There are many things that are considered essential in the world of prepping. From the ability to get clean water to growing or gathering food, the list is long indeed. There are a few items, though, that every prepper should not be without. These are the tools that will allow you to improve your conditions should a catastrophe occur. These are also tools that have the capacity to allow you to defend yourself against four- and two-legged predators alike. Let’s look at a simple list of items you should consider keeping at the ready just as you would any other must-have emergency supplies.

Stopping Power

Having a firearm in catastrophic times can mean the difference between life and death. When firearms are involved, however, it is essential that safe and secure storage be included in any plan.

An effective and reliable sidearm is a must if things go bad. One of the best on the market is the tried-and-true Glock 17. Designed for professionals, the 9mm Glock 17 is the most widely used law enforcement pistol worldwide. Because of its unsurpassed reliability, an above-average magazine capacity of 17 rounds and its low weight, the G17 is a solid choice for personal protection.

If things look to be bad for an extended amount of time, then you will need a little more firepower, accuracy and/or range, both for personal protection and for hunting. In this category we will look at three rifles: a .22 LR, a carbine and a large-caliber bolt-action rifle.

First up is the carbine. One of the best carbines on the market is the Grey Ghost Precision Specter Light. This is an exceedingly well-built 5.56mm carbine designed and tested by members of the special operations community. It mixes the best of both worlds of accuracy and portability for reliable real-world performance.

Our second rifle will be focused more on hunting larger game such as deer or elk. The tool for this job is the ever-popular Remington Model 700. This bolt-action rifle chambered in .308 provides exceptional accuracy in a lightweight and reliable package. The Model 700 is one of the most common rifles in the precision marksmanship world as well as hunting circles. It is a perfect choice for a prepper’s bolt-action rifle.

Our third gun is possibly one of the most utilitarian weapons in existence—the .22 LR rifle. Our choice in this category is the Ruger 10/22 Takedown. This design enables quick separation of the barrel from the action for ease of transportation and storage. Takedown is as simple as locking the bolt back and verifying that the rifle is unloaded, pushing a recessed lever, twisting the subassemblies and pulling them apart! The rifle even comes with its own pack. The .22 LR rifle is one of the most utilitarian weapons in our kit.

Another utilitarian weapon is the shotgun. Capable of firing a wide variety of ammunition, it ranges in use from bird hunter to personal defense. One of the best in this category is the Mossberg 590A1. This is one of the heartiest 12-gauge shotguns in the Mossberg line and is a great addition to your arsenal. It comes with a heavy-walled 18.5- or 20-inch barrel, a metal triggerguard and safety buttons as well as ghost-ring or bead sights for fast targeting.

Extreme Performance

While we are on rifles, we need to spend a moment on accessories that are a solid addition to your arsenal. While not weapons in and of themselves, optics and suppressors will greatly improve your accuracy.

The ability to have optics on your rifle will drastically improve your chances of making shots when they count most. For the carbine we will look at the Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24. This is a great piece of glass that allows you to shoot with a variety of magnifications. Additionally, it is not battery powered, thus eliminating any replacement issues when you’ve decided you’re bugging out.

Our bolt gun will be mounted with a Burris XTR II 3-15x50mm, a very well-built riflescope that allows a shooter to engage close and longer-range targets in one package. The scope is designed with high-performance optics and offer Hi-Lume multi-coated lenses. The lenses optimize target resolution, contrast and low-light performance. It is a great choice for a wide range of scenarios.

Lastly, our .22 LR rifle will have a Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Rimfire Matte BDC 150. The Prostaff provides a .22 LR-specific bullet-drop-compensation (BDC) reticle and a 50-yard parallax setting for confidence and precision out to 150 yards and beyond. This allows for quick shots at a variety of distances without having to adjust the optic.

While we are on the topic of accessories, we need to explore something usually left out of prepping discussions: suppressors. The benefits of suppressor use are enormous and are centered on the upside of shooting without hearing protection. Additionally, in hunting situations, a suppressed weapon startles game less.

In the name of simplicity and cost management, we will use the SilencerCo Omega as our suppressor of choice for our Remington and our Specter Light. The Omega’s design allows for maximum user adaptability and convenience. Each Omega comes with a 5/8×24 direct-thread mount, a fast-attach Active Spring Retention mount complete with a Specwar ASR muzzle brake and an anchor brake. The Omega is compatible with a range of ammunition from 5.7mm to .300 Winchester Magnum It is pretty close to being a one-size-fits-all suppressor!

Our next suppressor will be dedicated to our .22 rifle. Our choice for this rifle is the Innovative Arms Apex. The Apex is specifically designed for extraordinary sound suppression in a durable, lightweight and compact package. This suppressor offers simplistic maintenance and comes with its own takedown tool that makes disassembly quick and easy.

Do-It-All Blades

One of the most basic and crucial parts of any prepper’s arsenal is a knife. Our choice is the Hogue EX-FO2 fixed-blade knife. Created specifically with the outdoorsman in mind, the EX-F02 features a polymer/OverMolded rubber hybrid handle for a rock-solid grip while performing high-stress cutting chores. To complement the grip, the blade features a serrated thumb ramp and finger detent in the handle. With its hand-sharpened and cryogenically treated blade, the EX-F02 stands up to the most demanding challenges you could possibly face.

On the utilitarian side, we will add the SOG Tactical Tomahawk. If things go bad, there would be a real need for a versatile tool for excavation, obstacle removal, extraction and other utility applications. The 420 stainless steel head is mounted to the fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle with heavy-duty bolts and a steel ferrule for stability. Side hammer checkering ensures precise placement while pounding. Carried in a nylon sheath, this is a universal tool for any situation.

And finally we will bring in one of the most underrated and essential parts of our arsenal, a Glock Entrenching Tool. This versatile tool features a number of multifunctional properties, all at half the weight of a conventional E-tool.

The telescopic handle is made of high-impact-resistant polymer for outstanding ruggedness and reliability. The blade has a sharpened edge and is made from rigid, hardened steel with a durable, black, anti-corrosive surface treatment. The folding blade is lockable in four positions. There’s a special steel saw with a screwdriver tip stored in the hollow handle. The Glock Entrenching Tool has no welding or rivets for enhanced endurance in the field.

This list presents a fantastic prepper’s arsenal with a focus on all items being utilitarian. While some items are simple to acquire and others more time consuming, they are all solid parts of a great kit. By planning ahead and acquiring items when possible, you will soon have the prepper’s arsenal that you need to survive!

For More Information

AR500 Armor; 602-501-9607

Burris; 970-356-1670

Glock; 770-432-1202

Grey Ghost Precision; 877-244-2811

Hogue; 800-438-4747

Innovative Arms; 803-408-9955

Mossberg; 203-230-5300

Nikon; 800-645-6687

Remington; 800-243-9700


SilencerCo; 801-417-5384

SOG Knives & Tools; 888-405-6433

Vortex Optics; 800-426-0048

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Fall 2015 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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