Making a survival kit is not only a wise thing to do, it’s also fun and educational for the whole family. There are plenty of items you can purchase from the store to complete your survival kit, but did you know that your own home most likely contains a number of items that can be repurposed for survival? Many common household objects have a variety of uses in survival situations, most of which you’d least suspect. If you should find yourself in a survival situation, your greatest assets are going to be creativity and resourcefulness. Here are 5 of those items that are very easy to come by in the event you don’t happen to have any in the house. Now, let’s get crafty!
Ladies know all too well how critical it is to always have a tampon in case of emergency, but we’re not talking about that kind of emergency here. The humble tampon is thought to have its origins on the battlefield, where plugs of cotton were used to stop soldiers’ wounds from bleeding profusely. In a survival situation, they have many uses. Pull the tampon apart to create little bunches that will serve as a flammable and effective tinder for your fire. If you have chapstick, you can even add some to the bunch to make it even more flammable. Flattened out, a tampon and some tape can make an absorbent wound dressing for a makeshift field bandage. Its waterproof plastic packaging is perfect to seal out germs and other contaminants. Should you find a water source, you can use a tampon to filter out dirt and other particulates from one container to another (Note: it will not filter out bacteria and microorganisms!). The aforementioned plastic wrapper of a tampon can serve as a waterproof case for your matches, while the string can be wrapped around and tied to keep them securely inside.
The sole purpose of a condom is to prevent emergencies, and we don’t mean the biological sort. A single condom can hold up to one gallon of water, and its compact size beats any collapsible water container on the market. You can also use it as a waterproof container for matches, lighters, or fire tinder. If you’re uncomfortable with carrying condoms around, a latex glove could serve the same purpose.
It’s doubtful that you’re going to be worried about the health of your gums in a survival situation, but if you bring this ubiquitous household item camping with you, it will be a valuable tool. Its strength makes it ideal for tying sticks together to build a shelter, used as a fishing line, or even as a tourniquet in a medical emergency. Dental floss generally comes in packages that contain at least 100 feet, so you’ve got plenty to work with.
Soda (or Beer) Can
Many people take soda and beer on nature outings, and hopefully hold onto them so they can be disposed of properly. If you’ve got an aluminum can on you, you’ve got a multi-functional tool for survival. The can in its whole form can be used to collect rainwater to drink, or as a receptacle for your tampon-filtered water. You can fashion the tab into a hook, which when attached to your dental floss, makes a great fishing line. The bottom of the can reflects the sun beautifully for a signaling device, and if polished highly, can even be used to start a fire by directing sunlight toward your tinder.
Almost everyone has a bandana or handkerchief lying around their house, and the uses they have in a survival situation are many. A bandana can protect your head and neck from sun exposure, and serve to cool you down when wet. It can be twisted into a tourniquet or a sling for a medical emergency, or worn over your nose and mouth as a dust filter. You can use it just like the tampon cotton to filter out dirt and particulates from water, or even affix it to a stick with your dental floss to make a signaling flag.
Image via Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious