10 Non-Power Tools You Need for Survival

I knew we were in trouble the moment I saw the Black and Decker battery-powered adjustable wrench.  I’d encountered screwdrivers with dead batteries, saws without extension cords, and drills with easily over-heated motors, but an electric wrench?

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of SurvivalCache.com

Frankentools

Even the Craftsman electric hammer wasn’t as frightening as a AAA-powered wrench. What was the world coming to?  Since that time I have considered what essential but simple tools have crawled their way out of the primordial tool box and evolved into electric-powered, motor-driven, battery-dependent versions that grind, drill and saw through anything in seconds as long as their copper circulatory system has a steady flow of electrons.  If the Grid goes down, the these highly advanced tools are collectively no more useful than a bright yellow bag filled with boat anchors.

Most people have experienced the failure of an electric screwdriver and have quickly remedied that situation, so manual screwdrivers were too obvious to make this list. But how about the other essential non-power tools necessary to rebuild society, or at least repair your domicile after a hurricane or civil war? Here’s a list of 10 non-power tools to have handy when the grid hits a speed bump.

Karambit Knife

Best Non-Power Tools For Survival: Top 10 Picks

1. Cross-cut saw:  Very few people today have tried to cut through a large tree with a handsaw, and with good reason.  Doomsday PreppersBranches, yes, but trunks, never.  Now imagine a SHTF situation where you can’t use or don’t want to use a noisy, smelly chainsaw.  Not hard to imagine actually, but as you look at the tree blocking the road, laying across your roof, or soon to be turned into your bug out cabin, you’ve got a lot of sawdust-making ahead of you.  This country was built with cross-cut saws, and while not as efficient as their internal combustion descendants, a pair of muscles and a sharp cross-cut will make short order of any tree outside our national parks.

Cross-cut saws come in one and two person versions that differ by length and handles. If you live in a place where you know you will need to cut trees, the two-man version is best. For some strange twist of physics, twice the manpower is more than twice as fast. But if space is an issue, the one-man version is smaller and a makeshift second handle can be bolted onto the end of the blade if needed.

Here are our recommended cross-cut saws for survival:

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Hacksaw: Most of us are quick to grab our reciprocating saw like a Milwaukee Sawzall (the Kleenex of such things) for just Doomsday Preppersabout every non-precise cutting task whether pipes, plywood, or plastic.  Even fire/rescue folks have their trusty lithium-powered Sawzall on board to cut future hospital patients out of their current predicament.

Useful hand hacksaws come in two classic sizes, 10 inch blades and 12 inch.  The standard looking solid-frame hacksaw uses a 12 inch blade while the mini saw uses the 10 inch. For the price, I recommend at least one of each, and you can use 12 inch blades on the mini versions, but it’s easy to break the non-supported portion of the blade if you’re not careful.  And even if you do snap it in half, just keep using whatever piece fits in the saw. Check out this recommended hacksaw:

Stanley STHT20138 Solid Frame High Tension Hacksaw (12in / 305mm)
  • 12-Inch Fixed blade length, 4.375-Inch cutting depth
  • Stanley - Black & Decker
  • 90-Degree and 180-Degree Adjustable blade angles allowing flush cuts

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Standard Hand Saw: This is the traditional looking saw with a wood handle attached to a slightly triangular blade Forge Survival Supplytapering as it goes from grip to tip.  They come in various lengths and tooth sizes, and of course, price points.  The useful length of a hand saw tops out at about 30 inches, but a 26 or 20 inch blade works very well for most tasks.  I have a handful of 15 inch saws floating around and they work as good or better than most camp saws when you don’t need to carry the saw in your pack.

As the teeth get smaller, it is easier to cut because less material is removed with each stroke.  So the there is a tradeoff between cutting speed and necessary muscle.  If  you are in a region with harder woods, go for a tooth count above 10.  If your world is more of softer woods like the pine forests of the west, then fewer than 10 teeth per inch will serve most needs just fine.  Either way, the high-carbon steel will rust and pit if left alone outside.

