28 Non-Electric EMP-Proof Devices to Get

If SHTF because of an EMP, the world as we know it will change rapidly. Many devices that we rely on every day could simply stop working.

manual kitchen tools
manual kitchen tools: can opener, grater, salad spinner, mortar and pestle, mixing bowl, veggie peeler, and various strainers

Although scientists have an idea of what the effects of a wide scale EMP would be on electrical devices, it’s difficult to know for certain which ones would hold up and which would simply quit.

Suffice it to say that any devices with electronic circuits or electrical wiring could be at risk of failure. So, if you’re trying to get prepared for a catastrophic event like an EMP, don’t get caught with your pants down, here are top 10 EMP proof devices that don’t need electricity to save your life.

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1. Draw Knife

Assuming you already carry a fixed or folding knife as part of your EDC, a draw knife is an EMP proof device that will come in handy in an extended SHTF situation.

It can be used to remove bark from trees you’ve cut and to shape tree a tree limb to replace your broken ax or shovel handle, or even to make your own bow for hunting.

2. Bicycle Air Pump

Did you know that it is possible to pump up a vehicle tire with one of those hand powered bike pumps? You may need a can of fix a flat on hand to keep the tire from going flat again.

But depending on the type of flat you have, a bike pump just might get you back on the road to your bug out location.

3. Axe

One of the most quintessential tools for processing wood, to include felling entire trees, is the axe.

So long as you have the muscle, this ancient chopping tool can make short work of branches and bucked sections or even whole trunks.

A mandatory part of your post-emp tool rack, axes can tackle many chopping and splitting tasks with grace.

4. Bow and Arrow

The premier primitive tech projectile weapon, the bow and arrow change the course of history on many different occasions.

Not only can you use the bow and arrow for self-defense in a pinch, but it can serve as a repeatable, quiet and efficient tool for harvesting big game to furnish your post-apocalypse kitchen with fresh meat.

Everything about a standard bow and arrow lends itself toward manufacture and repair using absolutely no electricity, definitely a bonus under the circumstances.

5. Fire extinguisher

even though the electricity might be no more in the aftermath of an emp, fire, ever mankind’s servant if a fickle one prone to betrayal, will still be around and in force. That means you might yet have cause to deal with an accidental or out of control fire.

A fire extinguisher remains precisely the right option as a first response, and requires absolutely no electricity.

However, considering that most infrastructure needed to fill and service them is going to be down for the count, your fire extinguishers will now be rendered into one shot items.

6. Hammer

The hammer is another primitive but quintessentially useful post EMP tool. You can use hammers, of all kinds, for all sorts of pounding tasks, from driving nails to light demolition.

Like most manual tools, you have to supply the power yourself in the form of muscle but so long as you don’t run out of muscle they won’t run out of power!

A well-stocked EMP tool chest will include a carpenter’s hammer as well as a larger sledgehammer.

7. Knife

Every prepper should already have a good knife, one suitable for all sorts of chores and tasks around the property and out in the woods, but just in case you don’t, you definitely want to get one as part of your EMP survival kit!

8. Lantern

Most of us rely upon battery powered lanterns to complement our flashlights and headlamps today, but you can still get modern lanterns or vintage ones like your grandparents used that run on a variety of liquid fuels.

This is the perfect way to supply area lighting whether you are at camp or in your home. you definitely want to be careful though, because these are a massive fire hazard if they get knocked over!

multitool and pouch
multitool and pouch

9. Multi-tool

A good multi-tool is worth its weight in gold if you have to conduct Hasty repairs or work on a project while you are away from the garage or workshop.

A proper multi-tool will have pliers, a variety of drivers, a small saw, wire strippers, bottle opener, can opener and other gadgets in a compact and easy to carry package. Best of all, no batteries required!

Wrench – when you need to put a dependable grip on a stubborn fastener or any other part, you’ll need a good wrench to do the job.

Wrenches come in all shapes and all sizes, but you can do well with an intermediate sized adjustable crescent wrench or pipe wrench.

11. Sockets / Ratchet

Just because an EMP has fried electronic components does not mean you’ll no longer have functional mechanical devices that use other fuels or other motive sources.

Accordingly, you’ll need the right mechanics tools to maintain and repair them. A standard socket and ratchet set we’ll let the average DIY conduct the most common repairs required.

a toolbox
a toolbox

12. Screwdrivers

Our world is quite literally held together with screws of one kind or another, and if you want to tighten them, loosen them, remove them or install them you’ll need screwdrivers.

Your cordless drill driver is going to be kaput under the circumstances, so fall back on the trusty manual screwdrivers that people have used for ages. A set containing slot, Philips and torx heads should be entirely adequate.

13. Handsaw / Hacksaw

For processing lumber or cutting off piping or other metal stock, hand saws will do the job where our circular saws and reciprocating saws have given up the ghost because the EMP fried their batteries.

