Survival Prybar Uses in Emergency Situations

published on 14 January 2024

When facing an emergency, having the right tools can make all the difference.

Equipping yourself with a versatile survival prybar ensures you have a multipurpose tool that can help you safely handle many crisis situations.

In this guide, you'll discover the range of emergency uses for a survival prybar, from breaking vehicle windows to prying open stuck doors. You'll learn proper techniques to utilize a prybar effectively in various scenarios without causing harm or damage.

Introduction to Survival Prybars in Emergency Scenarios

A survival prybar is an essential multipurpose tool for emergency preparedness. This heavy-duty tool can be utilized to pry open stuck doors and windows, break glass, or even dig through debris. Having a high quality survival prybar on hand can make all the difference in an emergency situation.

Defining the Survival Prybar as a Multipurpose Emergency Tool

A survival prybar is typically made of hardened steel or titanium and features a wedge-shaped head on one end and a nail puller on the other. The wedge end allows the prybar to easily slip into cracks and crevices to provide powerful leverage for prying, while the nail puller can grip and pull out nails.

Unlike a regular pry bar, survival prybars are designed specifically for emergency utility purposes. They are extremely durable and equipped to handle the heavy-duty tasks required in crisis scenarios like:

  • Forcibly opening stuck doors, windows, and hatches
  • Breaking through glass or drywall
  • Prying apart debris, wood, or metal
  • Digging through rubble
  • Self-defense

Having a quality pry bar designed for emergencies can make a life-saving difference across many disaster situations.

The Importance of a Pry Bar in Emergency Situations

There are many critical reasons to keep a survival prybar on hand for emergencies:

  • Escape Entrapment - A prybar allows you to break out of locked rooms, vehicles, or buildings by prying open stuck doors/windows or breaking glass. This could be essential to escape danger like fires, floods, or attackers.

  • Search & Rescue - Rescue crews utilize prybars to gain access to collapsed buildings and debris to search for survivors after disasters. A prybar allows digging through and prying apart rubble.

  • Utility - Prybars have versatility as a survival tool for prying open containers, harvesting wood for fires, or even improvising self-defense.

Having a heavy-duty pry bar designed for emergencies is an important addition to any survival kit or emergency preparedness supplies. The versatility and strength of a survival prybar makes it invaluable for potentially life-saving utility purposes during crisis events.

What is the difference between a Prybar and a crowbar?

A prybar (also called a wrecking bar or prisebar) and a crowbar serve similar purposes, but have some key differences:

  • Material: Prybars are generally made from flat metal stock, while crowbars typically have a hexagonal cross-section and are made from medium carbon steel.

  • Shape: Prybars have a flat, beveled edge on one end to help pry open objects. Crowbars usually have curved ends to provide more leverage.

  • Versatility: Prybars are more versatile and can be used for tasks like demolishing wooden structures, lifting floorboards, or breaking through windows. Crowbars are better optimized for heavy prying and demolition tasks.

  • Portability: Prybars are smaller and more portable than full-size crowbars. This makes them well-suited for inclusion in emergency/survival kits.

So in summary, wrecking bars (prybars) and crowbars serve similar forcing/prying purposes, but prybars are flatter, more versatile and portable, while crowbars provide more focused heavy-duty leverage. In an emergency situation, a compact prybar can be easier to carry and utilize effectively.

What can I use instead of a pry bar?

If you don't have a dedicated survival pry bar on hand, there are a few common household items that can work in a pinch:

  • Pocket knife or multi-tool - A sturdy folding knife or multi-tool with a flathead screwdriver tip can substitute as an improvised pry bar. Just be careful not to bend or break the tip.

  • Flathead screwdrivers - Standard and Phillips head screwdrivers can wedge into cracks to pry things open. Again, avoid bending or snapping the shafts.

  • Butter knives or table knives - Believe it or not, ordinary silverware can function as makeshift pry bars. The key is looking for thinner and sturdier utensils that can wedge into tight spaces.

