All posts tagged Tools

The Plain-Language Guide To Buying The Right Log Splitter

Image source:

By Kathy Bernier Off The Grid News

There are a lot of variables involved in splitting firewood for heat. Methods vary widely, depending upon individual needs and skills and upon the wood itself. There are still some people out there who split wood by hand, either because their firewood is soft, or they don’t use much of it, or they are just plain tough as nails. For people like me, who do not fit into any of those categories, there are many machines available for splitting wood.

If you are in the market for purchasing equipment for splitting wood at home, there are some useful things to know before you shop.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: The Plain-Language Guide To Buying The Right Log Splitter


Best Tool For Prepping | Backdoor Survival

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

Have you ever stopped to consider the very best tool in your preparedness arsenal?  I am asked this question all of the time.  Requests come from readers, other bloggers looking for a quote, and even from independent authors doing research for their next book.

Now you might be thinking that I am setting you up to pitch a list of the top 10 items in my survival storage locker. Although that list may be interesting, nothing could be further from the truth.

What, in my opinion, is the very best tool for prepping?

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival:Survival Buzz: The Very Best Tool For Prepping

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on

Bushcraft tools on camouflage background

By  – SurvivoPedia

Bushcraft–the art of living off the land and thriving–is considered primitive by urban standards, but it is a low stress world that you build for yourself and your family. Sometimes it is hard to explain the joy and the sense of pride you feel when you know how to build your home, grow your own food, thrive, and prosper where many others cannot.

This life style is usually voluntary in countries such as the US, Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa. As an Eagle Scout, bushcraft was a way of life for me too. Through the long journey from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout you develop a love and understanding for this way of life.

But in a post-crisis scenarios you may have to survive in non-urban and/or hostile conditions for months, years, or the rest of your life.

Are you prepared to survive like this?

The 5 Tools that You Need

When you are living off the land, there is no way to go to a store and buy the tools you need. Therefore, bushcraft also encompasses making the tools you need in order to achieve all of your objectives and making purchased ones last as long as possible.

Depending on the geographic location, you will find that indigenous people have their own unique designs for locally fabricated tools.

In a post crisis scenario, having an eye for tool design and cultural markings can be an important part of being able to communicate effectively with other groups and gain a faster understanding of their intent, outlook, and past actions towards strangers.

There are five types of bushcraft tools (fixed blade knives, hatchets, axes, saws, and machetes) that you should be able to create, use, and maintain in wilderness settings.

While you can buy all of the tools listed in this article, being fully prepared for any crisis means that you can also manufacture serviceable items from natural materials. Consider studying metallurgy, stone knapping, whittling, and geology (in order to know which rocks carry metal ores of interest, etc.)

1. Fixed Blade Knives

The fixed blade knife should be a well-built knife that will give you years of good service without breaking or badly rusting. These knives are best suited for light to medium field duty as carving or whittling, skinning game, making snares and traps, preparing food, or cutting down branches smaller than your wrist.

How to Clean Your Knives

Always keep your knife clean, clean the blade and handle after each use. Do not soak the knife in water. Instead use a mild solution of soap and water on a clean rag or paper towels should remove any dirt and debris that may have accumulated during use.

Keep your fixed blade knife dry. After cleaning or exposing the knife to moisture the knife most be completely dried. Use WD-40 on the blade only to displace any moisture to prevent water spots and oxidation from forming. Then oil all metal parts. Remember to oil the knife regularly. Finger prints and weather are the primary cause of rust and corrosion.

Keep your knife sharpened. A sharp knife is safer and easier to use than a dull one. If you are new to knife sharpening use a fixed angle sharpening kit. This will give you a consistent grind from tip to base. Practice your knife sharpening skills on cheap knifes instead of expensive knives.

How to Store Your Knives

When not in use oil the blade and store the knife in a cardboard sheath. Do not store the knife in a nylon or leather sheath that came with the knife because it traps moisture and cause the knife to rust. A cardboard sheath will wick the moisture away from the blade’s surface and prevent dust from accumulating. Keep this knife stored in a cool low humidity area while in storage.

