6 Tools to Survive Anything

Six Survival Tools

Some tools are so versatile you can’t even begin to list all of the things they are useful for. In fact, 9 times out of 10, you won’t even know what you’ll need them for until it happens. Here are the 6 tools every self respecting prepper should have in large quantities and always available.

Survival Gear Duct Tape1. Duct Tape

The fame of duct tape has taken on a life of it’s own. What can you even say about it? (or it’s big brother Gorilla Tape, from the folks that brought you Gorilla Glue)

Survival Gear Zip Ties2. Zip Ties

From handcuffs to lashings and a thousand other ways to tie stuff together, you should have a stockpile of zip ties in every shape and size.

Survival Gear WD-403. WD40

“If it moves and it shouldn’t; use Duct Tape.  If it should move and it doesn’t; use WD40″

4. Rope

Survival Gear RopeFor those larger jobs that zip ties and duct tape just aren’t going to handle good rope is endlessly useful.

5. Knife

A knife is the bread and butter (pun intended) of every survival tool kit. You really should have one on your person at all times.  For a list of good survival knives click here.

6. Pry Bar

Stanley Fuctional Utility Baror Utility Bar. You can pry, hammer, lift, smash, and just generally mess stuff up. (I need to do a full write up on the Stanley Functional Utility Bar or “FUBAR”)

What Else?

What other tools are so useful? So manly? If you have others you think should be on this list leave a comment and let us know.

Also read “6 Dangerous Urban Survival Myths About Water”

Visit Our New Survival Gear Store – Forge Survival Supply


Photo by: Myxi

{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

Dustin May 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I'm iffy on the zip ties – they get brittle in the cold and rarely do anything you can't do with either rope/paracord or duct tape. One time I thought I would be high speed and remove all the ALICE clips on my tactical gear in favor of zip ties… yeah, it was lighter, and cool for a while, but the plastic fatigued over time and once it got cold I started having some failure as they just gave up the ghost.

I think a bandanna is key for it's multiple uses, but would recommend a shemagh over a bandanna.

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Lucas_SurvCache May 28, 2010 at 5:23 am

Dustin,

I'm not sure if I've ever torture tested zip ties that extensively so I'll take your word that they aren't great for super long term use in weather.

I sort of disagree about zip ties not having a job that rope can't do simply because of all the different sizes of rope. What if you need to hold something small together and all you have is big rope? Kind of a silly example but you get my point.

I'll agree that a bandanna is probably much better for EDC than zip ties. I don't walk around all day with zipties in my pocket, but I do carry a bandanna.

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Officer Otto June 4, 2010 at 1:06 am

I agree that zip ties are more useful than rope in most situations. For example, if you need something secured to your pack temporarily (such as a camp cup or stove or similar small tool, you can just zip tie it there. You won't have to cut your rope down in size, because once you cut that rope to secure something you lose that length for good.

Present company excluded, how many people do you know that can honestly tie a good knot that is both strong and simple to undo in a hurry? I don't know very many, so a zip tie is a very good option in that case.

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Jon May 27, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I do agree with the part of knife that one should be carried at all times. If anyone has seen Survivor Man, or Iron Man he always eaither A) brings a knife or B) fashions one ASAP.'
I also strongly agree with the bandana and duct tape. I keep a hotel card wrapped with duct tape in my wallet at all times, and a bandana in my pocket. See the article of all the uses for the bandana on this site, its great. You can go anywhere and everywhere with a knife, duct tape, and a bandana.

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Lucas_SurvCache May 28, 2010 at 5:25 am

Jon,

The duct tape on the hotel card is a great one. You can fit quite a bit of tape on one of those things and it doesn't take up much space. Another way to double is wrapping several yards around your water bottle. It comes off just like a roll of take and is usually easily found.

Thanks for the compliments the bandanna article. I definitely borrowed a bunch of those ideas from different sources and gave them a "survival" slant.

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caine30 May 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I think we should all try to carry and use a multi tool. Where i live in the country and so do all my best buddies we all have one on us and one we keep in our car/truck. I like the gerber but others carry leathermans I also love my SOG it is a gear operated one that can and will cut through a penny.

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MikeLaws July 23, 2010 at 11:38 am

Great Article. I've found your website yesterday, and am going through it page by page backwards.

I'm brand new to survival prep, at least physically, I've always thought about scenarios in my head, but yesterday I had this feeling that I needed to actually DO something. If I were to Bug In, I'd be ok for a bit, my current home is well stocked on food and I'm lucky enough to have a spring feed cistern for my water source. I also have the right mindset, which to me is the most important thing any prepper needs.

I will admit that I've thought the negatvie stereotypes of "Survivalists" before, but the older I get, the more it looks like something could spark a world wide disaster. So I come here humbled with eyes open ready to learn.

