The Pioneer’s Kit

JC Dodge recently started posting on sharp tools. Specifically edged tools; Like knives of the fighting and field variety. Personally, I prefer the field knife for 99/100 tasks. Fighting knives are fun to talk about, and very dangerous for 100 reasons, but if you beat it against a tree for 20 minutes, it’s probably gonna break.
Fighting knives are, however, useful for many reasons. They are quiet, light, and concealable. And using two at a time makes sense in a fight to the death. I don’t keep fighting knives on my field kit. I just keep them in my backpack, car, or my pocket.
Anyone who has worked with their hands knows that the right tool has no replacement. If you need a flat head, and all you have is a Phillip’s head, you have a problem. We have all been there. Modern manufacturing has produced “multi-tools”; like the Gerber, Swiss Army, or the Leatherman. The products are great, and personally I own half a dozen of them. I keep them everywhere, just in case I forget one. And I am a firm believer that the ones who are marketed towards gun-smithing, woodworking, general purpose, or even the “EOD” models have their place without a doubt. The EOD models have wire cutters and wire strippers, which can be more useful than you think. Especially if you are interested in radios or sabotage. The gun-smithing models come in several flavors. I know there are M-16 and M-249 variants.
I bet there is an AK variant… If not, that sounds like a business opportunity to me.
Another tool you may own one, or two of, is the E-Tool and a handy pick or a half-pick. You may even own a short crow bar. Crowbars make great digging tools in the right soil. All three are wildly useful, and half the weight of their full size counterparts. But there is another variety of tools that also peaks my interest, raises a brow, and tweaks an ear like a good roman legionnaire. That is the full sized tools like a kick shovel; or a full size shovel. Possibly even the longer “Diggers” length shovels.
Using full size tools compared to the pack sized tools is night and day in terms of efficiency and comfort.
This post is named after a common tool kit found on most Humvee’s, or any other military vehicles. And you better believe those things get used. So much so, in fact, that there is know reason to attach them to the special mounting bracket underneath the truck that takes too long to retrieve. Usually the primary units just keep them handy in the back of the truck or the bed of the truck. Frankly, the undermounted bracket is stupid in my honest opinion. For a dozen reasons.
Ever tried to retrieve an bottom mounted bracket from a half suck truck? Yeah, whoever thought of that isn’t half as smart as everyone standing in the room told them they were. GE loves to weld extra mounts to everything, and then charge the taxpayer, so to that I say; “Cool, thanks guys” and “That was fun”. The damn bracket is heavier than the tools mounted to it. Does that sound like a good use of weight?
On to what I think you should do. Assuming you don’t have a work truck full of tools, racks full of tools, or a trash can full of the tools you need ready to use. It doesn’t hurt to have these tools handy. Imagine not having a garden hoe when everyone is starving to death and planting those emergency seeds they bought. Or a weeding tool? Do you have a gardener’s pick? That’s the fastest way to remove weeds in my experience.
I have a ruck sack loaded out like a carpenter tool bag on steroids. It has hammers, nails, screws, spools of straight line(Mason’s Line), measuring tapes(for building a zero range?), machetes, and saws of all shapes and sizes within reason. Some of the products I purchased are lightweight, foldable, or compact. Others are verifiable full size straight from the local hardware store. And there are ways to cheat the system. You can by a wood handle shovel, and wait for it to break or rot, or, you could by a fiberglass shovel and wait for it to get sun baked (Damaged by the UV light) and wait for it to be broken and splintered. There are wraps available that are quite impressive, for use as a quick fix, but if you pre-wrap your tools, they last longer.
You should build a pioneers kit for your vehicle, get some quality home garden tools, and you should build a pioneers pack. All told, the total price would be $500-1000 if you own nothing mentioned. depending on how many and what you buy.
Beats buying another Rifle or Pistol IMHO.
Personally, I think the Ace Hardware brand lawn, garden, and digging tools are quality tools.
Buy American if you can. I promise you will use these tools eventually. And sharpen your shovel, it helps make digging easier.