Vaseline (the most popular brand name for petroleum jelly) is surprisingly useful when it comes to disaster preparedness and survival. As Sensible Prepper demonstrates in this video, there’s at least a dozen survival uses for Vaseline. Here’s his list: Moisturize dry, chapped, and sunburned skin. Protect small wounds, scrapes, and cuts. Lubricate metal parts on […]
Survivalism isn’t just about gathering supplies. It’s also about making use of everything around you–or on you–in a survival scenario. As you’ll see in this video by Sensible Prepper, even a simple T-shirt has at least a couple dozen survival applications. Here’s the list, but I recommend watching the video below so you can see […]
Some products are famous for their versatility. For example, both duct tape and paracord come to mind as items with an almost unlimited number of uses. However, another product that falls into the category of surprisingly versatile and useful is super glue. In survival and emergency situations, super glue is definitely something that you want […]
You probably thought they had no purpose other than giving your kids hours and hours of fun in the yard each summer. But kiddie pools can serve many uses during an emergency situation.
Splasher or wading pools, as they’re called, come very cheap these days. The rigid ones are more durable and easier to use and clean. They are lightweight, self-supporting and portable. They tend to take up more space in storage, though.
The inflatable ones, of course, need to be blown up or pumped. They’re made out of soft vinyl and can be folded up to a small size and returned to their boxes after use. The bigger, more expensive ones usually come with a pump and a repair patch, as vinyl is prone to rips and punctures.
Thinking of what else to add to your emergency preps? Check out the suggestions below. You may never think of kiddie pools the same way again. You might even decide to get a few more while stocks are plentiful and before they’re taken away from store shelves.
1. Emergency water storage. In any disaster, securing water should a top priority. Clean, potable water is essential not just for drinking but also for food preparation and hygiene. Once you’ve filled all possible containers in your home – the bathtub, empty gallons, buckets and drums – the kiddie pool should be the next thing to run to. Small ones can hold 30-50 gallons, while larger ones that can fit a family of 4 or 5 can hold up to 5000 gallons. Calculate your family’s water needs. DHS recommends that each person should be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in case of a disaster, and each adult consumes about a gallon a day on average. (More for nursing women, active children and the sick. And more so during hot weather.) How many will your family need over a stretch of, say, a week or two — over and above cooking and bathing? And don’t forget about the pets, too.
Remember to purify the water before drinking, and to keep the pool covered to protect it from bugs and debris. A dark tarp should shield it from sunshine, which encourages growth of algae; while some plastic sheeting fitted around the edges would minimize loss due to evaporation.
2. Rainwater collection. If water in your area is scarce and local laws allow you to collect rain, kiddie pools would be your next best resource after you’ve filled up your barrels and drums. You can use the water for bathing your pets, washing your car, flushing the toilet and watering the garden. Don’t source rainwater from roof gutters if you intend to use it for drinking, as it might be contaminated with bird droppings.
3. Birthing pool. Pregnant mothers expecting a normal delivery may opt to do a home birth, and a big, sturdy inflatable could provide just the amenity. There are ones that are strong, wide and comfortable enough to support a water birth. Make sure it’s also deep enough for mommy to sink down into, with water reaching up over her abdomen. A height of about two feet would be ideal so she can lean her back comfortably against its wall.
4. Emergency raft. Transportation is invaluable during a massive flood, and an inflatable pool can serve that purpose. Be sure its size and strength can hold the passenger’s weight, though. As for the hard plastic kind, a 2hp outboard boat motor can actually be attached to it to make an improvised boat – strong enough to carry a normal-weight teenager.
5. Laundry/bathtub. Rig a shower from a cistern and use a kiddie pool as a tub. You can then save the grey water for flushing the toilet. Additionally, the pool could serve as a giant basin for hand washing your laundry.
6. Fish pond, duck bath. Live near a river or lake where you can fish? Bring your fresh catch home and dump them in your pool. They’ll stay fresh longer and maybe even thrive for a good number of days. You might even decide to breed them there to increase your supply of meat.
Kiddie pools would also make ideal duck pens. These “raised ponds” can be drained later and the water used for the garden.
