You need something discrete, lightweight and reliable.
The life-saving tools listed in this article are just a few of the choices you have when it comes to picking out versatile tools to carry on you, on a daily basis. They will fit on your key ring or tuck discretely into your pocket, but most importantly, they will come in handy during a survival situation.
Other Useful Resources:
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Bullet Proof Home (Learn how to Safeguard your Home)
Drought USA (How to secure unlimited fresh, clean water)
Blackout USA (Video about EMP survival and preparedness guide)