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The list of items to pack in your bug out bag (BOB) can seem limitless. However, you cannot afford to pack all of them due to limited space available and the fact that you must keep the weight of the BOB down. This leaves you with very few options if you must carry all the essential items to help you with successful bugging out.

Put another way, you must come up with ingenious ways to ensure you pack the vital items. One of the best options is to pack multipurpose items. Wouldn’t it be great to pack a single item that can perform many tasks? This will eliminate the need to pack specialized items for each of these tasks. So, what are these multipurpose items for your BOB?

A Multi-Tool

multi-tool to handymen or repairmen is like what a stethoscope is to a doctor. Soon after a multi-tool was invented, preppers developed a special liking for it because of its versatility. Just as the name sounds, a multi-tool is a single unit that has most tools attached to it. Each of the components tools is designed to perform specific functions.

A good quality multi-tool is a great replacement for a knife, can opener and even a saw. Imagine using a single tool to cut wood, prepare a game for food, build shelter, harvest forage and cut ropes/cordage. You can even use it for defense. This is a just a fraction of what a multi-tool can do.

A Survival Knife

All preppers know the importance of a survival knife. Bugging out without a survival knife is an impossibility. It comes handy in almost all your survival needs. You’ll need a knife when preparing food, for First Aid in medical emergencies, for bush crafting, for preparing firewood and many more.

A survival knife is important if you need to start a fire but you have no matches or lighter. Simply use the knife with a Ferro rod to start a fire. It also offers a great way to secure you and your companions from potential attack in the wilderness. You need to choose the best knife that can handle multiple tasks.

Duct Tape

 You may not think of a duct tape as a multipurpose item for your bug out bag. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You can use a duct tape to fix literally anything. You can use it to repair ripped jeans and even cover open wounds. The material used to make a duct tape is highly flammable. It is very good tinder for starting a fire.

An entire roll of duct tape can be several meters long. It can also be bulky. Amazingly, you can increase its versatility by simply rolling a small portion onto another item such as a flashlight. Thus you’ll not need to pack tinder and a whole roll of a duct tape.

Dental Floss

A dental floss, really? You could be wondering how a dental care item could serve as a multipurpose tool in a survival situation. The secret to its versatility is the material used in its construction. In most cases, the material used is nylon. Nylon is strong, lustrous, resilient, elastic and resistant to abrasion. Theseproperties make it ideal for many applications.

It can act as a dependable fishing line. You can use it as a cutting tool to cut soft material such as cheese blocks. It is also a good item for repairing torn clothes.  Dental floss takes very little space. It is also extremely light. It is impossible to underestimate the versatility of a dental floss.


Pack good quality cordage such as 550 Paracord if you want to unlock the potential of the item as a multipurpose item for a BOB.  The 550 Paracords are so called because they have a minimum of 550 pounds of tensile strength. With such strength, this particular cordage can handle some of the heaviest tasks you will have to accomplish in a survival situation.

It will act as a reliable replacement for heavy and bulky ropes as well as some First Aid items. You can use a paracord to set a trap for a game, build shelter, make a clothesline, climb up or down a steep slope and tie things together.

Garbage or Plastic Bags

Garbage or plastic bags are annoying clutter all over our kitchens. Instead of disposing of such bags, use them as multipurpose items for bugging out. How can a garbage bag be of help in a survival situation? Well, you can use them as leak-proof water containers or carrying containers. You can also use it as a poncho.

Wrap a plastic bag around your water-sensitive items such as tinder and firewood. This is because plastic provides excellent insulation to protect such items against water and dampness. Interestingly, you can stuff things such as plant leaves inside a garbage bag to serve as a makeshift pillow.

A Hammock

The obvious use of a hammock is for relaxation. However, it can become a great multipurpose item for bugging out. In a survival situation, you can use a hammock for sleeping. It will keep you off the ground and therefore protect you from elements such as wet, dusty or cold ground.

If you have a cloth type hammock, you can use it a carrying bag for extra items you collect on the way such as tinder or firewood. If you happen to find yourself close to a water body, a netting type hammock can serve as a reliable gill net for fishing.

A Tarp

tarp is a lighter and more compact alternative to a tent. Unlike a tent, a tarp has many more applications. As a shelter, it will provide you with a dependable protection against the environmental elements. I would recommend you go for a brightly colored tarp. It will act as a good signaling device in the wilderness.

Most tarps are made of waterproof material. This means you can also use it to cover your sensitive items. Also, use a tarp as a makeshift hammock to keep you off the ground if the conditions on the ground are not favorable.

Final Verdict

This list may not be exhaustive if we must list all the multipurpose items for BOB. However, at the bare minimum, you need to pack these eight items. This information is invaluable if you are serious at your prospects of becoming a successful prepper. Going by the tips, you can pack the maximum number of items for bugging out without having to carry a very heavy bag.

The list of items to pack in your bug out bag (BOB) can seem limitless. However, you cannot afford to pack all of them due to limited space available and

Have you ever looked at two different products that fell into two completely different categories and have been unable to tell them apart?  I think, at some point, that has happened to all of us.  We may not always say it, but our minds are screaming “What’s the difference?!?”.  And so begins the saga of the tactical and combat/fighting knives.

