10 Basic Tools You’ll Need for When SHTF

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When a major survival situation happens, you may not have the ability to call a handyperson or company to fix things for you. You have to be able to repair, build, and stabilize items on your own.

Part of your survival preparations will involve stocking up on supplies such as food, water, and medical gear. However, you also want to make sure that you have the right tools on hand that will empower you to keep your property maintained and in good condition.

Every prepper should have ten basic tools that will allow you to tend to your homestead or campsite if you happen to be in a bug-out situation. You can buy these on a budget or spend more on a durable, top-notch product.


When it comes to multi-tools, you can buy those that are pocket-sized and some that are larger. For example, Leatherman multi-tools are very popular pocket-sized gadgets, as are many other Swiss army multi-tools on the market.

Each multi-tool that you are considering buying will have different functions built into it. They may have different types of blades or wire cutters, pliers, or screwdrivers. Some of them will have bottle openers.

Ideally, you want to find one that can attach to any gear, such as a MOLLE sheath. That allows you to take it with you on the go without taking up space inside a backpack.

Some multi-tools are more durable than others. Look to see what the coating is and try to find one that is corrosion resistant or waterproof so that it doesn’t rust out and ruin early on.

You can buy multi-tools that are not pocket-sized but still include many tools built into one gadget. For example, you can find an ax or hatchet with additional elements that fold into the handle.

So a good example of this would be a gadget with an ax on one side and a hammer on the other. Folding into the handle, there will be a saw, bottle opener, file, pliers, knife, and screwdriver.

While these may be too big to fit in your pocket, they are a good size to go into your bug-out bag or to store easily at home in your tools. They don’t take up a lot of space, yet they serve many purposes.

Key Take-Aways on Multi-Tools

• Perfect for those who need a reliable and portable multi-tool
• Each Tool has different functions, such as blades and wire cutters.
• Some can be worn on MOLLE or belt sheath making them easily accessible.

Axes, Saws, Machetes, and Hatchets

Not everyone wants an all-in-one tool. Or, some people have a small Swiss army knife to take on the go and like to have larger items for use on their homestead. You will want the type of gear that allows you to cut into things easily.

That can include axes, hatchets, machetes, and saws. The only difference between an ax and a hatchet is its size. An ax is usually used with two hands, such as chopping down a tree, and a hatchet is a miniature model that only requires one hand.

You may want to have one of both on hand for survival purposes. When you are shopping for the right ax, you will want one that can be used in any weather and for any purpose.

You may be splitting wood for kindling, and you don’t want to use an ax with a wooden handle that is rotting from the elements. Many of today’s axes come with protective sheaths to help you store your tool and keep it in good shape.

When shopping for a hatchet, make sure you get one that has a good handle that will not allow slippage. You also want a durable steel blade and protective finish that prevents rusting.

Machetes come in many different sizes and are perfect for bushcraft survival, where you may need to remove debris from your path. Again, you want some nonslip handle so that you don’t accidentally cut yourself – along with a sheath for the blade to keep it in working order.

When shopping for a saw to own for survival purposes, make sure you don’t go with a corded version in case the grid goes down. You want a handsaw that you can use whenever you need to build things or cut something with a razor-sharp blade.

Make sure that the saw you purchase can cut through many different materials, including wood, plastic, and more. These will come in handy if you have to build some shelter for yourself and your loved ones.

Key Take-Aways on Axes, Saws, Machetes, and Hatchets

• Axes and Hatchets: One of Thing You Need To Survive
• Tools that allow you to cut into things easily Machetes being used for bushcraft survival
• Non-slip handle on machetes to avoid injury from accidental cuts
• Handsaw should be cordless so it can operate at anytime


There are so many different knives used for survival that it’s almost impossible to cover them all. You can find knives specifically for hunting or tactical measures, those for camping and small jobs, and more.

Some of them have fixed blades, while others do not. Some of them are folding knives. They come in a wide range of price points, from under $25 to over $200 each. The only thing you don’t want to do is go with a cheap knife that will fall apart on you early on.

You will want to own more than one knife. You want to examine all the different knife options and select those you know will work best for you. Some of them may be serrated blades, while others are not.

If possible, find knives that have a sheath to carry them on a belt if you are out and about or on your property multitasking. You can always purchase a sheath separately if you have to, but it’s always best to find one made specifically for the knife you have purchased.

Key Take-Aways on Knives

• Fixed blade or folding? You decide
• Remember to invest in quality knives for good survival chances
• Don’t be fooled by low prices• Knives are an investment that will last you a lifetime
• You really need more than one knife to get the job done
• Invest in knives that suit your needs best

Duct Tape

It’s always good to have heavy-duty duct tape on hand for your homestead or bug-out purposes. Using duct tape, you can patch holes in important gear, use it for first aid, help build your shelter, and much more.

This is one of the strongest types of tape that you can have, and it’s a good idea to learn all of the different uses in terms of survival before you get in a dire situation. You don’t want to own just one roll of duct tape.

You can buy different colors of duct tape, too. They come in black and silver, which are the most popular colors. It would be best if you had many. But you can also buy it in camouflage so that you can stay hidden or in bright orange in case you need to summon help.

Key Take-Aways on Duct Tape

• Strong and durable with numerous uses
• Easy to apply with your bare hands
• Comes in a variety of colors for customization

Paracords and Ropes

Paracord is a type of rope that historically has been used for parachutes. It is a very sturdy type of rope – one of the strongest you can own. It has many uses in the survival world.

