If You Could Only Take 5 Tools With You In An Outdoor Survival Scenario – What Would They Be? Ken Jorgustin 60 Comments A question for all who come across this post – If all you could take with you are five tools in an outdoor survival scenario – what would they be? Please comment with your opinion… Share this article! This Page - Unique Human Visits0 (today) 1 (week) 2 (month) Related Posts That You Might Like: About The Author Ken Jorgustin Ken Jorgustin, author of Modern Survival Blog, writing a unique mixture of lifestyle prepping & preparedness topics since early 2010. 60 Comments Arkaden 07/24/2014 A doctor, a farmer, an engineer, a soldier, and a politician (someone needs to clean the outhouse, right?) In all seriousness: -a quality fixed blade knife -a .22 caliber rifle/ammo -a flint rod and steel (fire starting) -a tarp -a steel pot for boiling water Reply Frugal Prepper 07/24/2014 Ditto Reply If Only 5 07/24/2014 A steel canteen with a screw-on lid for collecting, carrying, and boiling water. A length of 550 Paracord. A magnesium firestarter / flint rod & steel. A quality fixed blade knife. A tarp. Reply Peanut Gallery 07/24/2014 I’m with “If only 5”. It was a toss up between the paracord or the .22, but with the paracord you can make snares which are silent where as a .22 will make noise drawing attention to you. Reply 21Bravo 07/24/2014 Folding Saw Axe K-Bar Knife Magnesium Fire Starter Canteen Reply tango 07/24/2014 22lr knife fire starting stuff water container tarp Reply Chamele0n 07/24/2014 This really depends on the environment and circumstances. Assuming I am alone with no need for communication devices. And assuming I am properly trained, clothed and knowledgeable. Here in Indiana, I would go with a very similar list. I would trade the .22 for a light AR and 5.56 ammo. Yes, the ammo weighs more, but I am only carrying 4 other things, so I think I can make do. We have lots of deer and coyote, which a an ar will drop from hundreds of yards. Here in Indiana we also have more humans. I don’t think anyone will argue .22 as a better defensive round over the 5.56. Don’t get me wrong. I love .22, but for me in this limited scenario, I will go with the ar. I may also trade the knife for a very sharp hatchet. This could be used for cutting wood, skinning animals and as a hammer. A definite yes on the pot for boiling water and stew and a definite yes on a type of fire starter… preferably several. Finally, I may trade the tarp for 550 cord. We have plenty of water sources here and the ax and cord could be used for building shelter. The cord can also be used for snares, sewing, fish line, etc. Reply hogdog 07/24/2014 Hand axe Case Pocket Knife Fire Starter Snare wire Steel Canteen Reply Sundance 07/24/2014 American express card Visa card Mastercard iPod car keys Thought ya’ll could use a chuckle Reply Gravity 07/24/2014 I did chuckle. Water. Some rations. A handgun. Keys to the well stocked BOL (that I don’t have). Oh, I get another item. A helicopter to get to the BOL that I still don’t have. Reply Joe Bloe 07/25/2014 I’d swap Amex for my Starbucks card. Otherwise, ditto. 😉 Really though: Fixed blade knife .22 Pistol (more portable, and I’m a crack shot from 250-275 ft) Tarp Flint kit Steel pot (solo stove, prolly) Reply poorman 02/14/2015 Swap two of the credit cards for a cell phone and AAA card Reply reroderic 07/24/2014 Lmf Tarp Klein rodman pliers Ideal reel full of wire Ripping handsaw Reply stonehambob 07/24/2014 Ax and wedge metal file to sharpen tools bow saw with several different blades dutch oven 22 lr/12 ga over under Reply Where Eagles Dare 07/24/2014 Machete SS container 12 gauge shotgun with 1000 rds of different shots,buckshot,slugs & birdshots wool blanket Binocular Reply Gravity 07/24/2014 A thousand rounds of 12? That’s a heavy ruck. Reply Joe Bloe 07/25/2014 Seems like 1,000 rounds would really hamper your mobility. Even a 50 round box is heavy… Multiplied by 20. Phewph! Reply Duder McGruder 07/24/2014 1. Permanent Match 2. SKS/Ammo 3. Filtered Water Bottle 4. Wool Blanket 5. Tarp Reply reroderic 07/24/2014 All great choices but I can build anything sturdy in minutes with wire and a reel and pliers Its my trade . But I can t imagine anyone without it. Faster than nails and wire is everywhere. Its