From survival for existence to making survival tools to assist in outdoor and indoor survival needs, man has come a long way! With the market full of tools and tackles that can assist you in any and all needs, choosing the right tool for your specific survival needs might need more than just browsing through websites and e-portals. It might need an analysis of your needs as well as an evaluation of the supposed tool.
To start with, let’s consider the simple and direct question – ‘what makes a good survival tool?’ A similar direct and simple answer would be a tool that saves space, time and effort, and of course, aids your survival needs in different situations. If we were to consider each of these aspects individually, it is sure to lead us to the exact tool we have been looking for.
A survival situation is one in which you cannot afford to lug around heavy baggage. In most situations, what is affordable is a backpack or rucksack. And even though the market and manufacturers might propagate the concept of ‘one tool meets all’ theory; practicality speaks otherwise. So, it is not surprising that you would need a minimum of ten different objects in your backpack besides your basic needs of food, water and clothing.
And you would be surprised at how fast your backpack would fill up with these tools and other paraphernalia. In fact, most often than not, you are left wondering what to pack and what to leave behind! This is where a space saving tool gains prominence. Your survival tool must not only be a good space-saver but also gentle on your shoulders. The lesser the weight, the merrier the backpacker; after all, who wants to lose their energy just to carry a tool that promises efficiency but makes you drained!
But here comes the next catch! A small tool that is light-weight should not compromise on efficiency. If you need to spend time setting up a tool or more effort to balance the lightness of the tool, what good does that make of it? An outdoor enthusiast wants a tool that is dependable, does not strain, is easy to set-up, and is efficient in its performance. Take a tool, use it, put it back; this is what we look for and this is what works when you are in a survival situation.
So, the tool you decide to make part of your survival bag should be light-weight, non cumbersome, efficient and durable. Knowing to balance these aspects is what makes it an ideal choice for your survival needs; and then again, comes the specific needs! What do you intend to use these tools for? Let’s take the example of a saw. Are you planning to use the saw for cutting firewood or also to build your make-shift shelter? Are you planning to use your saw to clear your path or also to prepare your game meat? Are you planning to use your saw as an emergency tool or also for your gardening purposes when you are not outdoors?
Without answering these questions, it is tough to decide which saw would make an ideal choice for your needs. Therefore, before selecting a survival tool you need to understand why you need it and what you need it for. After all there is no point in taking a tool along that does not serve your purpose or doesn’t last for the duration of your survival needs. Many tools are light-weight and easy to use; but they fail to withstand the pressures of long-term or hard-core usage. This is where taking care of the durability aspect comes into the picture.
Generally, we carry tools for survival not because we intend to encounter survival situations every time we step out the door. All the same, these tools acts as our safety net for when and where these tools could spell the difference between safety and danger, between staying alive and getting hurt! So, besides being easy to carry around, fitting our pockets, literally and otherwise; these tools should also be designed to stand by us when the going gets tough.
Going back to our example of a survival saw; some saws are designed to easily fit in our pockets, while some others are intended to help us chop through the toughest wood, and still others claim their advantage to be the ability to get the job done with the least effort. Whatever the claims by manufacturers, each of these aspects hold their own significance in differing survival situations.
If you decide to camp out during winters, having a sturdy saw that can chop through branches will ensure a continuous supply of the much-needed firewood. Similarly, if you plan to build temporary shelters or camp out for long durations, a saw that eats lesser into your energy makes a lot of difference to your entire camping experience!
Therefore, choosing a saw that is appropriate for your proposed plans and situations is quite important. But a saw is not the only tool you need! Most of us would need a knife, a sharpening tool, a fire igniter, whistle, hatchet, and the list goes on and on. So now, we come to the question of how many tools can I carry? You can carry as much as you want if you intend to travel your entire outdoor in a four wheeler. But practically that is not what we do! So, it comes down to the question of how much can I carry in my rucksack?
And this is where multi-purpose tools gain significance. Instead of having individual objects that serve the purpose of sawing, cutting, hacking or lighting; it would be more sensible to carry one tool that can combines these utilities. Besides making it easy to carry, it also makes it less probable to misplace or lose. Not to mention; how easy packing up becomes! So, a good survival tool is also one that comes packed as a multi-purpose tool.
Here again, combining too much into one might not always be a good idea; unless you are talking about the tried and tested Swiss knife! So, knowing what combination works for you and understanding what all tools are combined into one is equally important. So, it ultimately comes to deciding what tools work best as a multi-purpose utility and what others are more efficient as a stand-alone tool. And getting this right combination into your back pack means you have the right survival tools in place!
So, before you decide to swipe your card; remember to flip through some catalogues, browse through some sites and glide through some options. After all, you are placing your very existence on the confidence of these survival tools. It better be the best!