20 Must-have Survival Tools for Emergency Situations

Whether you're an outdoor adventurer or someone who likes to be prepared, having the right survival tools in emergency situations can make all the difference between life and death. This list outlines 20 must-have survival tools that should be part of any survival kit.

Essential Tools for Survival

These tools are fundamental to any survival kit, providing solutions for basic survival needs.


  1. Multi-tool 

    A multi-tool is a small and versatile device that incorporates various tools, such as a knife, can opener, screwdriver, and occasionally even a mini saw or pair of pliers.
  2. Fire Starter

    Having the ability to start a fire is crucial for multiple purposes, such as providing warmth, cooking, and signaling. This can be achieved through tools like a box of waterproof matches, a lighter, or a Ferro rod.
  3. Water Purifier 

    A portable water purifier or purification tablets can make potentially unsafe water safe to drink, ensuring you stay hydrated.
  4. First Aid Kit

    Your first aid kit should contain essential items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, and pain relievers.
  5. Emergency Blanket

    Also referred to as space blankets, these thin and lightweight sheets have the capability to reflect up to 90% of your body heat, providing warmth in cold conditions.
  6. Fishing Gear

    A simple line and hook can catch fish from rivers and streams.
  7. Snare Wire

    A snare wire can be used to catch small game.
  8. Collapsible Container

    A collapsible container is useful for storing and carrying water or even collecting rainwater.
  9. Portable Stove

    A lightweight, portable stove can make cooking easier and more efficient.
  10. Tent or Tarp

    A lightweight tent or tarp can provide a basic shelter from wind, rain, and snow.
  11. Sleeping Bag

    A good quality thermal sleeping bag can ensure you get restful sleep, even in colder temperatures.
  12. Inflatable Pillow

    A small luxury that can make your rest more comfortable.
  13. Hammock

    A hammock can keep you off the ground, away from ground-dwelling insects and water flow.
  14. Compass

    A reliable compass is a must for navigating in the wilderness.
  15. Map

    Having a topographic map of your surroundings can be highly beneficial, particularly when used in conjunction with a compass.
  16. Mirror

    A signaling mirror can reflect sunlight, creating a signal that can be seen for miles.
  17. Whistle

    A loud whistle can be more effective than shouting for attracting attention and conserving energy.
  18. Headlamp

    A headlamp provides hands-free lighting, which can be invaluable in many scenarios.
  19. Paracord

    This strong, lightweight cordage has numerous uses, from setting up shelter to fishing and more.
  20. Portable Solar Charger

    A solar charger can keep your devices charged, ensuring you have access to digital maps, emergency contacts, and survival guides.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the most important survival tool?

A: Every tool has its purpose, but water and a way to purify it are essential for survival.

Q: How often should I update my emergency kit?

A: At least once a year. It's crucial to ensure all items are in good condition and haven't expired.

Q: What should I do in a wilderness emergency?

A: First, ensure you're safe from immediate danger. Then, signal for help using any available means.

Q: What can I use as a fire starter?

A: Matches, lighters, or a flint and steel kit can all start fires.


Remember, the most important survival tool is your knowledge and preparedness. Equip yourself with the right tools and the knowledge to use them effectively, and you'll be well-prepared to handle any emergency situation.

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