This guide was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com
Readers, I’m not so much into gadgets and gizmos as many people, but one of the things that I have done is to amass what I call a “micro” toolbox. When you’re in a bind, you may have only what is on your belt or in your pockets to rely on. But what about things you may need in a pinch that may require tools…except you can’t drag around a giant toolbox with you? This may just foot the bill for you and give you some food for thought.
Although I live an “Uncle Cave-man” type of lifestyle, the fact that I am writing this article to you on a computer and use the internet should prove to you that I still need a certain number of things to carry out tasks besides a bow saw and a stone axe. Let’s go down a list of some things you can “miniaturize” and take with you in a small tool kit for your needs in a possible 72-hour emergency. Many of these are low cost and can be picked up in the Dollar Tree/Dollar store. Remember: You’re not going to stick-build trusses or frame a house – just make a small tool kit you’ll be able to use in a pinch that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
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- Hammer: no, not the 30-oz Estwing, but a small hammer, just enough to tack in some nails and build a small lean-to or shelter [Pack some nails in a variety of sizes in a small container…don’t forget them]
- Screwdriver: once again, your dollar stores have the ones that have “bits” for different screwdriver heads, such as standard or Philips.
- Drywall saw: yes, the small one with a triangular-thin blade and big teeth…excellent for small branches, and can be used for the game you shoot, as well
- Exacto/razor knife: the one with break-off, disposable blades
- Allen wrench: you never need one until you need one…and when you do, nothing in the world will work except the Allen wrench…also at the Dollar Tree
- Star-nose bits for the screwdriver: once again, you’ll never need them until you do…and your life will be horrible if you don’t have one and the need arises…make sure they fit in your multipurpose screwdriver (#2); you can get them at the hardware store for a couple of dollars
- Pen Torch with Butane: I recommend Benz-o-matic’s ST-200. It is about 6” long, and it can hot-blow, solder, and be used as a torch with a flame more than 2,000 degrees F! It runs about $23, and the butane (use Benz-o-matic to keep it from gunking up) about $4-5 per can. If you need to “unfreeze” something in a heartbeat, such as a lock or a moving part, or if you must solder something together to repair it…there’s your racehorse.
- Tape measure: get a good one, a 12 foot one for your minimum size, and use the ones by Stanley, not the generic junk…in this case the adage “cheap you buy, cheap you get” applies. Use Stanley’s “Fat Max” brand that is wider with more visible numbers, unlike the others where even an eagle or an owl couldn’t see the numbers and markings.
- A small pry bar: the type that is either rounded or hexagonal. You can pick up one of these at the Dollar Tree, but if you’re going to put a lot of force on it, you may want one of the more expensive ones at Home Depot or Lowe’s. You never know when you need to lever something in a small space.
- Eating utensils and accessories: yes, a fork, knife, and spoon, and a small hand-held can opener. [Note: if you’re out in the wintertime, and a can of food has frozen, you can poke a couple of hole in it with the can opener and thaw it out on a fire]
- Small power tools: Cordless Dremel with bits, a cordless screwdriver (that can double as a drill if it’s a good one) and bits…these are your “primaries” with your “Uncle Cave-man” manual tools to back them up if needed. The Dremel, especially, has drills, sanders, and cutting wheels that can really help in a bind.
- A set of micro/precision screwdrivers: once again, the Dollar Tree is your best bet.
There are many reasons to pack yourself up a small tool kit such as this one.
Firstly, you do not know when or where you are going to run into a situation that you need these tools in a hurry. Many of you may say that you already have a big Sears craftsman toolbox in the back of your truck or the trunk of your car. That’s fine, and guess what? So do I. But in addition to this full-sized toolbox, I have the smaller one, for the “What if’s” that always arise.
What if you have an accident and you need to get away from the vehicle to seek shelter? What if you’re compromised, in some way, and must abandon your vehicle completely? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that small tool kit that can be made to attach to your happy bug-out backpack? You can potentially grunt it out and lug the full-sized toolbox with you, but if that’s not an option, your backup will be this compact bag or box of tools…micro-tools, if you will…to help you out as you are in motion.
With these tools at your disposal, you can solder, fix, fabricate, and build what you need in a pinch. Survival is more than living with an entire arsenal of weapons and a warehouse full of tools and supplies. It is also about living “on the cusp” and being able to be “Johnny-on-the-spot,” to either make or fix what you need when the situation calls for it. Such is adaptability, and along with good coffee, it is the factor that has enabled us to survive as a species. Invest in that small tool kit and tailor-make it for your needs, both immediate and the ones you forecast for the future. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT, and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
This article first appeared at Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition.com.
Shameless Amazon links. As rotten as the metal shills shilling collapse anyday now.
Bert, do you believe in liberty? Chose to ignore them. Or ignore this site if you want to. Build you own damn site. Ah, and there’s the rub…. It’s easier to whine.
Seems like a lot of crap to haul around.
I have carried a Gerber multi tool
for the last 35 years or so.
Covers most the tools this
author is talking about.
I’m not advertising for Gerber.
But they replace/ repair broken and
worn out tools and sheaths.
What model(s) do you use/recommend?
Leatherman Wave with the bit kit and extender is a pretty nice setup
Slightly off-topic: I recommend combing the hammer and pry bar into one… I picked up a (12″) Stanley ‘Bostitch’ model 55-508 at a flea market for about $8.
