Survival Tools

I’ve read many articles regarding “survival “ and “preparedness” topics; my conclusion is that an important area has been missed. Lots of planning seems to focus on food storage, water, supplies, and so on, yet I have not seen or read anything about “survival tools – how to be prepared for anything mechanically.” So after considering this topic for several years, I’ve decided to introduce my own topic as far as tools for the self-reliant individual. My background includes 30 years of mechanical equipment repair on automobiles and trucks/trailers to heavy construction equipment including dozers and cranes. Having been exposed to working independently while on the road performing field work, you soon develop a survival sense that allows you to think through repairs and situations, even before you actually arrive at the work site.

Planning as we all know is the key factor, when considering what tools and equipment are necessary.

  • What are you planning on keeping running: is it your vehicle/boat/plane/atv/snow machine/camper?
  • What maintenance is required for each of these pieces of machinery?
  • What supplies will be required, what spares are necessary for repairs?

Lastly, yet most important of all, will be the tools necessary to keeping your equipment up and running. Transportation is critical for preparedness, as we all know. Once you have determined your needs, your spares and supplies, think through what tools will be required.

For example, to replace disk brake pads, you need to remove the tire/wheel assembly, compress the caliper, unbolt the caliper, install the pads, and reverse the process to put it back together.

Just for a simple job like this, you will need a lug wrench for the lug nuts, a large C-clamp to compress the caliper and a wrench or socket to remove the caliper. You need to sit down and consider what will be required in whatever contingency or jobs may arise, and how to deal with it. I have a list of tools that, over the years, I have found will suffice for most basic repairs. These tools are carried in what I call my “road box.” This road box has been with me a long time. Even though the original box has long since rusted away, most of the tools have lasted.

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This set of tools is my choice based on my needs as well as the fact that you may have to improvise to get the job done. Here is the list that we can call our “survival tool set.”

  • Storage box, a two-tray nesting type box made of durable plastic, now many years old.
  • ¼"-drive socket set, used on small nuts/bolts in tight places.
  • 3/8"-drive socket set, handy for removing nuts/bolts.
  • ½"-drive set including 12pt short sockets as well as 6pt deep sockets, include a “breaker bar.”
  • Assortment of pliers (slip-joint, locking, needle-nose, side-cutting and electrical crimp type).
  • Wrench assortment: my favorite are the “ratcheting type” as well as adjustable type in different sizes.
  • Screw drivers: an assortment of straight, cross and whatever else you may need depending on your needs.
  • 12v test light, extremely handy for troubleshooting 12v troubles.
  • Good hammer. I carry a 16oz ball-peen type which works wonders when you need it.
  • Ignition wrench set, allen wrench set and a “feeler gauge set.”
  • Lastly, I carry an assortment of what I call “goodies,” clamps, bulbs, fuses, spare wire and connectors, nuts and bolts, electrical tape, duct tape, Teflon tape, silicone gasket material, rubber freeze out plugs, tire plugs.

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December 15, 2009