Visit any survival store on the Internet and you will quickly realize that there are thousands of survival tools out there for preppers to choose from. While I’m not into hardcore survivalist training, I do think it’s important to have a few essential tools on hand for emergencies. Whether you are building a bug out bag or just stocking up your safe room at home, here are a few of the essential tools that I think every prepper needs to have on hand.
You need at least one flashlight for every person in your family. You should also have a good supply of batteries on hand to make sure you have light that lasts. A flashlight is handy in a routine power outage, but it can also be used in emergencies to draw attention to yourself or even to help you make a fire.
Another item to add to your supplies is a handful of good quality whistles, preferably attached to strong cord so you can wear them around your neck. Teach your kids to blow on a whistle correctly to send signals. You can make a game out of this, but if you are in an emergency, it’s a great way to communicate even across a big distance.
While you could always cook over a fire, you will be thankful if you have a campfire stove on hand with plenty of fuel backups to keep it going. I can still remember when Hurricane Hugo wrecked my parents’ home in 1989. We lost power for two full weeks and my mom cooked our meals over a camp stove. I don’t know what we would have done if we would not have had that option!
Water Purification Supplies
Make sure you have tools on hand to purify your water. Whether that means you invest in a heavy duty water purification system or you stock up on chlorine, iodine, or bleach, you need to have some supplies on hand. Plus, you will need some big containers for collecting rainwater and a big pot that you can use for boiling water too.
Plastic Tarps or Trash Bags
Having a simple tarp on hand can be life saving in a survival scenario. You can use a tarp to catch rainwater or stretch it across branches to create a shelter from rain or snow. It’s an easy way to windproof your shelter or you could use it as a rain poncho. The potential benefits of a simple tarp are endless and if you don’t have a tarp, heavy duty trash bags will provide the same results.
First Aid Kit
Go beyond a basic drug store first aid kit and build your own. It should include gauze, ace bandages, butterfly bandages for cuts, and some Quick Clot to stop bleeding. Add a suture kit, antibiotic cream, tweezers, and any important medications you want to have on hand.
Investing in a quality fire starter is one of the best things you can do as a prepper. In a survival situation, you don’t want to have to deal with lighters and matches. Plus, what will happen when you run out of those supplies? A good fire starter can give life saving warmth and a way to boil water and cook your food.
If you don’t already have a good survival knife, get one immediately. It should have a good sized sturdy blade that you an use for all kinds of tasks. The line of knives from Bear Grylls is my personal favorite! We have several of his knives around the house, in our bug out bag, and in our safe room.
Short Wave Radio
Last, you should add a short wave radio to your supplies. It will be one of your more expensive preps, but if a big emergency hits, it will be a vital asset to hear from the outside about what is going on. You can find a shortwave radio that doubles as a USB charger and LED light. Plus, there are models that have solar, crank, and battery power so you can always be sure you have a working connection to the outside world.
These are just a few of the most essential survival tools you should start collecting. There are many more out there for more advanced survivalists, but these are a great start for beginners. What other tools do you consider essential to your survival preps?