Top 10 Essential Survival Tools (+1 Bonus Tool You Shouldn’t Go Without)

Top 10 Most Essential Survival Tools

Do you like hunting, fishing, or rock climbing? You may want to be ready for an imminent disaster, civil unrest, or even a zombie apocalypse or perhaps you just like collecting useful stuff. Survival tools play a vital role in all the these scenarios and should always be in your backpack.

In this article, we will go through some of the most useful survival items you’d need to have for such situations.


We did extensive research on the different survival tools available for purchase. Once we narrowed down our list to the ten best, we reviewed each one based on features, pricing, availability, uses, pros and cons.

The result is a comprehensive list and review of the ten most essential survival tools.


Starting at around a few $ and going all the way into the hundreds, each survival tool offers specific capabilities.

The build quality and extra features are worth the extra money, especially when considering these tools can save your life or the life of a loved one. 


  • Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Army Aluminum Alloy Compass
  • J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight
  • LEATHERMAN – OHT Multitool
  • Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Single Wall Stainless Steel Water Bottle
  • CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Package
  • Tesla Coil Lighter
  • Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife Fixed Blade Knife
  • UST StarFlash Floating Signal Mirror
  • Flash Personal Cooking System
  • S.O.L. Survive Outdoors Longer Emergency Bivvy



Are you looking for a heavy-duty, rugged compass filled with tons of features?

The Eyeskey military compass housing is made from aluminum alloy which makes it durable and capable of withstanding any harsh weather condition.

Inside, you’ll find a floating dial with a 360-degree scale. And don't forget to get a map.

At the left and right side of the compass, you’ll find two rulers, one in centimeters and one in inches. At the back, you’ll find a slope reference table. The aluminum alloy also makes the compass lightweight.​

Other useful features include a bubble level, a rotating bezel, and a diopter sighting lens.


  • Made of aluminum alloy
  • Slope reference table
  • Durable but lightweight


  • The compass is about 3 degrees off
  • Calibration issues

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Uses: Hiking, camping, hunting, traveling



A tactical flashlight, the J5 V1-PRO is designed to withstand extreme conditions and is made from aluminum alloy.

There are three modes: high, low, and strobe.

You can also adjust the light output by manually adjusting the focus and turning the corresponding knob. This way, you can switch from floodlight to spotlight mode and vice versa.

The V1-PRO can be temporarily submerged under water as it has a water-resistant design and is also durable enough to take on a 9-foot drop without breaking.

A belt clip is included, and for the flashlight to work, you’ll need either one AA or a 14500 rechargeable battery.


  • Durable and water resistant
  • Three lighting modes and two output styles
  • Belt clip


  • Batteries aren’t included
  • The focus doesn’t work well

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Uses: Camping, fishing, hunting, dog walking



A multi-tool is useful on a daily basis, but the OHT by Leatherman is one of the best premium survival tools you can get your hands on.

There are 16 built-in tools including pliers, knives, screwdrivers, a strap, a wire cutter, various bottle and can openers, a saw, an oxygen tank wrench, and a cleaning rod which doubles as a brush adaptor for any compatible firearms.

The handles are imprinted so you can easily locate the tool you need even in low-lighting conditions.

Safety is a number one priority for Leatherman as all the tools will lock in place when fully extended.

Last, you'll get a 25-year warranty which is the one thing justifying the high price.


  • 16 tools
  • 25-year warranty
  • Great safety mechanism


  • Expensive
  • Some tools could be replaced for more useful ones

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for an affordable price.

Uses: Site construction, emergencies, camping, fishing, hunting



Made with high-quality food-grade stainless steel, the Kleen Kanteen is much more than a clever play on words.

The interior is electro-polished which conserves the quality of the liquid without altering the taste.

It is fairly durable and lightweight due to the absence of insulation, but this is countered by the increased capacity. The cap is made from BPA-free polypropylene and is leak-proof.

The opening is big enough to fit ice and various water filters with ease. The company states it can be used to boil water, and this claim is backed by a lifetime warranty.


  • Electro-polished single-wall interior
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Big opening and leak-proof cap


  • Sweats easily because of the thin single-wall interior
  • Likely to rust unless cleaned properly

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for an affordable price.

Uses: Daily use, camping, traveling, hiking, fishing



A must-have for the hardcore Walking Dead fans out there, CenterPoint’s crossbow is powerful, offering a firing velocity of 370 feet per second and a draw weight of 185 pounds.

Both the forearm and the tactical stock can be easily replaced.

Most parts, including the aluminum rail, are durable and lightweight as they were made with precision CNC machinery.

Last but not least, the string suppressor eliminates the noise when shooting, making this crossbow one of the best survival tools for hunting.


  • Lightweight and durable CNC-machined parts
  • String suppressor
  • Replaceable parts


  • Some buyers received a non-illuminated scope
  • The bolts aren’t made with good materials

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for $$$.

Uses: Hunting, target practice



Coil lighters are great for camping trips because you can charge them with a power bank rather than having to fill them with gas every time they run out.

It’s easy to use as it lights up with a single push of a button and will last for about a week or 100 to 300 uses depending on how long you keep the button pressed.

The only drawback we found is the screeching noise this lighter makes when activated.

