Most survival kits today are fairly complete with the necessary fire starting tools, water filtration systems and knives. But what many people don’t realize is that there are very common, everyday items that can just as easily be turned into useful survival equipment.
One such common, everyday item is the soda can, which can be found just about everywhere. You can (sadly) even find empty soda cans littered on the side of the road. But rather than throw your can away after drinking it, you should save it. In fact, it’s probably not a bad idea to save a few of them and store them. If the lights do indeed go out, you’ll find that they are very practical.
Here are four survival uses for a soda can:
1. Makeshift candle holder. If there’s no electricity and you need warmth and light, grab a soda can and a small, inexpensive candle already in your survival kit. You simply have to cut open your soda can, begin burning the candle, and then set the candle inside. The inside of the can will reflect the light, something that your candle couldn’t have done if it were simply alone. Plus, the can itself provides a shelter for the flame. A light wind could blow the flame out if the candle was left on its own, but with the can protecting it, it has a better chance to stay lit.
2. Stove. This one is a little more complicated, but making one could be essential for survival. Take two soda cans, and then cut the bottom part of the can off both cans, but so that one end is about a half inch to an inch longer than the end of the other can. Than on one of the can ends, puncture holes around the bottom of the can (about 15) and more through the center (about 5). Next, take some fiber glass, cotton balls, or anything flammable, and place it inside the large end of the can. Once this is complete, you can take the smaller end and place the open side of it inside the open side of the large end, so that the flammable material is packed inside between the two ends. (You may have to snip or bend the edges of one of the cans so that they will fit together.)
Next, you’ll want to seal the two can ends together so that they won’t come apart. Sometimes, you’ll have to wait for a day or two before the sealant is completely dry. Then, you can take some alcohol and pour it onto the can, and it should drain through the holes in the center into the can (and onto the flammable material). Then, simply light a match and set it next to the can, and the inside should light on fire and the flame projected through the holes of the can. The resulting flame should keep going strong for anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.
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3. Hook. Take the pop top of a can and a piece of string. Simply cut one side of the pop top to make a little hook, and then tie the string around the other side. This hook can double as either a fishing hook or as a clothes hanger, and you can even use the same hook for both purposes if you need to do so. The only thing to be careful about this hook method is to not bend the hook to the side, since it can eventually snap. Rather, you’ll want to keep it more toward the center to maintain its maximum strength. If you need to increase the size of the hook, just move the hook down, not sideways. Of course, you should keep fishing hooks in your survival kit at all times, but if you run out of hooks and need an alternative, a can pop top will do just nicely.
4. Reflector. Last but certainly not least, a soda can is an excellent reflector, with which you can signal with the light or start a fire. Just polish the bottom part of a soda can with clay or sand, and the light will be very bright when sun reflects from it. If you have kindling or char cloth and the sun is bright, it is possible to start a fire with it, although it will require a bit of patience.
Do you know of other survival uses for soda cans? Tell us in the section below: