10 Items that will Equip You for the Unknown


Hollywood has entertained us, particularly in recent decades, with scenarios of a post-apocalyptic world. We’ve also been subjected to reality television shows that portray groups of people “preparing” for various plausible (and not so plausible), extreme situations. While many of those programs focus more on the eccentric “preppers,” there is a healthy dose of legitimate probabilities and common-sense solutions discussed as well.

In reality, it’s possible that we’ll have to deal with an event such as a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, blackout, earthquake, or blizzard). Preparedness isn’t about radically changing your lifestyle, it’s about applying a little forethought to potential situations—and having the right tools on hand to help you weather any storm or deal with a disaster.

As humans, we have three essential needs: food, water, and shelter. These are self-explanatory, so we won’t discuss them further right now. What we tend to overlook often are other items that could end up being very essential—and very missed if we don't have them. Here are ten suggestions for tools that will make your emergency kit somewhat more complete, which you should consider packing if the time ever comes that you need to flee.

Before, during and after any emergency, it is very possible that you will need to travel; however, your normal means and avenues of escape might not be available or accessible. There exists the other possibility that you will be compelled to travel on foot, so the essential tools you will need for this journey would be a local map and good compass.

Another tool you will find indispensable is a good binocular. These glasses can not only be used for locating landmarks while trying to navigate, but will also allow you to survey areas of travel for potential hazards—and from a safe distance.

A Leatherman multitool is one of the best things you can own for general preparedness, and normal day-to-day puttering, too. Its uses are only limited by your imagination. These tools have saved the day for many people, on more than one occasion.


It’s going to get dark sooner or later, and when it does, having a powerful and lightweight flashlight is going to be very comforting. The two major advantages of this particular model are its power source (two AA batteries, the most common battery to be found anywhere), and its exceptionally efficient output/duration ratios.

Two-way radios often get overlooked. During most emergencies, one of the first utility services to go down is the phone system (both cellular and wired). Having a two-way radio in your kit will give you the ability to stay connected when normal means of communication are not available. These radios have the ability to work over significant distances and are also waterproof. Plus, they can provide live NOAA weather radio alerts.

So, you have your flashlight and you have your radios… now you need to power them. These Eneloop rechargeable batteries come pre-charged out of the pack, still hold 75% of their charge after three years of storage, and retain 70% of their charge after five years.

Your rechargeable batteries are eventually going to require recharging. If the power is still out or unreliable, this solar panel is just the tool to have in your kit. It’s compact and portable, and will recharge your batteries and certain other devices with nothing more complicated than sunlight.

As simple as it may seem, a good, reliable whistle is a vital part of any emergency kit. The NITECORE NWS20 requires limited effort to produce a significant signal to provide a warning or gain attention.

During any emergency, you will need to take a few things with you, and protecting these items is going to be important, as well. Cases like these are waterproof, crush-resistant, and provide reasonable protection in rugged situations. I personally use one for my First Aid kit. Some other uses are safeguarding important documents, protecting small electronics, and small tool storage.

When you have all of this great stuff to help you through difficult times, you’ll need a way to carry it. This vest will store everything, and let you carry it in comfort, while giving you ready access to the things you need to find quickly.

It's always prudent to keep items like these in your "go" bag, but we hope you never need to face the sort of calamity that would warrant their use.