Bet You Didn't Think of These 9 Household Items as 'Survival Tools'

These inexpensive and packable items are sitting right in front of you in your own home.

Some of these everyday items in your household are great survival tools. And I bet you didn't even know it!

Trash Bags

Heavy-duty trash bags can be used as a poncho, as a waterproof layer for any gear you have, to insulate you at night, an aid in building a shelter, and can be used for emergency water storage.

A roll of trash bags can fit in almost any size bag. You can even stuff a few in your pocket and they are so lightweight, you won't even realize you're carrying them.


A pair of pantyhose is a great inexpensive and packable survival item you may not have thought of. They can be used as a bug netting, to strain water, as a fish net, or a container for food. If you have to cross a shallow, ambiguous body of water, wearing pantyhose will protect you from leeches.

Pantyhose are very cheap and extremely easy to pack. You can stuff them in any size bag or even in pockets and so light, they feel like nothing.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is good to have in a survival situation because of what it is actually used for. Use it before you eat to clean your hands and help protect you from viral infections. Hand sanitizer is also very flammable and can be used, with a little bit of cotton, to start a fire.

Although hand sanitizer may not be the lightest of survival items to carry, you can buy it in a range of sizes and a small bottle will last for weeks if used only when needed.

Tin Foil

Tin foil is an inexpensive and packable survival item, it is very versatile. You can use it as a lure to catch fish, wrap it around a "Y" shaped branch and cook food on it, a wind blocker, to collect water, and wrap it around things such as valuable matches to keep them dry. You can also create a signal by using tin foil and the reflection of the sun.

There is a lot of material in one roll of foil and it is easy to pack because it is compact and rolled up.

Cell Phone

You may be thinking, well duh. Obviously your cell phone can be used to contact someone, but even if it is smashed and won't turn on, it can still be useful in a survival situation. You can start a fire with it, make it into a cutting tool by sharpening it on a rock, it can be a reflective tool to signal for help, and you can even make a compass out of it.

To learn how to do these things will a cell phone, click here.


You can use ChapStick in a survival situation to protect scrapes, stop small scrapes or injuries from bleeding, protect your skin from hot and cold weather, rub on kindling such as small sticks to help them light better, and make a mini survival kit. You can fit pills, Q-tips, matches, wire, a small X-Acto, or a hook and fishing line inside a ChapStick case.

One tube of ChapStick, or simply the tube itself, can be crucial in a survival situation, and it's easy to pack anywhere.

Duct Tape

If you can't duck it, chuck it. Duct tape can be a very important survival item. You can use it to help build a shelter (with your trash bags), fix a cracked water bottle, fix torn clothing or shoes, or even make a cord, spear, and splint.

Like hand sanitizer, duct tape may be more on the heavier size to carry in a survival situation, but the benefits of having it are worth it.

Paper Clips

Paper clips can be used as a toe or finger splint, a fishhook, and can be used to make a chain.

Paper clips come in large quantities and take up very little room. They are easy to toss into in any backpack.


Floss may be one of the most important survival tools when it comes to procuring protein because it can be used to make a snare or trap that can catch small game. It can also be used as fishing line, a means to tie a knife to a stick, a bowstring, or to sew clothes.

Floss is very cheap and small and extremely easy to pack.

All of these objects are simple common household things. So look around your house and put together a survival bag with these survival items you didn't even think to use.