In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the characteristics that help to define the word “tactical” and wrap it up by picking what might be the best tactical knife on the market today, along with some other choices.

Characteristics of the best tactical knife

Trying to find a good, solid definition for the term tactical knife on the web can be quite difficult.  If we jump over to our trusty source, Wikipedia, we mind that basically they say that it is a knife with one or more military features, designed for use in extreme situations.  They also add that the “tactical” portion means that these knives are typically designed to be used as a utility tool, not for use as a weapon.

A better explanation might be what a tactical knife should be.  Ideally, a knife like this would be used for a variety of different tasks.  These would include general utility type things along with the possible need to defend yourself.  It should be something that you can access quickly.  So it will either have a wearable case, fit into a pocket or have some type of clip.  It should also be durable.  We aren’t looking for something fancy here.  You want it to be reliable, with not a lot of moving parts, weak points, etc..  Finally, you don’t want it to cost a fortune.  You want to be able to use this knife without having to worry about it lasting a lifetime.  You should know that if need be, you can replace it quickly and easily.

What Should You Look For?

There are several things that you should consider if you are looking to purchase the best tactical knife you can.  Let’s take a look at several different things that need to be considered before you go shopping for your first tactical knife.


More than anything else, you need to know the purpose of the knife.  This is going to tell you roughly what you need to be looking for.  Is your knife primarily for utility purposes?  Are planning to have it for emergency situations, liking needing to cut a seat-belt or break glass?  Is it for defense?  These types of questions will give you an idea of what you should be looking for.


The design of the knife will be somewhat dictated by the purpose of the knife.  If you’ll be keeping it in your car as an emergency knife, this is going to have an impact on design.  If you’ll be carrying the knife on you, this is also going to have an impact on design.  Are you an undercover police officer that needs to conceal a knife on you?  This will also dictate the design.  You can see where I’m going with this.  First, find the purpose for the knife, then you will let that purpose dictate the design.


This goes along with the design, but is worth mentioning separately because it’s so important.  Technically, the best tactical knife may have a 12 inch blade, but that isn’t the best one for you if you need to carry it everyday as an officer.  Most likely, you wouldn’t carry it at all.  So in a sense, it may be the worst one of the bunch.  Really consider how you will interact with this knife.  Where will it be stored?  How often will it be carried?  But don’t totally focus on just carrying it.  Remember, you need to be able to use it too.  It needs to feel comfortable in your hand.

You should be able to maneuver it easily in both the forward and reserve grip.  It should fit in your hand well.  How will your fingers fall on the handle?  Is it comfortable.  Not every knife is going to work for every person.  You have to find one that matches up well with your body.

Once you have considered these things, then make a decision on size based on these things.


Like all knives, you need an edge that you can cut with and you need a good tip.  The thicker the tip (up to a point — yes I did just throw that in!), helps to serve multiple purposes, for things like digging and prying.  You can generally look for a thickness of around 1/8″ to 1/4″.  This range is the best combination of strength, but still being good in the size and weight department.  One other thing to consider is that it’s always handy to have a serrated edge on the blade.  All blades dull over time, especially with a lot of use.  But with a serrated edge, you can still cut through most types of cloth and fabric fairly easily.


You’ll have choices galore when it comes to handles.  From cheap, poorly made plastic all the way up to stainless steel.  Ideally, you want something that is waterproof.  You don’t want the handle to absorb different liquids.  Metal handles tend to last a long time.  A lot of times, the rubber handles don’t last or they wear down over time.  Definitely try several different materials in your hand and consider how they feel.  Then think about how sure handled it will be when you need to use it under stress.

There are a few other things to consider, such as folding or fixed; cases; locks; etc; but most of that just comes down to common sense.  If you considered how you will carry it earlier and what the size will be, you already know if it will be a folding knife or if it will be in a case.

What to Buy?

So this is where it becomes a little difficult.  What is the best tactical knife.  Of course you know that their isn’t a “best” one.  Instead, there are several you can choose from, depending on your situation.

Kershaw 1990 Brawler Folding SpeedSafe Knife

This knife has the following features:

  • Steel blade
  • Black oxide coating
  • Pocket clip
  • 3.25″ blade; 4.12″ closed
  • Built in Flipper
  • Thumb stud
  • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 240 reviews on Amazon

Find it HERE

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight

This knife has the following features:

  • Cro-van Steel blade
  • Leather handle
  • 7″ blade
  • Overall length 11-7/8″
  • Made in the USA
  • Leather sheath
  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 660 reviews

Find it HERE

MTECH USA MT-378 Tactical Folding Knife

This knife has the following features:

  • Stainless Steel Tanto Blade
  • Brushed black
  • Steel Handle
  • Thumb Stud
  • Blade length 3.12″
  • Closed length 4.5″
  • Open length 7.75″
  • Pocket Clip
  • 4.3 out of 5 rating with over 230 reviews

Find it HERE

Wrap Up

Hopefully this has given you some idea of what a tactical knife actually is and what to look for when you are shopping for one.  Best of luck in your finding the best tactical knife for you and I hope you get a lot of use out of it (but hopefully not having to defend yourself!).

Have you ever looked at two different products that fell into two completely different categories and have been unable to tell them apart?  I think, at some point, that has