Here is our recommended hand saw for survival:

Sale
WilFiks 16” Pro Hand Saw, Perfect for Sawing, Trimming, Gardening,...
  • ► EASY TO USE: Our pro hand saw is designed for precise cutting including dovetails, miters, and...
  • ► DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Induction-hardened teeth that stay sharp up to five times longer than...
  • ► ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Anti-Slip Super Grip handle resists slipping and adds comfort, The handle size...

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Large Hand Drill: Hand-powered drills seem to be something that has fallen off the radar of most folks due to their doomsday preppersproliferation in antique stores.  Oddly, the same “antique” hand drill can be found in larger hardware stores for less money.  Hobby shops often have a few on hand as well, but either way, there are plenty of options still in production.

Larger hand drills come in two popular designs. One looks like a bigger version of the standard small hand drill which is little more than a vertical shaft with a geared-crank wheel attached to the center, a handle above it, and a chuck below it.  The other design called a brace drill looks like a bowed shaft of metal with a chuck on one end, a spin-able knob on the other and a rotating grip in the middle.  Either design will allow you to place a considerable portion of your body weight on the shaft while drilling, but the cost of the more complex geared version increases exponentially as it goes up in size.

Brace drills are much less expensive and often have a ratchet mechanism like a socket that allows drilling in confined spaces where a complete revolution of the offset handle is not possible. Most brace drills have chucks that take up to half-inch bit shafts, but reduced-shaft wood bits give your brace drill up to a two inch diameter drilling capacity assuming you have a bit that size, let alone a need for a hole that big and the time to drill it.

See the recommended large hand drills:

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Small Hand Drill: Most household drilling jobs will settle for a hole one-quarter inch in diameter or less which just so happens to be the capacity of smaller hand drills.  It is very easy to snap off small drill bits when using a larger drill so small hand drills are essential if your drilling needs require holes pin to pencil-sized.  Small hand drills do not generate as much torque as the larger versions, so both small and larger hand drills are necessary since one size won’t drill all.

Most of us, myself included, have many powered options when it comes to drilling holes and driving screws.  Get Out of Dodge Bug Out BagBut charging a 28v advanced lithium power cell is not the same as charging a cell phone battery with a crank-powered emergency radio. Without a gas-powered generator or a roof covered in solar panels, power tools are not really tools at all.

Check out the most recommended product below:

Schroeder Hand Drill 1/4-Inch Capacity
  • Hand drill offers better control while drilling
  • Works with 1/4-inch bits
  • No electricity needed

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Battery-free Battery Tester: These days, batteries can sit on a shelf for a decade and still have some useful juice left in TEOTWAWKI Survival Gearthem. Even the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables are good after a year in the drawer. But how will you know if the cache of batteries you just discovered is any good. And as you know, one dud in the device kills all the others.

A battery tester that does not itself use a battery won’t give as reliable a reading as a powered tester, but still it is a helpful reading for most situations. The powered versions can test the battery under load, but most folks use a tester to give the thumbs up or down to any given battery. Just make sure the particular tester you have can test all the batteries you use including 12v CR123 and 3v button cells.

Check out our recommended battery tester below:

Sale
D-FantiX Battery Tester, Universal Battery Checker for AA AAA C D 9V 1.5V...
  • SMALL & PRACTICAL - Simple but effective little battery tester checker(BT-168) , compact size and...
  • TESTING DEFFERENT BATTERY TYPES - It works with standard and rechargeable household batteries: AA,...
  • REQUIRE NO BATTERY TO OPERATE - Easy-to-read , the analog display needle moves on a color-coded,...

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Battery-free Circuit Tester: Why would you need an old-school Survival Blogcircuit tester if there is no electricity? Simple, how do you know there is no electricity? As one of the cheapest tools on this list, it is also one that could save your life. Since the indicator light won’t kick in until the volts approach three figures, its not going to work for car batteries. But that’s what a screwdriver is for right? You know, shorting the battery to check for a spark.

If you plan on building an off-grid solar panel array, you will need a multimeter with decimal-level voltage and amperage capabilities, but for encountering the errant wire or circuit box the old design works fine. In fact, you can go years on traditional battery-powered voltage detector, so toss one of those in your 72-month bag as well.