A short toolbox or handyman saw, a longer crosscut saw and a hacksaw for metal should cover pretty much all your bases.

14. Files

Freshly cut or otherwise separated metal is notorious for being jaggedly sharp, sharp enough to lash open your skin. If you need to gently and gradually shape metal or just knock off burrs you’ll need files for the job.

15. Push-Reel Mower

It might sound silly under the circumstances, but believe it or not you’ll probably still have calls to mow the grass and the aftermath of a society crumbling event.

It will help keep pests, particularly rodents and snakes away, but it will also help remove a hiding places for potential adversaries.

Not for nothing, it will also help keep your morale up. The quiet, reliable push reel mower is a heck of a good workout but highly effective.

16. Scythe

A compliment or potential replacement to the push reel mower, and also an important agricultural tool, a properly maintained and fitted scythe is a pleasure to behold in operation.

Particularly for dealing with taller grasses and other plants suitable for cutting down this can clear ground faster than a power trimmer in the right hands and no electricity needed!

17. Pin Vise

A pin vise is a tiny, manually powered drill that his finger operated. commonly utilized by jewelers and hobbyists, sometimes you’ll have need to drill tiny, delicate holes and a variety of materials for any number of purposes.

Perfect for repairing equally delicate items like eyewear.

18. Rake

No surprises here, you’ll use rakes to gather and move fallen foliage like leaves, branches and other detritus that will otherwise just pile up on the ground and serve as a massive fire hazard and eyesore.

Is also just the ticket for quickly cleaning up in the garden, which is likely why you’ll want one.

19. Hoe

Every prepper should be prepared to work in their garden without benefit of modern technology, or at the very least be equipped to start a garden under the circumstances.

The hoe is the Hammer of the gardening world, useful for all sorts of tasks and chores.

20. Shears

You’ll use shears for pruning back vegetation, lopping off branches, cutting down failed or overgrown plants in the garden and countless other tasks around your property.

Compared to a gas trimmer or some other contrivance, you’ll definitely spend more sweat keeping these functional but you won’t have to worry about an EMP knocking them offline either.

21. Sprayer

A common garden sprayer is a great thing to have for a number of reasons, and not just for spreading plant food or pesticide.

You can use a clean, uncontaminated manual pump sprayer as an impromptu outdoor shower, which might be just the ticket if your electric hot water heater is offline because of an EMP.

Naturally, you can also use it in the common way for spreading various chemicals, but as always take great care that you do not cross contaminate the contents to avoid adverse reactions.

hand pumped water source
A hand pumped water source in the backyard.

22. Manual Water Pump

One of the EMP proof devices that don’t need electricity to save your life is a manual water pump. It’s one of the little things that is often overlooked by those who get their water via a well.

If your electric pump stops working after an EMP, that well full of water will be useless without a way to get the water up to the surface. Make sure you include a manual water pump.

a P38 can opener
a P38 can opener

23. Can Opener

All those canned goods you’ve stockpiled will be pretty hard to use if all you have on hand is an electric powered can opener. Sure there are ways to open a can without a can opener but you’re going to need to reserve your energy for other tasks.

Get yourself a good quality manual can opener or two, preferably one with a bottle opener on one end and store with your stockpile.

24. Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

Okay maybe this doesn’t seem quite as critical as some of the other life saving EMP-proof devices, but if you’re a die hard coffee drinker or know someone who is, you’ll agree it’s needed.

Get one that is stainless steel and you’ll be able to make your morning coffee on a BBQ grill, woodstove, or even over an open fire if need be.

The best thing about the percolator is that it has its own basket filter so you don’t have to worry about stockpiling paper coffee filters.

A French Press doesn’t need electricity and is another way to make a great cup of coffee.

Bic lighter
a Bic lighter

25. Lighters

When SHTF due to an EMP, the ability to make fire is going to be critical for a variety of survival tasks.

Make sure you’ve stockpiled plenty of those disposable lighters including a few windproof lighters, and some waterproof matches.

For good measure, add a fire-striker or two and different types of portable tinder.

Dryer lint soaked in Vaseline and stuffed inside an empty toilet paper roll makes a great fire starter, especially on those days when wet weather makes finding tinder difficult.

26. Portable Heater

When SHTF after an EMP, modern gas powered furnaces will quit working because the electronic ignition won’t work.

Yes, older gas powered furnaces could be lit manually but the newer ones automatically close the valve to the gas supply which means you can’t light the furnace manually.

A portable heater like is one of the EMP proof devices that don’t require electricity to save your life. The heater runs on propane and uses a hammer strike ignition that doesn’t need power.

The fan on the heater may not be operational if the battery was fried by the EMP but the heater should still put out enough heat to keep you from freezing in cold weather.

27. Guns and Ammunition

It goes without saying that guns and ammunition are some useful EMP-proof devices that don’t need electricity to save your life.

The guns you choose will primarily depend on your personal preferences, laws in your area, and your level of training.