  • Nail files or metal nail clippers - The small, thin shape of these grooming tools work nicely to wedge and pry open doors, windows, etc. The metal construction gives them decent durability.

  • Guitar picks - For light prying jobs, a rigid plastic guitar pick can do the trick. Just know these won't stand up to heavy prying force.

The key is to use any rigid, wedge-shaped objects that can fit into cracks and crevices. But also be careful not to break your makeshift tools or hurt yourself in the process. Sturdy metal tools like flathead screwdrivers tend to work best in a pinch. And remember - nothing beats having a purpose-built survival pry bar handy!

What is the best Prybar?

A pry bar, also known as a crowbar or wrecking bar, is an essential survival tool that has many uses in emergency situations. When choosing the best pry bar, it's important to consider the length, material, and specialized features based on your intended needs.

Craftsman 42-Inch Pry Bar

The Craftsman 42-inch pry bar is an excellent long pry bar option for heavy duty tasks. At over 3 feet long, it provides exceptional leverage for prying open stuck doors, lifting heavy objects, and demolishing building materials. The hardened carbon steel construction ensures durability. This survival tool is ideal for search and rescue operations.

TradeUnderlay Mini Crowbar

If you need a more compact pry bar for your emergency kit or vehicle, the TradeUnderlay mini crowbar is a top choice. At just 10 inches, it can fit into tight spaces to pry open windows, doors, and debris. The small size also makes it easy to carry in a backpack or bag. Despite its petite frame, the heat-treated steel alloy delivers surprising strength.

Estwing Gooseneck Wrecking Bar

Estwing's gooseneck wrecking bar features a specialized angled neck that excels at demolition tasks. The unique shape allows greater leverage and control when prying up flooring, tiles, nails, and other building materials. It's also useful for breaking through windows and widening small openings. The forged steel provides maximum toughness.

Zenith Industries Trim Puller

For removing trim, molding, cabinets, and other finishes without damage, Zenith's trim puller is the perfect prying open doors solution. The curved fork tip easily inserts behind materials to pop them loose. The 36-inch handle generates high pulling force. It's great for renovations or storm cleanup requiring careful interior prying.


What is the point of an EDC Prybar?

A survival prybar is an essential emergency preparedness tool with a wide range of uses. Here are some of the key benefits of having one in your everyday carry (EDC) kit:

  • Opening Stubborn Containers. The curved end of the prybar can be used to open paint cans, crates, and other containers when you don't have access to a regular opener. This makes it useful for scavenging supplies.

  • Forcing Entry. In an emergency situation like a natural disaster, you may need to pry open jammed doors, windows, and gates to access shelter or supplies. A prybar gives you the leverage required for quick entry.

  • Outdoor Utility. When camping or hiking, a prybar allows you to hammer tent stakes, pry branches and logs to make camp fixtures, and even split kindling to start a fire. It's a versatile wilderness survival tool.

  • DIY Aid. Around the house, a quality steel prybar helps pull nails, lift floorboards, and dismantle furniture. The leverage from the curved end makes demolition jobs much easier.

In an emergency situation where access, mobility, and improvisation are key, a survival prybar enables you to reliably perform a wide range of utility tasks. It's a compact, portable tool that can save time, effort, and potentially lives. Having one in your EDC kit helps ensure you and your loved ones are prepared for the unexpected.

Strategies for Breaking Windows with a Survival Prybar

When trapped in a vehicle, home, or collapsed building, a survival prybar can quickly break tempered glass to create an emergency exit. The pointed tip and adze of the tool allow you to apply concentrated force to shatter windows. Here are some effective techniques:

Techniques for Shattering Vehicle Windows Effectively

  • Aim the pointed tip of the prybar at the corner of the window, using the edge of the glass as a fulcrum point
  • Forcefully strike the glass to crack it, then continue striking to break an opening
  • Focus blows at the edges and corners, as this is where the glass is most vulnerable
  • Wear protective eyewear when breaking the glass to avoid injury

Methods for Breaking Home or Building Windows Safely

  • Locate a window edge and aim to strike the glass at a 45 degree angle
  • Use the adze or pick of the prybar to concentrate striking force on a small point
  • Continue striking the same spot to create cracks and eventually break through
  • Ensure no one is standing on the other side of the glass before breaking
  • Watch for falling shards of glass both inside and outside the window

A quality survival prybar allows quick exit through windows when trapped. With some practice using proper technique, most vehicle and building glass can be broken. But always wear eye protection, as shattering glass can be dangerous.

