As if there isn’t enough articles on tools and materials that Preppers may need, and yet here is another one. However, this article is more of a reminder that the simplest of tools tend to be overlooked, because they do not fall into the nifty gadgets, gizmos, and gear category.
The following are simple tools that can be used for multiple purposes by anyone during any situation, and they all rely on muscle power and not electricity.
Some of you may even have some, if not all of the tools and materials that will be mentioned. They may be scattered in the garage, basement, and attic.
1.) Pointed Tip Shovel
Used for general digging and they can be used in extreme situations as a self defense tool against predators four legged, and otherwise. Not that this article condones the killing of snakes, but as a reminder, a good pointed shovel can get the job done when it comes to snakes.
In some situations you may have to bury garbage, dig a latrine, clear a clogged drainage ditch after a flood, fill sandbags, work the soil for a garden, and clean up after a natural disaster.
There are entrenching tools with added gadgets that fold/collapse and can be carried in a pack or lashed to one, and they are great for camping trips, but the standard pointed tip shovel leaning against the tool shed wall gets the job (s) done without any fanfare.
Buy one with quality metal, and a stout wooden handle. If you have a shovel that for whatever reason the shovel end is ruined, cut off the wooden handle to make an excellent blunt tool/weapon for striking. Drill a hole in the handle end to attach a Paracord Lanyard (Dummy Cord) for better control when swinging it.
2.) Firefighter Ax
Besides being able to split/cut wood with it, a firefighter’s ax is a tool that is also designed for demolition/extraction. A firefighter’s ax will have a demolition/prying spike which is used to breach doors and walls, pry up beams, break into vehicles, and they can be used for digging as well. You could be trapped inside of a structure and need to get out, or someone is trapped inside and you need to get inside to rescue them.
3.) Nylon Towing Strap
When buying a tow strap get one heavier than what is needed to pull or haul your own vehicle. You may encounter heavier vehicles during a crisis that may need to be pulled from a ditch, mud, snow bank, or even from water. The straps can be carried in any vehicle or even backpack. Chains and cables are heavy and they can be dangerous to use, because under stress they can snap and whip around causing serious injury or even death.
4.) Bolt Cutters
When it comes to bolt cutters, heavy duty and high quality is important, so do not scrimp. You can literally bend the handles on a cheap pair when cutting heavy chain, cable or even a padlock. There are a number of uses for bolt cutters during a crisis. Breach a chain link fence, cut barb wire, metal cables, and of course cut off a padlock to get in or out of a building or fenced enclosure.
Do not cut live electrical cable, because even if rubber coated the handles generally would not protect you against electrical shock. There are cutters specifically designed for use around high voltage that you can purchase.
5.) Pry Bar/Crowbar
The prices are all over the map when it comes to pricing, but cheap is not always better. The uses for a pry bar are endless however. They can be used to pull nails, loosen soil, break up rocks, pry open locked doors, rip hasps from doors, make an egress through walls, and they can even be used to pry open vehicle doors if you need to extract someone from the vehicle after an accident. They can be used to disable a vehicle by puncturing the radiator and tires and can be used to smash through heavy glass, and light metal.
6.) Spud Bar/Pinch Point Bar
A spud bar is a long and heavy metal bar typically with a chiseled or slightly pointed end. Use the bar for breaking up hard soil, to break though ice for fishing or to get at water, break through rocks, and they can be used for prying/levering heavy objects.
A spud bar is indispensable when digging holes. The bar is heavy enough so little effort is required to loosen the soil so it can be shoveled out. They can cut through roots and break up rocks making any digging project easier. Other uses would include breaching doors and walls, and in some cases used for self-defense. The bars are heavy, so they would not typically be carried around as a weapon or as a walking aid however.
7.) Sledge Hammer/Splitting Maul and Wedge
The uses are endless and you do not always need one but when you do, you do. Along with a sledge hammer you should have a splitting wedge to split chunks into firewood. A wedge can also be used to split rails for fences or logs for cabin building.
8.) Propane Torch
The typical propane torch used to solder copper pipes, for example, burns at approximately 3,623 °F (1,995 °C). That is hot, so already you can imagine the uses for a simple torch that has a small propane cylinder attached, that can be essentially carried anywhere in an emergency. The torch can also be used for light welding/brazing and of course for shaping metal and starting fires.
It is recommended that you attach a flint sparker to the torch head so you always have the means to create a spark to ignite the propane. If you have a torch and a spark you can create a fire in virtually any situation.
Obviously the above listed is not all of the tools you may need or want but it is a good start and many of you probably have some if not all of the above listed. Start inventorying, and you may find that you do not need to run out and spend money on survival tools, gear, and materials because you already have the tools on hand for most jobs during an emergency.