7. Mixing and sorting. Mix grains, pasta, beans or any bulk amounts of dry food you’ve stockpiled that you want pre-mixed before re-packing and storing. Think of your pool as a giant mixing bowl. In the garden, these pools are also great receptacles in which to mix soil if you need to amend it with compost. When compost itself is riddled with twigs, stones, nut shells or anything that’s just taking too long to break down, sort it there.
8. Garden bed. Using the rigid kind of pool, just add soil and you’re ready to plant herbs, veggies and flowers. Raised beds are always ideal in areas where there’s poor or no soil, like a patio in an apartment or condominium. You can easily prop these on a table for easy, gentle watering.
Have you seen any leaky ones being thrown out or given away at a yard sale? Grab them! Holes and punctures are no problem, since they’ll make great drainage for your raised beds.
9. Playpen. Keeping your baby or toddler in an inflatable one that’s strong and high enough will allow you to work in the garden and do other outdoor tasks. You can watch and talk to him as you do, making sure he has enough toys to keep him busy and happy.
What uses would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
20 Survival Uses for Pantyhose If you or your wife have been throwing away old pantyhose, stop right now. And if no one in your home uses pantyhose, you should definitely buy some. Pantyhose has all sorts of survival-related applications such as first aid, gardening, hunting, shelter construction, and even food storage. Because of this …
Every time you go to the grocery store, you’re offered free supplies for your survival stockpile. I’m talking about plastic grocery bags–the ones that are constantly under scrutiny by environmental groups who loathe the fact that they take forever to degrade. Believe it or not, those bags could potentially save your life, or at least […]
Survival situations require you to think on your feet, meaning that anything and everything you have needs to be viewed with a whole new mindset.
That means using a little creativity and ingenuity. One of the tools you should always have in your survival kit or bug-out bag is duct tape. Duct tape can be a life-saver—literally.
We all know how useful duct tape is in today’s world. If you can’t fix it, duct it!
Here are 17 uses for duct tape in a survival situation:
1. Waterproof your shoes. In a survival situation, it is absolutely imperative you keep your feet dry. If it is raining or there is snow on the ground, that is going to make it tough to move about with standard footwear. Wrapping your shoes or boots in duct tape will seal them up and make them fairly watertight.
2. Make a nice splint for a broken bone. Use a couple of branches to keep the limb straight and then wrap with duct tape to secure it in place.
3. Seal a leaking tarp or tent so you can stay dry. A little strip on the outside with another on the underside will seal up a hole.
4. Keep your legs dry. Use the duct tape to secure plastic bags over the bottom half of your legs. This will keep your legs dry while you walk in the rain or snow. If you are wearing boots, a strip around the top opening will prevent water from getting in your boots if you are walking through deep snow.
5. Create cordage. Tear off strips of tape and roll it over onto itself. The cordage will be pretty sturdy and can be used to hang food or clothes off the ground or to drag gear through the water.
6. Make a shelter. Use the tape with garbage bags. Tape the bags together to form a large “tarp” and then use some tape to secure it to a couple of trees and you have a lean-to.
7. Create a butterfly stitch. It would be crude, but it would work in a pinch to close a wound.
8. Construct a cast. Wrap an injured arm or leg with clothing and then seal it with a layer of duct tape.
9. Make a band aid. A little tissue or a cotton pad and a strip of duct tape is all you need. All wounds should be covered to keep them from getting dirt and debris inside and becoming infected.
10. Tie someone up. If you need to restrain a bad guy, duct tape is durable and can be used to tie him or her up or to make handcuffs.
11. Repair a broken water bottle or canteen. Put a layer or two over the split or hole and you have a water-carrying vessel once again.
12. Patch your jeans, shoes or jacket. Duct tape can do it! If a button breaks, roll some tape to create a belt that will hold up your pants.
13. Make a hunting spear. Use some tape to wrap your knife around a long branch to create a hunting spear that can be used for small or large game on land or even to fish.
14. Catch bugs. Hang strips of tape inside your tent or around your camp to help keep bugs off of you. The tape will act as fly paper. Mosquito bites can be a huge issue when you are in the wild.
15. Create an ace bandage. This would support a sprained ankle or wrist. Make sure you have something between your skin and the tape.