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caine30 May 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

my friend sent it home from germany while he was in supply it was one that went to EOD teams and he got repelling gear and a gerber tool kit that has a saw and axe and first aide kit and multitool it had all the stuff we need in a basic tool kit for survival minus the shelter which him and i know how to build from nothing but what is around us. He sent home a lot of good stuff. but it has no indicator as to what kind it is all it says on it is SOG.

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Josh May 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I didnt know that they issued SOGs . I thought the multi-tool contract went to Gerber, (thats what they issued my dad). I have a friend who has a tool kit that sounds similar to the one you described.

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caine30 May 29, 2010 at 7:04 pm

when you ask for somthing of the supply sargents they usually find it cause if you want it and you can give them support on way you want it they will find a way to get it and you do know what SOG stand for right?

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Josh May 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Any self respecting army brat knows a few acronyms, SOG stands for Study and Observations Group, and if I remember correctly, they were founded during the Vietnam War.

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caine30 May 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm

that is one of the names for them but yes they were started during the vietnam war they were kind of like the LRRPs.

Peter May 30, 2010 at 6:18 am

I never go anywhere without my multitool and more. My Carolina multitool is a heavy-duty item that has many applications. Apart from the pliers, it cuts wire and has a solid, keen edged four inch blade along with the usual swing out accessories. But what makes this tool my favorite is the addition of six snap on screw heads. Also on my belt is my Mini-Maglite right next to a small pouch containing a disposable "Jeep"butane lighter. There's just enough room behind the lighter to slip two neatly folded twenty dollar bills. This set-up wont save your bacon in every survival situation but it sure goes a long way to making you feel a tad secure for most minor ones.

Cheers everyone, from the Great White North

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Josh May 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Well spoken, you could do an add for that knife.

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Lucas_SurvCache June 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Good points Peter,

You and Caine both make a good point about the multi-tool. I've never owned a multi-tool that has changeable screwdriver heads but that does sound really useful.

Your EDC sounds like a good system.

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aj52 June 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Re: Zip ties.

The multi size zip ties you can buy cheap in the plastic cylinder at the hardware store are junk for long term use. Consider the type used in the HVAC trade They are made of a better grade of plastic and much tougher. Some have a mechanism for releasing the tie for reuse. Same thing goes for duct tape and I guess anything in life. If it's junk in everyday life imagine it's worthlessness in a survival situation. You get what you pay for!

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Lucas_SurvCache June 30, 2010 at 4:06 am

good point aj, I should have mentioned in the article that zip ties are not all created equal. Test whatever you buy.

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caine30 October 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Lucas sorry its been so long but i am trying somthing new just to see how it comes out will let you know when it is done. But what i wanted to say was you are right everything you have in your gear you should test and be proficent with before the time comes that you need to use it and have no clue what you are doing its a life saving kit not a life threatening kit remember

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@308Brew August 2, 2010 at 8:15 am

I'm a big fan of duct tape, going all the way back to my boy scout days. But until very recently, I was under the misconception that all duct tape was created equal. That is until I added a vent fan in my bathroom and picked up some actual UL listed duct tape, since I was actually taping ducts. After using that, I'll never buy cheap duct tape again and use the professional stuff for everything.

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caine30 October 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm

one of the things i liked when i tried it was gorilla tape it is a lot like duct tape but it holds tighter and has a heavier nylon weave its better in some things but it is more expensive.

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Josh October 29, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Yeah, gorilla tape and military 90 and 100 mph tape are way better than the generic stuff but it is all way better than nothing.

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Wire June 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Zip ties are good, I've held lots of things together over the years with them. Having owned several VWs (not new ones with a dealer support network) and having worked on commercial fishing boats on the west coast, I never leave home or drive far in a VW without "crab wire": stainless steel wire used to fix dungeness crab pots… or anything. Stainless wire won't break when its cold, can usually lash anything together that needs to be and is fairly cheap. Look for it in commercial fishing supply stores.

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Lucas_SurvCache June 30, 2010 at 4:06 am

Wire is another good. I think it's especially a good idea for something like an urban survival bag. You can toss in some pretty small wire that's light and takes up almost no space.

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warthawg June 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm

The canteen covers used on ALICE web gear has a little pocket on the front supposedly for water purification tabs. I stored my emergency stash of duct tape there. I wrapped it around a pencil. We were required to carry both canteens so I had two rolls, a pencils to write with and an eraser to clean electrical contacts on radio gear. In addition to repairing and creating gear, it works well on blisters because it's thin and sticks to everything. It's funny that they sell ENGO as a blister solution when it is essentially the same as duct tape.

I love paracord. I wrapped it around the tang of a knife that lost it's handle, because someone left it on the grill. Now I see they sell knives like that.

