No gear list for an outdoor expedition is complete without some sort of emergency tool set. While most people probably carry a pair of pliers and a screwdriver somewhere in their vehicle, the best way to make sure you’re always prepared to go into full-on MacGyver mode is to travel with a well-appointed tool kit. Whether you buy a production set or put together your own, here are three tools to always have on hand in your vehicle, boat, cabin, or anywhere else you might need to make a quick fix.

Top Pick

Have everything you need for most standard jobs. Crescent

Pliers are great, but a pair of channel locks is more versatile. In addition to handling any task calling for standard pliers, channel locks cover a wider range of nuts and bolts, can grip square or round tubing, and offer better leverage than their shorter-handled cousin.


A single driver with dozens of interchangeable bits. DEKOPRO

Why carry a Philips or flat-head screwdriver when you can pack a single driver with a dozen or so bits? This handy tool includes interchangeable heads for Torx and square-drive screws as well as a full range of standard Philips and slotted drivers. Some even accept heads from a socket-set with a quarter-inch adapter.

Largest Set

You never know when you’ll need a hammer. Have one on you just in case. Wilnerkot

Sure, the first hammer was a rock. And you could use the back of your channel locks or the butt of your single-bit axe to drive tent stakes, patch a box blind, or nail up your hunting club sign—but why? Everyone should own more than one hammer in the house, so keep another in the truck, or better yet, in your multi-piece tool set, where there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place.