solid too by the way.I think this is the ultimate skill set after food I.d. water purification and Security.overlooked often is the trade of jerryrigging and when one does it well its life over death Reply KenE 09/14/2016 I would include my leatherman wave in lieu of pliers Reply Fastlane 07/24/2014 1) Mid-size good quality Axe (if sharp, can be used for a knife) 2) A steel canteen with a screw-on lid for collecting, carrying, and boiling water. (thanks ‘if only 5’ <– forgot also for cooking) 3) A length of 550 Paracord. (you can also make a bow drill for fires) 4) 12 gauge shotgun with 1000 rds of different shots,buckshot,slugs & birdshot (thanks 'Eagles', but I would add a .22lr insert with .22lr ammo) 5) Tarp (you could use it to collect rainwater as well as shelter) Reply WestCoastAviator 07/25/2014 The five C’s: • Cutting device (knife). • Combustion device (fire starter). • Cordage (550 paracord). • Container (steel pot). • Cover (Tarp). Reply Me 07/25/2014 A sat phone to call for a rescue helicopter and enough money to celebrate my rescue. Reply Rabid Conservative 07/25/2014 ROFL…This answer was hysterical!! Reply No Brainer 07/25/2014 Life Straw – #1 priority Granola Bars or such A good knife Fire steel Fish hooks The rest I can make. Reply SteveO 07/25/2014 Recreational vehicle with a full fuel tank and fully stocked with food and beverages pulling a Bass boat and a dirt bike strapped to the rear bumper. LOL, everyone posted above have really good comments, I am just being funny. Reply Paul in Colorado 07/25/2014 1) Water jug 2) Bow saw 3) Knife 4) Tarp 5) Rossi Circuit Judge .45/410 with full variety of ammo it will shoot (bird shot, buck shot, .45 Long Colt, PDX self defense round) you should really consider this as an all around survival gun, capable of taking deer, coyote, squirrels, game birds, varmits and social work. Reply Paul in Colorado 07/25/2014 …. and I went on Craigslist after the articles about water the other day and bought a 1000 lb sturdy garden cart for only $45 … so I’d toss your rules and throw in my bugout bag, fire starter bag, med kit, cloth bags of food, skillets and camp pots, more water, tents, hand axe, coleman fuel, coleman stoves and still have room for my daughter to ride on top …. just “thinking about” what we would grab on the way out the door helps us mentally prepare. Thanks Ken for the daily drill! Reply Ken Jorgustin 07/25/2014 Thanks for all the comments – all of which provide value for others. I see that the “5 C’s” are a common thread… Appreciate the comedic items too 😉 Reply Ken from Somerset 07/25/2014 I would have to take what I consider to be the essentials. The rest I could improvise. #1 Fixed Blade Knife #2 Fire Starter #3 Katadyn Pocket Water Filter #4 Channel Locking Pliers #5 Rugger 10/22 Reply Tuck from Pa now in SC 07/25/2014 Here is what I would take My Multi tool My Swiss Army Knife Duct Tape Paracord and something I call my Hax, it is something I got at a Ren Faire, it is a combination of an axe, a spear, a sword, and I figure could replace those plus a machete. It’s not a toy, and it’s good quality and solid. Anything else I would make. Reply mwp 07/25/2014 Thought about it long ago so here goes 1st- I have a stainless set up from amazon, its a canteen with cup and lid in a carrier 2nd – A water filter(nuff said) 3rd – I have a hammock with bug netting and a tarp built in.( would rather sleep off the ground with no bugs and nor rain. Will repell rain at a good wind.) 4th -A good 16″ knife or camp axe by eastwing 5th – a good firestarter. Well thats my list as I would love to have paracord but at least here on the southern coast there is plenty of cordage to hepl with chores. Thanks for the time. Reply SteveO 07/26/2014 Where did you purchase this hammock? Sounds like something I could use. Reply Tex 07/26/2014 Not sure about the op’s hammock setup, but I use the ENO deluxe double sold by Eagles Nest Outfitters. Rainfly, bug net, and even an insulated liner are available. Very comfortable and lower cost compared to a Hennessy. Unless you have a small frame, the DoubleNest offers greater flexibility, especially at the shoulders. ENO Hammocks Reply Taco Picasso 07/25/2014 Ax, knife, fire starter, water purifier, Ruger 10-22 and ammo. Reply tango 07/25/2014 