Normal everyday things you may already have in your home can be used to help keep you alive in an emergency. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge to help you look at things in a new way. Here are 5 great survival uses for everyday items that could save your tail during a crisis…
Zip ties are cheap, light and compact. They also work wonderfully at tying things together in a hurry.
You can use zip ties to throw together a basic shelter in no time. As the police have shown, they also work well for tying people up. If you should need to secure a dangerous person in an emergency situation, zip ties may be the way to go.
In my opinion, a mountain man or eastern long hunter is someone the modern survivalist should emulate in their skill and prepping. There are many who re-enact this time period for fun and recreation.
Several years ago I read an article about creating a mountain man knife from a modern butcher knife. It turns out that they are very similar in design usage.
I have since picked up a few carbon steel butcher knives and have been pleasantly surprised at how good a survival knife they make. They are usually a larger blade and a little heavier than most other kitchen type knives. While they do not have the features of what we have come to associate with a modern survival knife, I think a woods running long hunter would feel right at home with a modern steel butcher knife riding in a sheath on his belt.
After you eat your can of beans, don’t throw away the empty can. Tin cans, (even the rusty ones) are handy items to have in the wilderness.
You can cook in them, store and transport food or water in them, or turn them into a stove or even a lantern. The metal can be cut into pieces and used as an expedient knife, arrowhead or fish hook.
A garbage bag is simply a sheet of plastic that is sealed on three sides. You can cut these seams and have a lightweight plastic tarp. You can also tear a hole in the short sealed side to stick your head through and have a cheap rain poncho.
Several friends use garbage bags to transport boned or quartered big game from the field. You can line a five gallon bucket with one and have a field toilet, or use them with a cobbled-together frame to serve as water collection or storage.
I have taken a lot of flak in the survival community from those who cannot see wasting time or space on an e-reader in a survival situation. They point out that battery life is limited, and in the event of an EMP it is just worthless weight to be carrying around.
I will answer back that if you choose a black and white model you can actually get very long battery life (up to eight weeks if you don’t use wireless), as long as you only use it as a reference to look things up intermittently. If you take extra care and wrap it in a couple alternating layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil you may (no one knows for sure) protect it from an EMP. They are very compact and weigh very little.
The reason I include them is the vast amount of information you can download and have at your fingertips in an emergency. Some people create a special “survival” folder on their unit for this stuff, while others buy an e-reader for the specific purpose of including it in their preps. They then load it chock full of classics, how-to manuals, field guides and any other information they feel they may need in a survival situation.
As you can see from this short list, there is a wide variety of things in your home that can save your butt.