20 Must-Have Tools for Self-Reliance - My Patriot Supply
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20 Must-Have Tools for Self-Reliance

November 22, 2023 0 Comments

hands lighting up a match


Every good survivalist knows there are certain tools you need to survive almost any situation.

Whether SHTF or a storm knocks out the power, these 20 tools will help you stay self-reliant.

#1 Dental floss

Dental floss has some surprising survival uses.

In a survival situation, dental floss can be used to make snares for hunting small game or fishing and using it as a line.

The strong string can also be used to tie and secure shelters. And, it can be used for gear and clothing repair, and even start a fire.

#2 Chapstick

Having dry, chapped lips is awful, which is one reason you never want to be without chapstick.

But more than protecting your lips, most chapstick lip balms work as an alternate fire starter because it’s an accelerant.

You can stick a cotton swab into the middle of the chapstick tube. Then, light the cotton swab, and you’ll have a mini candle that lasts for 2 hours.

You can also use cotton balls and chapstick to create a fire starter. Simply coat a cotton ball with the balm from the chapstick. When lit, it will get a fire started quickly.

#3 Heavy-Duty Garbage Bags

black bag rolled up

In a survival situation, you have to make do with what you have. This is why you should always keep heavy-duty garbage bags in your emergency supply stash.

If you have heavy-duty garbage bags, you can seal your windows, build an emergency lean-to shelter, make a poncho, or use it for water collection.

#4 Pantyhose

Pantyhose are an especially helpful survival tool with multiple uses. Use them as a fishing net, water filter, and even to hang food you want kept away from predators.

They’re also a tool you should store in your first aid kit. Use them to secure a bandage, make a tourniquet or sling, or set a splint.

Keep a pair of pantyhose in your camping bag, bug-out bag, and car console.

#5 Duct Tape

survivalist using duct tape

There’s a reason duct tape was a go-to for MacGyver and the astronauts on Apollo 13.

Duct tape can be a lifesaver in a crisis, which is why it’s a must-have tool for your survival kit.

Duct tape has been used to do everything from protecting pipes from bitter cold to holding baby diapers together.

You can use it to fix broken windows or even close up gunshot wounds.

See 25 Ways to Use Duct Tape in an Emergency for more examples.

#6 Yeast

People were surprised when active yeast disappeared from grocery store shelves during the pandemic.

We weren’t.

Throughout history, bread has always been in demand, but has not always been available. Keep yeast on hand and when the next supply chain crisis strikes, you can make your own bread.

Also, should SHTF, yeast makes an excellent barter item.

#7 Multi-tool

Everyone needs a multi-tool, which is a versatile tool with various functions like pliers, knives, screwdrivers, and more.

These modern-day survival tools are designed to fit in the smallest spaces, but have the highest value when it comes to essentials.

#8 Fire Starters

Knowing how to build and maintain a fire is an essential skill we should all learn.

While it is important to know how to build a fire from the ground up, having a supply of fire starters will make your life easier should an emergency strike.

For example, there are waterproof matches that allow you to build a fire even in the rain or a fire rope starter that can light in high winds.

#9 Plenty of #10 Cans

You can never have enough tin cans. They work great as storage for everything from nails to emergency food.

Many people buy emergency food in #10 cans because they are designed to keep food safe and secure for years!

Plus, they have a great afterlife for storage solutions including using a #10 can to make a rocket stove, cook just-add-water meals, and even bake bread.

#10 Paracord

The ways a paracord can save your life or help you survive an emergency are pretty impressive.

Use it to build a shelter and secure your gear, signal for emergencies, start a fire, as a makeshift ladder, and as a fishing line.

It can also be utilized for emergency repairs, mending torn clothing, fixing gear, or creating improvised tools.

#11 Salt

Your home should never be without salt. Since salt is essential for the body, it is a must-have item for your emergency kit.

However, salt is also a must-have for survival because it works as a jack of all trades.

Much like duct tape, salt can be used for multiple purposes, from soothing bug bites to cleaning stains and scaling fish to controlling a fire.

See Salt: The Survival Essential in Everyone’s Pantry for even more reasons why it is a necessity.

#12 Emergency Blanket

woman in a survival blanket in the woods

An emergency blanket is a compact, inexpensive survival tool you should keep in multiple places.

A compact emergency blanket made of lightweight, aluminized, non-stretch polyester can protect you from the elements, including cold temperatures and water.

It is cheap enough and small enough to keep in your car, cabin, backpack, RV, and medicine cabinet.

#13 Hand Crank Radio

Even if you dream of being completely self-reliant, you still need to know what is going on in the outside world and get vital weather reports.

That’s why you need not just a weather radio but a weather radio that also operates without batteries using only a hand crank. This ensures you can always get access to necessary information.

#14 Water Purifier

Access to clean water is essential. But if you find yourself stuck in the woods or the water in your home becomes unsafe to drink, it is critical to have access to a water purifier.

The Aquamira G20 Water Filtration Bottle is a portable water purifier.

During a grab-and-go disaster where you can’t carry much water, this 22-ounce water bottle will save the day with a filtration capacity of up to 120 gallons.

Just fill the bottle from ANY freshwater source—it doesn’t work with salt water—then replace the valve cap, activate the bite valve with your teeth, and suck like a straw.

#15 Survival Knife

knife from ready hour in a hand

If you are going for self-reliance, you won’t get far without a quality survival knife.

Your knife should be able to cut rope, spear dinner, gut fish, build a shelter, puncture supplies, and dozens of other tasks.

#16 Light Source

Widespread power outages are on the rise. Cyber terrorism, destruction of local power substations, and natural disasters are becoming headlines all too often.

When you need light, you want a device that has an SOS setting.

There are tons of flashlights available, but pay attention to the power source. There’s nothing worse than experiencing a sudden power outage and discovering your flashlight batteries are dead.

It is wise to consider flashlights that are rechargeable or use solar power.

#17 First Aid Kit

Many people buy a first aid kit and keep it in their medicine cabinet for years, never checking to see what has expired or run out.

Or worse, it’s filled with cheap medical supplies that fall apart or can put your safety at risk.

Every home and vehicle needs a stocked first aid kit, but not just any first aid kit.

MyFAK First Aid Kit by My Medic contains critical supplies for treating the types of traumatic injuries that occur in real emergencies.

#18 Stove

vesta space heater in a room

When facing any situation where you are without power, it is necessary to have access to a stove to cook. And, if it’s the dead of winter, you also need heat. 

That’s where the VESTA Self-Powered Indoor Space Heater & Stove by InstaFire comes in to save the day.

The VESTA gives you the adaptability and reliability to deal with the unexpected, particularly where Mother Nature is concerned.

So, whether you are embracing the spontaneous nature of snowshoeing and winter camping or dealing with the unpredictability of blizzards, you’ll always have a way to cook your food and stay warm—indoors and outdoors.

#19 Solar Charger 

We don’t know when the power grid will go down, but we know it is going to go down. (See America’s Power Grid Is Built to Fail to see why this is true.)

That’s why it is critical to stock up on solar chargers now for your electronic devices.

When the grid goes down, you will desperately need them to stay connected.

#20 Emergency Food

While it’s technically not a tool, you need plenty of emergency food on hand to weather whatever comes your way.

It’s not enough to stock up on canned food from the grocery store. You need emergency survival food that has been made and stored with long-term freshness and quality in mind.


Stock up on essentials, friends.

In liberty,

Elizabeth Anderson

Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply

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