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30+ Ways To Use Everyday Items For Survival

Image via Joe Haupt / CC BY-SA 2.0

As a homesteader, you strive to be prepared for emergencies. You have an extended food supply, a well-stocked first-aid kit, and back-up plans for loss of power.

However, when a disaster strikes, even the best-laid plans can go awry. You may be in a place where those supplies are not accessible, for example. However, by keeping a level head and using a combination of what you have and what you know, you can survive under many life-threatening circumstances.

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Here is a list of ordinary items that could save your life in an emergency.

Start a Fire

Whether it’s because of a car that is stuck or won’t start or a dire change in the weather, getting caught outside in the elements without warmth can quickly turn ugly. Here are some ordinary items that can help you start a fire.

  • Did you know that you can ignite a fire with a 9-volt battery and steel wool? Watch this video for instructions
  • You can also use a chewing gum wrapper and an AA battery to start a fire. Cut a thin strip of a foil gum wrapper. Next, fold the strip in half and cut or tear diagonally across the fold. When you unfold the strip, you should notice a narrow spot in the middle. Touch the metallic sides of the ends of the strip to the positive and negative ends of a AA battery. The current should spark enough of a flame to light a candle or some tinder.
  • Tampons work well as tinder. First, remove the cotton tampon from its wrapper and applicator. Then pull it apart to expose its individual fibers. Just a spark will cause these fibers to burst into flame.
  • You can also use the metallic interior side of a potato chip or other snack bag to help start a signal fire.
  • Did you know hand sanitizer is flammable? You can use it along with a bit of cotton to get a fire started.

Put Out a Fire

  • Flames are not always a good thing. Baking soda is an effective flame retardant, especially for oil and grease fires that should not be extinguished with water.
  • Baking soda releases carbon dioxide that smothers the fire, but if it is a large fire, you may need bucketful rather than the small boxes you have in your fridge or pantry. Salt will also put out fires efficiently, and it absorbs more heat relative to its volume than baking soda.

Emergency Lighting

  • A can of tuna that is packed in oil can work as an emergency candle. Here’s how. Open a hole in the top of the can. Then insert a piece of rolled newspaper in the hold to serve as a wick. When the oil has soaked the wick, light the wick. There should be sufficient oil in the can to burn for about two hours. (And, yes, you can eat the tuna afterward.)

  • You also can create a makeshift candle with lip balm and a tampon. Remove the cotton string from a tampon and clip it into a tube of lip balm with a paper clip. After you light the string, you should have a small candle that will burn for about two hours and offer a small degree of light and warmth. (Prevent the plastic tube from burning by slowly and carefully twisting out the lip balm as the wick burns away.)

First Aid

  • Another everyday item that can be a lifesaver is super glue. You can use this strong adhesive to close small wounds when you do not have bandages available. Just place a small amount of glue over the cleaned wound and spread it evenly before it solidifies. The glue will seal the area and will keep it closed and clean as new skin forms.
  • You can also use feminine sanitary pads as absorbent wound dressings, compresses, and bandages in an emergency. Place the absorbent side next to the wound, using the adhesive side to help secure a wrapping.
  • Plastic kitchen wrap can help protect and heal minor burns. It is clean, and it will not stick to the wound. Wrap a single layer around thermal burns. Do not use on chemical or acid burns.
  • Breathing mask. You will look a bit funny, but in a disaster situation, who cares? You can use the cup of a bra as a make-shift face mask when the air is clogged with toxic substances such as ash, dust, fine particles, and pulverized concrete. Most ladies’ bras are the right size to cover the nose and mouth. You can use the straps to secure the mask around the head.
  • If you are experiencing the warning signs of a stroke or a heart attack, taking aspirin can save your life. Aspirin works as a blood thinner and can give you time to get medical help.
  • Broom handles or yardsticks can serve as emergency splints and make-shift crutches in a disaster situation.
  • Many antiseptic types of mouthwash can be used as an improvised wound disinfectant to prevent infection.
  • High-percentage rubbing alcohol can be used as a disinfectant for wounds and surfaces. (It also is useful as a fire starter.)
  • You can use an ordinary t-shirt or pillowcase as a make-shift tourniquet in an emergency situation.


  • You can use many everyday items as weapons when you need to defend yourself from a wild animal or an intruder. Pens, pencils, keys, and forks are a few examples. The trick is to either extend your index finger over the pointed object or hold it between your index and middle fingers as you defend yourself with your fists.
  • Another common item you can use for self-defense is your belt. If you need to secure a door from opening, such as in an active shooter scenario, tie the belt through a door arm. Here is a video that shows how.
  • Rope or makeshift rope can work for self-defense or as a way to lower yourself from a building or to climb up a surface. Don’t have any rope? Use other everyday objects such as phone chargers, extension cords, belts, even dental floss for the same purpose. Dental floss also can be used to secure your gear and to trap intruders.