Make sure you keep them well maintained so you can rely on them when the need arises. Following an EMP, it’s best to keep guns and ammunition primarily for self defense.

Make sure you have more discreet methods of hunting, such as bow and arrows, slingshot, and traps to avoid announcing to anyone within earshot that you just caught dinner.

28. Bicycle

The final one of our EMP proof devices that don’t need electricity to save you life is the bicycle. Although it is possible that some cars, especially older models, will withstand an EMP, it’s difficult to know for sure.

But a bicycle doesn’t require electricity to operate which means it can provide life-saving transportation for your bug out or just transportation in general following an EMP event.

With just a few modifications, mountain bikes and many other bicycles are a fairly inexpensive option for reliable transportation.

You can even add a bike trailer to help you transport life saving resources such as fresh water, firewood, and even small game back to your location.

Get These Non-Electric Items Today

Which of these EMP proof devices do you already have at the ready? I know there may be other tools that are EMP proof that didn’t make the list, so feel free to include them in a comment below.

And don’t forget to pin this to Pinterest for later.

emp proof devices pinterest image

15 thoughts on “28 Non-Electric EMP-Proof Devices to Get”

  1. 1st, no manual can opener is worth a damn except a P38. Google it if you don’t know what that is. 2nd, propane? Yeah with no power how will you refill it. Kerosene heaters are inexpensive and have 1 moving part, the wick. And kerosene stores for years if tightly sealed. And buy jar candles when they are in sale at Walmart. They last for days and don’t drip. Buy lighters by the bulk, it’s far cheaper that way. And get a dual fuel camp stove that runs in car gasoline. You will need gasoline to run you cars sparingly and generator and chain saw. Also get 2 stoke engine oil for chainsaws. Also get manual chainsaw sharpening files. And portable solar panels, not fixed ones . People will steal you fixed ones in the 1st month of SHTF. Think like a criminal, to prepare

    1. Kylie Hetherington

      I have a big house tank for House gas. As for propane, I have some bigger propane bottles and I have converters so I can refill the smaller propane bottles. It was tricky at first but now I am used to it.

  2. TheSouthernNationalist

    For those with older cars like myself yes they will work, but the gas pumps wont so stock up on fuel and put some fuel conditioner in it. Bad news is it still wont last forever so I would use most of my fuel for chain saw, generator, ect.. Driving a car or truck around after SHTF might not be a good idea depending on your location.

  3. Hello to you again, thanx for all the ideas, you are on the right track.
    For those who have a diesel/gasoline generator, solar cells, wind generators etc. None of them will work after they have been under an EMP. There is although hope. Look into the new idea of a anti- EMP Blanket. Around $ 70- $ 80. can be wrapped around and cover pretty large objects. Could be cut up into smaller pieces for the car electronics. The only problem, it must always be in place! No one will get a TEXT message when and where the EMP is…cover and forget. Even if the electronics are being used, they must STAY protected. Cell phone, Laptop, Remotecontrolled Satallite dish, walkie talkies, CB Radio, Ham radio, Boat motors, even your electric toothbrush could or will be affected.
    The deadly waves from a MICROWAVE can, to a certain extent, be retainen in the microwave oven by the walls and front door with the little holes. Not totally. The waves of an EMP can also be contained or reflected, to a certain extent. Google this, learn, adapt, use aluminium foil, metal mosquito screens, get an EMP blanket or two bury your stuff deep enough and protect you valuable and life saving assets so that they do not die before they can even help you, live free, GP

  4. The odds of an EMP attack happening are possibly 1,000,000,000,000,000– 1. An EMP weapon is a DEFENSIVE weapon. Let’s say you want to capture a town. An EMP attack will knock out the town’s electric grid and computer systems. Those systems will have to be immediately restored. Then the town can be viable for occupation.

      1. When SHTF, we’re still going to need to gell the time. Those old fashioned wall & mantle clocks are great, you need a key to wind them up. Grandfather clocks & Cuckoo clocks (not so good if you want something silent) & ofcourse, windup alarm clocks are also worth checking out.

        Also measuring scales & manual grain mills…

        Basically, you want anything that’s manually operated… if you can find them as they’re getting harder to come by these days!

    1. For the same reason nobody has used nuclear weapons…MAD. But is that true any longer? What is the probability that a nuclear armed state with land, space and submarine or surface ship hypersonic delivery systems, like Russia or even the US if we get backed into a corner of detonating a HEMP device before launching a scorched earth nuclear attack? Probably much higher than Dan’s 12% probability of a Carrington type event.

    2. Kylie Hetherington

      I agree that an EMP is unlikely. However, to err on the side of caution for me is that I live in a remote area and so communication etc is vital.

  5. Kylie Hetherington

    I am saving to buy an EMP car kit. Then I am going to buy some blankets. I already have a faraday cage with some supplies in it and as I get some more money I will get more EMP ready.

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