16. Fix a damaged door or broken window. This especially is useful after a storm. Use the duct tape to secure plastic, a tarp or large kitchen garbage bags over the hole.
17. Seal up containers or bags in your kit. This will keep them completely dry should you be moving while it is raining, or if you cross a river or stream.
There are plenty of other uses for duct tape that you are sure to find and develop. Do yourself a favor and keep plenty of rolls on hand for an emergency.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
It’s time for another “uses for” post. Originally I was going to write my own article about the uses for drinking straws, but I didn’t have a very long list, and this video I found sums it up better than I could. It’s by IntenseAngler, and he lists 5 awesome things you can do with […]
Resourcefulness is one trait we in the off-grid community easily develop. We learn to improvise and make do with the barest essentials, refusing to dispose things that can serve functions other than their intended use.
One ordinary item that can provide a surprising variety of uses is the pantyhose. The cheap, lightweight nylon legwear, usually discarded by women after just several uses, shouldn’t be thrown away so quickly. They serve a multitude of uses in an emergency situation, and won’t take up much space in your survival cache.
The pantyhose – as well as their knee-high and thigh-high cousins, the stockings – have the elasticity, durability and quick-drying features no other fabrics possess.
There are several ways you can use them in off-grid situations: in the wild, in your garden, or even just at home, if you’re going to be every bit resourceful:
1. Leg warmer and protection. Pantyhose not only provide thermal protection for legs and arms, but they also protect feet from blisters. Wear them underneath your socks during long hikes – yes, even if you’re a man. They’ll keep your feet warm, safe from trench foot and frostbite. They’ll also keep ants, ticks, chiggers, spiders and other creepy-crawlies at bay. When out swimming in the sea or wading through a pond or swamp, they protect you from jellyfish and leeches.
2. Cordage. Can’t find rope or bungee cord? Use pantyhose to tie things together, strap gear on the bike or car rack, or hang supplies to your bug-out bag. Twist the nylon tight and turn it into a belt to hang small tools around your waist. When building shelter, use it to tie tree branches together to make a cross joint.
3. First aid. Use pantyhose as a tourniquet or to hold in place a splint or bandage pad, or to secure a hot or cold pack.
4. Food storage and all-purpose pouch. Hanging fresh produce in nylons will aerate them and help keep away from flies. It also makes onions and garlic stay fresh longer, especially if you separate them in sections by tying knots between each one. Stockings can be turned into a carry-all pouch when you’re out foraging for nuts and berries. At home or when camping, they can serve as containers for small objects like coins, pill boxes, safety pins, nuts and bolts.
Put some rice in the toe end, tie it up and it’ll function as a desiccant in your rifle bag. Place fragrant dried flowers or cotton balls dipped in your favorite essential oil, and it becomes a potpourri sachet for your drawers.
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5. Water and air filter. Use pantyhose to filter debris from your rain barrels, or add it as another layer to your emergency rock-sand-and-charcoal filtration system. Anytime you encounter a sandstorm, strong winds or heavy dust or ash, use hosiery to protect your eyes, nose and mouth. Alternatively, you can screen crevices in the doors and windows of your home with them or add them as another layer to your car’s air filter.
6. Fish net. Stretch a stocking over a forked stick or a looped vine, and you have an improvised skimmer to catch small fish, frogs and crawdads with. If you want crabs, place a bait and a small stone in the toe and dangle it in shallow water. Crabs will try to go after the bait and get tangled in the mesh.
7. Hunting tool. Good at aiming and throwing? Place a heavy stone or two at the end of a hose, tie it up, and fling it like a bola to catch small animals and wild fowl.
8. All-around rubber band. The nylon’s waistband is a strong elastic, and can be used to hold or secure anything a garter or rubber band would: a ponytail, a bundle of kindling, a sling shot. It’s been said to have worked as a temporary fan belt! It may not last long, but it can probably hold up until you make it to the nearest garage.
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9. Dryer and strainer. Hang herbs, spices and tea leaves in stockings to dry out in the sun. (When camping, it’s also a good way to dry tinder.) Use it as tea bag to steep those same tea leaves in.
Preparing fruit jams and tomato sauce at home? Nylons should make a good seed strainer. Just make sure you use new or well-laundered ones, though.
