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What if a catastrophe happened and you had to survive without the help of the government or the grid? Would you be prepared? You might say yes because you have all the necessary survival tools.
But do you actually know how to use all those tools? Many preppers have a bad habit of acquiring tools and supplies but never learning how to use them. Or else they learn to use them once but never practice. If you don’t know what you’re doing, your survival tools could be useless.
In this blog post, we’re going to go over some common survival tools and how to use them.
Being stranded in the wilderness is a daunting prospect, and it’s one that requires a great deal of preparation. While it’s impossible to anticipate every possible scenario, there are some basic survival skills that everyone should know. Here are 18 survival tools you should practice using.
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1. Compass and Topographic Map
Any seasoned camper will tell you that a compass and topographic map are essential survival tools.
A compass can help you orient yourself when you’ve lost your bearings, while a topographic map can provide valuable information about the lay of the land. Together, these two tools can help you find your way back to camp if you get lost in the wilderness.
Of course, simply owning a compass and map is not enough. You also need to know how to use them correctly.
Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you learn the basics of orienteering. Once you’ve mastered the basics, be sure to practice using your compass and map on a regular basis. That way, you’ll be prepared for anything if you ever find yourself in a situation where these tools could come in handy.
Here’s how to use a compass, and here’s how to use a topographical map.
If you find yourself in a survival situation, one of the most important tools you can have is paracord.
Also known as parachute cord, this strong and versatile rope can be used for everything from building a shelter to fashioning a splint. The outer layer of the cord is made of nylon, which is resistant to rot and mildew. The inner core consists of seven individual strands of nylon, each of which is capable of supporting up to 60 pounds of weight.
This makes the paracord incredibly strong, yet also lightweight and easy to carry. In addition, the paracord can be easily unraveled to create smaller ropes or cords, which can be used for a variety of tasks. With so many uses, it’s no wonder that the paracord is often referred to as the “ultimate survival tool.”
Here are 101 uses for paracord.
In any emergency situation, it’s important to be prepared. While there are many different survival tools that you can purchase, one of the most versatile and essential items is a multitool.
A multitool is a small, handheld device that includes a variety of tools, such as a knife, scissors, screwdriver, and can opener. In a pinch, a multitool can be used for everything from opening a can of food to starting a fire.
Additionally, since multitools are small and portable, they are easy to carry with you anywhere you go. Whether you’re camping in the woods or hiking in the mountains, having a multitool in your pocket can help you be prepared for anything.
Here are some of the best uses for a multitool.
4. Fire Steel
A fire steel is a small, handheld tool that is used to create sparks. The sparks can then be used to start a fire. In the wild, a fire can be used for warmth, cooking, and protection from predators.
A fire steel is an essential survival tool because it can be used in any environment, wet or dry. It is also very durable and easy to use.
To use a fire steel, simply strike it against a hard surface. This will create sparks that can be used to start a fire. It is important to practice using a fire steel before you go into the wilderness so that you can be sure of your ability to start a fire when you need one.
Here’s how to use a fire steel.
5. Water Filter and Treatment System
A water filter and treatment system is an essential piece of survival gear. While you can find water almost anywhere, it is not always safe to drink.
A water filter removes harmful bacteria and parasites from water, making it safe to drink. A water treatment system goes one step further by also removing viruses, making it ideal for use in areas where there is a risk of waterborne illness.
In addition to being a vital survival tool, a water filter and treatment system is also easy to use. Simply screw the filter onto a water bottle or hydration pack, and fill the reservoir with water. The filter will do all the work, providing you with clean, safe drinking water.
Whether you are hiking in the backcountry or bugging out in an emergency situation, a water filter and treatment system is a survival tool that you should always have on hand.
Here’s a video that details how to use a water filter and treatment system.
A slingshot is a simple yet effective survival tool that every outdoorsman should own and know how to use. Often underestimated, a slingshot can be used for a variety of tasks in a survival situation, including hunting small game, self-defense, and even signaling for help.
When choosing a slingshot, look for one with a sturdy frame and comfortable grip. In terms of ammunition, metal balls or pellets are the best option as they have more weight and penetrate better than pebbles.
With a little practice, you’ll be surprised at how accurate and powerful a slingshot can be. In a pinch, it can mean the difference between life and death.
