What’s Your Must-Have Survival Tool?
What’s in your toolbox? More importantly, what’s in your survival toolbox? If you had to pick up and go right now, be it a Mother Nature-induced natural disaster, zombie apocalypse, or simply one of those myriad “problems” that involves having to get out of town fast, what would be the one thing you’d grab to survive before anything else? Here’s what Jp readers and industry bigwigs told us would be their necessities.
“If it is one item strictly [for] survival then it would be a good carbon steel bushcraft knife. You can make shelter, start fires, and hunt. If we are talking zombies, it would be an XDM 45 or an M1A.”—Reader Bob Sundquist via Jp’s Facebook page
“The only tool I need is my Jeep. I’ll just make distance. And my bolt action. I’ll be okay.”—Reader John Borders via Jp’s Facebook page
“Hi-Lift. End of story. It serves so many functions, I don’t leave my house without it. Tool, weapon, and if you’re a workout nut, impromptu weight set.”—Reader Liam Knee-sun via Jp’s Facebook page
“One tool? Hmm—my Leatherman. Like the original “Universal Jeep,” it can step up to many jobs and is very versatile. Small and compact, easy to carry, it is versatile as heck in a pinch! Why? All in one tool: I can cut things (large and small knife blade), two types of screw drivers, a file, small saw, pliers, can opener. These basic tools can accommodate food prep, cooking, fire making, first aid, vehicle repair, defense, shelter construction, and many unknown and unexpected applications. Case in point, I once changed a drag link with a broken shaft of a flat-blade screwdriver, a Leatherman, and a rock (aka hammer). Not easy, but we got out!”—Jim Repp, Jeep Wrangler vehicle integration engineer
“Trail survival would be a CB radio. My bug-out kit: .22 rifle, fixed-blade knife, compact fishing pole, small tent, and a firestarter.”—Reader Tom Cox via Jp’s Facebook page
“My number one item to grab on the trail, or when the zombies come, is going to be my Jeep—I have everything I might need in it!—Reader Jeremy Meadows via Jp’s Facebook page
“My V-8 Scrambler. Goes over or through anything, and has enough ‘onboard tools’ to handle most situations.”—Reader Randy Statton via Jp’s Facebook page
“As a former Marine all I need is my rifle, my K-bar, and my Jeep loaded with MREs and fuel. I can handle the rest.”—Reader Guillermo Martinez via Jp’s Facebook page
“Number one survival tool: fire starters. I’ve got a bag full of ways to start a fire (fat wood, matches, lighters, Ignite-o, Sternos) triple-bagged inside a waterproof box in my cargo area. I also always carry a 24-pack of bottled water, just in case. I carry that stuff with me because you just never know when you’ll need it. Thankfully I’ve never had to use it, but I follow the rule ‘Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.’ If zombies come? Been there, prepped for that. I’d just jump in the XJ and boogie on out. All ready to go...shovel, hatchet, crossbow, machete... aforementioned fire starters and water...full camping gear...old crank radio...Zombie Survival Guide...The only thing I’d need to make sure I grabbed would be my headphones. Gotta have some Pantera, Lamb of God, and Cannibal Corpse to start the zombie apocalypse, am I right?”— Jp reader Graeme B. Norfolk
“Obviously, my Jeep with stocked utility trailer, but if I had to have one weapon it would need to be hand-to-hand (guns are awesome but make noise and will draw more to you). I have an old 13-inch beef splitter cleaver (think Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York); it is a hybrid of an axe and a broadsword—the cutting power is off the charts without the risk of breaking a blade of a sword.”—Reader Phillip Earl via Jp’s Facebook page
“Stag Arms M4 5.56 16-inch barrel, iron sights, collapsible stock and a SOG tactical hatchet. Open-top Jeep with rear seat removed so I have a portable shooting platform.”—Reader John Spear via Jp’s Facebook page
“That is a tough one. One thing besides my rig? I’d have to make it a Leatherman. I’d say water or food, but those will run out. If I have my Leatherman, I can use it to work on my Jeep a bit and build the tools needed to get the other things that are critical to survival. Could I grab some clothes or would I just be a naked guy running around during the apocalypse in a Jeep with a Leatherman?”—Cooper Rasmussen, Diesel Power Products
“Mosin Nagant rifle. Cheap, easy to find ammo, and you can literally use it as a club.”—Reader Tim Fox via Jp’s Facebook page
“I usually run a SOG Powerlock, Leatherman Wave, or Leatherman Sidekick multitool when I know I’m heading into the “outback” as the overland dorks call it. I figure with one of these I can build a shelter, fashion digging tools, perform repairs, and other stuff to keep my sorry ass alive. I normally keep one in the center console or tool box of my Jeep. However, it’s not something I have every day and rarely something even when camping or exploring I clip to my belt. In fact, I’m more likely to have a .357, .45, or 9mm strapped to my waist than a multi-tool. So ultimately I wouldn’t call it my mostest must-have survival tool.”—Reader Aaron Bjorklund via Jp’s Facebook page
“This actually gets discussed from time to time around here. Obviously the answer would depend on what type of survival circumstance you were facing. Survival when you are operating from a vehicle and are in the vicinity of civilization is not much of a challenge. But if it’s the washed up naked on a deserted island with absolutely nothing else to work with scenario, I would choose an axe. Since the number one priorities for survival are water and shelter, and there is no tool to create water, I think the ability to build shelter would be the priority. From there you can devise a water collection strategy. And if there is no possibility of water collection, at least you will die in the shade! An axe can be used for construction, creating other survival gear like cords and tools or weapons, fire starting (with some natural elements), and defense from predators. It’s a reasonable offensive weapon for hunting; if it’s shiny, you can signal with it. It’s compact and relatively lightweight, and it can replace a number of more specialized tools (knives, saws, multi-tools etc.). So the axe is my choice, and if I could pick one more, a Mylar survival blanket/sheet. Those and a few critters to eat and I would be good to go!”—Mike Furrier, Desert Rat Off Road Truck Centers
“Handgun, clip on folder, and my hunting knives.”—Reader James Rairigh via Jp’s Facebook page
“’Must-have survival tool’? My AK. It’s least likely to jam when covered in zombie innards. ‘Number-one trail survival tool’? Somebody who knows how to cook. I wasn’t a very good Home Ec student. I’m pretty handy with a can opener or chip bag, though.”—Reader Phillip Salfen via Jp’s Facebook page
“A pickle fork, without a doubt! It can be used as a stabbing or bludgeoning weapon, as a tool for separating, prying, hammering, cutting, eye bolt screwing, chiseling....What can’t a freaking pickle fork do?! Seriously guys, a pickle fork all the way. Weapon and tool, all rolled into one!”—Reader Bill Jordan via Jp’s Facebook page
“A couple of fat guys. My motto: I don’t have to run fast, just faster than you.”—Reader Oliver Block via Jp’s Facebook page.