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5 Simple Tools for a Prepper’s Bug Out Location

Robert is an author, artist, graphic designer, and photographer. He writes about Survivalism and Futurism.


Simple is Best When All Things Fail

What would happen if the government collapsed and your local community stoped being able to support your needs. What would happen if you couldn’t go to the grocery store to pick up food? What would happen if you did not have electricity or water or gas utilities?

What would you need to best take care of yourself. That list could be extremely long, full of things that would help you survive but would make keeping track of them difficult.

I’ve simplified my list down to five simple items that could help you survive by creating other items you might need as you live through the emergency.


I carry a knife with me everywhere I go unless I am flying or going into a federal building. The knife I carry is small and connected to my keychain. It amazes me how much I use it on a regular basis. Usually it’s cutting tape when opening packages. It comes in handy for a variety of different circumstances. I’ve used it as a flat head screwdriver or a miniature crowbar to pop something open. Needless to say, a pocket knife is extremely valuable no matter where you are.

In an emergency situation, your knife will become your tool of choice. You can use it to scrape wood to make it tender for your campfire. You can carve out tools like spoons or spears to catch fish. You can use it to make rope by stripping palm fronds or other different kinds of plant material before you twist it together.

Your knife will come in handy when you clean the animals you catch. You’ll need something sharp to get to the meat before you can cook it, to clean out the part you cannot eat.

Your pocket knife may become your ultimate source of defense. Even if the blade is not exposed you can use the hard tip of the knife handle to stop an assailant. It’s harder than your fist and can create pain to stop someone in their tracks long enough for you to get away.

That same hard edge can pulverize stone or medication or seasoning. You will be amazed at the multiple uses you will find for the small tool.



If we lose electricity, water and gas, we will have to find other ways to conduct our every day lives. Without water, we will find ourselves in a mess because we will not stop having to use the bathroom. Having a shovel will allow us to dig a temporary latrine outside the home, a place where we can empty our chamber pot or even squat above the hold to relieve ourselves.

Shovels are extremely valuable in the garden helping you turn over dirt and pulling weeds. You can use your shovel to kill small creatures that might be eating your crops. You can use a shovel to bury your food waste in the garden so you can compost what you don’t consume.

If you find someone trying to raid your bug out location, a shovel makes a decent weapon in a pinch. Your gun may be locked up inside the house but your shovel will be close at hand because you are working in the garden or digging holes for fence posts.

More likely you will be fighting wild animals who are hungry and want your preps to feed on. Normally The presence of people is enough to scare them away but if food is scarce for humans, it will also be scarce for domesticated wildlife. Cats and dogs who are used to being fed every day will find themselves scavenging for food because their owners are no longer around. This means they will steal what they can to survive. You can either help them and feed them, keeping them close and making them friends or you can fight them off it to keep them away from your preps. Either way your shovel will show them who is boss.

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Cane Pole

My grandfather taught me to fish with a cane pole. It was the easiest way to fish. You didn’t have to learn how to use a reel. You didn’t have to worry about tangled lines and fishing lures. All you had to do was hook a worm, throw it in the water, and wait for the fish to bite.

Cane poles are quiet. No one will hear the tug of your line when you catch a fish. You won’t have to cast and pull over and over again to make a lure work in the water. Fishing is a great way to take in your surroundings, to see what is going on, to make you aware while you wait for a fish to take the bait.

My favorite cane poles are the ones that fold up or slide in on itself making them no longer than two or 3 feet long. They’re easy to carry around or tied to a camping bag. Some of these polls even have a compartment in the handle to keep extra hooks and fishing line.

Besides hooks and fishing line, we will also need bait. Most of the year, unless it’s frozen and there’s permafrost in the ground, you should be able to find worms underneath rocks and stones. Some of my favorite places are usually steppingstones that people put in their yards. If you lift them up, many times you will find worms. They’re easy to catch, easy to hook and they are plentiful.

Magnesium Bar

Being able to start a fire is one of the most important parts of survival. Without electricity or natural gas, you will find yourself needing to start a fire to cook your food and stay warm. A fire will also boil your water to make it safe to drink. It can keep away predators.

Why do I suggest a magnesium bar? I think they’re the easiest way to get a fire started. They give immediate sparks, and if your tender is dry enough it will catch your nest or tinder on fire almost immediately.

The downside to the magnesium bar is it only lasts so long. If you use the bar regularly, it will eventually be so small you can’t use it. I suggest owning several of them to make it as easy as possible to start a fire for the longest amount of time.

There are other ways to start a fire and you can collect these ways as time passes. A car battery and a pair of jumper cables against steel wool will start a fire pretty easy. If you can find a magnifying glass or a pair of reading glasses the concave lens will also help start a fire. you always have matches and lighters if you can keep them safely. You can probably find those on your travels but they will run out faster than your bar. If you can save your bar for times you don’t have matches or a lighter then the need to start a fire will be easier to handle.

Maul Axe

Having an axe to cut firewood is important. Having a sledge hammer to knock things out of the way or beat yourself into a building is also a great tool to have. A maul axe is the best of both worlds. You have a blade on one end of the head and a hammer on the other. You can use it in a variety of ways.

I think a good axes will allow you to construct buildings and tools that you need to cultivate a farm, to expand your homestead and allow for more sustainable living in the times of need after an emergency.

Sometimes you just need brute strength and the sledge hammer side of the tool will allow you to throw your weight into demolition if it is needed. Most of the time this will happen after a storm when things are broken and you need to move fallen trees and other debris out of the way.

This tool can be dangerous. Having a blade on one side means if you miss your target, you could hit yourself in the leg. Same thing goes for the hammer side. You don’t want to break your femur when you’re not sure you can get to a doctor or hospital.

Make sure you understand how to use all of the tools that you own. Make sure you use them safely and teach your family how to use them safely. Knowledge is probably the biggest toon you have and understanding how things work will give you a better chance in times of struggle.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Robert T Gasperson

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