Here’s how to make and use a slingshot.
7. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an essential piece of survival gear. In an emergency, it can be the difference between life and death. A well-stocked first aid kit should include everything you need to treat common injuries and illnesses, including bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, pain relief medication, and more.
It’s important to know how to use all of the items in your first aid kit, so be sure to take a CPR and first aid class before heading out into the wilderness. With a little preparation, a first aid kit can be a life-saving tool.
Here is some helpful information on how to use a first aid kit.
8. CB Radio
A CB Radio can be a valuable asset in an emergency situation. Unlike a cell phone, a CB Radio does not require batteries or rely on cell towers for transmission.
As long as there is another person within range with a CB Radio, you will be able to communicate. In addition, a CB Radio can also be used to tune into traffic and weather reports, which can be essential for planning your route or knowing when to seek shelter. While it is important to have a CB Radio in your toolkit, it is equally important to practice using it.
Familiarity with the controls and how to use the radio will help ensure that you are able to use it effectively in an emergency situation. So make sure to add a CB Radio to your survival kit and take some time to learn how to use it properly.
Here’s how to use a CB radio along with emergency radio frequencies.
9. Survival Knife
A survival knife is an important tool that can be used for a variety of tasks in a survival situation. It can be used for skinning and cleaning games, chopping wood for shelter or a fire, preparing food, and self-defense.
A good survival knife will have a strong, full-tang blade with a serrated edge. The handle should be comfortable to hold and provide a good grip, even when wet. It is also important to choose a knife that is the right size for your hand and that you feel comfortable using.
Practicing with your survival knife in different scenarios will help you to be prepared if you ever find yourself in a real emergency situation.
Here’s a video where you can learn how to use a survival knife.
Survival in the wild requires more than just a working knowledge of which berries are safe to eat and how to build a shelter out of sticks. In an emergency situation, it is also important to have the right tools on hand to signal for help.
Flares are an essential part of any wilderness survival kit, and they can be used in a variety of ways to attract attention. For example, flares can be set off to create a smoke signal during the day or a bright light at night.
They can also be used to start a fire, providing both warmth and a means of cooking food.
Thanks to their versatility, flares should be considered an essential survival tool for anyone venturing into the wilderness.
Check out this video for details on how to practice using flares.
11. Snakebite Kit
Few things are as feared as a snakebite, and with good reason. A venomous snake bite can cause tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. That’s why it’s important to be prepared if you’re lucky enough to encounter one of these creatures.
A snakebite kit is a must-have for any outdoors enthusiast. It contains the necessary tools to suck out the venom and reduce the risk of serious complications. The kit should also include instructions on how to use it, as well as information on what to do if you’re unable to remove the venom.
With a little bit of preparation, you can greatly reduce the risk of serious injury if you’re unfortunate enough to be bitten by a snake.
You can practice using a snakebite kit (before you are bitten!) by watching this video.
A machete is a large, heavy knife that is used for chopping through brush and vegetation. It is also an incredibly versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including chopping firewood, clearing a path, building shelter, and self-defense.
While a machete may seem like a simple tool, it is an essential piece of equipment for anyone who spends time outdoors. In addition to being an invaluable tool for survival, a machete is also great for recreation.
Hiking, camping, and bushcraft are all activities that are made easier with a machete. If you are looking for a versatile tool that can help you survive in the wilderness, or simply make your next hike more enjoyable, consider adding a machete to your gear list.
Take a look at this video for information on how to practice using a machete.
13. Survival Whistle
A survival whistle is an essential tool that everyone should own. Small and lightweight, a whistle can easily be carried in a pocket or backpack. A whistle can also be lifesaving in an emergency situation. If you are lost or injured, a whistle can help rescuers to find you. When used properly, a whistle can be heard for miles.
For this reason, it is important to practice using your whistle before you need it in an emergency. Make sure you know how to blow it correctly and that you can produce a loud, shrill sound. With a little practice, you will be able to use your survival whistle confidently in the event of an emergency.
Here’s a video with more information on how to practice using a survival whistle.
A tarp is an incredibly versatile survival tool that can be used for everything from shelter to storage.
When it comes to shelter, a tarp can be used as a groundsheet, a sunshade, or even an emergency roof. In terms of storage, a tarp can be used to protect and keep supplies dry. But a tarp’s most important use is as a signaling device.
