7 Tools that probably aren't in your bug out bag

More often than not the goal is to keep your gear light weight and easy to move with and while I agree this is good, small tools frustrate the hell out of me. A folding shovel or hatchet will do the trick in a pinch but generally these pint sized tools are much slower at a job than their full sized counterparts. So here's 7 heavy weight tools to keep at your base camp or in your vehicle just in case.


1. Gardening Spade
Have you ever tried to dig a trench with a folding shovel? It is possible but it's a real pain in the ass. A good quality three foot long shovel makes the job a hell of a lot easier.
2. Full size ax
Its a pretty well known fact that split wood burns better and hotter than full logs. Don't get me wrong a hatchet has its place for smalls jobs, but splitting logs or clearing downed trees is a cake walk with a full sized ax compared to a hatchet.
3. Chain
Ropes are amazing. They are strong, lightweight, and incredibly useful but sometimes they just don't make the cut. From pulling huge logs off your driveway to pulling stuck cars out of the ditch a nice heavy weight 20' tow chain with hooks on each end can prove to be much easier than rope.
4. 8 lb sledge
Yep a big ass heavy sledge hammer. Its a nice big chunk of steel that is more useful than you might think. Ever tried to get a rusted rim off your vehicle? A few good whacks from a BFH will get it off without much trouble. That brick wall that's in your way, not anymore. Lost the keys to a padlock? Bust it off. Sometimes there's no replacement for a good sledge. Probably best to leave this tool at base camp.
5. Floor jack
Your vehicle probably already has a jack in it for changing spare tires. That jack is called a scissor jack and is pretty much tits on a bull... Useless. A good small floor jack has a lot of uses both automotive and for lifting. Sagging roofs can be lifted and reinforced with a floor jack.  The main reason though is automotive. Scissor jacks are very unstable and like to bend and collapse. I've had it happen a few times so now I just keep a small floor jack in all my vehicles.
6. Crowbar
I like a good ol Stanley crowbar. They are cheap and durable. I've only bent mine once and its still working fine. Crowbars are indestructible improvised weapons, and make prying, lifting, gaining leverage, and cracking skulls a pretty easy task. Anyone who has an older vehicle probably will appreciate being able to tighten the accessory belts on the engine. Older vehicles don't normally have serpentine belts instead they have two separate belts that needs to be tightened from time to time.
7. Full size tool kit
I'm not saying a leather man here. I'm talking about full sized screwdrivers, chisels, hammer, Wonderbar, wrenches, sockets, real pliers, cordless drill, etc. I will cover a good tool kit in detail in a future article so check back for that.

These are all heavyweight full sized tools that make life much easier as long as they're not on your back. I try to plan ahead and with all my experience on old farms, out in the woods, and driving older cars and trucks most of my life these are the tools I've found myself wanting in a given situation. These tools are not meant to be carried by you but rather by your car or left at camp so no hate mail about the weight. Fixing a car or something at the cabin is much easier with real tools.

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