Self Sufficiency

Tools for Independent Living



An off the grid lifestyle isn't for everyone. It can be difficult to be truly self-sufficient, giving up creature comforts and all the conveniences of the modern day.

But it's also an incredibly rewarding lifestyle. There's nothing better than knowing that you're truly self-made and that you will be able to protect and provide for your family no matter what comes your way.

One thing's for sure: when it comes to off the grid living, you can never be too resourceful. Every tool in your possession should be used to its full potential and nothing should go to waste.

The video below from Postmaster Prepper demonstrates several surprising uses for everyday items and tools to help make your off the grid lifestyle a little easier. Check it out, and feel free to share your own tips in the comments!

Best Tools for Off the Grid Preppers

1. Zippo Lighter

zippo lighter

In a SHTF situation, starting a fire will be one of your primary concerns.

A Zippo lighter is a classic firestarting tool. These lighters are long-lasting, durable, and perfect for your bug out bag or EDC. Just be sure to have some fuel handy, such as Zippo lighter fluid, butane or even rubbing alcohol.

2. A Hand Drill

hand drill
You probably have a cordless drill or two in your garage. These are great tools to have on hand, but in a SHTF situation they're unlikely to work once the power runs out.
That's why you need a hand drill that runs on human power instead of electricity. This sustainable tool will help you in constructing your survival shelter and various other off-the-grid tasks.

3. Saws


Whether chopping wood for a fire, building a survival shelter or doing finish work (carpentry), you will need a trusty, sturdy saw to help you get the job done.

Remember that different types of saws are used for different things. Since you don't want to have too much gear to carry when SHTF, it's important to choose the right tool to fit your specific needs. Click here to read up on the different types of saws and their uses.

4. An Axe


An axe is an off-grid survival tool you can't afford to go without.

There are so many reasons you will need an axe in a survival situation. Firemaking is an obvious one, along with building shelter or a raft.

5. Trench Axe

trench axe

This tool isn't a necessity, but if you have access to one, it wouldn't be a bad idea to include it in your off-grid plans.

The fact that the trench axe is sharp and pointy at one end and flat at the other makes it a surprisingly versatile tool. It can be used for digging and scavenging, as well as busting through doors or windows, or even for self defense.

6. A Crow Bar

crow bar

A crow bar is a great tool to have in any situation where you need some sort of leverage.

Whether you're busting up wood for fire or busting open a door to save someone, you will be glad you have a crow bar on hand. Just make sure it's sturdy and made of strong enough material to be up to the task.

7. A Standard Clamp


You might be surprised at just how many uses a standard clamp like this one has.

A clamp's purpose is to free up your hands by holding something in place as you're working. It comes in handy when you're sanding, filing, working on weapons, or any number of other tasks you might undertake when living off the grid.

8. Grinding Wheel
grinding wheel
If you're going to be using sharp tools such as axes and knives, the time will come when you will need to sharpen them. A grinding wheel is great for this.

This human-powered tool is great for sharpening wood or metal, and it can clamp right onto your work surface, making it very easy to use.

9. Hand Cleaner


After working with your hands, it often takes more than just soap and water to get rid of the dirt and grime. That's when “GOOP” or a similar hand cleaner comes in handy.

Whether you're painting/staining, gardening or working on a vehicle, a hand cleaner will take care of the mess left behind on your hands. The best part is that it doesn't require running water, so you can still wash your hands even if you're trying to conserve water.

10. Oil Lantern

oil lantern
In a SHTF situation, you will need alternative sources for light that do not require electricity. An oil lantern is a great choice.
Lamp oil is typically used to light the lamp, but vegetable oil or any other sort of cooking oil you have lying around will also do the trick. These lanterns are long-lasting and will provide hours of light.

Like I said, off the grid living is a challenging and rewarding lifestyle. And if you truly want to survive when SHTF, it's best to practice these skills now so you're prepared when the time comes.

At Survival Life, we're committed to helping you become prepared in any way possible. That's why we make sure to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date survival tips.

Here are some more of our favorite off the grid living tips. Do you have any of your own to share? Let us know in the comments!

Using Straw and Ice for Refrigeration

Things You Need to Live Off the Grid

Homesteading and Sustainability — How to Become Self Reliant


Continue Reading


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  3. Bob Pegram

    March 30, 2018 at 6:58 AM

    DO NOT use gasoline in the lighter nor the lantern unless you want to get severely burned by an explosion. Gasoline is EXTREMELY volatile unlike kerosene and some other “fossil fuels” that would work.
    The drill you showed is called a brace. It is used to drill large holes. You omitted a standard hand drill (hand crank) which is smaller and used with smaller drill bits. The pickax with one wide end and one pointed end is called an adze. They come in hand size like you showed and also full size.
    The clamp you showed is called a vise. It is bolted to a workbench. There are also C clamps among other types of clamps.

    • Anonymous

      July 14, 2019 at 7:16 AM

      Bob, I disagree with you on the adze. An adze is a wood working tool used for shaping logs and timbers. I believe the correct name for the digging implement in this article is a mattock.

      • JJM

        July 14, 2019 at 8:19 PM

        I think the smaller size is a Trenching Tool. A larger version is Mattock. I prefer a dual headed Grubbing Hoe with the hoe style edge and the other edge like an ax (great for cutting roots).

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  9. Herber

    November 14, 2021 at 2:36 AM

    Lots of power tools used are shown above that’s are needed in every house. Those above tools are made time and money save every little work. Daily practical life added to with power tools. Without power tools can’t think life is more manageable.

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