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21 Survival Items You Probably Already Own

Survival items are available everywhere. Don’t believe it? Just look around your home.

What would you do if there was an emergency? Do you have the survival items necessary to help you through the tough times?

Prepping for an emergency has become very popular and you can purchase special survival items almost everywhere. The problem is they can get expensive. Here are 20+ items that most people have around the home that can help in a time of need.

1. Tarp

Tarps have far too many uses to list them all in this one article but here are just a few examples. They can be used to build a shelter, as a rainproof poncho, a signal flag, a sled,  and a cot to sleep of the wet ground in swampy areas, among other uses.

2. Blankets/linen/towels

Empty your linen closet and you will find a wealth of survival items. Blankets, bed sheets, and towels can be used for anything from clothing to keep you warm, to wound dressing. You can even use sheets as a simple water filter to remove dirt and large debris. By cutting strips out the blankets, sheets, or towels, you can create cordage to help build a shelter or a sling if someone broke or sprained an arm.

3. Backpack/purses

Backpacks and purses are often overlooked when it comes to survival items, but when you need to carry something, they are very important. You can’t make a bug out bag without one.

4. Bleach

Contrary to popular belief, bleach can save a life. It can be used as a disinfectant: by adding two drops to a liter of water and leaving it for 30 minutes, you can make a potable drink.

5. Dental floss

Dental floss can be used as fishing line, to stitch up an open wound, or to create a snare trap to catch dinner. It can also be used to help make clothing, a sling, or, if used properly, it can help build a shelter.

6. Feminine products

These products, made to absorb blood, are incredible for wound dressings. Maxipads work for pressure bandages; tampons are excellent for penetrating wounds such as a gunshot. The material inside can also be used as tinder. Just cut them open, fluff up the material, and it works great to catch a spark.

7. Duct tape

survival itemsDuct tape is a must have in a survival situation. There have been books published and articles posted dedicated to its uses. A few more creative uses are fletching on arrows, repairing broken windows, create a cast or sling, and dinner plates/cups/bowls. Again, this is not even scratching the surface of its uses. You will want to have duct tape in your gear.

8. Cooking oil

Oil burns easily and can make a nice candle. Find a small jar with a large mouth, fill it two-thirds full of oil, put in a wick (a shoelace, strip of clothing, twisted paper, etc), let the wick absorb the oil, and light it.

Be very careful, however, as spilling this type of candle while lit can cause significant trouble.

9. Garbage bags

Garbage bags are another one of those items that has several uses. If you cut them open you are left with a large sheet of plastic that can be and use as a tarp to build a shelter. By cutting an opening for your head and arms you have a makeshift water proof rain jacket (poncho). Using them as they are you can store water inside for transporting – such as bringing water back home. You can also store items that you want to keep clean and dry inside of them.

10. Empty water bottle

When you finish that water bottle, don’t throw it away. You can cut the bottom off and use it as a funnel. Cut the top off and you can use it as a cup.

11. Pop can

Pop cans have a few good uses to them. If you polish the bottom, you can use it as a reflector to focus the sun and start a fire. The tabs you use to open the top can be used as a fishing hook if you cut a notch out of one side and sharpen it. You can also cut the top off and use them for storage or as a cup.

12. Shoelaces

Cordage is important and can be used for many things including building a shelter, clothing, or medical uses such as a sling or splint. Shoelaces can also be used to create snare traps or even fishing line.

13. Wristwatch

On a sunny day, a watch can be used as a compass. Hold the watch flat so it is parallel to the ground, and have the hour hand pointing at the sun. Half way between the hour hand and the 12 on the watch is south in the Northern Hemisphere, and north in the Southern Hemisphere.

14. Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly is a great fire-starter if you rub a little on cotton balls or kindling such as leaves. It can also be used as waterproofing for your boots by rubbing it on generously.

15. Paper Clips

survival itemsSo you might not catch the biggest fish out there, but a paper clip can work nicely for a small pan-fry fish.

16. Eye Glasses

By polishing the lenses on an old pair of glasses, or using the ones you are wearing, you can focus the sun to start a fire.

17. Mouthwash

Many mouthwashes are high in alcohol and can therefore be used as a disinfectant or antiseptic.

18. Crayons

These colorful sticks are great candles. In a pinch, you can light one end and let it burn.

19. Newspapers

Newspapers have the obvious use of tinder, but you can also use them to block out windows or insulate a room by soaking them in water and sticking them to a surface just like wallpaper.

Adding a little flour to the water will turn it into a glue-like substance. Soak the newspaper in this mixture and you have what is known as paper mache, which will turn pretty hard when dry, making it great for casts and many other uses.

20. 9V battery and steel wool

If you place the steel wool so it touches both tabs on a 9 volt battery, it will start to smolder and burn. Make sure you have tinder ready to catch the embers.

21. Shower curtain

Don’t forget that shower curtain. It was made to repel water and would make a great tarp for shelters or with a little sewing can make a nice rain jacket.

Hopefully you will never have to use any of these survival items, but if you do, at least now you know what are easy-to-find, available options. Maybe one day this article might even save a life, or at least, make it a little easier for you.

NEXT: How to Shoot the English Longbow

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21 Survival Items You Probably Already Own