Extech CT20 Remote and Local Continuity Tester
  • One person operation for wire and cable testing
  • Local continuity checking is accomplished by a bright flashing LED and loud pulsating beeper
  • Remote continuity with the use of the remote probe

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

8. Hand-powered Grinding Wheel: From plow blades to hatchet Apocalypse 101 heads, nothing makes sharpening large metal easier than moving the stone instead of the blade. Even at just a few hundred RPMs, the spinning stone will spit enough sparks to set your shop on fire if you’re not careful.

The spinning inertia of a hand-powered grinding wheel is only enough to do very small tasks. For any job of substance, the cranking must accompany the grinding so for those times, which happens to be all the time, an additional hand or two is helpful. And spinning the grinding wheel might be the most post-apocalyptic fun a kid can have.

Due to the extremely high chance that a speck of stone or metal will fly into your eye, your kid’s eye, or your dog’s eye, exercise caution by putting a transparent barrier between any living cornea and any remotely conceivable missile trajectory launched from the other side. If you need to use a hand-cranked grinding wheel then I sincerely doubt a hospital is just around the corner.

9. Hand-powered Air Pump: In case you didn’t know it, you can use a bicycle air pump to inflate a car tire.  It will take you survivalist bloga long time, but nothing is preventing it except maybe the wrong valve connector-which is an easy fix.  Motorized vehicles use relatively low pressure tires with cars, trucks and motorcycle tire manufacturers suggesting something in the 25-45 psi range. But vehicle tires are also incredibly high volume spaces to fill compared to bicycle tires.  Most bike pumps are designed for lower volume but much higher pressures, some over 200 psi.  Either way, you’re SOL if all you’ve got is one air compressor and zero electricity.  No matter how many hours of pumping it takes, a bike pump will get the job done.  Raft pumps, on the other hand, are designed very high volume but extremely low pressures like 2 psi, so don’t bother going there except for air mattresses, and rafts of course.

Here is our recommended affordable air pump:

Schwinn Air Center Plus Floor Pump for Bicycles with Gauge Fits Schrader...
  • Dual easy indicator pump head fits both Shrader and Presta valves indicator is green when locked and...
  • Wide metal base adds stability for easy pumping and adds long lasting durability
  • 38mm diameter high volume steel barrel is 21 inch high to offer premium performance

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10. Scythe: In addition to being an authentic Halloween prop, the scythe Survivalist Blogis an indispensable tool when you need to mow down weeds so you can reclaim a gardening plot, or turn over a field after harvest.  At it’s simplest, a scythe is little more than a wooden shaft with a pair of handles, one in the center and one at at an end.  On the opposite end is a long narrow blade attached perpendicular to the shaft. From there it can get complex with numerous variations in shaft shape, handle design, and replaceable job-specific blades.  No matter how modern a scythe’s design becomes, it is still quite recognizable as such since its function and use have never changed, only its comfort and efficiency.

Long after the lawn mower engine has seized and the push mower’s blades are too dull and chipped to cut anything, the scythe will keep going since using only the tools listed above, you could easily build yourself a new scythe from little more than a solid branch and a leaf spring.

Photos by:
Amazon.com
Laura Burch

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63 thoughts on “10 Non-Power Tools You Need for Survival”

  1. Very good list. I've been looking for a good hand pump, I think they are pretty rare now. My Grandfather's air pump had steel reinforcing rods along two sides and leather seals – it pumped up MANY bicycle tires that went flat. Dang, I should have rescued that – no idea where it went. There was a model for blowing up air rockets some years back but I haven't found a source for it.

    I'd throw the humble plane in there as well, a smooth fitted surface is often necessary.

    Reply
    • Hello jrg,

      I actually considered the plane, but figured that not enough folks owned powered planes to spend one of my coveted Top 10 spots on it.

      Thanks for the addition! …"Ours go to eleven."

      Reply
    • Try at antique shops. Call and ask if they have tools and go look. They may be slightly higher in cost, but as you said they were built to last.

      Reply
  2. Hi SCS,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    This is a list of tools that often have a more popular electric or gas powered analog. To my knowledge there is no powered version of an axe the would cause someone to be left in the cold when the power stops or the gas runs out.

