I have seen a lot of recommendation lists for BOB and EDC, and I have studied each one, always taking in new ideas and double checking myself. One thing I have that I haven’t seen a lot of is a portable toolkit, at least not like mine. I know that a lot of preppers won’t put anything in their bag that doesn’t have at least 3 uses, and not all items in this kit meet this requirement. I call this a first aid kit for gear and machinery. It is kept in my truck kit (sort of a GHB designed to roll into my BOB). I also have a large tool kit in my truck, which is also my BOV, but this small one is designed for carrying on a motorcycle, bicycle, or… on foot (I hope it never comes to that).
These simple tools could come in handy with minor repairs and adjustments to cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, generators, and firearms. However, the contents depend entirely on your unique situation and skill level, there is no sense packing a spoke wrench if you don’t know how to adjust bicycle spokes. Here are the contents of my kit:
(note: the ruler is included in the pictures for scale only)
Case: I used a Crystal Light powdered drink container, small (6.5”x2.75”x2”), light weight, and just the right size to fit in my inner backpack pouch or a magazine pouch with a lot of room to spare. I used strong strapping tape to place Velcro on the sides to hold the lid in place, works great! Any light container will work, such as a school pencil box or a small cloth bag.
- 4” Vice Grip Pliers: Instead of regular pliers (have those on my Gerber), it can get a better grip on stripped bolts and works as a clamp for hands free, 4” size fits in tight spots.
- 6” Adjustable Wrench: Will fit any bolt up to ¾”.
- Stubby Screwdriver: Hollow handle with flat, Phillips, and hex bits in the handle. It is a ¼ in drive hex shaft that also turns the 2 drill bits I included.
- Drill Bits: 7/32 and 9/64 with ¼” drive shank to fit the screwdriver handle, can drill through wood or even thin metal. I can drill a perfect hole in a branch as thick as my wrist in well under 30 seconds, and the 7/32 bit I included is the perfect diameter for para cord!
- Hacksaw blade: I broke it off at 6” long to fit in the kit and wrapped 1 end in 2′ of duct tape for a handle.
- Telescoping magnet: Ever drop a screw in the grass and didn’t have a spare? I did, which is why I included the magnet to help pick up or find lost hardware in a hard to reach spot.
- LED Light: Small with flexible neck to hook on to something for hands free use, just because I had room.
- 6” Chisel: Flat end, is helpful for stripped and rusted bolts, cutting into wood (or sheetmetal) and can be used as a small prybar.
Supplies: I also included a few supplies for repairs, such as a tube of super glue, 5 zip ties, 6′ of wire, 6 nuts and bolts (Longer is better, I can cut them down to size with my hacksaw), and WD40 in a no mess pen.
I put most of this kit together from items I already had around the house, but I estimate the value at about $15-$20. The kit weighs just a little over 1 pound and, if I do need to lighten the load, I can toss it out and not be out too much money. However, I think it will be among the last things I give up. A Gerber Mutli-tool has some of the same capability, and I carry that on my belt also. Consequently, I may remove either the adjustable wrench or the vice grip, but I like the ¾” capacity of the wrench and the locking grip of the vice grips, decisions….decisions… tell me what you think.
There is only one Law on the bugout trail, and that is Murphy’s law: If anything can go wrong, it will. In much of the U.S., it is difficult to travel more than 20 miles and not find mechanical devices of some kind, and after TSHTF, it will probably be broken if it is not in use. So, short of pulling a small hardware/tool store in a little red wagon, this is my solution for maintaining my equipment and making the best of any possible resource I may find.
I am very interested in suggestions for improving my kit, if you have any, please comment!