Whether you are an avid traveler who prefers backpacking and camping or you are preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse there is no doubt that there are many things you can do to prepare yourself. With all the commercial tools for survival, however, some people lose sight of the many things they can do with things that are already in their homes.
This list is here to show you just how many useful items you already have – if you’re ever caught in a tight situation these will definitely come in handy. I cannot, however, make any promises about their effectiveness in surviving against zombies…
#1 – A Bandana
You may be surprised at just how many ways a bandana can be helpful to you. You can use it both to keep cool by dousing it in cold water and tying it around your neck or head.
If you need to keep warm you can tie it around your head and ears to trap the warmth. It can also be used as a sling and if the color is bright enough as a way to attract help when you see others nearby.
Source: How Stuff Works
#2 – Coffee Filters
These amazing little things have several uses, though the most important is to help filter out your water. If you cannot find a source of fresh drinking water you can instead use a coffee filter to get the water as clean as you can prior to drinking it.
Coffee filters can also be used as bandages, bowls (for berries and such) and if it comes down to it, a way to wipe your bum.
And when it’s all said and done, maybe you just want a cup of joe?
Photo Source: Survival Resources
#3 – Soda (Beer) Can Tabs
So you may not have time to kick back and relax with your favorite soda, but the empty cans are still very useful.
Thanks to all the litterers that go camping, finding a single usable soda can shouldn’t be too difficult. It can be used to collect rainwater for drinking and the tab can be bent or cut to be used as a fishing hook!
Pro tip: if you have beer caps and a couple of safety pins you can make a fishing lure to go along with your hook. The ones below are fancy but these would be easy to rig up with a beer tab fishing hook in a pinch.
#4 – A Bra!
Hah, you probably rolled your eyes at this one. How in the world is a bra helpful in a survival situation, right?
Well, it definitely is – if you find yourself in a fire, landslide or similar with debris and dust polluting your breathable air you can use the cup of a bra as a last minute dust mask.
#5 – Canned Tuna (In Oil)
Okay, it’s a little more specific than that. If you want this to be good for anything other than eating it has to be the tuna in oil.
Why may you ask? Because you can puncture a hole in the top of the can, let a rolled up piece of magazine or newspaper act as a wick, soaking it in the oil and then light it.
This makeshift candle should last at least a couple hours – and you still have an edible lunch afterward!
#6 – Dental Floss
Dental floss is remarkably strong. Don’t believe me? Rip a piece off and try to snap that piece in half with your hands. Ideally, you have paracord but if not, dental floss is a great alternative.
This one has quite a few practical uses, the most common being to clean your teeth – duh.
Outside of that, it can be used as a way to tie sticks or reeds together to help create a shelter, as a fishing line (with those homemade hooks from soda tabs & lure I mentioned earlier…)
And even for something as simple as finding your way back – tie one end of the floss to a rock or plant and let it trail behind you – there’s at least a couple hundred feet of floss in each container so you won’t run out right away.
This is a great list of 25 unique things you can do with dental floss if you find yourself in a pinch.
#7 – Duct Tape
This one might not be such a surprise, after all, duct tape fixes everything – doesn’t it?
Duct tape has hundreds of thousands of practical uses. The Mythbuster’s have made a duct tape boat before and believe it or not it worked! Maybe not for long, but it still worked. The video above features another duct tape boat which was pretty darn good!
Here is a list of a few other applications:
- Repair a tent
- Make rope
- Create a splint
- Make shelter
If you’re in a survival situation with a roll of duct tape and you can’t think of anything to do with it, you’re not thinking hard enough.
# 8 – Pantyhose
There are quite a few ways that you could find pantyhose to be useful in a survival situation. You can use them to filter your water (assuming you haven’t already used a coffee filter for that), as a mosquito net or even as a sling or tourniquet.
#9 – Eye Glasses
Other than the fact that a large majority of people need eyeglasses either to see in general or to read they do have more practical survival uses. You can use them as a magnifying glass for one. Or you could catch the sunlight with them in order to start a fire the same way you melted army men with a magnifying glass as a child.
#10 – Garbage Bags
This one is the thing that you should really make sure you have when it comes down to survival items. Garbage bags can be used as a quick way to pack up all your most important belongings (any of the things on this list for example?) as well as a potential way to keep you protected from storms as a poncho or a roof for a small shelter in the bushes.
#11 – Condoms
Surprisingly, condoms are particularly useful in a survival situation. As seen above, they clearly make for better storage of drinking water compared to a traditional water balloon.
This is easily one of the most convenient ways to store drinking water if plastic bottles are not readily available.
#12 – Tampons
Sanitary napkins are meant to absorb a large amount of menstrual blood over a course of a 3-5 hours, meaning they are perfect for managing large or deep wounds.
If you find yourself or someone you know needing a quick patch up job these will work perfectly. Simply use gauze or some other bandaging material (duct-tape for instance) to hold the napkin in place.
You can also use them as a very rudimentary water filter.
#13 – Aluminum Foil
The foil has quite a few uses, though one of the most common is to allow you to cook food over a campfire without extra camp-cookware.
It can also be used to reflect light making a signal to call for help. The reflective property is also useful in keeping birds away from your camp and can be used as an artificial lure when fishing (add it to your beer bottle/can make-shift lure).
#14 – Wax or more likely, Lip Balm
If you have a tampon and wax or lip balm you can fashion yourself a handy candle that’ll burn for a few hours.
Stick the cotton strip from the tampon into the lip balm. You can use a safety pin or a pen or whatever other long and point objective you have on hand. Light the end and that’ll burn for a solid few hours.
#15 – A Pair of Scissors
If you need a weapon in a pinch, remove the screw holding these scissors together and you have a brand new set of stainless steel daggers!
The stainless steel means they are unlikely to rust and should last you for quite some time. It may not be the most practical weapon, but in the end, it’s better than having nothing at all.
You can also use these to cut floss, bandages, string etc. Ideally, you’ll have a survival knife but if you don’t have on hand a pair of scissors will do the trick.
These are fifteen of the things I think will come in most useful when looking at everyday items as a means for survival. Do you have any cool tips or tricks for these items, or maybe other items that would be just as or more useful? Feel free to mention them in the comments!
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