The Swiss Army knife was the be-all and end-all of every boy scout’s dream. It was a complete wish-list of pliers, scissors, knife, saw, tweezers, can-opener, inflatable life raft. Wait, no, it didn’t have the inflatable life raft, but you could use the multi-functional knife to make a raft out of wood.
Multi-Functional survival tools have become an industry packed with innovations. The Swiss Army knife has been pushed to the bottom of the list as outdoors companies are pushing out pocket-sized survival items that could build a house. It is as if Agent Q’s multifunctional gun pens and shoe phones have been mixed with crowdfunding sites to produce some amazing products.
Coming from a former military perspective, I was of the belief that shelter could be made with a good sturdy knife. There are survival specialists out there that are more innovative than a smart phone. But give a survivalist one of these multifunctional items, and you’ve got yourself a city.
Whether you are starting out as a prepper, or your bug-out bag has been collecting dust for some time now, take a look at the following seven items. I can bet some of them could replace a number of items in your survival kit.
The SOL Origin is a waterproof-encased multi-functional survival tool that fits in the palm of your hand with 62 uses. It is designed with the purpose of being everything you would need in a tool to survive in an emergency scenario. It’s list of contained items is quite expansive but for a small breakdown here is what I found upon first opening this contraption:
- Tinder Quick fire starters
- braided nylon cord
- signal mirror in the flip lid
- stainless steel wire
- Fire Lite sparker
- removable compass
- sewing kit
- fishing kit
- lock-blade knife
- rescue whistle
- bright LED light – 15 hours run time and rechargeable (not solar – forgiven)
- steel drop-point blade next to the light
This piece of kit is small enough to make an easy addition to any bug-out bag and can be used by anyone, no matter what level of survival experience you have. There is a guide of the tool’s 62 uses, written by Buck Tilton, that comes with it which is very well-written and is based on the presumption that you have no survival knowledge at all, so not only is this a tool but it is an education in survival skills as well.
These have also become quite a popular addition for people’s cars as it is a no-hassle non-bulky item, so you really don’t notice it until you actually need it.
I will be honest, this is the first time I had ever seen a paracord watch. Usually, paracord wearables are just survival bands with a compass and flint. This one is a multi-functional watch so is 10 times better for the purpose that it serves as a modern-day usable item and not just a wearable that says “I’m ready to survive in the jungle with nothing’.
These BlueStraw watches are a good trend as on the top surface it looks like a normal watch with a black band (or multicolor if you prefer). On the underside is where the bulk of the survival gear sits. It has a small compass, a thermometer, whistle and it’s locking mechanism also serves as a flint fire starter.
The wearable also have a scraper/knife and, of course, the band itself is paracord that can unravel to three meters of durable cording.
If there’s one thing I would choose off this whole list it is probably this folding multitool shovel. These things are crazy in the applications they can have in outdoors construction and work. If you’re one of those campers that enjoy building shelters, cutting wood and practising bushcraft skills I would recommend this one to you ahead of the rest.
I realise this isn’t necessarily a multi-functional survival tool. It’s not the sort of item that’s going to keep you alive necessarily. But it serves its purpose as an all-purpose tool to take outdoors with you. I also suggest this item to go with a bug-out bag as it fits nicely on the side of any pack either making use of molle strapping or using zip ties.
- heavy duty shovel
- sharp axe
- serrated saw
- rescue knife
- emergency whistle
- magnesium rod fire starter
- bottle opener (just to show off)
Unlike cheaper versions from Aliexpress sellers, FiveJoy urges buyers to put the shovel to the test. It is sturdy, durable and resistant against rust, water and fracturing.
Everyone packs a decent knife in their essentials kit as well as a flashlight and fire starter, why not have them together? Blizetec specialise in making quality outdoor knives and now they’ve added a few extra capabilities to their quality multi-functional survival knife.
This survival knife is their entry into the competitive field of multifunctional tools and this one works pretty well. While it is primarily a quality outdoor knife, this one also has an LED flashlight facing the lockpoint of the blade so that you can see what you are cutting at night, it also has the magnesium fire starter, window breaker and seatbelt cutter.
What else is in this tool? The standard lifetime BlizeTec warranty. These guys want to produce quality outdoors equipment and it goes to show that they mean business when they include a lifetime warranty.
While on the subject of multi-functional survival knives, I could not do this list without including Leatherman’s multi-tool. I have used a Leatherman in my military career and found it extremely durable and diverse. This is what a multi-tool is supposed to be. It is the item that you have attached to your hip that you use as a primary tool whenever you need something done.
For those of you that don’t know Leatherman, they come with a 25-year guarantee and have established a long-line of successful, durable outdoor tools. Here’s a list of the multi-tool’s functionalities:
- Needle nose pliers
- regular pliers
- hand wire cutters
- wire cutters
- combo knife
- bottle opener
- large screwdriver
- locking knife blade
- wood/metal saw
While these are a little bit too thick to live up to their name as a credit card for the wallet, the Survival Hax credit card tool takes up no space whatsoever in an outdoors bag, bug-out pack or first-aid kit.
The rage about these credit card tools is that they have multiple functions packed into them. The Survival Hax one has 12 survival tools in it. It has a knife with a fishing line cutter on the tip and a hex tool to tighten three bolt sizes. There is a blade sharpener, magnifying glass, compass, ruler, bottle opener, toothpick, tweezers, fire starter flint, paracord and emergency whistle.
All of that in something with the thickness of three credit cards. Not bad at all.
I have started using one of these only recently and love it. It is pocket-sized and solar so you can get away without having to use batteries. It lasts seven hours on a solar charge which is great for the outdoors survivalists. It is an emergency light, flashlight and lantern all in one and is completely waterproof. It has multiple intensity settings as well as a red/white sos so you’ve got all of the lighting uses covered.
Because it stores flat it serves as a great addition to any pack you might have.
I hope you enjoyed these seven tactical multifunctional items, they make great additions to your outdoors packs and kits or just to keep by the car if there’s ever an emergency. The great thing about these items is that they can replace so many different items at once that you might be keeping in your kit, so check them out.
Let me know in the comment section below which one is your favourite, if you have another item you rely on.