Tools and gear are items that, in simplest terms, are used for practical purposes. Outside of the Hunger Games Arena, tools can be anything from a cooking pot to a Holo, and are used by most citizens of Panem. Within the Arena, many items found at the Cornucopia fall into this category, and are widely used by tributes. In both instances, some items can be considered both tools and weapons, depending on their use in a particular situation.
An awl is a tool that looks almost like a screwdriver, but with a needle-like point at the end of the blade. It is typically used for piercing holes in materials like wood or leather, but it can also be used as a weapon, usually in close combat:
- In the 75th Hunger Games, an awl was picked up by Katniss Everdeen at the Cornucopia, which she later gave to Mags at her request for a weapon of some kind. The awl was also a subtle hint as to the only source of freshwater in the arena, inside the trees. The group received a spile as their first gift, and the awl was used to puncture a hole in a tree to insert the spile, causing the water to drain out. The awl was lost during the flight from the poisonous fog, either having been dropped or stayed with Mags when she intentionally sacrificed herself to allow the group to continue on.
- Main article: Backpack
A backpack is a bag designed to be carried on one's back. In the Hunger Games Arena, backpacks are typically found at the Cornucopia and can contain supplies for tributes. The exact contents of each backpack vary widely, and may contain anything from food and water to all manner of survival gear.
In the 74th Hunger Games, the trousers of the Arena Wear were secured by a "sturdy brown belt", and Katniss used this belt as one of her vital tools in the competition, namely to tie herself to tree branches while sleeping. Without this extra security, she could have fallen to the ground and probably would have been killed by the Career pack.
For the 75th Hunger Games, the Arena Wear included a wide belt covered in purple plastic. Although not explained in any way, the tributes discovered (some more quickly than others) that the belt was a flotation device; a significant portion of the arena consisted of water, and since most of the tributes apparently didn't know how to swim, the belts were probably included to ensure that each tribute would have a fighting chance (a majority of tributes dying early in an undramatic way never plays well for audience in the Capitol).
Body armor is a kind of protective clothing, designed to absorb and/or deflect slashing, bludgeoning, and penetrating attacks. Body armor has traditionally been used to protect individuals whose jobs bring them in close proximity to such attacks; soldiers, police officers and other law enforcement, and security guards or bodyguards:
- In the 74th Hunger Games, Cato acquired a suit of body armor, possibly from the feast (Thresh took the backpack marked for District 2 in order to draw Cato away from Katniss, but Cato may have been able to recover it). This armor consisted of a flesh-colored, skintight mesh which covered his limbs and torso, but left his head, hands, and feet unprotected. It was strong enough to repel a direct shot from Katniss's bow and fend off the wolf-like muttations. However, it also ended up prolonging Cato's agony, as the mutts could not quickly finish him off and he lingered in pain for hours.
- Peacekeepers wear white uniforms that incorporate some type of body armor, although the exact details are not specified. In the films, it is portrayed as a white vest that protects the torso, as well as a helmet with a half face guard. Military training in District 13 involved learning how to target the weaknesses in Peackeeper armor.
- The special mockingjay outfit that Cinna designed for Katniss incorporated a breastplate, multiple layers of body armor within the garment itself, and a helmet made of interwoven metal mesh that could be drawn back like a hood. This protected her when she was shot in District 2, although the bullet bruised her ribs and ruptured her spleen.
On the morning of reaping day (74th Hunger Games), Katniss and Gale meet up in the woods and left their fishing poles dangling into the lake while they gathered wild greens. While the specific design of the poles wasn't mentioned, they were able to catch a dozen fish before the morning ended.
Making fish hooks was one of the training stations offered during the 75th Hunger Games. Coming from District 4 (whose industry is fishing), Mags was highly adept at this station, to the point that Katniss eventually stopped following the Capitol instructor and just copied Mags' work.
Katniss and Gale often carried bags or sacks while hunting in the woods, usually to make transporting hunted game or gathered plants easier.
These glasses enable the wearer to see in complete darkness, and pick out details that the naked eye would normally have difficulty seeing:
- In the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss acquired a pair of these glasses (they were in the backpack she got from the Cornucopia), but was unaware of their true purpose until she took on Rue as a ally. Rue explained that during harvest time in District 11, sometimes it’s necessary to work through the night, and the glasses were handed out to the workers so they could see properly. She also recounted how a boy named Martin tried to keep his glasses to play with and was killed by Peacekeepers, even though he was mentally handicapped and didn’t fully understand what he was doing.
- The Career pack of the 74th Hunger Games also acquired two pairs of these glasses from the Cornucopia supplies, and at least Cato and Clove used them while searching for Katniss after she destroyed the Careers' food supply.
Upon entering the arena of the 74th Hunger Games, the first item that Katniss notices is a three-foot square of blue plastic a short distance from her pedestal. This is one of the items Katniss manages to retrieve from the Cornucopia before making her escape to the woods. Among other things, she later places it underneath Peeta as she washes off his disguise of mud in attempt to see how injured he is.
Following the announcement of the Third Quarter Quell, when Katniss realizes she will be going back into the arena, she runs from her house in panic and ends up in the basement of another house in the Victor's Village, collapsing and crying on large sheet of plastic used during painting.
A riot shield is a lightweight protection device deployed by police and some military organizations. Most are a clear polycarbonate, though some are constructed of light metals with a view hole. Riot shields are almost exclusively long enough to cover an average sized man from the top of the head to the knees and are generally intended to be used in riot control, to protect the user from shrapnel, thrown projectiles, and splash from various weapons such as a Molotov cocktail.
