A great survivalist knows how to make a tool from just about anything. Check out this list of 7 simple survival hacks using just a few household items.
Surprisingly Simple Survival Hacks Using Household Items
No matches? Forgot your compass at home? No problem. With these simple survival hacks, won’t need them. As a great survivalist knows, it’s extremely important to be resourceful and creative with the objects you do have. Keep this list handy so you’re always ready – these methods are excellent backup plans for when you find yourself without access to tools and other equipment.
Hack #1: Steel Wool & 9V Battery Fire Starter
- Extra fine steel wool, grade #000
- 9V Battery
- 3 medium pieces of firewood
- Bundle of kindling
- Cotton ball
Step 1: Place pad of steel wool on a flat surface.
Step 2: Surround the steel wool with two pieces of firewood.
Step 3: Place a densely-packed bundle of kindling on top of the steel wool.
Step 4: Wedge the cotton ball underneath the kindling. (Pro tip: Soaking your cotton ball in petroleum jelly will make it burn much longer.)
Step 5: Rub the protruding end of the 9V battery briskly against the steel wool. Continue applying friction to all of the edges until the steel wool begins to spark.
Step 6: Add a third piece of wood so that the fire is contained on all sides.
Hack #2: Soda Can Tab Fishing Hook
- Pocket blade
- Soda can tab
- Diagonal cut pliers
Step 1: Start by cutting an opening in the bottom hole in the tab. Make sure that you cut in at a slant, and then start cutting away as much metal as you can around the hook. File the hook into a sharp point.
Step 2: Cut a piece of paracord that is about 4-6 inches in length.
Step 3: Insert your hook into the paracord. Cut any excess cord.
Step 4: Light the top end of the paracord, and leave the bottom end frayed. Toss it into your tackle box, and you’re good to go!
Hack #3: Emergency Rocket Stove
- Large empty can
- Fireproof surface (brick or rock)
- Can opener
- Metal pliers
- Roll of toilet paper
- Rubbing alcohol, 70%
- Matches or lighter
Step 1: Remove the lid of your can.
Step 2: Cut slits into the top rim of your can, about 1-2 inches apart.
Step 3: Use your pliers to bend these flaps, alternating so that every other flap is facing inward.
Step 4: Turn your can upside down and insert a roll of toilet paper.
Step 5: Pour rubbing alcohol into the can until the toilet paper roll is saturated.
Step 6: Put your gloves on, then carefully light the roll of toilet paper.
Step 7: Your stove is ready to use! Be sure to use it only in a ventilated area.
Hack #4: Emergency Water Filter
- Strip of washcloth
- Two empty containers
Step 1: Run a strip of washcloth from a container of dirty water to an empty container.
Step 2: Eventually the water will migrate from one container to the other.
Step 3: Boil water to further eliminate dirt and debris. (Important note: Boiling water does NOT filter out any heavy metal or chemical contaminants.)
Hack #5: Sewing Needle & Leaf Compass
- Small bowl
- Small leaf
- Sewing needle
Step 1: Pour water into a small bowl. The water should be still without ripples or movement.
Step 2: Carefully place the leaf onto the surface of the water, making sure it does not sink or get wet.
Step 3: Rub your needle against wool clothing or fabric. This will magnetize the needle.
Step 3: Gently place the needle on top of the floating leaf. The needle will align with the earth’s natural magnetic field.
Hack #6: Crayon Candles
- Crayons, assorted
- Rock or other flat surface
Step 1: Light the tip of your crayon, including the paper label.
Step 2: Wedge the crayon between two rocks or other flat surface.
Step 3: Repeat with the rest of your crayons. Each crayon will stay lit for about 30 minutes.
Hack #7: Waterproof Matches
- 2-3 heaping tbsp. turpentine
- Small bowl or glass
- Sheet of newspaper
Step 1: Pour 2-3 heaping tablespoons of turpentine into a bowl or glass.
Step 2: Place the matches (head down) into the turpentine and allow them to soak for 5 minutes. During that time the turpentine will soak into the head as well as the stem.
Step 3: Remove the matches and spread them out to dry out on a sheet of newspaper. Let them dry for about 20 minutes. These matches will remain waterproof for several months or longer.
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