Go to the BOSTITCH site and look under:
products > tools > hand-tools > demolition-tools > pry-and-claw-bars
The 55-508 has a flat striking face, and each end terminates in a nail-prying claw: one thick and one thin. The L-shape allows it to be used as a weapon in a pinch…. trust me when I say that you would NOT want to be whacked in the noggin with this thing — the pointy claw would easily pierce the skull.
It’s surprisingly heavy for its size, because it’s built like a tank. Despite the weight, I feel that the usefulness of this item makes it a must-have for an emergency backpack survival kit.
I have a Cheapie Gerber,
But one year for Christmas I gifted my SIL and grandson
each the Gerber Diesel multitool. They like to fish and I figured
Grandson would like to have the same tool as dad.
Exactly rellik, this is silly. Nobody is going to pack the stuff around. I sport a Gerber also… especially now that Leatherman has gone full anti-gun.
The Leatherman MUT is the first multi-tool that functions as both a tactical and practical tool for military, LE, or civilian shooters. The MUT features multiple areas on the tool threaded for cleaning rods and brushes and all the screwdriver bits are sized for standard military and civilian sighting adjustment work. Also built into the design of the tool is the flexibility to replace the most commonly used parts on the spot, using a simple Torx #8, keeping down-time to a minimum. With all this, a MOLLE sheath and scope adjustment wrench included, the Leatherman MUT may very well be the most efficient and useful piece in your kit.
That’s CRAZY anti…..
And the problem with dollar store tools is they don’t hold up well. When they do, it’s a fluke. Much rather have my Leatherman or even my old knock-off Leatherman. They aren’t in some rattly plastic box which will also fall apart within the first few uses.
A decent swiss army knife is still one of the best things to have.
What model(s) do you use/recommend?
What model(s) do you use/recommend?
Aliens attacked the Russian sub. Pence called back to DC. Putin calls emergency Kremlin meeting. World wide defense against the aliens. I like it. I should make a movie. Or take more meds.
I won’t argue with the choice of tools, BUT I would surely choose better quality tools than the Dollar store. Harbor Freight minimum, but high quality tools will be better performance. Screwdriver bits especially – the Dollar store bits will deform rather easily. Zip ties and duct tape – for sure,
I used to know a girl that liked zip ties and duct tape
FFS what a useless writing. You do realize, that kit with all the other useless, great, must have this moment, or you will die during shtf ” kit” (if you don’t have it the so-called experts say…) will kill most people because they cant carry all that crap a mile, let alone the 20 or more miles they think they will “bug out too.” KNOWLEDEGE AND SKILLS WILL GET YOU FURTHER ON LESS, THAN carrying the kitchen sink and DYING OF A HEART ATTACK THE FIRST MILE!
I think, tools are for bugging-in.
But, someone hellbent on collecting and restoring tools will never fail to find a use for them.
Army Chief Of Russia General Oleg Salyukov visits Pakistan and Met with General Qamar Bajwa Army Chief of Russia Gen Oleg Salyukov doing Pakistan’s visit to enhance cooperation with Pakistan Army and his Security that Generals and captain have a great experience in war against terrorism. Pakistan give money sacrifice during the war against terrorist and get a grant success against them unlike United States Army with long history of defeats from Iraq, Korea,Vietnam and Afghanistan Just wondering how to leave Afghanistan
Russian Army Chief Visits Pakistan and Met General Qamar Bajwa
Russian Chief of Army Staff General Oleg Salyukov had a meeting with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajva and discuss many important thing about Security and Pakistan economic Situation. Russia ready to reduce the Security issues with Pakistan and help to Pakistan to reduce economic crisis and now the time is coming when Russian Army, Pakistani and Afghan Taleban stand on the same stage and fight a war against enemy and may be possible this war consider a 3rd World War
America Play Oman Card to Putting UAE and Saudi Arabia in a Hole. After the Oman tour of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu things are forwarding into new direction because Oman made a big mistake, giving the Dhukam port to israel Oman provide a way to Israel for creating conspiracy and rebellion against Muslim world. America also support to Israel for this kind of aggression
America Play Oman Card to Putting UAE and Saudi Arabia in a Hole.
This article was not helpful. I’m a long time prepper and a life long tool guy. The list is decent for a kit in your vehicle, but the suggestion that “cheap you buy, cheap you get” is countered with a list of cheap tools from the Dollar Store. If you are going to buy tools for an emergency, spend the most you can on them and buy quality. Harbor Freight is just another source of low quality tools. This is especially true for any tool with a bit. Cheap tools use soft metals that fail quickly. When and if your life depends on the function of a tool don’t rely on junk. And, please, someone tell me why I would need a tape measure in an emergency (survival) situation. The author lacks true experience and shouldn’t be offering advice in this area.
Daniel Boone didn’t carry all that stuff – neither did the cowboys of the wild west.
well, i aint no cowboy!
Yeah but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want to.
99% of the time you get exactly what you pay for..
You only cry once when buying quality,but you never stop crying when buying JUNK..
When it’s the last one on Earth, it will be invaluable.
HOPE FoR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORSE… Cheap prep? go buy a “stanley knife” and a pack of blades for about 15.00$
HOPE FOR THE BEST , EXPECT THE WORSE.. Cheap prep? Go buy a “Stanley Knife” and a hundred blades for about 15.00$ Uses? skin game,minor surgery(with home built plastic handle, or melted in a toothbrush handle) day to day cutting chores. worse case self defense..
When I first saw the picture at the top of the page, I thought these lines up tools were cake decorating tips. Lol
That’s not a bad idea, though, cake decorating tips are good in a crisis when the bridal cake shop is closed and you have to DIY.