Bug Out Bag Tool to Consider




The humble hand drill (specifically the egg-beater type) is a versatile tool to have in a survival situation. It can be used for many of the basic survival requirements including building shelter, making fire and procuring food and water.

Step 1:

Building A shelter:

Beside the obvious use of the drill for drilling screws into materials to create a structure, one can also use the drill to make cordage which can in turn be used in making shelters and snares:


Making Fire:

While I have not yet tried it myself I think it is at least feasible that the drill can be used in the typical hand-drill style friction fire we have all seen countless times. Mechanical advantage is your friend!

Procuring Water:

Under the right circumstances one could use the drill to drill a hole into a tree in the same manner as is used to collect sap for making syrup as shown in the lovely stereoscopic image attached. This has the added bonus of being calorie rich and is thus also means of procuring food.

This drill could also be used with a drill powered pump such as the one shown here.


You can also buy these at harbor freight for about $4. This would come in handy if you needed to get a lot of water from a source into a container for transport.

Procuring Food:

Aside from the syrup example, one could use the hand drill in the construction of various animal traps such as a bucket trap. Simply google search "bucket trap" if you don't know what I'm talking about. Use to drill to make hole in either side of a deep, smooth walled container such as a bucket. Use it to also drill a hole in either side of a tin can or other cylindrical object. Put something through the holes (such as a nice round stick) such that the can is free to rotate suspended in the center of the top opening of the container. FInally, make a ramp up to the can and put a bit of bait on the can. Small animals will climp the ramp to the can, step onto the can to approach the food, and in doing so cause it to spin on its axis, making the animal fall into the trap. Typically the bottom of the container is filled with water so the animal drowns. I find this inhumane but in a true survival situation it would work well. I've known people to catch dozens of critters with these traps.

One could use the drill itself as part of an animal trap. Given all the various spinning pieces and a little bit of ingenuity I'm sure one could rig up a hair-pin trigger dead fall.

One could also use the drill with some fishing line, sort of like a reel.

I intend on replacing the handle on my drill with a hollowed out handle containing typical survival knife type items.

One Last Note:

Anyone who is interested in disaster preparedness should read the book One Second After by William R. Forstchen. Read that and I promise you you will lose sleep thinking about the devestation an EMP attack could cause. The benefit of a tool like this in such a situation is that it would be unaffected by and EMP strike, and would probably be considered extremely valuable if such a strike did occur. You would probably be able to barter with it and get something critical in return such as medical supplies.

While this antique tool may be heavier than the sort of thing one would normally put in a bug out bag, it is my opinion that its value outweighs (no-pun intended) its heft.



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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    My Bug Out kit is actually a Bug IN kit... I keep a lot of hand tools in my tool chest because power outages are a thing... and there are no outlets on the outside of my house and running a power cord through a door is sometimes just not an option for a small job...


    3 years ago

    I like the idea of using it instead of a bow drill for fire starting. I wonder if you could generate enough speed to create the heat needed. Also, the wood that you placed in the chuck would need to be relatively small, because of the small chuck size on most of these. Appears to be feasible. Think I'll look in the basement for my dad's old drill.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Let me know the outcome! I wanted to try before writing the instructable but just haven't found the time. With the hollow handle one could also keep fire some form of fire starter, I ordered two more that have the bit holder handle off of ebay for $25.


    3 years ago

    Another use for the tool would be drilling out locks to get to supplies. It is much quieter albeit slower than a power drill which would help with being stealthy. And let's not forget it's use as a blunt force or stabbing weapon against Zombies!


    3 years ago

    Note that some of these drills actually already come with hollow handles for storing bits, as shown in the image. If you liked this instructable, please vote for me in the survival contest.