- Riot shields do not appear in the books, but are used in film by the Peacekeepers along with batons to suppress the uprising in District 11.
Rope consists of woven fibers (materials can vary widely) formed into a long strand:
- In the gymnasium of the Training Center, knot-tying is one of the many stations available to Tributes, where they learn to manipulate rope into knots and traps that could be useful in the Arena. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark visited this station during training for the 74th Hunger Games and learned a useful snare that would leave an enemy dangling by the foot.
- In The Hunger Games film, Katniss finds a coil of rope in the backpack she retrieved from the Cornucopia, and used it to secure herself to tree branches before going to sleep.
- During the 75th Hunger Games Katniss visited the knot-tying station again to receive further instruction. Finnick Odair joined her and pretended to hang himself on a rope for her amusement. Katniss imagined that, coming from District 4 (the fishing district), Finnick had been manipulating rope into knots and nets all his life.
- After arriving in District 13, Finnick constantly manipulated a short piece of rope with his fingers. This was essentially a coping technique, as Finnick was fraught with anxiety over the fate of Annie Cresta (the girl he loved), as well as dealing with his own trauma from the 75th Hunger Games. Katniss eventually followed Finnick's example to cope with her own anxiety about Peeta.
A sleeping bag is a piece of gear used for sleeping. There are usually three layers that make up the sleeping bag. The outside layer is usually water proof or water resistant, to protect the sleeper from nighttime dew. The middle layer is warm. It keeps the sleeper warm and keeps body heat from escaping. The last layer is in the inside of the sleeping bag. It is usually made of soft material that feels good against the skin (often made of sheet material). A zipper usually runs all the way along one side of the sleeping bag.
- In the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss had a sleeping bag. It was inside the backpack she got at the Cornucopia. The sleeping bag was made of the same fabric as the tributes' jackets. When she burned her leg she cut a hole in the bag for her leg. When she went to the Career camp she was supposed to get another bag for Rue, but she forgot. During the games, she shared the bag with Rue. After the death of Rue, she shares hers with Peeta.
A spile is a type of peg that can be inserted into a tree to drain the sap. Katniss had seen her father use one a long time ago when he was still alive to obtain maple syrup from a maple tree. However with his death the location of the spiles that he had was lost and Katniss forgot about them.
- During the 75th Hunger Games, a spile was the first gift received by Katniss' group. They were unable to figure out what it was at first until Katniss realized what it was a spile while thinking about District 12. After a hole was bored in a tree with the group's awl and knives, the spile was inserted and a thin stream of warm water was obtained. Before going to bed that night Katniss secured the spile to her belt in case of emergencies and was responsible for its safe keeping.
Water is critical to survival in the Hunger Games arena, and containers of water - or at least things to carry water in - are often found at the Cornucopia:
- During the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss noticed multiple containers of water in the sixty seconds before the games began. The backpack that she managed to retrieve from the Cornucopia before fleeing into the woods contained a half-gallon bottle, which she used to carry water throughout her time in the arena. Water could also be carried in bag-like containers called skins, as Rue did.
- During the 75th Hunger Games, all the water in the arena had to be tapped from trees, and there were no supplies of any kind to be found at the Cornucopia (only weapons). Mags was able to weave sharp blades of grass into bowls and baskets, and the weave was so tight that water would not seep through. Johanna Mason later used shells found on the arena's beach to carry water.
Other types of containers for liquid are mentioned outside of the Hunger Games: Haymitch is usually seen drinking alcohol from a flask, and Katniss brought a flask of hot tea into the woods when she went hunting.
Wheelchairs are used to assist people whose mobility has been impaired by injury or illness. During his stay in District 13, Beetee makes extensive use of a wheelchair, as he has not fully recovered from his injuries in the 75th Hunger Games but is required to lend his talents to the rebellion effort.
Wire is a very thin, flexible strand of metal, often stored in a coil or spool:
- In the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss found a small coil of wire the backpack she retrieved from the Cornucopia. She used the wire to make snares in the hope of catching food, and managed to snare three rabbits during her time in the Arena.
- In the 75th Hunger Games, Beetee retrieved a large spool of wire from the Cornucopia, and later revealed that he invented this type of wire himself; a pale golden color, it was as thin as a human hair, and Katniss mused that miles of it were stored on the spool. Throughout the Games, Beetee guarded the wire with his life, but occasionally gave it to Wiress for her to guard. She even pulled it into the water with her after Gloss killed her and her dead body was shot into the ocean, forcing Katniss to retrieve it. Beetee revealed that to end the Careers' alliance they were going to connect the wire to the water and a tree that was struck by lightning at noon and midnight, so when Enobaria and Brutus got anywhere near the damp beach they would be electrocuted. Katniss and Johanna were sent to connect the wire to the lightning tree, but Katniss was knocked out and during this time by Johanna. When Katniss later followed the wire to Beetee and she found that he was electrocuted by a force field like Peeta had been earlier. So she did what she thought he was doing and attached the wire to one of her arrows and shot it at the force field after the lightning struck, destroying the arena. It was later revealed that Plutarch Heavensbee had purposely put the wire in the Cornucopia as part of a plan to break Katniss out.
- Catching Fire, Chapter 19
- Catching Fire, Chapter 20
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 10
- Catching Fire, Chapter 18
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 21
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 24
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 25
- Mockingjay, Chapter 18
- Mockingjay, Chapter 3
- Mockingjay, Chapter 6
- Mockingjay, Chapter 16
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 1
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 15
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 7
- The Hunger Games (film)
- Catching Fire, Chapter 16
- Catching Fire, Chapter 20
- Catching Fire, Chapter 1