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Lucas_SurvCache June 30, 2010 at 4:08 am

warthawg,

very nice mutli-uses of your gear with the duct tape/pencil

I've used duct tape on blisters before and it works well (painful coming off though, but in a pinch it works) I'd prefer moleskin, it's much nicer on the blister but comes off easier.

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spencer2302 July 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm

If you like duct tape you guys would Love sail tape it whats in my GOOD bag heres some info on it and yes its made with kevlar! http://www.apsltd.com/c-4455-sailrepairtape.aspx

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Josh October 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Awesome!

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Rourke July 16, 2010 at 3:21 am

As mentioned already – a set of Gerber Multi-pliers. I have one in every one of my kits. I have had several – all Gerber – and all great.

On second thought – I think one of those Easy Buttons from Staples would really be helpful. See a bear coming at you – press the Easy Button – problem solved. A gang of motorcycle gun weilding brigands – Easy Button!! Crops growing too slow – Easy Button – presto – full grown!!!!

Just a thought.

Rourke

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Scott August 24, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Don't forget a set of bump keys if your staying urban.

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onereadersopinion August 31, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Always carry a multi tool and at least a pocket knife. Never leave home without them. Same with a flashlight.

And duct tape…the original super glue.

Liking the site btw.

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brian September 9, 2010 at 1:35 am

I have used the FUBAR pretty extensivly for a few months and am ready to highly recommend it to anyone that thinks they MIGHT have even a small job they could use it for, you will keep finding things to use it for. Also, I. Haven’t used it for self defense (fortunatly) but I would think it would great especially in your urban B.O.B. Just a great tool.
Great site guys

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aj52 September 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm

If you expect long term cold temperatures WD40 might not be the best solution. Consider non petroleum based lubricants.

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KAPITAN KUDZU September 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

Long term we will need manually operated hand tools. Anyone remember these? Hand crank drills, two man felling saws, files,peening blocks and hammers. Just a thought for the future.

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caine30 October 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I have been going back to the basics so to speak for the last couple of months and its easy to forget about things when you dont need them and take the easy push button way out its just one of those things its EASIER and FASTER well wait till you need them and no one knows how to use them its not hard to learn so i decided to shut off the power and try it with out for a few weeks not as easy as i had thought but still able to manage so try that and see what it is you are missing in your kits.

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Pepe September 27, 2010 at 12:44 am

Has anyone ever seen the movie; Alone in the Wilderness? The guy retired in Alaska alone and built a beautiful cabin. He lived there for over 30 years.
Dick Proenneke had an:
Ax (I like a machete)
Saw
Rifle(I like shot guns)
Canoe
Fishing kit (also good for snares)
Pots and pans

He had other stuff too but these were some of the items not previously mentioned.

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Kevinthenurse September 27, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I say we all carry a multi-tool wrapped in Gorilla tape and zipped with zip-ties. Just kidding. My actual everyday pocket carry is stainless steel cable keyring with the following on it:
1. split pea lighter
2. mini swiss army knife (sorry, I'm old school)
3. photon micro light
4. bison container with 12" worth of "fire paper" rolled inside (for definition of "fire paper" see my post under "5 fire tinders")
5. bison container with 5 water purification tablets inside
6. Swiss-tech utili-key
7. Swiss-tech utili-tool
8. P-38
In my wallet is 4 feet of duct tape folded to 6" long (dollar bill length)
A double-width paracord bracelet = 15ft

If I'm at work, I also have a pak-lite with a paracord loop and 6-inches of 1" gorilla tape securing the cordage to the 9-volt battery.

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caine30 October 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

i like that kit i am in the process of putting it together for my little brother he is starting his first job as a Road Flagger it is not a bad job for an 18 year old kid lol

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Kevinthenurse October 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Better than my first job…… grave digger!

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JJj October 13, 2010 at 12:05 am

Leather boots become food in a last ditch effort.

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Surving Jerry October 14, 2010 at 8:57 am

My understanding is that modern leather is all treated with nasty stuff that you DON'T want to eat. Unless you happen to have a pair of hippy-vegan-organic-leather boots. (Probably don't).

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Josh October 29, 2010 at 6:24 pm

They are usually tanned in a chemical mixture of some sort or another, but hides tanned in some third world countries are tanned using the mashed up brain of the creature the hide comes from.

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omt October 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm

don't forget to bring a towel

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OfficerOtto October 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm

A gun. When the SHTF, if you have nothing else, have a gun. The cold hard truth of the matter is anything you don't have you can acquire with a gun. Even if you'd rather die before taking something from another human by force, your neighbor may not feel the same way as you do.

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don November 18, 2010 at 1:02 am

I'm with you officerotto, a gun should be tool 8 just after the multitool…If you can't tape it, tie it, lube it, rope it,cut it or pry it….shoot it :)

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Josh October 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm

True Dat.