    I cannot count the times I've found myself in the situation where a powered tool is the only option. And not that I am against powered tools (I own plenty of them of all colors and battery voltages), but when no non-powered tool is available, thing just go from bad to deadly.

    So therefore this list was generated from practical experience and shared with the world to encourage better preparedness. It is not inclusive nor comprehenive, but is well thought out.

    And with all that said, please everyone, continue to add to this list and share your thoughts regardless if your tool fits my narrow theme. More is better.

    Thanks!

    Reply
      • Actually, I submitted that and then I could not edit it. I was thinking about cutting and splitting logs when I wrote chainsaw, but I MEANT to say the log splitter is an essential tool, if you don't have one you need an axe. A saw is fine for cutting small trees down. But you won't burn large logs efficiently unless you split them. And you won't do it with a hand saw. Plus most axes have the added benefit of being able to used as a hammer as well, and that is another essential.

        Reply
    • This is a great list. You obviously were listing tools for making things, and any nitwit knows the importance of ax, knife, gun.
      .
      I would just like to suggest the use of Japanese carpentry saws, instead of your 15-20 inch carpentry hand-saws. The Japanese saws cut on the PULL stroke, which is way easier, and you can buy one saw with widely different tpi, and set, on opposite sides of the blade. I can build a dove-tail box that will hold water (or SOUP!), with a thick green tree branch, and ONE of those saws: 10 tpi on one side, 18 or 20 tpi on the other.
      .
      Great list. Thanks!!

      Reply
  3. I bet I'm the only one on my block with a scythe in his garage. And a 2 man crosscut saw. I guess my dad was a prepper and didn't know it because he had all this stuff and more. Wish I had kept more of it.

    Reply
    • I am probably the only woman living in an apartment who has a scythe as wall décor!! I have my father's/grandfather's. I have it because of my eclectic taste in décor but now I know it has more purpose than sentimental value and antique value. I also have my grandfather's small forge for the same reason. It sits on my balcony and serves as a place to put a tray when guests come over. It starts many conversations. I will now be on a search for instructions on how to sharpen a scythe and fire up (and use/make things with) the forge. Don't think I will be able to practice either here in my apartment complex though!!

      Reply
  4. As I started reading the list, I was immediately thrown back to my youth, much like many of your other commentors. Summers spent at Grandma's (Grandpa had passed away years earlier), and the wonder of a well stocked recession-era shop. Most of the time, I loved getting in there and using tools that had seen many decades of service already. Once in a while, it actually became WORK (cutting down the aged maple in the front yard with the 2 person cross-cut and my barely older cousin on the other end). But, I knew what it meant to have quality tools around when needed. I wish that I had been smart enough when Grandma passed away to lay claim to as much of that stuff as I could.

    Reply
  5. So far I got all the above. I am looking for a automatic gear driven wall / bench press. Pull a handle down and drill away. Can't find any for sale, RangerRick

    Reply
    • Make one. Did you ever watch the Wood Wright Shop on PBS with Roy Underhill? He showed all this stuff, including how to make by hand a drill press, a lathe and a foot powered saw. He started with just an axe and built a house and all the furniture to go into it. He also made toys for the kids. Fascinating!

      Reply
  6. not necessarily on the top ten list but a few things that might be worth honorable mention;

    a tree saw, the type one takes with on a camping trip, nice for cutting poles for shelters and fences.

    I agree on the plane and the ax as being important enough to make the second round as well as a draw knife.

    A siphon pump, both for fuel and water.

    All manner of gardening tools as well as spare handles to fix them.

    and if you plan on keeping a yard with grass, a push mower.

    Reply
  7. If you're cutting trees and lumber with large saws, you will need wedges and either large mauls or heavy hammers and sledges. When you heat with wood, you will need wedges for splitting a volume of timbers. I found it best to cut around large knots and not waste time and energy cutting them. A machete is essential for clearing trails and land around trees to be felled and cut up. A come-along hand cable-winch is another wonderful tool when you are working solo or with heavy loads. Sometimes they are needed for calving, fence tensioning, log straightening and tripod hoisting for engine rebuilding, haylofting and hog slaughtering.