There are a few knives that I would recommend for bushcraft. Keep in mind that all the prices that you will see below are the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for each item.

Axe Combo

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: Why You Need These 5 Basic Bushcraft Tools


By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

While out in the woods – perhaps on an overnight (or longer) excursion – there are some tools which you might consider bringing along which may help you build shelters and build fires.

The question is, what are some of these tools?


Trench Shovel


US Military Original Issue Entrenching Shovel

Maybe a genuine U.S. military issue durable trenching shovel (not a clone).

This is THE TOOL that all others are measured by.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Tools For The Woods – Shovel, Hatchet, Bowie, Saw



Newspaper is a wonderful multi-purpose product that certainly has a place in your stockpile, which could be used within the house, and also for outdoor survival.

Let’s see some functionally valuable survival uses for newspaper if SHTF.

Insulation for Walls or Pipes

newsppWhen building houses 100 years ago, newspaper was often used as insulation. It was cheap and effective.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you have to build an abode, or your home is damaged and you need to fix it in SHTF situation, newspaper is a great insulator.

You can also wrap your pipes in it at night to prevent them from freezing.

Starting Fires

You can, of course, use newspaper as a fire starter as-is. Just wad it up and put it underneath your kindling. Or, you can roll it up or shred it and coat it in wax. Allow it to dry and cut or break into pieces if necessary. When you need to light a fire, just set it on the wood and light it. This is an awesome way to repurpose both old candle wax and newspapers.

Try stirring the shredded paper in wax and then stuffing it into toilet paper rolls. That works really well and gives you something to hold the whole, gloppy mess while it dries. If you’d like, dip the whole thing in wax and use whole or slice. We slice ours into 3 or 4 pieces before it’s completely hardened.

Toilet Paper

Just like the Sears and Roebuck catalog of old, newspaper will serve quite well as toilet paper in a pinch. Don’t use the glossy paper for this – just the print paper. To make it soft, just wad it up and rub it between your knuckles a little.

If you really need directions for this use beyond this bit of advice, please read our article on Homemade Substitutes for Toilet Paper.

Bullet Proofing

This isn’t myth; it’s fact. Phone books or stacks of newspaper, if compressed together into a solid wall that’s a few inches thick, will stop most bullets.

You can either use this inside your walls or you can build barricades sort of like sandbags in designated areas that you’re planning to use ase defense areas.

Organic Weed Prevention

Instead of using black plastic, layer your garden beds with a layer of newspaper. It’s biodegradable and will stop the growth of weeds just as effectively as the black plastic that many people use. Place a few layers down and weight it by wetting it a bit or by placing some rocks on the corner. The added benefit here is that it actually helps fertilize the soil for the next season, too.

Blanket or Protection from Dampness Under Sleeping Bag

You’ve often seen bums, at least on TV, sleeping under newspapers. There’s a good reason for that: they’re warm! Just a couple of layers of newspaper serves to block the wind and hold in body heat. Of course, the more layers you have, the warmer you’ll be.

A few layers of newspaper will also help to insulate you from the cold or wet ground. Just place it under you before you lie down.

Draft-Proofing or Covering Windows

Just as it works well for insulating you and your walls, newspaper makes an excellent draft-stopper around your doors and windows. Just tuck it into the cracks and you’ll be amazed by how much cold air you’ll keep out (or in, as the case may be in the summer).

If you’re looking for a quick way to cover your windows in order to keep people from seeing in, or to camouflage your house so that it looks less appealing, newspaper works wonders. As a matter of fact, this is one of our favorite survival uses for newspaper. Just wet it with water, or even add a bit of flour to make it stickier, and stick it on the windows.

This has the added benefit of being easy to remove and if you only add one layer, you’ll still get plenty of light but people won’t be able to see in.

Homemade Seed Pots

paper potNewspaper is so easy to work with that you can shape it into just about anything that you want to make out of it.

People wet it and wrap it around balloons to make pinatas and fold it into cute little baskets.