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Shaun F November 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I like the six but I would ditch the zip ties and go for a flashlight.

I like to bring those glow bracelets often seen on ravers. They can mark things like a door, flashlight or gun; that way you can find it fast in the dark. They also do not emit tons of light (in case you are hiding).

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Felonious November 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I would recommend the bogota pick set vice bump keys. http://www.itstactical.com/2010/04/28/serepick-bo…

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Liz November 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Don't forget the very random things like condoms, tampons, and sanitary pads…many uses for those too

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julian November 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Just as FYI – a site called County Comm ( countycomm.com, I think) offers a number of items that are unique, useful and easy to carry… they offer a 'breacher bar', and a 'mini breacher bar' both of which are flat, have single bevel and double-bevel leading edges and can be packed away or carried in almost any pouch, bag, briefcase, or webgear. While not as heavy duty as the FUBAR, these items are also far more portable, discreet and lightweight. And any tool that you can keep handy is worth more than a better tool that is stashed in an inaccessible place.
Just a thought.

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Chefbear58 December 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

One of my favorites that is often overlooked, a shovel. Personally I like the Vietnam style US Military "entrenching tool", its fairly lightweight, can be used as a "pry bar" or as an effective and VERY deadly weapon in close quarters (and provides a hell of a lot more reach than a knife). My grandfather actually had to fend off attackers in Korea with his shovel at Chosin, because of that shovel I am here (sounds stupid but it's true). A short list of other essentials (in my pack) are-
-fire starting "sets"
-diamond stone and carbide sharpener (lightweight and VERY handy)- I don't leave home without a knife… EVER
-flashlight -w- extra batteries
-Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol and ammo- IF NOTHING ELSE I HAVE AT LEAST 1 OF THESE; OfficerOtto made a good point!
-Boy Scout Field Manual- good info and provides "entertainment" when needed (i.e. reading)
-First aid kit- I keep a few packs of Quick-Clot in each of mine

These are the BASICS, in a more substantial kit I would include a hand-held C.B., hand-crank charger, pack axe (Gerber), old "hospital" sheets (great for making slings/bandages) and water purification tablets (iodine- for cost reasons)… to list but a few!

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T.Rapier April 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I agree , a shovel is very handy ! sucks trying to dig with a stick because you forgot to bring one ! I have the cold steel one , its not folding but its not big enough to get in my way to begin with . And yes it would be a nasty weapon , cold steel sharpens theirs for that purpose . You could also use it as a half ass chopper also , but I would worry about handle breakage if used in that way .

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Josh December 30, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I like the idea of the FUBAR, but personally i like the Dead On "Annihilator" better. It's easier to pack and has a few extras the FUBAR doesn't.
http://www.deadonstore.com/tools.htm

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Josh December 30, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I like the idea of the FUBAR, but personally i like the Dead On "Annihilator" better. It's easier to pack and has a few extras the FUBAR doesn't.
http://www.deadonstore.com/tools.htm

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John January 18, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Vice grips. If you can’t unstick it with wd-40, unstick it with vice grips.

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wyzyrdap February 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I have a "FUBAR" in my house, in mY car kit and in my BOB, but have another suggestion, too – a plain ol' "gooseneck" crowbar in every vehicle you own, stored within each of your 'strong' hand. In 1968 (?) – whenerver I went to my best-friend's-dad's funeral because he burned to death in his squadcar because he was trapped in his seat by his steering wheel, and his wooden nightstick broke, I started carrying my "issue" lugwrench next to my seat. When I switched to a "spider" wrench, and car companies stopped providing good levers,, I bought a hardware-store crowbar.

Never used it to escape a burning vehicle, but have moved recalcitrant objects, pulled nails and poked fires for many years. Used it as an "Implied Attitude Aduster" on 3 occasions. Unless you look like "The Incredible Hulk" the FUBAR looks more like a tool than a credible weapon. Consider a $10 purchase.

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Kevin Cease March 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm

bogota pick set is only available to military and law enforcement….anyone know more on this?

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Regulator5 March 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Fencing pliers are also a nice multi tool.

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T.Rapier April 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I was in Ace today and looked at the Stanley ” Fubar ” , I ‘ll pass on that . Its very heavy and awkward . I’ll keep my overused flat metal pry bar .

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MrAlpine April 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I used to work on a cattle ranch and the tool I used everyday, I one I would have to include is a fencing tool. If you don't know what a fencing tool is looks like a long set of close jawed pliers, with a hammer end, a sharp hook end, wire cutters, and teeth in the handle. A great tool. I can't begin to tell you how many different ways I have had to use one in the past. http://www.grizzly.com/products/G8068/images/

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bostonsurvival April 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I'm seeing a lot of positive notes about the Fubar, definitely going to look into that more. One quick note I'd make about duct tape though, always buy a brand you have used and trust. Some of the ones online at various survival stores claim to be "super heavy duty" and say things like "tactical strength", when most of them are crap, quite frankly. I bought a roll of cheap duct tape online once and it was probably the worst duct tape I've ever used. Great post and awesome comments on this page too!

