There’s no doubting that the world is an uncertain and dangerous place. You never know when the next disaster, be it natural or manmade, is going to strike out of the blue.
While you can’t control when the next disaster strikes, you can control how you respond to it. Being prepared is critical, and honing your survival skills is one of the more important ways you can make sure that you make it out unscathed.
Should the unthinkable happen and you suddenly find yourself without the support system of modern society, you’ll be glad that you brushed up on your survival skills. Hacks like these could end up saving your life!
1. Junk food as kindling: Corn chips like Doritos and Fritos contain enough oil to make them suitable kindling for starting fires. The fat inside of these chips make them catch fire quickly. Only try this hack if you have plenty of extra food provisions, however.
2. Bra as a mask: If you come across an area that’s burning, use a bra as a makeshift mask. This hack might seem a little silly, but it could be a true lifesaver. The ergonomic design of the bra’s cups makes it easy to affix over your mouth and nose.
3. Steel wool to start a fire: A nine-volt battery held to a ball of steel wool will cause sparks to fly. Many survivalists pride themselves on their ability to start a fire with just a pair of sticks, but there’s no shame in trying something more high-tech if that’s what it takes to get the job done.
4. Duck tape to remove lids: Even in an apocalyptic wasteland, jars can be hard to open without an electric can opener. Easy fix: use a piece of duct tape for leverage. Duct tape is a tremendous asset to any survival preparedness pack and opening stubborn jars is just one of its solutions!
5. Protect your heels: Duct tape will also protect your heels from blisters on those long walks across the burnt-out husk of civilization. Simply cover the blistered areas with duct tape before putting on your socks for another layer of protection.
6. Collect water with plastic: Place sheets of plastic over grass and other plants to trap and drain condensation into a container. Even if you only have access to salt water, cover it with plastic wrap and the condensation that forms should be potable.
7. Use a can of tuna as a candle: Punch a hole in the top of an oil-packed tuna can, put in a wick, light it with a Zippo, and you’ve got an improvised candle that can burn for up to two hours. Plus, the tuna will still be good to eat afterwards—and already warmed up, to boot!
8. Use crayons as candles: If you don’t have cans of tuna on hand, crayons can make pretty good candles as well, providing you with about 30 minutes of light. You don’t need to worry about wicks with crayons, either; the paper wrapping serves as a built-in one.
9. Start a fire with foil and a battery: A foil wrapper and an AA battery can also produce a flame in a pinch. Simply cut the foil into two pieces and hold them against the ends of the battery. A spark will form and the foil will catch light. Just be sure to watch out for your fingers!
10. Make a stove out of cans: Find two tin cans and some kindling and you’ve got yourself a miniature stove! Simply cut a circle in the base of the large can, cut the bottom out of the smaller can, insert it into the hole, fill it with coal, and presto, you’re in business!
11. Find walking sticks: You’re going to be doing a lot of walking in the post-apocalypse, so you’d better collect a few good walking sticks. Ideally you’ll want to find sticks that are wide and strong. Save the more flimsy pieces of wood for kindling.
12. Make a raft using tarp: A bunch of wood held together by a tarp can serve as an emergency raft in a real pinch. Rather than waste precious time binding branches with twine, simply cover the wood with a plastic tarp. This keeps more water out and will help you stay afloat longer.
13. Use duct tape as a sling: Obviously if you’re in a position where you have access to medical care, please seek it out. However, if the world is ending, paper towels and duct tape can help you temporarily set a broken bone when nothing else is available.
14. Clean with salt water: Don’t fret if you don’t have soap; you’ll be fine as long you’ve got salt and clean water to wash out cuts and abrasions. A salt water mixture is essential for soothing bug bites, too. Never underestimate the power of saline solutions!
15. Make baking soda toothpaste: No one wants to get a cavity, even in a wasteland! While toothpaste is awesome and leaves your mouth feeling fresh, you might not have any on hand. Brushing with a mild abrasive like baking soda will keep them healthy.
16. Use floss to make a fishing line: In a pinch, you might be forced to forage, hunt, or fish for your next meal in order to survive. That’s all well and good, but what if you don’t have a fishing pole? Good news: simple dental floss works, too.
17. Use baby oil to protect your skin: This sweet-smelling oil isn’t just for baby’s behinds anymore! If you’re facing extremely cold conditions, the oil will act as a barrier between you and the cold, helping to prevent frostbite.
18. Use a toothpick as a weapon: If you need a projectile weapon, try a toothpick and a can of compressed air. Simply insert the toothpick into the air nozzle. When you need to use it, just pull the trigger. This might seem silly, but it’s a powerful weapon!
19. Use a belt for… anything: If you wear a belt, you’ve got a great survivalist tool right around your hips. A belt can be ideal for tying together firewood that you need to carry long distances or for acting as a tourniquet on a heavily bleeding wound. Don’t leave home without it!
20. Disinfect with alcohol: Even if you aren’t a drinker, your survival pack ought to contain a little bit of alcohol. Vodka can be used to disinfect wounds, and if you’re being attacked by mosquitos, just spritz yourself down with the stuff to keep the bloodsuckers at bay.
These tricks are actually pretty cool and would be useful even if the world doesn’t end. You never know when you might need them!
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