In the same vein, you can cut the newspaper into squares, wet it, and layer it over the end of a baseball bat or other object of similar size. Allow it to dry and voila!

You have biodegradable seed pots, perfectly sized! You can plant the seedling, cup and all, when it’s big enough to set outside.

Entertainment or Education

One of the things that we always stress is that it’s just as important to have entertainment items such as cards and books in your stockpile as it is to have weapons and food in order to alleviate boredom and maintain morale.

Old newspapers are great sources of reading material; there are almost always great articles, comics, and informational pieces as well as current news in there so that you’ll keep your mind occupied by reading it. Also, if you have kids who are learning to read, newspapers will be a good way to practice those skills.

Final Words

There are a ton of uses for old newspapers if you just get creative. You can use them as lint-free ways to clean your windows, and to make papier mache decorative items. Toss them in the rack beside your fireplace to help you get your fire started or use the funny papers as an original, environmentally-friendly way to wrap gifts.

(Video first seen on Woman’s Day)

The list of potential uses goes on and on. But there are some things that you just wouldn’t realistically use it for.

When researching the topic of survival uses for newspaper in an attempt to find some great ideas on top of what we already knew, we came across some absolutely ridiculous ideas. One was using the newspaper as a weapon, that we just believed pushed the boundaries of common sense unless you have absolutely nothing else to throw at an enemy. Even then, we’d suggest running instead of trying to beat them to death with the comics section.

Just as with all survival decisions, use your head and be logical.

If you have some great ideas about survival uses for newspaper, please share them with us in the comments section below!

Find out more about survival uses of multipurpose items on Conquering the Coming Collapse.

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Real-Life Survival Uses for Newspaper

About Theresa

Theresa Crouse is a full-time copywriter currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She has an intense passion for all things SHTF-related because she believes that it’s better to be prepared and have nothing happen, than to be unprepared when something does! She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. In keeping with her upbringing and her beliefs, Theresa has a large stockpile, cans her own food from her family garden, raises her own livestock and has several different survival plans in place, both independently and in conjunction with her neighbors. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.



For many preppers, gear is the name of the game when it comes to disaster survival.  While we here at Survivopedia like to advocate skill building over the collection of supplies, there are certain tools and equipment that can be live saving when SHTF.

You’re probably already familiar with the term bug out bag and you may already have one (or more) of your own.  Everyone has his or her own idea of what a bug out bag should look like, but there is no such thing as the perfect set up.

But a bug out bag isn’t just only intended for those individuals intent on getting out of dodge as soon as disaster strikes.  Furthermore, bugging out may not always be a viable option.  The survival essentials that you’d want to have in a wilderness or on-the-road survival situation are the same items you’d want on hand at home when SHTF.

With that in mind, we’ll introduce you to some essential tools to keep in your home to give you a much better chance at surviving a disaster.

Since we’re assuming you’ll be using your home as a shelter, we won’t discuss tools associated with shelter building.  We will focus on the other crucial components for survival including:

  • Water procurement
  • Fire-making
  • Cooking
  • First Aid
  • Communication
  • Security

Water procurement

Water is the single most important element you need to survive.  It’s a great idea to store large quantities of water in your home in case of emergencies, but keep in mind even bottled water has a shelf life and requires rotation.  When the pipes run dry and your stores run out, you’ll need a way to procure water on your own. In a survival situation you should aim to drink at least 1-liter of water each day.

Keep in mind that you’ll not only need water for drinking, but for cooking, cleaning, and hygienic purposes as well.

Boiling rainwater and making a homemade still are options, but when it comes to water-procuring tools a purifying straw can be a great device to own.  The LifeStraw is an award-winning polifestraw-personal-water-filterrtable filtration device that allows you to drink directly from any fresh water source, contaminated or not.

Its basically a big, plastic tube that allows you to suck water through a series of hollow fibers in a process called microfiltration–this frees the water you drink from 99.9% of bacteria and parasites.

A single personal LifeStraw can filter up to 1,000 liters of water and has a 3-year shelf life.