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T.Rapier April 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Well also ….. for some reason the word ” Tactical ” seems to be the new sales buzz word . ” Look New Tactical chewing gum ! ” ” Try now ! Tactical a$$ wipe ! ” ………… you get the picture . Its a piece of chewing gum , a roll of a$$ wipe , a flashlight , a magazine pouch , a back pack , etc . Nothing more , nothing less …. nothing ” Tactical ” about it ! please just call it what it is and leave the trendy pitch word out of it .

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Straydog December 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I've come to consider "tactical" to mean disposable.

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T.Rapier April 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

One overlooked item that is cheap and easy to get is heavy duty cloths line . Why would you want one ? Main reason is that cloths line is tough as nails , easy to get , weather treated , and is something that you can use as a tie down or anything else you would use paracord for . Use this stuff for all your mundane tasks and save the more valuable paracord for more important things .

I have some sitting in the bed of my truck that I use for tie down , Its been rained on and baked by the arizona sun for two years now and shows no sign if decay , like I said this stuff is weather treated . I tossed away the nylon rope that frays and rots in less than a year in this climate .

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Griffin June 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Actually this is a great idea. I took a trip to a local story, sort of a budget store, but regardless I bought 10 meters of clothes line for 69 cents. It isnt the strongest thing in the world but ive put a good 40 lbs hanging from it for a day and it showed no signs of failing.

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T.Rapier April 29, 2011 at 11:48 am

Zip ties are a must as well but in a lot of cases , good old fashion bailing wire ( tie wire ) will be so much better ! dont underestimate the potential of this stuff , gotta figure if bailing wire ties on re-bar is a legal substitute for welding , its pretty tough . No redneck would be without it lol , which is why I carry ;D . I think the legal specs are either a 2″ weld or a 4″ tie .

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Chad May 5, 2011 at 11:08 am

If it can't be done with rope or duct tape, it shouldn't be done. leave out the zip ties. Learn to tie 3-4 proper knots, much more useful. Knowledge beats tech any day.

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yahya May 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Has anyone ever thought about what would happen if a cop searched your bag and found a pry bar, flashlight and gloves?

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Teej May 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

I have not personally used it so if any of yall have any contradictions to this let me know, but it looks like Rothco's survival hatchet could be a good alternative to the FUBar especially if in a back country environment as opposed to urban where a hatchet would be more useful than the grip side of the FUBar: http://www.amazon.com/Rothco-45-Survival-Hatchet/…

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Crooker June 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

So true Galactic Hitchhiker

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Sam June 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

A quick comment on the zip-ties, while not an all-inclusive binding fix for all situations, they are very handy and will last in most situations and temperature ranges. We use them on our blackhawks to secure tail rotor boots which spin very fast and must endure major temperature variations and centrifugal force. However, they do fail at times, and are quickly replaced by another, so I guess the idea here is use them for applications that do not depend on the binding saving your life, like climbing equipment of skydiving, but for everyday use, just fine. Be sure to get the heavy duty contractor grade stuff, not the colorful gas station multi-pack crap.

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VetJim July 14, 2011 at 1:40 am

2 blown old type fuses and only 1 penny???

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Jamie July 18, 2011 at 5:34 am

In most of the world ticks and small parasites are a big problem. For this i use a tick removal card to remove them easy and without problems like they empty their stomach and you get sick (ticks) normally they should be taken of with in the first 24 hours after they bite but here in Europe we have a new and particular dangerous tick that you have to remove within 15 minutes. Why do i say all this well survival is equal to long term planning and if you get bitten by ticks in Europe you end up getting Borelia(brain disease, paralysis, cramps and death) and that sucks.
http://www.tickremoval.co.uk/tick_card.html
The link shows an english site where you can buy a card to remove ticks and i will say this like all your other tools are one of the most crucial to have on you and for safety i have more than one just in case.

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Dan September 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm

WD-40 is wrong, PB B'laster is a much better product that will do all the same things only better.
Slip joint pliers need to be on the list as well. If the limit needs to stay at 6 then lose the zip ties for them. Also, regular 14 gauge smooth wire is a far more versitile solution than the zip ties anyway, I'd take the wire and good pliers over the zip ties and tape.

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survivalist1323 October 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I'd take out the ties and go with an axe or hatchet. You got the rope which is much more sturdier, so why go with ties? Also, a first-aid kit is very handy for minor injuries.