10. Soap saver. Hanging soap in pantyhose will keep it clean, dry and allow you to get the most out of every mushy remaining bit. It’ll keep bigger chunks from quickly melting off, too. Tie up the loose end, cut off the excess nylon and turn the bundle into a bath sponge or scrubber.
11. Glare deflector. Block reflective glare off of your binoculars, rifle scope or camera with a stretch of nylon on the lenses. It would keep you from giving away your location when out hunting, doing wildlife photography, or just keeping a stealth position in the wild.
12. Gardening help. When potting plants, lay a piece of mesh at the base of the planter. It will drain out excess water but keep the soil in the pot intact. For sprouting seeds, put the desired amount in a hose, hang it and wet twice a day or as needed.
Stockings also can be used to stake plants that need support: tomatoes, peas, cucumbers and other vines, as well as bind ones with heavy fruit, like gourds and squash, to a trellis.
Are deer, rabbits and rodents stalking your garden? Put hair clippings in a few old pantyhose and hang them around the perimeter of your garden. The scent of human hair will ward them off, as would cat or dog hair.
Finally, stockings also can be used to repel insects from your fruit trees. Unlike plastic or paper wrappers, nylon allows rain, air and sunshine to penetrate the fabric while keeping insects and worms from nesting and burrowing on your ripening fruits.
Do you know of other survival uses for pantyhose? Do you have any advice on the uses listed above? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Do You Wear a Belt Every Day: Maybe You Should?
Belts have been in use since the Bronze Age according to historians, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that belts became a common item used mainly to hold one’s trousers up. Belts, before pants had belt loops were mainly decorative in the civilian world and utilitarian in the military.
Soldiers had gear to carry and so a wide heavy belt was usually buckled around the waist so things could be attached to it such as sabers, daggers, money, water, and tobacco pouches along with rations in small leather sacks. In some militaries, a belt cinched tight around the waist gave a soldier a trimmer looking physique. A tightly cinched belt produced a puffed out chest and a trimmer looking waist, the perfect looking soldier.
Belts today still function as a fashion accessory and a belt can be used as a survival tool. Holsters for handguns, knives, axes, canteens full of water and magazine pouches can all be attached to a belt, but there are other uses as well.
1. Self defense
A belt wrapped around your closed fist can help protect your hands and fingers from cuts and to create greater impact against an assailant’s body. A heavy belt can also reduce bruising and broken hands/fingers caused by striking the head and/or face of an aggressor.
A belt swung with the belt buckle end toward someone can be used to strike at the face or body or used to distract an aggressor so you can escape. A sturdy belt can also be used to deflect baton blows by grasping each end of the belt and holding up so a club/baton hits the belt to help reduce or stop the impact.
2. Emergency First Aid
A belt can be used as a tourniquet, though, not ideal in some cases. Some belts can be drawn tight enough to stop or restrict the flow of blood, while others cannot, so consider this when choosing one to wear.
A belt can be used as a sling, or to secure splints to immobilize broken limbs.
3. Carry Items on Your Waist
Knife sheaths, holsters, flashlights, magazine pouches, and other gear and tools used for survival normally are designed so they can be carried on a belt. If not, it is a simple matter to rig up a system to carry most any tool on your belt.
4. Carry Items
Bundle items to carry such as wood and clothing by securing the belt around whatever it is you need to carry.
A belt can be used to help pull someone from the water if he or she can grab the end or a belt can be used help pull someone up a steep incline.
6. Use as a Strop for Your Blades
This one is self-explanatory, but it does require a quality leather belt for stropping knife blades.
Types of Belts
Leather is the most common type, especially for dress wear, but leather has its limitations. It weakens over time and can break at a crucial moment. If you work in an office or have some type of job that requires you to wear so-called dress clothes, then a tactical belt may not be the best option unless you have an understanding boss.
This is not to say that leather is a bad option, but just make sure it is high quality and in good repair at all times.
Paracord belts are a good choice, but once you have to use the Paracord for shelter building, for example, then you have eliminated its use as a belt, and if you had relied on a belt to carry knives, firearms and so forth you may have a problem. Again, Paracord is very useful so you do have to weigh the pros and cons of wearing one.
