I love tools and as a "prepper", got the idea of collecting things from the Dollar Store as part of my "prepping". The first article I bought was a hammer hanger. This is a piece of leather with a cut for a 2" belt. There is a "U" piece of hardware, sticking out of the leather hanger at a 90 degree angle. You slip your hammer in it when you are out working on a job, and need to carry the hammer, till you need it. I modified the carrier to carry an ax I had bought for part of my survival kit. I shortened the "U" hardware so the ax was carried closer to my body. I then made a cover to cover the ax blade so it would not cut me while carrying. I had an old piece of leather so made the cover, put in a snap, tied it to the "U" bolt and there you go. Now I know folks may be saying that I could have BOUGHT a cover, surplus for about $3-5 dollars but then there is the shipping, etc. It would have cost me $10-15, by the time I received it in the mail. IF you don't have a piece of leather ( you can buy a bag of scrap leather pieces from surplus houses) you could make the cover from cloth and sew on a button.
The second survival item I bought from the dollar store was a lighter. Now, I don't smoke but I carry a lighter in my daily survival gear carry. I have used a lighter maybe 3-5 times to thaw out frozen locks to get into my car during winter and also to get into our storage unit. I figure the $1 lighter definitely paid for itself...it lasted about 5 years, and YUP,... I got it at the Dollar Store. When that lighter was out of fuel,
I found a refillable butane gas lighter available for $1, and a container of fuel for $1. So for $2,.. I carry about a years supply of butane fuel and a lighter...(see photo). Note, I wrapped the lighter with duct tape...the lighter was VERY PINK...and I am such a macho guy ( lol) that the duct tape covers the pink, while giving me about 1ft of tape to carry.
I did more thinking about getting items from the Dollar Store or similar discount houses. I have made up survival kits that contain 24 items for about $79. Now obviously not all of these items are $1 dollar items, but they are supplied to discount houses by wholesalers......SO,. if you buy Dollar Store type items, you can get a sleeping bag for < $20, as well as a tent, etc........My kits cost about $79....if I bought GI surplus the items, tent, sleeping bag, knives, etc, would cost $500-1,000...
Try your Dollar Store and similar discount stores in your area. You won't want to conquer Mt Everest with this gear, but its cheap enough to have several kits..1.in your vehicle, 1 at work, at home, at your retreat....should you not be able to get to one kit, you can fall back to the Dollar Store. For more suggestions, contact me....email@example.com