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dedguykiller October 19, 2011 at 4:38 am

I was issued a gerber mulit tool when i was in USMC and have never stopped carrying it. The uses i have found for it are far to numerous to mention. I have added several heavy flow fem napkins to my med kit..they are desigined to collect lots of blood and make great cheap pressure bandages (another use for duct tape as well)…instead of wrapping my knife handle with 550 i use some waxed siezeing twine i found at the fisherman supply store…i have used it to secure item in excess of 100lbs with not fraying or breakage…great stuff and while wont do as much as some other line is light and you can carry three time the length…BTW my wife say i spend more time with your site than her…she may be correct but i cant stop learning from it.

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big C November 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Growing up in nebraska i never left the house without bailin wire or fencing pliers. I also never leave the house without my Kershaw junkyard dog on my side.

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jerZburbs January 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Just want to toss this notion @ all ya folks out there- dirt cheap and taking up almost no space with plenty of use would be a couple of Hacksaw Blades. They’re plenty useful- with or without the full frames r with a cheapie lil handle on em. Ya can just duct tape em 2 a axe handle or gunstock 4 storage. Being that its not likely you’ll be able to cut steel or chain even with the best of survival blades- I think they’re worth having around… Steel, Bone, Wood,etc. Even a variety of sawzall type blades with a holder can come in handy. I think the holder/ handle I use is made by lenox? Hard 2 remember since years of abuse wore the brand name off. Anyhow- Happy Prepping and hopefully a Happy 2012 to y’all!

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kat June 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

1 i am new to a lot of prepping and getting my feet wet so to speak. i would like to find out where to get a FUBAR and 2 what are bump keys?

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kat June 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm

also, how would you rate pwggy layton on her food preps? they look pretty good & inexpensive at this point.

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DBL June 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

You forgot to add the latest Apple “I” gizmo of the week and designer flip flops, all the lib college sheeple in my town can’t seem to survive without them……

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Jesse July 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I'd second the flashlight suggestions, and recommend an LED one. Also invaluable for it's weight and cost is a wire saw, the kind you wrap around a tree limb or small tree and pull back and forth.
Also, much lighter and small than duct tape is electrical tape, which is even useful for some things duct tape isn't (blasphemy I know). It tightens better if you stretch it while wrapping something and (IMHO) holds up better in the cold and damp.

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Hap July 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Mosquito netting. Of course this depends on where you are perhaps; but I sure keep it in my pack. Besides, it's multi-functional; you can use it to filter your morning espresso, for example. (No, I haven't really tried that.) :) (Note obviously technically you can dissuade insects via smoke and other methods, but I consider the convenience and ease of netting worth the space it takes up. Besides, it really is multi-use.)

In an urban environment (or really anywhere I think) – I keep heavy duty Kevlar gloves and kneepads in my pack. I'd add Kevlar elbow pads too, but these items take up a lot of space and I made a judgment call there. Like mosquito netting, these aren't something you can easily jeryrig out of other things, and they could be critically useful. I'm sure many of you are manly men who can claw their way bare-handed through piles of shattered rubble; but I'm a girl, and I don't even want to try.

Machete. This is a new "must-have" item for me since moving to the Florida swamps, which made me realize what a useful tool it is, even though I also have a couple of really great knives. The machete is a multi-tool, if you have a good quality one, and I've realized that there is a reason that so many people in so many lands carry these.

Styptic. Unless you know which plants you can use for that; again, this can be a critical-need item that is impossible to make on the fly when needed. I have one of those new styptic pouches in my pack, since it's gotten rave reviews for saving lives. Sanitary napkins are a good idea as mentioned by others; but this has the extra substance to stop bleeding.

Salt. Multi-purpose, I'm sure nothing more needs to be said.

Honey. Real honey (recent studies proved that over 70% – ! – of "honey" marketed in the U.S. is NOT pure honey). Real honey is a wonderful medical emergency item as well as providing food energy and flavoring. Honey has been proven to keep wounds from becoming infected/gangrenous.

Beeswax. Again, probably nothing more needs to be said; obviously uber-useful to have some real, soft-at-room-temperature, malleable and unscented/undyed beeswax on hand. Easy to carry, never goes bad; I carry in one of those rolled up candle forms, so I can also use it as a candle if I want to.