I have been rethinking my list– Knife Water Tarp Bear Gryls Cody Lunden Reply reroderic 07/25/2014 I would replace bear grylls with my grandpa Reply reroderic 07/25/2014 At 80 walks hills fast and still deadeye on squirrels. lived his whole life with little and felt rich Reply Tex 07/25/2014 Not including EDC items (edged weapon, sidearm + mags, flashlight): 1. Paracord 2. FireSteel 3. Axe 4. Stainless Steel Growler 5. Rifle/Ammo Paracord – lashing limbs for shelter, making snares, sewing clothing/bags FireSteel – fire starter for heat, cooking, and water purification Axe – cutting branches/saplings for traps/shelter, hammer for driving dowels SS Growler – water collection, purification, and storage Rifle/Ammo – force multiplier for hunting and defensive purposes Reply GreatAmericanRedoubt 07/25/2014 #1. Food #2. Fire #3. Fort #4. Flashlight #5. First Aid Reply What about a pack? 07/26/2014 What do you carry your tools in? I’d have a pack. Knife FireSteel Water Filter Kettle Reply Tex 07/26/2014 That was my first thought, but if I had to choose only 5 “tools”, other items were more important. I can make a net satchel or a pack out of paracord or game hide. Reply GoneWithTheWind 07/26/2014 In the American wilderness and assuming you mean for the long run (years) I would go with: A real ax not a hand ax A one man crosscut log saw (or buck saw) A good belt knife My AR-7 22 rifle A dutch oven (or if I am forced to backpack a lightweight pot). Reply Wind River 07/27/2014 1. An Axe 2.AR-15 3.Knife 4. Fire starter 5.Small steel pot Reply Foot guy 07/27/2014 1. knife/machete 2. tarp 3. paracord (100 ft) 4. canteen 5. small med kit Reply JW 07/28/2014 I guess it depends on the scenario. Am I supposed to sit in one place and wait for rescue? Am I in a desert, jungle, artic or on the ocean? Am I expecting to get myself out, hide and evade, make a home or signal for help? Depending on the environment, the ability to start fire may not be useful but the ability to collect and purify water, keep the body at 98.6 and collect food will always be needed. Can I have whatever clothes I want? If I’m on the ocean I’d want different tools than if I’m in the ANWR during the month of June. My typical 5 travel tools are: – My loaded EDC backpack (includes various fire, water and cutting tools, bug spray, first aid, jacket, socks, etc., etc., etc. and a folding solar charger) – Sea to summit poncho tarp – Cell phone – iPad in an otter box – My favorite hip mounted reach-out-and-touch-something tool But let’s be fair and talk about just 5 actual tools and it’s a simple lost in the woods in some lower-48 forested refuge during a warmish May or October and electronics are not allowed. You’ve got good clothes/footwear for both day and night, no large animals to really worry about, multi-legged disease vectors are not an issue and you have to walk out: – Poncho that converts to a tarp – Steel army canteen with cup & cover – Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman, or better, a good multi-tool hatchet – A butane lighter of my choice or soft magnesium starter kit. Pack of storm matches if it’s only a couple of days out. – Paracord if it’s a few days, but if it’s longer then a good single shot break-open .22 Hornet (or LR if only very small game available) with sling and plenty of ammo for the duration. Now the real question is, what the heck are you doing in such an area, alone and with only 5 tools? Reply Rocky Mountain Backpacker 07/29/2014 Clean(ed) water is number 1. MSR hand pump filter is easy to use and clean. Water can be pretreated with iodine saturated water from iodine (metal) flakes. Iodine is then filtered out. The knife is the primal tool of all time. We can debate which knife and gun all day and tomorrow…very good advise above. How about some nice fuel tanker lighters? You can spend hours starting a fire from ‘scratch’. Try it! A great tent, thermal sleeping pad, 800 goose down bag….might as well be at the Ritz…. Reply Cynic 08/02/2014 I get the biggest charge out of all the fish hook & snare comments. Anybody ever actually tried to snare a bunny rabbit? (you can get awfully hungry waiting for him to wander by)I have also seen a lot of darned good fishermen come home with empty creels to think that you are going to survive with that fish hook and 10 ft of string. 