    Reply
  8. amazon link for the scythe is only for the snath (handle) you also need the blade, and you also need a curved grinding stone for your back pocket because the blade needs frequent sharpening and the hand powered grinding wheel will just not cut it. If all you’re going to do is cut down weeds and lawn, you might do better with an old-fashioned push lawn mower.

    Reply
    • At the bottom of the link is a sharpening stone and 3 different types of blades, also a wooden handle instead of the aluminum one the link is for.

      Reply
  9. Hi Paula,

    You are correct about the link on Amazon, but it was the only link there to a quality scythe product and I was hoping any buyer would notice the need for a purpose-specific blade.

    Carrying a stone is as important to a scythe as chain oil is to a chainsaw. In other words you won't get far without it. Good call on that one.

    My experience with hand-powered push mowers must different from yours. I can barely knock down shaggy Kentucky blue grass with one let alone anything with a woody stem. When the SHTF, it won't be lawns in need of attention, but instead the scythe will be needed to clear defensible space, cut fire breaks, harvest biomass for collection, and across-the-board farming.

    And to All, keep the suggestions coming, but remember that the spirit of this list addresses those tools whose manual (non-powered) versions have, in many garages, been completely replaced with a motorized substitute.

    Reply
  10. Have all of the above…plus my great grandfather 2 man cross cut saw. One of the comments in the scythe paragraph made me remember…I have an old reel style push mower, could be handy if the SHTF.. just a thought.

    Reply
  11. A good list, however there are some things that will be needed to be added to it, 1, several files and wood rasps, 2, an old fashon push plow, 3. different axes, chopping axe and splitting axe. 4, a good draw knife, 5, multiple hand tools, too many to mention. 6, an anvil and hammers and forge. to name a few of the things that I have on top of the things in your list.

    Reply
  12. I pretty much agree with the hand tools you've selected. Not so much the electronic testers or air pump as such. But one needs to consider the tools they can make on sight. Such as a grinder, lathe (and drills) or what tools you could make by having these smaller tools. For a long term survival tool I would suggest a hand cranked meat grinder, in place of the testers. Or a block and tackle. In my survival classes, I teach how to make most of these tools from just what is found in nature.

    Reply
  13. This seems to be a more urban sort of list. I'm rural and would rather have an draw knife, ax and adze than the electric detectors or air pump.. If I want to know if a wire is hot I'll touch it with the back of a finger while my elbow is grounded. (LOL ,I'm an electrician and get bumped pretty often) A battery can be tested in a flash light.

    Files and rasps are just a must have for me and small gimlets are great for a small carry kit. Being a country boy that lives in the woods just offers a different set of needs than someone in a more urban environment.

    Reply
  14. I have all of that plus the old fashion hole digger. Old pipe wrenches, all kinds of files, but what do I do with the cross saw, grinder, lathe, jig saw, old victorian phonograph player from the St. Louis Fair, just have to wind it up . It plays with wooden needles. I have everything listed by everyone including the plane but is is a small one.

    Reply
  15. A good list to start with. I have everything on it but the scythe and crosscut saw, but do have a hand scythe and a bow saw, and a buck saw.

    Reply
  16. Actually, the only reason ANY multi-meter needs a battery, is to test resistance, or continuity. If all you're checking is voltage, the battery you're testing gives the power required to deflect the needle on the meter, not the battery actually inside the meter.

    Reply
  17. A set of Gimlets are smaller than a hand drill if your worried about weight and space but they only work on wood
    if your wanting to drill metal a hand drill Or brace and bit would be your best choice.

    If you have a hack saw and hacksaw blade holder is a good accessory they use the same blades and allow you to use the blades in tight places also a sawzsall blade handle you can use wood plastic metal curring blades as well as masonry blades.

    just do not forget files steels and stones to sharpen these bad boys
    A Scythe can be peened also it is called drawn or dressed instead of sharpened with a stone it hardens the edge
    and that cold drawing tempers it so the edge stays sharper longer.

    I have a love hate affair with wood learning pin and wedge methods to make connections like old barns
    and wood ships new deck and drywall screws will be unusable as power tools made them workable.

    Tools are so cheap and prolific it would be a crime not to decide what your ambition is if your going to blacksmith
    or wood work if power is a problem welding will be a problem we will have to go back to casting and water wheel and belt drive power and people will not want to sell off wood working tools or hand implements.
    the value system will change.