Pepper berries or flakes. I had this recommended to me by someone who's used it successfully; at first I was dubious, but I do plan to add a container to my pack. The purpose is to scatter around your campsite if you are concerned about animals such as bears. Apparently, as they come sniffing around, they will inhale the berries/flakes and, finding that distasteful, they will leave or at least make enough reactionary racket to wake you up. I haven't tried this myself but I believe the person and his U.S. Navy SEAL buddies who have used this method around the world. That makes for a pretty simple perimeter barrier technique; and of course you can season your food with the pepper. Pepper also has medicinal qualities such as being able to help clear stuffy nose/cold/flu or used as an emergency liniment (made into tea first, obviously). It's also an insect deterrent. You can consider this one or not…be sure to keep fresh/pungent pepper in the pack though. :)

Finally just want to add – so little is actually needed. I remember going out to places like Death Valley with my father as a child, and we didn't take anything, except maybe a jug of water, the occasional can of Hawaiian punch, and sometimes a package of Twinkies or something. There were a couple of occasions when I had to drink water out of the radiator (don't recommend this, especially if you put additives in the water). I've eaten rattlesnake for dinner (delicious) and sucked on cactus innards for water (kind of ick to a kid). My dad taught me that we are tough creatures and can get by pretty well with very little. So I figure if I forgot something in my emergency pack, well, I can probably figure it all out! :)

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Frank August 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I like 550 cord you can get it in big rolls it can handle most things your larger ropes can and in a pinch you can use it to cut itself. That means knife optional. Not that any of us would be caught without one.

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Mike October 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

What about a multi tool? it's pretty self explanatory of why you should have a good multi tool

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Mark Owen November 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I have a sawed off shotgun with a 20gauge to 9mm adapter, rifled slugs 00buckshot, bird shot, and rounds of 9mm hollowpoints, everything, also a half dozen bread loaf bags, over dry socks in soaked leather boots, still dry feet, just a thought.

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dowel pins January 10, 2013 at 2:26 am

I do agree with the part of knife that one should be carried at all times.

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Tank Hatch January 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Does a lighter count as a tool? That would be #1 on my list of things I'm packing for the apocalypse.

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Doug February 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Another good one besides the FUBAR is the "DEAD ON" hammer/tool. multi use just like the Fubar.

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Q-2 April 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm

While The FUBAR (#6) is a decent tool, and have used it, I recently was recommended the "Trucker's Friends" toolbar, and I gotta say, this thing is pretty awesome. Great for nail pulling, wedging, cutting, hammering…I have given this thing some serious work-age, and It's definitely my new favorite. For $50 it's a great addition http://innovationfactory.com/products/truckers-fr….

Ditto on the Multi-Tool, and am very partial for the Leatherman Wave..it's like someone actually asked user input on making it!

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CrazyOlFool May 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I thought thats what the pry bar was for?

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Johnson clark July 30, 2013 at 9:57 pm

איטומים – קבלני איטום גגות מומחים לאיטום בסנפלינג
איטום בהתזה ועוד פתרונות איטום מתקדמים כגון איטום מרפסות
איטום ביריעות בטומניות איטום מרתפים
מבצעים עבודות איטום עם חומרי איטום בעלי תו תקן
איטום גגות מרוצפים איטום קירות ואיטום קירות חוץ
פריסה ארצית שירות 24 שעות

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Dale August 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I work in an office. You cannot carry a knife or a multi-tool pass security. It's a felony to have one on you in a Federal office building. One lady was arrested for having a small letter opener!

In today's world much of this advise for personal carry is impractical.

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DesertMadness September 15, 2013 at 5:40 am

Fence pliers.

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Damian September 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

I have a Leatherman wave multitool and I love it, it comes in so handy and the wave is ideal for me as it can do all I need done when outdoors when I get into those tricky situations

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peter October 29, 2013 at 3:07 am

somebody on a radio show had invented this fantastic multi purpose tool ax hammer shovel
and what not all in one
Unfortunately I did not have a chance to take down a name or website
Anyone know as to what I am referring to and can help me I am thinking to buy one for one of my sons for Christmas

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eeeee November 10, 2013 at 9:31 am

Crovel

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Jim P. December 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I haven’t read all the comments, but one tool that I carry with me is a survival saw chain. (Think of an open ended chainsaw blade with handles.) I wouldn’t want to to use one every day if I didn’t have to. But they give you options to cut any thing from a tree branches to decent sized trees. Probably you can cut a metal pipe as well, but I’ve never tried.

And I second all the recommendations for a multi-tool. I prefer Gerber’s because the price point to quality. But most are at least okay.

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Roger January 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm

My six must-carry items (besides the clothes and footwear on my body) would be 1) my neck knife for food processing, which has a sharpening rod and ferrocium rod on the hard stealth; 2) Kabar kurka machete with sheath, which can cut/split wood, act as shovel/digging tool, or as a hammer and of course, a good close-in weapon (and easily makes spears out of branches); 3) poncho, used as rain gear and/or shelter; 4) canteen with cover; 5) canteen cup; and last but not least 6) 550 cord, at least 100 foot or more, for shelter building, fish net, tool making, etc.!!! Item(s) no. 7 would probably be several disposable lighters, for fire making and maybe as important as trade items!

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wjmcclure March 20, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Love this article. I am totally adding WD-40 to my bug-out bag. well, a small can.

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Josh May 30, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol?

