A lot depends on what you know and how smart you are. All of the fancy tools and prepping will be useless unless you can think on your feet.
So before we get into the actual survival gear and tools we will discuss the most important tool of all…
Number One Survival Tool, Your Brain
Without the knowledge of how to survive all the tools and prep in the world ain’t gonna help ya.
So I would suggest first of all READING – yes reading, I know who’s got time to read the world is ending? But hear me out on this. You need to read as much as possible on as many different subjects as possible in order to have the insights you will need to survive in a world with no rules.
Do you remember the 1997 movie “The Edge” that starred Anthony Hopkins? Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) only manages to survive in the Alaskan wilderness because of his encyclopedic knowledge of survival tactics. If all he had was some fancy gizmo’s he wouldn’t have made it.
So with that in mind here are my best recommendations if you want to read and really learn to survive. If you are already well read on the subject of survival then you can skip this section but you might miss out on some great reading.
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
The Ultimate Survival Manual (Outdoor Life): 333 Skills that Will Get You Out Alive
When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency, 2nd Edition
The Top 5 Survival Tools After Your Brain
Now for the actual tools. Even if you know everything there is to know about survival after many years of absorbing information, if you are left naked in the wilderness with no food, no water, no shelter, and no way to defend yourself you will still probably die. So with that in mind here are my top 5 tools to survive in the wilderness or in any other extreme situation (The Apocalypse, Zombie Invasion, Outbreak Scenario, Alien Invasion, ETC.). Keep in mind this list assumes you are not looking to be rescued, so all of the emergency flares, whistles, beacons, ETC. ain’t on this list. This list is purely for survival in an emergency situation.
1. The Multi-Tool
Ah yes the good old multi-tool where would the survival genre be without this?
This Survival tool is perfect if you find yourself in an urban survival situation where you might need more than a basic knife or pliers. You may need to take apart something or put something back together. A good multi-tool will have just about everything you need for this.
This is a very important tool to have so special care needs to be taken when shopping for a multi-tool. Some of the things I look for in a kick-ass multi-tool are;
- Strength. It needs to be able to last a lifetime. You probably won’t be able to find a new one when the cheapo dollar store multi-tool breaks a year after Armageddon.
- Rust Proof. Can you use it in salt water? Will it seize up in 6 months? Will the steel corrode and pit? Make sure it is made from a high quality stainless-steel or similar. I have personally seen cheap China stainless-steel rust rather quickly.
- As many tools included as possible. It’s called a multi-tool for a reason, duh. You want to have as many possibilities as you can and you want to carry the least amount of gear as possible so putting everything into one tool is a great idea.
These are some of the best selling multi-tools on the market.
Leatherman 831426 Wingman Multi-Tool
You can check out my review on the Leatherman Wingman Here.
Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X
Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier
2. Clean Drinking Water
I debated making this #1 on the list simply because without an easy to obtain supply of fresh, clean drinking water you will not survive.
To be honest all 5 of these things are equally important to make a go of it after it all goes tit’s up.
I can’t stress enough how important clean drinking water really is. What will you do when you turn your faucet on and nothing comes out? What happens when all of the local stores are empty and there are no more bottled water supplies? You won’t last long without clean water simple as that.
There are many ways of getting clean drinking water from whatever water you can find.
These are the best ways available as of right now.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System, Single, Blue
Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets
3. A Fire Starter
Without a way of reliably starting a fire you are as good as dead, luckily there are lots of options nowadays to get your flame on.
“Fire is good”. Fire can be used for protection, warmth, cooking, sterilization, and moral boosting. Nothing makes you feel like giving up more than sitting there cold and wet without a fire.
So here are some great options in the fire starting department.
SE FS374 Magnesium Fire Starter
Gerber 31-000699 Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter
Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle
4. A weapon
Unfortunately when society falls apart there will be many dangers, mostly from other survivors that want your stuff. You need a way to defend yourself and your family as well as kill animals for food and other lifesaving necessities.
When it comes to a weapon there are many factors involved in choosing the right tool for the job. You want something that is easily carried, simple to use, will hold up to extreme environmental conditions, and is effective for protection and hunting.
The multi-tool above can be used as a weapon in a pinch but for serious use something more suited for the job will be required. This comes down to essentially two options;
A Blade Weapon
I suggest having both as they go together well and are also mutually exclusive.
A blade weapon is just that, anything with a sharp blade. This can be a knife, hatchet, sword, machete, Etc. It comes down to personal preference, but you really can’t go wrong with a nice sharp knife.
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife, Serrated Edge [31-000751]
Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife with Fixed 1095 High Carbon Steel Blade and Black Kraton Handle and Sheath
A small hatchet can also be used to great effect in a skilled hand.
Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet Metal Handle
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk
A Machete is also a great choice if you want something a little larger than a knife and plan on really going off the beaten path. Plus a Machete looks more intimidating than a normal knife to a would-be attacker.
Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete
Kershaw Machete/Camp Knife (14-Inch)
A gun is arguably the best protection you can have, but will need more maintenance than a blade weapon and also requires ammunition which will probably be hard to find shortly after the Apocalypse.
An in depth discussion on the topic of firearms is well outside the scope of this article and frankly beyond my own expertise. If you would like to know all there is about the proper selection and use of various firearms you can check out some of these resources.
Shooter’s Bible Guide to Firearms Assembly, Disassembly, and Cleaning
You will definitely need something to protect your body from the elements and ways to carry around all the other equipment you will need to survive.
Luckily there are many types of survival back packs, pants, shirts, boots, hats, Etc. available on the market today that make it pretty easy to carry all you stuff with you and protect your all to vulnerable body from the harsh environment.
Survival Back Pack
When it comes to a survival back pack or ruck sack you have so many choices it can be difficult to decide on one. With that in mind I have researched the best survival back packs available and these are the top 3 that I have found.
Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack
5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack with Green Splash Bang Aluminum Water Bottle, Black
Condor 3 Day Assault Pack (Black, 3038-Cubic Inch)
Any one of these top of the line gear carrying monsters will fit the bill and provide years of service.
A good pair of boots is of vital importance when it comes to spending lots of time outdoors and in extreme environments. The last thing you need in a post-apocalyptic nightmare world is a foot injury or wet feet!
These are some of the best boots I could find available as of right now.
Timberland White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot
Timberland Men’s Chocurua Trail GTX Boot
Timberland Men’s Earthkeepers 6″ Lace-Up Boot
High Quality Pants
You might have a hard time finding some new clothes after the end of the world so having a couple pairs of high quality pants designed for outdoor use is very important. You want pants with lots of storage space (also known as “pockets” to laymen) to store other lifesaving equipment and also they need to be well built to last many years of punishing abuse.
Here are your best options as far as survival pants go.
5.11 #74273 Men’s TacLite Pro Pant
Propper Men’s Lightweight Tactical Pant
Will You Survive?
Making a go of it after the Apocalypse doesn’t have to hard and can even be quite enjoyable if you know what you’re doing and prepare accordingly.
Using your brain and the survival gear I have talked about today you can be guaranteed that you and your family will be SURVIVORS.
photo credit: I HAVE MADE FIRE via photopin (license)
photo credit: The Ferris wheel at Pripyat. via photopin (license)
photo credit: Abandoned, Larimer, Pittsburgh, June 13, 2015 via photopin (license)