15 Creative Ways to Use Everyday Items for Survival

Get ready to see familiar objects in a whole new light as you discover the extraordinary potential they hold in helping you navigate the great outdoors or handle unexpected emergencies.

Building Shelter

Building a shelter is one of the first and most essential tasks when it comes to survival in the great outdoors. Luckily, with just a few everyday items, you can create a sturdy and protective shelter to keep you safe from the elements.

Using a Tarp and Poles

A tarp is a versatile and lightweight material that can be transformed into an effective shelter. With the help of some poles or sticks, you can easily create a simple A-frame structure or a lean-to shelter using the tarp as the roof. Secure the tarp tightly with ropes or paracord to ensure it stays in place even during strong winds.

Creating Insulation with Newspaper

Newspaper may seem like an unlikely choice for insulation, but it can provide a surprising amount of warmth when layered properly. Crumple up the newspaper and stuff it between the layers of your clothing or bedding to create a barrier against the cold. This makeshift insulation can help retain body heat and keep you warm in chilly conditions.

Making a Bed with Cardboard

Cardboard may not seem like the most comfortable material, but in a survival situation, it can make a world of difference. Flatten out several pieces of cardboard and layer them on the ground to create a makeshift bed. This will provide a barrier between you and the cold, damp ground, and offer a more comfortable sleeping surface.

Using Trash Bags for Waterproofing

When it comes to staying dry in wet weather, trash bags can be a lifesaver. Use them to cover your backpack or gear to protect them from rain and ensure your supplies stay dry. You can also fashion a makeshift poncho by cutting a hole in the bottom of the bag and wearing it as a protective layer over your body.

Building a Fire Shelter with Aluminum Foil

In emergency situations, having a shelter that can withstand intense heat is crucial. Aluminum foil can be used to create a fire shelter, reflecting the heat away from the shelter and keeping you safe. Construct a small tent-like structure out of sturdy sticks or poles and wrap it tightly with layers of aluminum foil. This will provide a heat-resistant barrier while allowing smoke to escape.

Water Collection and Purification

Surviving in the wild requires access to clean water. Fortunately, there are everyday items that can help you collect and purify water, ensuring your hydration needs are met.

Collecting Rainwater with Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles make excellent tools for collecting rainwater. Simply place a clean and empty plastic bottle under a steady stream of rainwater or tie it to a tree branch to collect water over time. This method allows you to accumulate a significant amount of water for drinking and cooking purposes.

Using a Coffee Filter for Purification

If you find yourself with murky or dirty water, a coffee filter can help remove sediment and impurities. Pour the water through the coffee filter into a clean container, allowing the filter to trap any particles. This simple filtration method greatly improves the quality of the water and makes it safer to drink.

Making a Solar Still with Plastic Wrap

When no clean water sources are available, you can create a solar still using plastic wrap. Dig a hole in the ground and place a container in the center. Surround the container with moist vegetation or urine, if necessary. Cover the hole with plastic wrap, leaving a small indentation in the center. The condensation that forms on the plastic wrap will collect in the container, providing you with drinkable water.

Constructing a Water Filter with Charcoal

Charcoal can act as a natural filter, removing impurities and contaminants from water. Fill a container with layers of sand, gravel, and crushed charcoal. Pour the water through this improvised filter, allowing it to seep through the various layers. The charcoal will help absorb impurities, resulting in cleaner water.

Using a Condom for Emergency Water Storage

A condom can be a handy item for storing water in a survival situation. Simply fill a condom with water and tie it securely. The durable latex material will keep the water safe and secure until you need it. Remember to use non-lubricated condoms to ensure the water remains uncontaminated.

Food Sourcing and Preparation

When it comes to finding food in the wild, improvisation is key. Everyday items can help you catch and prepare your next meal.

Creating a Fishing Net from Dental Floss

Dental floss can be repurposed as an effective fishing net. Tie a piece of dental floss between two sturdy branches, creating a net-like structure. Use this improvised net to scoop fish out of lakes, streams, or shallow water. The strong and durable nature of dental floss makes it ideal for catching small aquatic creatures.

Using a Soda Can for Fishing

A soda can can serve multiple purposes, including functioning as a makeshift fishing lure. Cut out a piece of the soda can to resemble the shape of a fish and attach a fishing hook to it. Attach the soda can lure to your fishing line, cast it into the water, and slowly reel it in to attract fish. The glimmering reflections off the soda can mimic the movement of real fish and increase your chances of catching something.

Building a Bamboo Trap for Small Game

Bamboo is a versatile material that can be used to construct a small game trap. Cut a section of bamboo and create an opening on one end. Place bait inside the bamboo, such as berries or nuts, and prop it up with a stick. When an animal enters the trap to reach the bait, the bamboo will tip over, trapping the animal inside.

Cooking with an Altoids Tin

An Altoids tin can be transformed into a compact and portable cooking stove. Fill the tin with char cloth or other flammable materials and ignite it. Place a small pot or container on top of the tin, creating a stable surface for cooking. This makeshift stove can be used to boil water or cook small meals, providing nourishment in survival situations.

Making a Backpacking Stove with a Tin Can

A larger tin can can be used to create a more substantial backpacking stove. Cut out the bottom of the can, leaving about an inch of material intact for stability. Poke holes around the upper side of the can to allow air to reach the flame. Fill the can with fuel, such as denatured alcohol, and ignite it. This improvised stove can be used for cooking larger meals and offers a lightweight and portable cooking solution.

survival frog pocket chainsaw

Subscribe to get our FREE ebook

and receive lots more survival tips tricks and kit reviews!