A major tool category you will want while having to be self reliant away from home are bladed/cutting tools. So far, I have added a small straight razor from Countycomm.com for cutting things where I do not want to dull the blade on my knife. The knife I pack is a Kershaw RAM 1910. I am really liking this knife so far. The blade is easily deployed with the assistance of a “flipper”. In fact using the flipper makes opening the blade extremely fast. So much so that it appears to be mechanically deployed. It also has the common thumb studs seen on most modern knifes. I however, prefer the flipper as I can deploy the blade faster with it and my fingers are not on the blade while it is being deployed. Personally, I just think that it is safer to use the flipper.
For cutting wood, I currently carry a Fiskars 14″ hatchet and a Gerber Sportsman’s / Survival Saw. I have not used either the hatchet or the saw yet, but I look forward to testing them out. one thing that I would still like to pick up is a survival chainsaw. From what I have seen of it, it will chew through signifcant sized lumber in quick fashion. The fact that it uses handles on the chain, means that it folds up to a small easily carryable package.
I also carry a Gerber ceramic blade sharpening tool. It has a first stage coarse sharpener and a second stage fine sharpener; Because a blade that wont cut is worthless.
To add a bit on the use of my cutting tools, my Kershaw knife has a belt clip. If I am forced to have to walk home, I will certainly carry my knife on me where I can get to and deploy it easily for personal protection. Along those same lines, my Fiskars hatchet is quite sharp and could be used as a personal protection device as well. Swinging that into someone would certainly have the potential to be fatal. I really pray that I never have to use it that way.
For emergency communication I am so far carrying a signal mirror with an attached whistle and float to keep it all from sinking. It seems to be of fair quality and has the red dot optical illusion for pinpointing where it is aimed at (by looking through the back of the mirror. I also carry my Yaesu VX8-DR portable HAM radio in my car (I have my Technicians license). It is a tri-band radio capable of up to 5 watts of power. I would like to get a mobile radio as well, but will wait until after I have gotten more essentials.
I feel that having a HAM radio license is a great resource in times of disaster. When 9-11 happened, I could not make a cell phone call most of the day, and I live in on the West coast. I think that it is also a great way to get communications in disaster/shtf scenario.
End of part 2.