Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tools For The 72-Hour Kit

Aside from food, water, clothing, and other personal stuff to make life bearable in an emergency situation, there are some tools that should be included in your Grab-n-Go kit. Here's my list of favorites
  • Two knives: A strong folding knife for your pocket, and a stout sheath knife for your belt. You'll probably use the folder for most tasks, but the hefty blade of the sheath knife is irreplaceable when it comes to splitting wood and taking care of serious cutting duties. Make sure the sheath knife has a heavy spine, so you can safely whack it with a chunk of wood when splitting kindling. 

  • Multitool: I carry a Leatherman Surge that I've had for several years. Yes, it's heavier than some of the others, but that's one of the reasons I chose it. Other great choices are the Gerber Diesel, the SOG Powerlock, and my wife prefers the Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit for its superior finish and lighter weight. These tools are so handy, I hate to be without one. Before buying, study all the tool functions. Some multitools are more suited to a jobsite than a survival situation. 

  • Flashlight: A headlamp style is especially useful, as it allows you to free up your hands for tasks other than carrying the light. In addition to a headlamp, I always carry my SureFire Outdoorsman and spare batteries for both. 
  • Fire starters: Never leave home without at least two or three. But the real key to success at getting a fire lies in the preparation of the tinder and kindling. Practice, practice, practice. I carry a Swedish FireSteel striker, a Brunton Stormproof lighter, and a cheap Bic. 

  • Heavy leather gloves: Absolutely required if you want to prevent injury to your hands when fighting your way through a survival situation. Something as seemingly minor as a splinter or a cut can become infected and lead to serious illness and death when medical care is not available. 
  • Can opener: This might be part of the multitool, but I always carry a military P38-type can opener that folds down to nearly nothing but opens a can like a wizard. I never want to have to play machoman and drive the blade of my knife through a can to open it. Too much chance of either slipping and hurting myself or damaging the blade. 

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