Other than that, everything about it is great, especially the carrying pouch you’ll receive alongside the Tesla coil lighter.


  • Rechargeable via USB
  • Easy to use
  • Carrying pouch included


  • Quickly runs out of power
  • Makes an annoying noise when used

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for an affordable price.

Uses: Daily use, camping



Sure, multi-tools have a built-in blade, but they can’t beat a dedicated fixed blade like the FireKnife.

Coming in an assortment of colors, the survival knife is made from hardened Sandvik stainless steel. 

The length of the blade is 3.75 inches. The top part of the blade is designed for preparing food or other various camping activities.

Alongside the actual knife, you’ll get a fire starter made of Swedish Firesteel which can withstand around 3,000 strikes. A belt clip is also included.


  • Durable fire starter
  • Belt clip included
  • Blade made with hardened Sandvik stainless steel


  • The sheath isn’t reversible (not suitable for left-handed people)
  • Only 1 year of warranty

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for a fair price.

Uses: Camping, hunting, daily use



Moving to some survival tools important to have for a difficult situation, the StarFlash is a virtually unbreakable signal-making mirror which can withstand harsh conditions and floats on water.

Apart from making signals, the built-in aiming system can be used for survival situations.

Combine this with the securing lanyard and the vacuum deposition metallization, and the result is important and vital for your camping toolkit.


  • Lightweight and durable design
  • Doubles as an aiming system
  • Safety lanyard


  • Could be bigger
  • Fairly thick

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for a hard-to-beat price.

Uses: Hiking, mountain climbing



Easy to pack and quick to set up, this personal cooking system can boil water in 100 seconds.

It is suitable for up to two people as the capacity of the pot is just 1 liter.

A familiar feature among survival tools, the ignition starter can be launched with the push of a button, and 100 grams of JetPower can last for boiling up to 10 liters.

The product features a thermochromic indicator which changes colors according to temperature alterations. Also worth mentioning is that the bottom of the pot can be used as a measuring cup or bowl.

Additional parts like a coffee press, hanging kit, and a pot supporter, have to be purchased separately.


  • Thermochromic indicator
  • Boils water is under two minutes
  • Can be set up quickly


  • Several useful parts have to be purchased separately
  • Could be much cheaper

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Uses: Camping



A true lifesaver, this emergency bivvy is just 3.8 ounces, and its color is a vibrant orange so it can easily get spotted from a rescue team or others passing by.

It can reflect up to 90% of your body heat right back at you, keeping you warm. 

It is made from polyethylene which is tear-resistant keeps you dry even when raining or snowing.

Because of its high compacting factor, the bivvy is easy to carry and doesn’t require a lot of space in your pack.


  • Durable and lightweight
  • Reflects 90% of body heat
  • Easy-to-spot vibrant orange color


  • Makes an annoying rubbing sound when the material rubs against itself
  • Not great for extremely low temperatures

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for a nice price.

Uses: Hiking, camping, mountain climbing

Bonus Tool

Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System

This one is a truly indispensable tool in every dependable bug-out-bag or survival kit as our bodies will shut down after just three days without water (compared to up to 3-4 weeks without food).

Plus, boiling water is time- and fuel-consuming, which can spell the difference between life and death in an extreme emergency situation.

The SAWYER PRODUCTS mini water filtration system weighs just 2 ounces (57 grams), so it can easily fit in your pocket (in freezing temperatures you'd want this filter as close to your body as possible in order for it not to freeze). 

Also, it is so effective at cleaning water – it removes 99,99999% of nasty bacteria including E. Coli and Salmonella and 99,99999% of protozoa, including Giardia and cryptosporidium – that it is extensively used by NATO troops in overseas missions and operations. (Check its price here.)


  • Very compact and lightweight
  • It does what it is supposed to do
  • Water doesn't change taste
  • Impressive filtering capacity (100k gallons)​​​​


  • Frail o-ring, it may break 
  • Filtered water comes out too slow
  • The provided squeezable bag is small and hard to fill in still water

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for the best price.

Uses: Thru-hiking, overseas traveling, military deployments


cutting trunks using knife

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

1. What Is a Survival Tool?

It’s an item that would be helpful in an unforeseen situation where surviving would be your only priority.

2. What Do Survival Tools Do?

Their main purpose is to provide safety or help in case of emergency. They can be anything from a first aid kit to patch up a nasty cut to a compass that would help you find your way back home.

3. How Do They Work?

All survival tools should be stored in the same spot for convenience. This way you can reach them all without spending time that could be important, if not vital, to your life.

They can work in various ways, but their usual application is to get out of a difficult situation.

For example, a knife can be used to cut through things while a first aid kit can bandage an open wound.

4. Where Can I Buy Them?

Stores with hiking, fishing, or hunting equipment will sell survival tools. They can also be purchased from online retailers such as

5. Do I Really Need Them?

If you value your life and the lives of those around you, then the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

Survival tools are extremely important, and you need to have at least some of them.


friends camping

Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

There are two survival tools we found particularly useful: the Leatherman OHT multi-tool thanks to the wide assortment of useful parts, and the J5 tactical V1-PRO flashlight thanks to its low price, quality, and durability.

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