We have researched long and hard and compiled a list of the best multi purpose survival tools below. For most categories, there are a great many options of items to consider while building your best survival kit. We have made a recommendation of the best we could find where applicable for those who do not have the time or inclination to search on their own based on utility, size, and weight. However as always, you need to choose the best items for YOUR survival scenario.

What I will do is recommend that you build your own First Aid Kit instead of buying one of those prepackaged first aid kits that claim to have 1001 things to get you through any emergency. While some are ok, in my experience these types of kits are usually filled with a lot of stuff you are unlikely to need and not enough of the things you will probably need a lot of.


A backpacking tent is a great thing to carry in your bob bag, but what do you do if you can’t get to or carry a bug out bag large enough to carry one? If you really don’t have any room, consider a tiny space blanket as one of the smallest shelters, but understand they’re  only good for like one use. I keep one in pretty much every survival kit I have. They are only if you have no other choice though because they tear so easily. For medium kits, consider a survival tarp, which can be used to make a field-expedient tent or as a rain-sheltered area outside of your packed tent.

People ask if I was in the military. Yeah, but it was 80 lbs and 40 years ago. Special Forces “A TEAM” medic in fact. But I forgot a lot of that. I carried 120 lb rut when we moved out, but about 40 lbs of ammo and grenades on patrol. I have 2 dozen ruts now, from patrol size to major moveout size. I put 80 lbs of cat litter (we have a cat rescue) to practice the other day … and I had a very hard time to get up with it. So I dropped that to 40 and hit the treadmill 3 miles and 3 mph. I will need to do that for awhile before increasing the weight. I’m 220 wanting 180 but at 66 yrs it’s becoming harder to do things. Hips, knees, shoulders, knuckles .. they are all stiff and ache. So I may have to cut back. But to tell someone just bring 12 rounds of ammo …… that’s crazy. Get an AR in 22 cal, the Ruger Takedown fits well in our ruts. 300 rnds of 22lr is light. I have a Glock M22 40 can with a 22 conversion that works great, same for 1911 45 / 22. In reality, it all comes down as to what the threat is perceived to be. CPAP: my new one is 10 oz, and 6 days of rechargeable batteries are 4 lbs. Solar panel or 110 to recharge the batteries. Forget the CPAP = loud snoring and dog tired wakeup.
A commercial option for people who choose to take the minimalist route is the Pocket Survival Pak from Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL). This wallet-size packet of miniature multi-use survival items includes duct tape, a pencil, safety pins, seweing needle, nylon thread, aluminum foil, compass, fish hooks and sinkers, magnifying lens, braided nylon cord, stainless steel wire, scalpel blade, signal mirror, fire starter, tinder, waterproof paper, whistle, and a waterproof instructional sheet on the items.

The Stealth Tactical bug out bag assumes that you have not been able to make it to a shelter and will need to fend for yourself in the outdoors. As such there’s plenty of tactical gear to keep you moving, keep you dry, keep you hydrated and keep you safe. That includes a dozen packets of purified water, rain ponchos, emergency sleeping bags, a fire starting kit, survival knife, foldable saw, emergency whistle, first aid kit, paracord, multi tool, candles and even a stethoscope so you can monitor your health.


There’s always going to be the debate of Bugging In v. Bugging Out, and that is really our job as readers and posters to decide which is best for us and determine the situations/scenarios we may be faced with. What degree of societal collapse do we need to see, before we get the heck out of town? Obviously, the more rural your location is, the higher the probability of staying in place will be. One’s health, general level of physical conditioning and age are all factors we need to consider. It’s easy to say “Get into shape,” but the reality is that may not be possible for some of us with long standing health problems. For those of us incapable of increasing our strength or endurance, Bugging Out may be our last option.

The term "survival kit" may also refer to the larger, portable survival kits prepared by survivalists, called "bug-out bags" (BOBs), "Personal Emergency Relocation Kits" (PERKs) or "get out of Dodge" (GOOD) kits, which are packed into backpacks, or even duffel bags. These kits are designed specifically to be more easily carried by the individual in case alternate forms of transportation are unavailable or impossible to use.


Sealed water proof polly buckets of rice, beans, powdered milk, grains, cereals, sugar and seeds can have a long shelf life and can be purchased commercially or prepared at home. For more perishable foods and as another option, traditional food preservation techniques such as home canning, smoking, dehydrating, freezing and pickling should be considered for intermediate term food storage.
The second point I wish to make is on the motorcycle battery. I’ve been doing the ham radio field day thing for more years than I care to count. A WET Cell battery such as a motorsports battery is fine for a fixed location but not a wise choice for a bob. even the sealed batteries are a risk as they can crack and leak, and leave sulfuric acid all over your gear as well as your skin. There are many choices of other classes of batteries, gell cells and similar that will do the job, granted with shorter life spans and higher cost, but without the safety issue the liquid electrolyte of the motorcycle battery. We can go on and on and on about the choices and what to look for, but that’s for another time, just being aware of the risk of the acid containment is the big issue on this one.
Having to survive can happen anywhere, from a storm that downs powerlines for days to hikers on the trail who get lost and need to stay out for several nights until they’re found. Having the right survival kit in hand will give you piece of mind and might just save your life. There are survival kits for the trail and those designed for homes and even vehicles. Here’s what to look for when choosing the kit that’s just right for your needs.
Personal Locator Beacons: These are smaller, affordable, reliable, and offer many new features. Companies like SPOT and DeLorme now offer products that post almost real-time tracks of adventurers far off the grid. The SPOT Gen3, for example, sells for as low as $150 and enables users to send simple, pre-programmed messages (all ok, send help, etc.) to friends and family or initiate rescue through a first-responder network.
Even if you’ve got a good stockpile of food going and you’re cycling as needed to keep your emergency stores edible, that doesn’t mean you’re ready for a true disaster. Having everything stored up and ready at home is great, but what if you’re away from home when a true survival scenario occurs? All your preparation and stockpiling means nothing if you don’t have access to it. That’s why you need to also have a get home bag. A get home bag is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a backpack with some emergency supplies that should be enough to get you home safely in the event of something catastrophic or dangerous happening.
I noticed that a reliable light weight firearm was on the list. While many may think it uselss, a good high powered barrel break pellet rifle can do almost as much as a 22 rifle. A hundred dollars will get you one at Walmart that you can switch from .177 caliber to 22 caliber. The rifle breaks down and is easily carried inside of a decent back pack. The weight of the ammo is significantly lighter as well. This can be used to take down most birds, squirls, rabbits, small pigs and even foxes as well as racoons, armadillo’s. And snakes. All sources of protein.
There are many names for bug out bags, and actually different types of bags, as well as many definitions and schools of thought for each bag. One of the key things that I try to preach is that your bug out bags shouldn’t look tactical or military. A huge camouflage bug out bag with lots of equipment hanging off of it, worn by a guy in 5.11’s and a khaki shirt screams prepper (amateur one at that) and that guy’ll be a prime target for people with more training than sympathy. Watch your OPSEC when deciding what to wear.

In tropical areas, a survival kit may have mosquito head netting, additional insect repellent, anti-fungal cream, a machete, water purification tablets, foot powder, matches, a flint strike, a compass, a wire saw, a space blanket, medical equipment (gauze pads, elastic gauze bandage, antiseptic creams, anti-malaria tablets, anti-infection tablets, bandages, etc.), salt tablets, a fishing kit, snare wire, extra socks, a candle, a signal mirror, flares, a sewing kit, safety pins, tinder, tape, a whistle, and rations.
×