Multi-Purpose Items for Your Survival


If you’re more of a minimalist prepper, you’re probably interested in survival items that can do more than one thing. This way you’ll have less gear to carry, meaning you’ll be able to get home or evacuate faster.

These items are perfect not just for everyday carry, but for your bug out bag as well, where mobility is extremely important. Before we see what these items are, I strongly recommend you do your homework and research the brands you’re looking to purchase.

walkie-talkie#1. An emergency radio

If you’re going to get an emergency radio, know that there are models out there who offer a whole bunch of additional functionalities: flashlight, lantern, phone charger, solar panels and so on. If you get a good price, it won’t hurt to purchase more. You will need to store them in other places such as your family’s bug out bags, your car and even at your bug out location.

#2. A tactical pen

If you’re a hardcore gun enthusiast, you probably laugh at the idea of using a pen to defend yourself, or at self-defense instructors who advocate them.

Nevertheless, consider there are places and situations where guns are not allowed. Tactical pens are probably the best way to disguise a self-defense weapon. The trick is to get one that doesn’t look tactical in order to avoid a lot of stupid questions from friends and co-workers.


  • United Cutlery Tactical Pen
  • CountyComm Embassy
  • Fred Perrin Concepts
  • Benchmade 1100 titanium series
  • Mil-Tac Defense Pen
  • see more pens here.

multi-tool#3. A multi-tool (of course).

I could just tell you to get a Leatherman and move on to the next item, but I do want to point out the numerous functions these items have: pliers, wire cutter, screwdriver, bottle opener, saw, ruler and, of course, a knife.

#4. A credit-card shaped multi-tool.

I keep one in my wallet every day and, although I’ve only used it a couple of times to open up bottles, I’m sure it’ll get really handy at some point in the future.

#5. A stainless steel water bottle canteen

If you don’t have a canteen bottle filled with water in your bug out bag, I suggest you stop reading and get one. Water is crucial in a survival situation, the only trouble is, you can’t carry more than about half a gallon.

Why should you keep it in a canteen, you ask? For one, it’s less subjected to temperature variations. The other reason is, you guessed it, the numerous other things you can do with the bottle:

  • foraging for berries
  • boiling water (just set it up directly over your camp fire)
  • cooking freeze-dried food
  • …and more.

bandana-#6. A bandana

Whoever said preparedness is expensive as either lying or didn’t know what he was talking about. Sure, it can get expensive, but look at some of dirt-cheap survival items… The bandana could help you in numerous situations: foraging, making an arm sling, tying things, to make an ice pack, as a cold compress and so on.

Notice that most of the survival uses are, in fact, medical, something that, in my opinion, is very important especially in bug out situations… because it’s way more likely that you’ll get hurt.

#7. A pocket knife

If the laws allow it, I would definitely recommend carrying a small, folding knife with you everywhere you go.

If anyone tried to come up with all the different situations in which a folding knife would be useful, they would probably fail. They are that many. Nevertheless, let me give you a few, so you see how important it is to have one: to mark trees, to defend from animals and humans, as a can opener

One thing I wouldn’t use it (unless absolutely necessary) would be to split wood. It’s just not worth gambling your blade if you can use something else to do it, such as an axe or even a solid bushcraft knife.

fishing#8. Fish Hooks

Many have heard that it’s good to have a few fish hooks in their bug out bags, but few realize these tiny survival items can be used for much more than just fishing:

  • to secure things
  • to grab something you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach (you have to attach your hook to a pole first)
  • as a sewing needle (if you know what you’re doing, you may even be able to sew yourself up!)
  • you can straighten one up, attach it to a small branch and use it to defend yourself

Dan Stevens
Modern Survival Online

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