Throughout your home, there are simple everyday items you likely take for granted that can be turned into useful survival tools.
Here are nine:
1. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is known for having dozens of uses around the home, and those uses can translate to survival. Assuming you purchase the heavy duty version, aluminum foil is also re-usable. With foil in a survival situation, you can use it as a signal, you can hang pieces around your survival garden to keep pests and birds away, or you can cook food in it over, or in, a fire.
2. Dental Floss
We’ve all been to the dentist’s office and reminded to floss our teeth. Buying floss is good for dental hygiene, but if you’re still not convinced you need to buy some, consider its survival uses. Dental floss is durable enough to be used as a thin cord in survival, such as setting snares or using as a fishing line.
3. Duct Tape
We all know the multitude of survival uses that duct tape brings to the table. From repairing nearly anything to usage as a bandage to constructing shelters to starting fires, there’s really no excuse for not grabbing duct tape in a survival situation.
4. Garbage Bags
If you have a box of garbage bags in your garage, pull one or two out and place them in your survival bag. The heavy duty and brightly colored ones are the best. You can use a garbage bag as a poncho, to hold items, to cover your backpack as protection against rain, as a fishing net, as a tarp, to catch rainwater, as a blanket or as a pillow (filled with pine needles). Additionally, try stuffing your garbage bag full with leaves, and you’ll have yourself a custom mattress for your shelter.
5. Glasses / Magnifying Glass
You can use your glasses to reflect the rays of the sun for a signal or to start a fire by positioning the lens at an angle to the sun (but be cautious – it could melt your glasses). A magnifying glass works even better.
Pack a pair of socks in your survival bag, but these won’t be intended to keep your feet dry. You can use socks to filter water (this won’t purify it, but it will get the most visible bad substances out). Also, cotton socks are an excellent source of fire-starting tinder.
7. Soda Can
The first use of a soda can is to drink its contents to provide you with a badly needed energy boost in a survival situation. But once you’ve consumed that soda, don’t throw the actual can away! You can use the can to collect and store rainwater, as a crude fishing hook, and if you polish chocolate on the bottom of the can you’ll have a reflective surface to utilize as a fire starter.
Shoelaces will come in handy for a number of reasons: You can fashion a sling out of them, set snares, tie together materials to construct a shelter, unravel into smaller strands for fishing line, and even better, you can use them in the bow-and-drill method to be tied around the fire drill.
Finally, there’s your handy watch. An analog watch can also be used as a makeshift compass. On a sunny day, hold the watch parallel to the ground, and then turn it while still parallel so that the hour hand is pointed in the sun’s direction. In the Northern Hemisphere, south will be midway between the hour hand and the “12” on the watch. This technique will give you a basic idea of your north to south line, even though it’s not 100 percent accurate.
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