Fire is essential for keeping warm, disinfecting water, cooking, and overall morale.  If you already have a wood-burning fireplace in your home you’re off to a good start, as those powered by gas and electricity will be quick to fail when SHTF.

Whether hunkering down or bugging out, it’s recommended you always carry at least 3 tools for starting a fire.  This could be your basic plastic lighter, a box of waterproof matches, a magnesium rod and striker, or emergency flares.  Regardless of you’re preferred choice, always have a backup to your backup.

In addition to actually starting a fire, you’ll need tools capable of providing you with a sustainable supply of fuel, most often in the form of wood.  The best tools for gathering wood are wood-splitting mauls (somewhere in the 6 to 8 pound range), crosscut saws, and sledgehammers and wedges.


Many home preppers are advocates of stockpiling as much shelf-stable, dehydrated, and non-perishable food items as your space and budget can afford.  Whether or not this is your route, you’ll still need a handful of basic tools and utensils to make meal preparation and cooking much easier.

  • Basic utensil set (fork, knife, spoon) or spork
  • Can opener
  • Plate set
  • Enamelware camp mug
  • Single burner stove (with extra fuel canisters)
  • Homemade alcohol stove
  • Metal pot

First Aid

Hopefully you already have a sense of what should go into a basic survival first aid kit.  Things like gauze, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial ointment, bandages, and scissors are all basics that you should have on hand.

Some other essential first aid tools and instruments to consider include:dreamstime_s_27991494

  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • Suture kit
  • Razor blades
  • Tampons
  • Surgical tubing


In an earlier post, we went into some detail about the importance of familiarizing yourself with various communications systems and devices.  When disaster strikes, power lines and cell towers are sure to be affected and leave you without information pertaining to your surroundings.

In a disaster situation, knowledge is the key to your survival.  That begs the importance of having a backup radio (or two or three) on hand to make receiving and transmitting pertinent information to others a possibility.  Beyond the radio itself you probably won’t need many tools to keep it operating aside from a power source and antenna.

See the post on communications or its follow up on some less-conventional techniques for more information on this topic.


In a hunker-down, home survival scenario, you must think about what measures you are willing to take to protect your family and property.

No bug out bag or home of a self-respecting prepper should be without some form of weapon to be used for self-defense and security purposes.  Firearms should be your first option if available to you, as they are the most effective and powerful of self-defense weapons.  Not to mention they have the ability to put food on the table if used for hunting.

Other self-defense tools/items include:

  • Pepper spray
  • Gun cleaning kit
  • Gun oil/lubrication

If a gun isn’t available to you, you may consider using one of the multi-purpose tools listed in the next category, as some of them can be adapted to be used for security in addition to their intended practicality.

Misc. Tools

The equipment listed below may not fall specifically into the categories above but are commonly found in bug out bags and home preparedness kits alike because of their versatility.

  • Crowbar
  • Fixed-blade knife
  • Paracord
  • Siphon/hand pump
  • Hatchet
  • Heavy-duty flashlight (Maglite works best)
  • Multi-tool/Swiss Army knife
  • Duct tape
  • Garden wire

Keep in mind that every prepper is different and has his/her own ideas of what tools, equipment, and supplies you should have on hand when SHTF. Arguably, you’ll have a much better chance surviving a disaster scenario if you stay in your home and use the resources you already have to foster the survival of your family.

The categories mentioned above and their associated tools are commonly considered the most important components and essential equipment for surviving any adverse scenario.

Check out our other posts for more in-depth discussion of these categories and to help get a better sense of what tools you should have on hand.

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Essential Tools for Home Survival

Find out more about surviving after disaster on The Prepper’s Blueprint.

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3,


Here is another video from Wranglerstar in which he shares his recommendations for several tools that you my find yourself dependent upon if we have to survive Economic collapse. Most of this video is from the perspective of tools for cutting or managing firewood. If we do have a collapse, one of the first things you won’t have or most likely be able to afford is oil or gas to heat your home. In addition to heating, firewood will be necessary for cooking. If you have no tools to cut wood then this video can help you with some suggestions that you can add to your list of prepping supplies. – The Prepper Journal