Leveraging a Prybar for Prying Open Doors in Emergencies

Prybars can provide the necessary leverage to open stuck doors during emergencies like fires, floods, or other crisis events when quick evacuation is critical.

Opening Interior Doors Without Damage

Carefully insert the flat end of the prybar into the crack between the door and its frame. Slowly apply force until the door pops open. Take care not to damage the door or frame in the process. Consider placing a towel or other protection over the end of the tool if attempting to pry open a fragile interior door.

Techniques for Prying Open Exterior Doors

If an exterior door is stuck due to swelling, debris, or other issues, first try the techniques for opening interior doors. If that fails, carefully insert the pick end of the prybar under the door handle cylinder. Slowly twist the handle sideways while applying gentle leverage to break the lock mechanism or split the door frame. Use patience and control to avoid unnecessary property damage. Consider alternatives like breaking a window if forceful prying risks severely damaging the home's structure.

Prybars enable pushing, pulling, lifting, twisting, and other techniques to overcome stuck doors. With practice and care, they can quickly bypass stuck doors without damage in crisis scenarios when rapid evacuation is essential. Integrating a versatile survival prybar into emergency preparation kits enables safely navigating obstacles during disasters.

Utilizing a Survival Prybar for Digging and Tunneling

The pick end of a survival prybar can be an invaluable tool for digging and tunneling when trapped or needing to access buried utilities. The hardened steel tip can penetrate packed soil, roots, snow, and other debris that would be difficult to shovel by hand.

How to Dig Small Tunnels with a Pry Bar

When trapped in a confined space, a prybar can be used to slowly tunnel an escape path. Apply forceful strikes with the pick end to chip away at the surrounding soil or debris. Remove the loosened material with your hands or a small shovel to steadily enlarge the tunnel. Work patiently, taking breaks as needed, until the tunnel is large enough to crawl through. This technique can also grant access to buried pipes or wires in a pinch.

Trenching and Excavating Techniques Using a Prybar

For longer trenches, utilize the pick end of the prybar to break up the soil and roots in sections along the desired path. Strike forcefully to penetrate a foot or more into the ground, then pull back loose debris. Alternate digging and debris removal until reaching the target depth. The prybar handle can assist with pulling out rocks, roots, and packed soil clumps. When swinging the pick, grip the handle firmly and use your body weight to drive the tip through stubborn material. With practice, an experienced survivalist can trench narrow passages for piping or wiring relatively quickly using this method.

Conclusion: The Indispensable Role of the Survival Prybar

A quality survival prybar is an essential tool for emergency preparedness. With its sturdy construction and versatility, a prybar enables one to escape dangerous situations by breaking glass, forcing entry through stuck doors, or even digging to freedom. Let's recap key applications:

Recap of Survival Prybar Applications in Emergency Situations

  • Breaking glass: A prybar can quickly shatter car windows or building glass to facilitate escape or access. Its hardened steel tip concentrates force to break tempered glass.
  • Forcing entry: Whether a door is stuck, barricaded, or locked, a prybar provides leverage to muscle it open. This allows access when trapped or making rescues.
  • Digging: The sharpened edge of a quality prybar penetrates packed earth. One can dig escape tunnels or uncover buried supplies when trapped.

In an emergency, seconds count. Prybars enable rapid response to developing dangers, making them indispensable survival tools for those focused on preparation. Keep one accessible at home, in vehicles, and in survival kits to empower yourself to safely overcome crisis situations.

Related posts

Read more