1. Shelter 2. Water collection 3. Fire starting capability 4. Signaling capability (the scenario is wilderness survival, I interpret this as trying to get out in one piece, not living like a mountain man) 5. Cutting capability beyond my ever present jack knife. Reply Texican 08/04/2014 There is nothing special about the number 5 except to make us think. I like that. First we need to define “tool”. According to the Webster’s, a tool is a hand held implement. Are boots a tool? No? – then paracord is my laces and I don’t use up one of my 5. A tarp is not a tool. Neither is a canteen. With that caveat, here is my list. (Thank you pioneers) 1. American Felling Axe: I like this style because it can double as a hammer. 2. Large Pruning (Bow) saw: Much more efficient at cutting up trees, etc. 3. 5″ to 7″ Randall No. 1 or equivalent: No larger – no smaller 4. Large Shovel: You’ll need a shitter pilgrim 5. If allowed a complex tool then a Stainless Ruger 10/22 – preferably suppressed. * A 10″ or 12″ Carborundum stone is mandatory. If this is considered by you to be a tool then it replaces the Ruger and I’ll just have to make a spear. With these, I can make a permanent cabin and make the tools to till the soil. I can make utensils, drinking vessels, etc. just like our ancestors. This, I think is the spirit of the original question. Your results may vary. Reply wolph555 08/20/2014 you said tools so the tools I would take are an axe, a shovel, a hammer, a chisel, a machete with a saw edge. a gun, canteen, pot to cook in, a knife and a tomahawk, are the necessities to survive in a SHTF situation Reply my2cents 08/21/2014 leatherman multi tool tarp, cammo pack msr kit, 4 cooking pot flint This of course is just for starters and assuming I have clothing, unless I was on mars or something I would continue to increase my kit. Reply ScottishGent 09/08/2014 Gerber Multi-tool Fire Steel MOD British survival knife (good as a hand ax) 50 m 550 cord Metal wide mouth canteen w/ screw top Reply AirborneEd 04/17/2015 The best looking gal I could find. A handle of Beam. A pack of Marlboro’s. A lighter. And a really warm blanket. Reply Bryan 07/06/2015 Within this circumstance, I shall to take; 1- Machete 2- Fire starting tool 3- Hammock 4- Canteen tool 5- My poor-man survival rifle – sks with ammunition. Reply Bryan 03/09/2016 Within this situation, i would like to take; – Hand gun – Glock 19 and ammunition – Axe – Shelter / Hammock – Canteen – Survival kit Reply Anonymous 04/07/2016 i have 3 only. 1. an ax for me to make shelter with wood 2. a water filter 3.a 22 rifle with thousands of ammo Reply Ralph Babbitt 12/20/2016 wide mouth stainless steel container fire rod 5″ hunting knife hatchet and either collapsible shovel (to build sod house) or Tarp depending on terrain and climate… Reply Bug out chicken 12/20/2016 1. Multi tool 2. Fire Rod 3. Chicken 4. Stainless Steel pot 5. Britney Spears Reply Bug out chicken 12/20/2016 BTW.. Live chicken for the eggs. Reply Rob T 12/09/2017 I will use then what I use now 1 one of my old Leatherman tools I always have it on my belt 2 the old boys ax from hardware Hanks that I bought in 77 or there about (first job money from mowing yards) 3 a coffee pot,pot combo from the camp set of my parents (now I boil water for tea and oatmeal) 4 I know it’s more then a single thing but I carry a small kitchen roll and in it is A 2 each,spoon fork,knife,tin plate,and cup B those packs of restaurants salt,pepper, sugar, non-dairy creamer C small bar of hand soap,small towl 5 something that shoots 38’s or 357′ in the deep woods a revolver in the forgotten and lonely hunted places my lever action 100 rounds is all the weight I want to carry most of the time is 50 I hunt for mushrooms and in the fall it’s ginseng the pot growers on public land can be batshitcrazy so you shoot back from far away or not at all. Some times I take a wool blanket and a 8×10 tarp but I am all ready past the limit and that’s really my point you can’t just pick a number of things it has to be what you can carry that you know how to use. So keep it to what you can make work Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Save my name and email (not published) in this browser for the next time I comment.