A brightly colored tarp can be hung up or strung between trees to help rescuers spot you from the air. For this reason, it’s crucial to practice using a tarp before you find yourself in an emergency situation. With a little practice, you’ll be able to quickly set up a tarp for whatever purpose you need.
Check out this video for details on how to use a tarp in a survival situation.
15. Head Lamp
A headlamp is one of the most essential survival tools that you can own. In a survival situation, a headlamp can provide light for tasks such as setting up camp, preparing food, or checking your surroundings for potential threats.
It can also be used as a signal to attract attention from rescuers. A headlamp is particularly useful because it frees up your hands for other tasks. Many models also have adjustable straps that allow you to position the light exactly where you need it.
When choosing a headlamp, look for one with a bright LED light and a long battery life. It is also important to practice using your headlamp before an emergency situation arises. Familiarize yourself with the different settings and how to change the batteries. This will ensure that you are prepared to use your headlamp in a real emergency.
Here’s a video with some clever uses for your headlamp.
16. Signal Mirror
A signal mirror is one of the most versatile tools you can carry in your survival kit. In addition to being a useful signaling device, it can also be used to start a fire, as a makeshift compass, or even as a shaving mirror.
The best signal mirrors are made of polished stainless steel and have a flat surface. This type of mirror can be easily tucked into a pocket or pack and will withstand being dropped or bumped.
When using a signal mirror, it is important to practice beforehand so that you are familiar with the proper techniques. By taking the time to learn how to use this valuable tool, you will be prepared for any situation that may arise.
Check out this video to learn how to use a signal mirror properly.
17. Ursack or Other Dry Bag
A Ursack is a lightweight, bear-resistant sack designed to protect your food from both animals and the elements. Ursacks are made from high-strength materials like Kevlar or Dyneema, and they can be tied shut with a simple drawstring or cinch-lock closure.
While Ursacks are not 100% foolproof, they offer a much higher level of protection than traditional camp food storage options like bear canisters or hanging food bags.
In addition, Ursacks weigh far less than canisters, making them an ideal choice for backpacking and ultralight camping. If you plan on spending time in the backcountry, a Ursack is an essential piece of gear.
Other dry bags are also useful in a survival situation. A dry bag can keep your clothes and sleeping bag dry if you have to cross a river or hike through wet terrain. It can also be used to store firewood, kindling, and other materials that need to stay dry.
Dry bags come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose one that fits your needs. If you’re looking for a versatile survival tool, a dry bag is an excellent option.
Here’s a video with more information on how to use your dry bag in a survival situation.
18. SPOT Locator
There are a lot of survival tools that you can own, but one of the most important is a SPOT locator. This little device can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. It uses GPS to send your location to a satellite, which then relays it to a search and rescue team.
The great thing about using a SPOT locator is that you don’t need cell service or any other type of communication in order for it to work.
All you need is a clear view of the sky. That makes it ideal for use in remote areas where help may be far away. Of course, you should always practice using your SPOT locator before you head out into the wilderness so that you know how it works and what to do if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
Want to get better at using a SPOT locator? Just check out this video.
The skills and tools we’ve shared with you in this article are essential for your survival. Make sure to practice using them all as often as possible, so that when the time comes, you will be able to use them without even thinking about it.
What is your favorite survival tool? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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For number 8. CB radio. Which CB radios don’t use batteries?
Joseph Falcone says
You forgot an Axe on the 18 survival tools you should know.
Ron Petersen says
You may want to edit the paragraph describing the snakebite kit…this link has information from a medical professional
Otherwise, very good information!
Right. I talked with poison control center about snakebite kits and they recommend getting to ER, not messing with it yourself.
I disagree with several of these items. Water, fire, shelter, and protection (machete) should always be a priority, but things like SPOT are a bit excessive. Navigation is important, and a skill that takes time and practice to even become a novice. If you can’t do this, get to learning. A CB radio is great…when you have power to use it, where something like HAM is a better option as it has a longer range, with most having an added weather band built in.
If we’re going to focus on tools, let’s get to care an maintenance of our precious hand tools; our axes and machetes….stressing the importance of having a second handle on hand and how to hang an axe appropriately. Things like that, to me, are worth their weight in gold.