One of the reasons paracord is so popular with survival preppers is because it can hold a tremendous amount of weight. You can find paracord in bulk on a spool or as a piece of jewelry, such as a paracord bracelet.

It can be used to tie gear up, repair broken gear or shelters, as a fishing line or to trap animals, and more. You can braid it and get even more strength out of it or break it down into smaller threads for different uses.

While paracord is one of the strongest types of ropes you can own, you may also want to own other utility ropes for survival purposes. With common nylon utility rope, you can create pulleys and winches whenever you need to, use them for construction purposes, for towing or tying something down, and more.

Key Take-Aways on Paracord and Ropes

• Can be used for different purposes and build shelters
• It is made of a stronger material than any other type of rope
• Uses: tie gear up, repair broken gear or shelters, as a fishing line or to trap animals


Many people don’t realize how much they need a shovel until they don’t have one. When you are in a survival situation, you may need a shovel to dig spaces on your campsite, such as for a fire pit, to help your vehicle get unstuck, build an inground latrine, and build a trench in certain weather conditions, and more.

Shovels can also serve different purposes, such as hammering in a nail or even for self-defense in some cases. You can purchase different types of shovels, such as those that fold up and those that don’t.

You may want one that allows you to easily fold it and take it on the go in your backpack. Some have extension handles that can be added to a smaller shovel.

Some of them will have a carrying case that protects your gear from erosion. Some shovels serve as multi-functional survival tools, where the handle is made up of a variety of different gadgets, including fire starters, knives, bottle openers, hacksaws, and more.

Key Take-Aways on Shovels

• A one-stop shovel that can be utilized for different tasks
• Variety of products to choose from
• Allows you to take it anywhere with its compact size and practical carrying case
• Folds up easily and safely


When you buy a hammer, you also choose to purchase one item or buy it as a multi-tool. Some hammers almost look like Swiss army knives, and those serve a very specific purpose.

For example, there are safety hammers that you can use for emergency purposes to break glass and escape a car easily. These have seat belt cutters built in to help with the escape process.

Some survival hammers have a handle that is wrapped in paracord. The United Cutlery Apocalypse Survival Hammer can also serve as a cane in case someone has trouble walking.

Key Take-Aways on Hammers

• Safety hammers are the perfect emergency tool
• Survival hammers can be useful for emergency situations
• Look out for different kinds of hammers, like safety and survival types

Wire Cutters

Sometimes, you will need some device that will cut for you, and scissors can’t do the job. In these cases, wire cutters will come in handy. Sometimes they will be strategic in helping you eliminate dangers, such as cutting the wires in someone else’s vehicle, which poses a threat to you to escape.

You may need to use them when you are hunting and have set up snares or traps. Without reliable electricity services, you may need to have the ability to cut connections or work with wire in some other way.

You can find heavy-duty wire cutters, as well as many bolt cutters to have on hand whenever you need them. Keep in mind that some of these are spring-loaded, and if the spring goes missing, the tool will not work.

You may want to purchase additional springs to have on hand so that the tool works for the long term. You can buy wire cutters individually or in packs where multiple cutters are sold in one bundle.

Key Take-Aways on Wire Cutters

• Save time and money by getting the right tool for the job
• Get tools for a variety of jobs, including cutting wires and other connections
• Buy wire cutters individually or in large packs for your family
• The spring-loaded bolt cutters expand your range of available tools

Pliers, Wrenches, Screwdrivers, and Files

Pliers can come in handy with building and repairing things and hunting or fishing for food. Get a pair of both needle nose and regular pliers to have all bases covered.

A wrench is very important because it can help you in many different survival situations. For example, if you are in a weather survival situation and need to shut off your gas, you may need a wrench to help you do that.

You can buy a wide variety of wrenches, including entire sets. Some of them are mini pocket tools, and others are large sizes for bigger jobs. Make sure you have several different sizes to meet all of your needs.

Make sure you also have screwdrivers in your survival toolsets. You can get these individually or in large sets. Some of them will have one handle with different attachments, such as a Phillips head, flathead, and more.

Files always come in handy whenever you’re having to cut and build things yourself. Whether it’s a shelter, dresser, or workbench, you’ll want a set of steel files that help you shape and smooth the item you’re working on.

Key Take-Aways on Pliers, Wrenches, Screwdrivers, and Files

• Save time and money by buying the tools you need in one place
• Find out what size wrench or screwdriver you need for your specific needs
• Get all the files you’ll ever need with our variety of options
• Get a wide array of wrenches, screwdrivers, and files at any budget

Work Gloves

During a survival situation, your hands will be beaten up more than in everyday, modern world. If you are growing your food, working on your homestead, washing clothes and dishes by hand, etc., your hands are bound to suffer.

You need to make sure that you have some tactical work gloves to protect your hands when working on certain projects. You can get them in different colors, such as camouflage options.

You’ll want to get a pair not only for yourself but also for your spouse as well as the children if they are old enough to help around the homestead. Make sure you get some that have plenty of padding, and that is breathable and comfortable.

Some work gloves are machine washable, and those are waterproof for long-term durability. The leather work gloves will be better at protecting your hands from punctures.

Important Take-Aways on Work Gloves

• Protect your hands from injuries
• Durable, breathable, machine washable
• Waterproof for reliability

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the various tools you’ll want to own in the event of a long-term survival situation. You’ll be responsible for hunting, building, repairs, and more – and only the best, durable tools will support you in these endeavors.

Key Take-Away on Basic Hand Tools

• Alleviate the stress of a long-term survival situation
• Get high quality, affordable tools to support you in your endeavors
• Avoid being stranded with no tools nearby