Food and Water

  • Common items you can use as make-shift water filters are coffee filters, pantyhose, and cotton clothing.
  • You can use tabs from soda, vegetable, or soup cans as makeshift fishing hooks. Here’s a way to use the entire can as a fishing rod. Use a knife or pliers to pry off the tab. Break apart one of the small rings to use as a hook. Tie a piece of string or dental floss to the “hook” and wrap the rest around the can itself. You can store worms or other bait in the can and use the entire apparatus to catch small fish in an emergency food situation.
  • Need to carry water from a stream, but you have no containers? A clean, unused condom can expand to carry up to a gallon of water.
  • Household bleach can work to disinfect water in a survival situation. Here are the steps to follow.
    1. If the water is clear, stir 1/8 teaspoon of bleach into a gallon of water.
    2. If water is cloudy, mix in a ¼ teaspoon into a gallon of water.
    3. Allow mixture to stand for 30 minutes.

Please note that if the sodium hypochlorite in bleach is older than six months, it will break down and not be effective for purifying water.


Here are some of the everyday items you can use to fashion a temporary emergency shelter from the elements.

  • Duct tape can secure tarps and repair furniture and boats. You also can fashion it into arrow spines and use it for many other survival purposes.
  • By wrapping yourself in aluminum foil, you are able to use your own body heat to keep you warm.
  • Heavy-duty trash bags can work as a waterproof layer for a tent or sleeping bag, or as a poncho, and they can aid in the building an emergency shelter. You also can use them to store water and food supplies.
  • Plastic sheeting and tarps can form the roof and walls of your temporary shelter. Secure them with other everyday items such as clothespins and duct tape.
  • Sheets, blankets, and boxes also can be used to create temporary shelters.

In a crisis situation, it takes clear thinking to survive. Knowing more about how you can use items you are likely to have on hand no matter where you are can help offer peace of mind. But what is the most important factor in surviving a disaster?

Allen Aldrich, a political scientist at Purdue University in Indiana who has studied preparedness, thinks that earthquake drills and building bunkers can go only so far. His research into communities devasted by floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and other disasters, reveals that people who maintained relationships with friends, co-workers and neighbors had the best chance of survival.

“Really, at the end of the day, the people who will save you, and the people who will help you,” Aldrich said in an interview with National Public Radio, “they’re usually neighbors.”

He suggests getting to know your neighbors and getting involved in clubs, homeowners’ associations, and athletic groups “to build up these stocks of trust and reciprocity.”

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4 No Cook Meals For Surviving The Pandemic And Food Supply Shortages

prosciutto avocado sandwich

When it comes to your food supply, you just can’t risk not having enough. These no cook meals will be a great addition to your food supply planning. Check out the recipes below!

No Cook Meals to Help You Through the Pandemic

As of the writing of this article, there are 20 meat processing plants that have been shut down due to COVID-19 infections. We have been worrying about these types of effects on our food supply for months now, and this is the first real sign of how infections can affect the food supply.

When you walk into a supermarket, you might not see all the choices you had in the past. An empty meat case is a humbling thing for your eyes to fall upon. It’s the shocking realization that the seemingly infinite supply of chickens, pigs, and cows that are butchered for us has begun to run dry!

To deal with this issue, we are going to present four no cook meals that will help you create dinners at home that will feed your family without worrying so much about what’s available, or unavailable, in the meat case.

1. Smashed White Bean, Avocado and Salted Pork Sandwiches

Smashed White Bean, Avocado and Salted Pork Sandwiches | No Cook Meals for Surviving the Pandemic and Food Supply Shortages

As preppers we get beans. There are a bunch of ways to use beans and this a great example of how you can pack a sandwich with great nutrition and protein.

Serving: Makes 4 sandwiches


  • Can of White Beans
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Avocado
  • 8 Slices of Whole Grain Bread
  • 8 Slices of Salted Pork (Prosciutto, Ham, Virginia Ham)


  • Begin by draining your beans in a colander then smashing them up in a bowl add a few glugs of olive oil, salt, pepper. This little mix is delicious. If you add some minced rosemary, you can even turn this into a delicious dip.
  • Pit your avocado and cut it in half and then quarters lengthwise. Leave the skin on.
  • Lay the bread out on a clean work surface for assembling the sandwiches.
  • Spread your mashed bean mix onto one side of the bread.
  • Peel your avocados and slice 1 quarter for each sandwich. Spread slices over the bean spread.
  • Add a few slices of your pork to over the top of the avocado.
  • You can finish this sandwich with some lettuces, fresh sprouts, or just eat it as is.

2. Delicious Crab Salad

Canned crab is a protein option that will likely be around through much of this meat crisis. It does have to be kept in refrigeration, but it’s delicious and this chipotle mayo salad is great in the spring and summer.


  • 1 Can of Crab Meat
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • 1 Bunch of Green Onions
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro


  • Drain your crab in a colander and set it in the sink.
  • Slice your asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Throw them into a bowl.
  • Thinly slice your onions and your cilantro and throw that into the bowl, as well.
  • Gently toss in the crab meat.
  • Squirt on enough Chipotle mayo to coat everything and toss gently not to break up the crab meat.
  • Chill in the fridge and serve.

3. Simple Greek Salad

Simple Greek Salad | No Cook Meals for Surviving the Pandemic and Food Supply Shortages

The combination of simple summer ingredients makes for an incredible quick salad that you could add other proteins, too, if you wanted. These could be canned meats.