    Reply
    • I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true

      Reply
  18. sorry i bumped Damn's mention of gimlets but I will say that rebar is good for burning a hole in wood or file it like a star dril and hammer and twist untill you beat a hole through.

    all this is great for homesteading or buggin in if your on the move this is heavy stuff so get a mule.

    Reply
  19. I have tried to use the scythe in the past but found it rather bulky to use. I prefer the Weed Hook that you swing back and froth it will also clear the grass and weeds real well. Then there is the small curved (one handed) weed hook for the smaller jobs that is real handy. I have some of my Dad's old tools that I kept when he passed and I still use them from time to time just to keep in practice one never knows when the power will go out.

    Reply
  20. Outstanding compilation and I am sure the other additions readers inserted by way of comment should be included. One thing that crossed my mind was the capacity to use the quick release mechanism that accepts hex shaft drill bits as well as driver bits. It will fit into the brace drill fairly well with some filing and it will fit into the small hand drill. Though you can't generate torque for tightening, it does facilitate speed of insertion for final tightening with hand screwdrivers.

    One truism is that one can never have enough tools. Just go through a Garrett-Wade catalog and try not to drool on the pages. There are other good catalogs out there as well, I am just not as familiar with them and am not meaning to resemble a marketing rep.

    Reply
  21. i have done a lot of woodworking with my great, great grandads tools, he was a master house wright in 1890s ohio.
    planes are a must, jack planes, an edge plane, rabbit plane, molding planes, there are many that can allow you to make many things. a spoke shave is great when make tool handles. along with the brace you need an assortment of auger bits they make a really nice hole. various chisels, there are tons of them. a good adjustable miter saw with a good back saw, coping saw, a good place for info on using hand tools can be found in Roy Underhills books, the guy in the red suspenders from PBS. these tools take a LOT of practice, so practice. i really enjoy using these tools, it is a lot quieter and gives greater satisfaction than faster power tools. i have made 12" wide boards out of 4 3" boards with a 24" jointer plane where the joints were almost invisible and have lasted years. for the rotary tools like grinder, lathe, etc an old time treadle sewing machine base can be used for them, it keeps both hands free and does not another person.

    Reply
  22. Hoe, rake, axe, push mower, machete, shovel, post hole digger, hammer, sledge hammer, Maddox(pick) axe, wheelbarrow, knives, pliers, block and tackle(come along), anvil, whet stone.

    Reply
  23. Excellent article! As well as flat Mill Bastard files, triangular files for sharpening saws are good. Saw "sets" are good, the ones for crosscut saws that you pound into tree stumps and the smaller ones for sweet tooth saws and rip saws. The old soaping/waxing screws reduces the force needed. I've been told that some lumberjacks carried a bottle of kerosene to "lube " their cross cut saws. The plastic wedges we use to keep our chainsaws from "pinching" also work well with crosscut saws. Chisels are a necessity and gouges are right handy. If you're digging in clay a paint scraper and lubricant make the job go quicker. Even with modern large tractors, they pull a whole lot easier once the rust is "scoured" off. Using paint and lubricant (even old engine oil) will enable a tool to "work" better wo rust and friction.

    Reply
  24. You might find a quality weed whip/weed cutter of a bit more practical value than a scythe and it won’t make you look like the Grim Reaper.
    Also worth mentioning is HANDLES, as in axe, splitting maul, sledge hammer, standard hammer, shovel handles, rake handles, etc. Both the wooden ones and the fiberglass ones break over time/use. Steel pipe or rebar can make more permanent handles, but you want to be ready to do that.

    Another important tool and of far greater value than a cross cut saw for cutting actual limbs and trunks is a good bow saw. My kids use these things for cutting up fire wood for a few years before I ever let them touch a chainsaw. Builds muscle, skill and appreciation for more efficient fire building.

    Also remember LOTS of extra blades and bits for everything, lots and lots. You also can’t go wrong having an endless supply of nails and screws in various sizes, all coated.

    Finally, think about both lumber and other building supplies and what you might logically want to build if SHTF. I mean you’ll almost certainly want to build a number of sheds at least – root cellar, meat processing and hanging shed, greenhouse, etc. Having lumber stored in a dry location for such projects would be handy. Having things like truss hangers, roofing materials, polycarbonate for windows and greenhouse roofs, stud braces and anchors, rigid insulation, these would all be very high value and can be stored in a 20′ or 40′ shipping container basically forever. Even if S does not HTF anytime soon going out to build a shed in ten years with materials purchased today will make for a much cheaper shed what with inflation. If you’re able to store them long-term basic construction materials are always an investment.

    Obviously don’t forget spare parts for all vehicles and of course diesel vehicles are much more powerful, efficient and typically lower maintenance with longer lifespans than gasoline, apart from the fact that you can store large amounts of diesel fuel in relative safety, essentially forever.

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  25. Treadle sewing machine (for mending/making textile products), old alternators/ bike – make generator, wind power, solar power, shallow well digging equipment, Auger type post hole digger with multiple threaded shaft extensions, 4 inch pipe well casing, hand pump/ pipe), Froe (for precision wood splitting), draw knife horse, chinese wheel barrow (make from an old motor cycle tire and some saplings), old windows (to make cold frames, to replace grow lights), mirror/ glass (to make solar oven to powered oven), rocket stove, sewing awl, broom, bucket, brushes and mops to replace vacuum cleaner, solar chimney to replace window fan; fencing, barb wire, thorn bushes, dogs, geese, to help replace or supplement electronic security measures, hydraulic jack, farm jack, XHD pry bars to in some instances replace power equipment, high limb chair saw (chain saw blade with rope ends) for high limb trimming (with help of a sling shot and twine to place pilot ropes and fell arrestor ropes). No till gardening methods (mulch, newspapers..) to replace rototilling, PLUS Solar, wind, pedal generator and batteries and inverters to maintain some power. (A SHTF situation is not a time machine to the stone age, you can maintain some rudimentary jury rigged technology.. For fuel… Wood gasification, Methane generation from bio waste, alcohol (Add a still to the list), plant trees on S side of house to replace AC, wood stove with thermal fan to partially replace central force air furnace/fan, clean gutters/ direct downspout, good foundation sealing to partial replace basement dehumidifier, real paper books to replace kindle/wifi connection, old fashion heat on the stove iron, old fashioned heat in the fire soldering iron, candle latern (to replace flash light), hand pump or?? to replace electric sump pump, sawbuck (if you're doing a lot of hand sawing, you want an ergonomic position), ratchet straps (yes they probably don't directly replace and electric appliance, but useful.) hot water bottle (replace elect heating pad), bed warmer (replace electric blanket), hand truck and dollies (partially replace fork lift), good screens in windows and doors, plus security bars if nec, (to help deal with lack of AC), Hand crank flash light/radio, good screen in kitch sink drain to prevent food particles from going down drain (for lack of garbage disposal), twine and wire (fastener to partially replace screws/ electric driven) , rat traps (trip alarms, vermin control, small game), nails (replace electric driven screws, oxygen absorbers for long term food storage, etc), solar food dryer/ canning supplies (replace refrigeration/freezer). wash tub, wash board/ hand wash plunger, and old fashioned crank laundry ringer. (bio degradable soap for local use of gray water), straight blade razor/ good barber shears to replace electric trimmers. HD cargo bike, XL cargo bike trailer for human powered transport, canoe/row boat/ sail boat, pigs for converting garbage into bacon, butchering tools, smoke house, water storage, …cider press (to replace electric juicer), throw rugs vs wall to wall carpet (due to lack of vacuum cleaner).. Pump sprayer (for minor spraying/ showering) with lack of city or electric well pump water line pressure, high volume trash pump converted to pedal power for irrigation/ transfer, floss (to make due as best as possible with water pic) Hand pump water pic????, (pardon if some of this was off topic)

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  26. Thing thing to do, in my humble opinion, is build a wooden object, such as a bench or bird house, from planks of wood and no hand tools or metal hardware, or even better, from a log or discarded lumber. Knowing how to get by without power tools is a great skill to have. Learning joinery and other lost arts such as that is a great teacher, makes you think about how we view the way we build things, and is irreplaceable experience.

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