Prepper Book Festival 8: Tools for Survival

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Prepper Book Festival 8: Tools for Survival

Since the first of the year, I have been gathering up hand tools and putting together supplemental tool kits to stow in my emergency kits. These tools have, for the most part, been small, lightweight versions of our primary tools and items that I tend to use day to day while living life. My thought is “if I use them now, imagine how useful they will be in a survival situation”.

With that introduction, I want to tell you about the latest entry in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8. James Wesley Rawles, the founder of, is back with one of the most unique books I have seen come across my desk: Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own.

Tools for Survival by James Wesley Rawles - Backdoor Survival

What is unique about this book? It is all about tools: shop tools, garden tools, cooking tools, medical tools, defense tools and a whole lot more. It is a fantastic reference for putting together the right tools you need to get by in a world where modern conveniences, such as electricity, may not be available.

Filled with common sense (“buy used but not abused”), Jim has put together a reference that will lay out what you need and why you need it. Interspersed with what I call Rawles-isms, there are lots of tips along the way with a dose of motivation. My kind of book!

Of course, there is an interview with all-new questions, plus, one lucky will win a copy of Tools for Survival for free.

Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with James Wesley, Rawles, Author of Tools for Survival

One question on everyone’s mind is what they would do if a disaster or even a collapse occurred in their own back yard. If that happened to you, would you bug-in or bug-out and why.

In my case, living in a remote and lightly-populated region, I would definitely “bug-in” unless there was a localized disaster, such as a forest fire.

If you did decide to hunker down and buy-in, what items would you include for comfort? Or would you?

To help maintain a positive attitude in trying times, I believe that it is important to have copious reading material (a Bible and a large stack of novels) as well as some comfort foods.

Everyone has their own favorites, but keep in mind that stimulants like coffee and chocolate should be minimized, since the stress level might already be quite high. And of course the shelf life of some foods and candies are limited, so plan accordingly.

And if you decide to store any hard candies, then children must be taught to never bite down on them. Having a family dental emergency in the midst of a larger emergency would be a VBT. (A Very Bad Thing.)

Home defense and protection from the bad guys is a big deal. That said, not everyone is prepared or even qualified to use firearms. What do you recommend in that case?

Everyone who keeps a weapon for self-defense should get the best training available. I’ve often been quoted as saying: Owning a gun doesn’t make someone a “shooter” any more than owning a surfboard makes someone a surfer.

The modern world of survivalism is full of pundits, poseurs, and Mall Ninjas.

Preparedness is not just about accumulating a pile of stuff. You need practical skills, and those come only with study, training, and practice. Any armchair survivalist with a credit card can buy a set of stylish camouflage fatigues and an “M4gery” carbine encrusted with umpteen accessories. Style points should not be mistaken for genuine skills and practicality.

Go to a firearms training school like Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, or Front Sight. That training could literally save your life, or the life a loved one.

These days, it seems as though a new book about survival or preparedness is released daily. How is your book different from the others and why should we read it?

I believe what makes the book different is its emphasis on 19th Century tools and skills. To my mind, those represent the most appropriate level of technology for times when the power grids disappear.

What is your favorite survival, disaster, or post-apocalyptic film or TV show?

From the standpoint of outdoor survival, I most enjoyed the movie Jeremiah Johnson, starring Robert Redford. The outdoor survival consultant for that film was Larry Dean Olsen, and his influence was quite apparent!

It is said that everyone has a book inside them. What advice do you have for the budding author?

My advice is to write a lot (since practice makes perfect), write about the topics that you know best, and find the best editor available from within your circle of friends. Never submit anything for publication until it has had at least two edits!

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

I love the emphasis this book takes on not just acquiring tools, but learning how to use them. There is also a strong emphasis on knowledge and as Jim says, “knowledge is portable with the most important tool being the one between your ears.” Now, where have we heard that before?

In addition to chapters on the tools themselves, you will find suggestions for your retreat/survival library and a useful glossary. All told, this is a reference you will want to add to your collection.

Good luck, everyone!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites! In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight: Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own

In his earlier bestselling nonfiction book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, James Wesley, Rawles, outlined the foundations for survivalist living.

Now, he details the tools needed to survive anything from a short-term disruption to a long-term, grid-down scenario. Rawles covers tools for every aspect of self sufficient living, including:

• Food Preservation and Cooking
• Welding and Blacksmithing
• Timber, Firewood, and Lumber
• Firefighting

Field-tested and comprehensive, Tools for Survival is certain to become a must-have reference for the burgeoning survivalist/prepper movement.

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage. The eBook print version is available.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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80 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 8: Tools for Survival”

  1. Kay, I bought my daughter the Kershaw OSO Sweet knife as a stocking stuffer. I should have read the description more thoroughly because it is spring assisted and I think it is even illegal to own in Washington. I live on San Juan Island in WA. I Googled Washington knife laws and read this. Have you ever checked into the legality? I could use it on our property but I’m not sure I want to carry out in public.

    Bob A.

    • The OSO Sweet is not actually spring assisted. Instead it has a lever that is used as a manual assist. If it were illegal in Washington State, Amazon would not ship it to us. (You do know that I live out by Roche Harbor, don’t you?)

      Anyway, not to worry. It is perfectly legal to carry in our area.

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