A sturdy canvas belt made out of webbing material can last for many years and take all kinds of abuse, and for the most part is impervious to water if dried out well before storing away.
If you’ve ever browsed a survival site or read a book about survivalism, you’ve no doubt heard of paracord. There are countless articles about it, and it’s considered a staple in any bug out bag. But if you’ve never used it yourself, you might be wondering what the […]
If you plan on living through a major disaster or economic collapse, you’re going to need a certain amount of ingenuity. Almost everything around you has multiple uses if you know how to think outside the box. Nothing is “just a can” or “just a bag” or “just […]
If you’re living through a long-term disaster, you really don’t want to be pregnant or get someone pregnant. And disaster or no, there will be times when people give in to their urges. That’s why I think condoms are an important part of any survival cache. But contraception […]
A key component of a good survival plan is to take everyday items and apply them into useful purposes for a disaster scenario. Tin cans are just one of those items.
Tin cans, of course, cannot be resealed after you open and eat the food inside of them, but this does not make them disposable items.
Here are nine good survival uses for them:
1. Storage and organization. Sure, tin cans are used for storing food. But they also can just as easily be used to store other food and items after their initial use. More food, coffee, ammunition, seeds, water — take your pick. You can use a bandana or plastic wrap with rubber bands as a makeshift lid.
2. Cooking pot / stove. The ability to boil water and cook food while on the go in the wilderness should absolutely be on your list of top priorities in a survival situation. After all, drinking water from a natural source that is contaminated or hasn’t been boiled can sometimes be more dangerous than not drinking any water at all. Consider including an empty tin can or two in your survival bag to make hot drinks, to boil water, or to cook food. When using a tin can over the fire, just remember to use a branch or other object to hold the can and prevent burning yourself.
3. Transporting fire. You’ll need to be creative in how you make fire if your supply of traditional fire-starting materials is starting to run low. One such way is to keep your fire burning constantly, regardless of whether you’re stationary or on the go, in your tin can. The concept is incredibly similar to how you would make a fire bundle. Punch five holes in the sides and the bottom of your tin can, and then place coals from a recent fire at the bottom. The coals will burn for several hours, and you can keep them going by adding kindler and tinder at different moments. Caution: Avoid letting your skin coming into direct contact with the can (for obvious reasons).
4. Making hooks and arrowheads. Tin can pieces can be one of your best resources for fashioning fishing hooks and arrowheads. You can accomplish this either by bending the pieces yourself until you reach the shape you want, or better yet, you can cut them with a knife or another sharp object. All you have to do then is lash the arrowhead onto the end of a makeshift arrow or tie the hook onto some fishing line.
5. Showerhead. You can make your own wilderness shower just by punching holes in the bottom of a tin can. You’ll need to come up with a system where water is continuously pouring through the can. This is a survival use that you shouldn’t overlook.
6. Warning system. Many campers believe that a fire is all they need while sleeping under the stars; it offers them protection, peace and warmth. But fire can’t alert you to danger while you sleep. This is where tin cans come in: Simply set up a perimeter of cordage or string around your immediate camp site, and then attach tin cans at various points, paired by twos. If something tries to get through, the cans will rattle, alerting you.
7. Candle lamp. Many survival kits include candles to provide the user with immediate light and warmth. Nonetheless, lighting your candle and leaving that small flame exposed out in the open is going to pose some obvious problems if the wind is involved. Cut and punch a hole in your tin can’s side and then face it away from the wind. Set your candle inside of it for proper warmth and lighting.
8. Shovel. This survival use doesn’t need too much of an explanation. If you ever need a shovel or a scooper in a survival situation, a tin can that’s in good shape will do nicely.
9. Signal. There are just so many survival stories where the only reason people made it out alive is because they were able to signal for help. A tin can is an excellent signaling device if used correctly. Cut a small hole in the center of the bottom of your tin can, and then polish the outside with charcoal or chocolate. The surface should become very bright and smooth, and if the sun is also bright enough, you can aim the tin can at whatever or whoever you are trying to signal by looking through the small hole.
What survival tips would you add to this list? Share your suggestions in the section below: