An Unusual Tool for the Bug Out Bag

If you grew up out in the sticks, you’ll probably recognize this tool. On the other hand, city folk might be puzzled by it at first.

Commonly called either a fence tool or fence pliers, it is typically used for, well, putting up fencing. The tool is like the bastard son of a pair of pliers and a hammer, with a bit of wire cutters tossed into the mix.

Around 10-11″ long, it isn’t tiny but could well be worth the space it will take up in a pack. The tool features a hammer head, wire cutters, staple pulling jaws on the top, and a spike opposite the hammer.

While you could use a rock or possible the butt end of your knife to pound in stakes for your emergency shelter, the hammer part of this tool will do the job easier. In a pinch, either the hammer or the spike could serve as a weapon.

The wire cutters can trim up your snare wire when needed. The staple pulling jaws could serve as a vise as you cobble together makeshift tools in the field.

New, these go for around $15 but you can often find them used at rummage sales for far less. While it is obviously too large for a minimalist kit, odds are you can find room for it in any larger bug out bag.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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