Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Five Simple Homemade Survival Items

We’ve talked in the past about the different ways you can prepare for survival out in the wild or during disasters, but what if conditions force you to stay in your home? Say a hurricane is coming through your town and it is safer to remain indoors rather than drive out of town. Supplies are sure to get scarce, so let’s talk about some helpful products for use during an emergency situation that you can make using household items.

Pocket Lint Fire Starters

Don’t rely on your electricity to stay functioning or your backup generators to work 100% of the time. Pocket lint makes a great fire starter in a pinch, and collecting pocket lint is as easy as turning out your pockets! Just be sure to keep other flammable materials away from pocket lint when starting a fire.

Waterproof Matches

Matches are useless when wet. Soaking all of your matches in a glass of turpentine for around five minutes will allow the match heads and stems to absorb the turpentine which will repel water. Afterwards, dry out your matches for 15-20 minutes and your waterproof matches are ready for use and will last for months. As always, do be extra careful when handling flammable materials and supplies!


While not essential for survival, toothpaste certainly gives an added element of hygiene and a firmer feeling of normality during times of disaster. Using just two parts baking soda, one part ground sea salt, and some water, you can make a quick paste.


Similar to the feeling of a normal, hygienic routine with toothpaste, creating homemade shampoo is as easy as one part water (distilled, if possible), one part liquid castile soap, and two parts light vegetable oil. Shaken before use, this is a quick and simple way to clean your hair.

Make a simple lamp using a metal can or Pyrex cup, a strand from a mop or a shoelace to act as a wick, vegetable oil, and a piece of wire or some other metal to keep your mop strand/shoelace from falling into the vegetable oil. Practice caution when keeping an open flame around your other belongings!

Rainwater Collection System

One of the easier items to make around the house, a rainwater collection system is essential for collecting water for drinking, cleaning, and cooking. Create a hole in the bottom of a collection tub. Use a grating of some kind (perhaps the grate of a sink head) to create a filter for debris and insects, and have the filtered water drain down into bottles or a barrel.

Prepping for any emergency situation beforehand is the best course of action, but understanding the multiple uses of your various household items can help you fashion much-needed items when rations become scarce and time is of the essence.

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