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.)
medianet_width = “650”;
medianet_height = “250”;
medianet_crid = “655741124”;
medianet_versionId = “111299”;
var isSSL = ‘https:’ == document.location.protocol;
var mnSrc = (isSSL ? ‘https:’ : ‘http:’) + ‘//contextual.media.net/nmedianet.js?cid=8CUDP3967’ + (isSSL ? ‘&https=1’ : ”);
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.
For awesome survival gear you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!
Want more outdoor survival hacks? Check out the posts below!