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caine30 May 31, 2010 at 1:30 am

they are all the bad guys that liberals hate

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Blue February 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

You have to get the Super Industrial use ones. There are things on Navy ships that have been zip tied for decades.

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I Art Laughing March 5, 2011 at 12:02 am

Nylon zipties are different. I have zipped tied stuff down to -50 F and it stays put with nylon and I have done this all the time.

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The_Mastermind October 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

Another thing that zipties are useful for is if you ever need to restrain someone, 1 or 2 (if you want to be careful) makes some very useful plasti-cuffs. They are quick and light and depending what they are made of.

They aren't a good thing to use to solve all your problems but I would say that they certainly deserve a place in a BOB.

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Blue February 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I have been in the Navy for 17 years and we call it Lock Wire. There is a tool called amazingly enough a lock wire tool that helps to twist the wire together and and makes it real tight.

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I Art Laughing March 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

The book is "One Mans Wilderness" and it is very good.

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JNay April 28, 2011 at 9:28 pm

It is an awesome tool. I have carried and used the fencing pliers in my kit on numerous deployments over the years. It is very similar to the FUBAR and inexpensive. Just another thought for tools for your kit

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JNay April 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Yea, and they told us that the camo sticks were edible as well……..

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NilsFranco June 12, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I have one on me all times, and I just started the survival phenomenon last week. I got my Gerber MultiTool in 08 and haven't left my house without it (Although at my public high school I could get expelled for having it, were they to search my bag)
(edit): I must say I love the Gerbers much better than the Leathermen. They feel much more ergonomic.

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Hillbillywildman February 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I have tried alot of different types of pocket tools and decided on the Ozark Trail from Wal-mart. It is cheap, but I have used it for 3years and still costs 10.88 to replace if need to. I use it every day to cut wire, and most days to saw branches when I am making trap lines. I have never need to cut a penny in a survival situation though.

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Straydog December 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Big fan of duct tape myself. Back in the early 70s a couple of my scout buddies and I made a tent we found a pattern for in Boys Life. Heavy plastic sheeting, nylon rope and "Duct Tape". slept three and withstood a fine example of a north east Texas tornado, the week after Christmas while on a fifty mile hike. Never forget those poor city boys, who "had" those pretty, expensive, "official" red nylon Boy Scout tents scattered all over Fannin State Park when the blow was over! We were high and dry!

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caine30 February 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm

the penny was just a way to explain how well it will cut.

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Instructor March 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I'm with both of you on this except that a gun should be number 1 on the list. Like you said, Anything you don't have you are probably going to be able to acquire it with a gun. ( And ammo of course)

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Doc prepper April 29, 2012 at 9:28 am

I second the Dead On "Annihilator." What the FUBAR does the Annihilator does better with better balance and less weight. The Annihilator also has functions that the FUBAR does not, like a pointed chisel at its other end for cracking in prying. That and any tool that has a bottle opener, in this case at the bottom edge of the hammer surface, is a head of the game in my book.

So side by side the Annihilator does more, does better, and with less weight.

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Tim June 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Yup. I'll attest to the duct tape on blisters. I had to do that yesterday on my hike. Started to get bad blisters on my heels. Put moleskin on first and then taped my foot in a figure 8 from my heel, then across and under my instep. Worked great!

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blackadder July 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

My never leave home without it list: Victorinox Cadet, coin sized bulb LED light on my key chain, Compass/Altimeter Watch, Para-cord bracelet, Bic lighter, syl-nylon poncho and a surplus NATO water bottle with the canteen cup. Even when I do not have my backpack (or passing TSA), I always have the small stuff on my person.

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David September 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm

As a much younger person I worked building some maintenance tunnels, my job was tying the rebar. We used some wire and a special plyer that would grab the two ends and when the handles were pulled the teeth would rotate and tie the bar close and tight.

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marcin62 February 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

wd40 is not a lubricant

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Snipeleader March 16, 2013 at 4:35 am

You have an entire Team of Doctors helping and working with you don't ya? lol (lol,easy button)

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Snipeleader March 16, 2013 at 4:39 am

You can also get all 4 videos they made of his life there. I figured he was one that probably had NO health issues (like on medications regularly) and he did get some stuff flown in to help him build his life but he did all the work. He recycled all that he could like making pots and pans from old fuel cans etc. The DVD's are online at Amazon.com too and it would be worth everyones interest to watch this and glean ideas. I have seen almost all of them and have great ideas stored in my graymatter.

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Snipeleader March 16, 2013 at 4:45 am

But, be smart and think redundancy. Start learning and using non-firearm modes like crossbows, compound bows, snares and knives. This way if for some reason you lose your gun or run out of ammo, or can't get to your ammo stash, maybe this will save your life. Besides, it will be much quieter to stick an arrow in somebody as you try and overtake their stash they took from you at night.. Think about it. I am looking into doing that direction as a redundant backup.

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