  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Red Onion
  • ¼ Cup of Feta Cheese
  • A Few Sprigs of Fresh Mint
  • ½ Cup of Kalamata Olives
  • Balsamic Dressing


  • I like to cut the tomatoes in large chunks and have them kind of be the main course in this salad. Peel and slice your cucumber in half. Remove the seeds and either dice or slice in half-moons.
  • Peel and slice your red onion in half. Julienne your, or thinly slice, your half onion.
  • Add all these ingredients to a bowl. Finely slice your mint.
  • Add your olives, crumbled feta, and mint to the bowl and add enough dressing to coat everything.
  • Stir it up and allow this to chill for at least an hour for the flavors to really blend.

4. Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps | No Cook Meals for Surviving the Pandemic and Food Supply Shortages

Using some similar ingredients and adding a protein like tuna, you can create some delicious lettuce wraps. The key to a good lettuce wrap is to have most of the items around the same size. So, consider that when you are preparing this dish.


  • Iceberg or Butter Lettuce
  • Canned Artichokes
  • Canned roasted Red peppers
  • Fresh Cucumber
  • Feta Cheese
  • Minced Olives ¼ Cup
  • 2 Cans of Tuna
  • Green Onions
  • Basil


  • Start by peeling all the full leaves from your lettuce. Set them on a plate either cover them with a wet paper towel or put them back into the fridge.
  • Dice the peppers, artichokes, and cucumbers into cubes. Go no larger than ½ an inch.
  • Thinly slice your green onions and basil and add them to a bowl with your diced vegetables. Add your loves to this bowl and mix them thoroughly.
  • Crumble your feta cheese over the mixture.
  • Drain your tuna thoroughly and then add that to the bowl, as well.
  • Gently toss this mixture. Try not to break up the tuna and the cheese too much but incorporate it thoroughly.
  • If you want, you can add some olive oil to the mix or a few glugs of balsamic vinegar. It’s also delicious just how it is.
  • Scoop a few tablespoons into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and eat up!

These no cook meals should help lessen the stress you feel when thinking of what to feed your family. If you don’t have the specific ingredients, use your creativity, and use what you have. You might discover a new recipe while you’re at it!

What’s your favorite no cook meal recipe? Please share it with us in the comments section!

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Billionaire Whistle Blower: Wuhan Coronavirus Death Toll Is Over 50,000

  1. Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000.

A Chinese billionaire and whistleblower who lives in U.S. exile says Wuhan crematoriums have burned 50,000 coronavirus victims. | Credit: Chinatopix via AP

  • The official coronavirus death toll in China is a little over 800. But an exiled Chinese businessman says crematoriums are leaking the real figure.
  • A billionaire whistleblower alleges Wuhan has crematoriums working 24/7. He claims they’ve cremated some 50,000 coronavirus victims.
  • Guo Wengui is a Chinese billionaire living in exile in the United States.

The official coronavirus death toll is some 800 people in China. The current official death toll worldwide, outside of China, is 774. But a Chinese billionaire with a history of blowing the whistle on his former government says the real figure is much higher.

Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000. Wengui made the bombshell allegations in an interview with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.


Whistleblower: 1.5 Million Coronavirus Cases In China, 50,000 Coronavirus Deaths In Wuhan


He also claims to have inside information that there are 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in China. Wengui is emphatic that these are not merely quarantined or “under observation” but confirmed cases of coronavirus infection:


China has struggled to contain the coronavirus. But it has also struggled to contain public outcry against censorship and tight control of information. Dr. Li Wenliang, who sounded the alarm about the disease, succumbed to an infection and died this week. The Chinese government arrested him for blowing the whistle.

Then officials tried to suppress news of his death. Afterwards, millions of Chinese citizens saw the hashtag #IWantFreedomOfSpeech on Mandarin language social media. But the Chinese government censored that too.

Are Wengui’s Crematorium Claims Credible?

Watch VICE’s 2017 profile on Guo Wengui. At the time, he published bombshell documents alleging corruption in the Chinese government. He got the attention of the media and reportedly the U.S. State Department.


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5 Types Of Ammunition To Stockpile For A Collapse


Every prepper knows it’s a great idea to stockpile ammunition when preparing for a major disaster.

You can use it for hunting, self-defense, or barter.

But which types of ammo should you stockpile?

If you plan on bartering, then you don’t want a bunch of calibers that nobody wants. And that’s just one consideration.

In this video, Reality Survival & Prepping talks about what he thinks are the 5 best types of ammunition to stockpile for a collapse.

Here are his picks:

  1. .22 LR – Very common, good for hunting small game, very light and small.
  2. 9mm Luger – Great for self-defense, fits in a wide variety of handguns.
  3. 5.56×45mm or .223 Remington – Also very common, cheap and effective.
  4. .308 Winchester – Widely used, works in AR10 and bolt-action platforms.
  5. 12 Gauge – You can do a lot with it — hunt, defend yourself, etc.

In the video below he makes a much more detailed case for each caliber. What do you think of this list?

This article first appeared on See it here


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