Tag: duct tape

Everyday Household Supplies as Tools for Survival


Tin Foil Frying Pan

Don’t you love lists? I see them everywhere I turn online.

And I read a lot of them, particularly those in the survival niche. Mostly, they confirm what I already know. But every once in a while I find survival ideas I hadn’t really considered before.

What follows are some ideas using everyday household supplies as tools for survival. Maybe you can add them to your list, too!

Six reasons to have aluminum foil in your survival supplies.

Who knew all the things it can do in an emergency – and, for that matter, every day!?

  1. Cooking over a campfire? Wrap smallish pieces of food in a foil pack, cook over or buried in coals.
  2. Add a foil reflector to block the wind from your fire, and to direct its heat.
  3. Position a foil sheet to reflect and enhance the light from the sun or from your lantern.
  4. Use crumpled foil under a bar of soap and under a scrub pad to keep them from getting gunky or rusting.
  5. Fold a small piece of tinfoil and stick in your flashlight between the battery and spring to improve a loose connection.
  6. And this, from Reader’s Digest. (And see my image, above.) Make a temporary tin foil frying pan by covering a forked stick with a double layer of foil. Make a slight depression in the space in the V of the fork — that’s where you’ll put your food for frying!

Four more survival uses for everyday household supplies using everybody’s favorite — duct tape.

I’m sure you have plenty of duct tape at home. I hope you have some in your survival kits, too. The “flat packs” are much lighter and more convenient than the heavy roll. (See below.)

You can use duct tape to fasten just about anything, but here are a few more ways to use it as a survival tool:

  1. First aid supply – Use thin strips to close a wound. Use thicker strips of tape plus small branches or pieces of wood to create a splint for a sprained ankle.
  2. Twist a length of tape to create a rope for tying anything. Fold a length of tape in half onto itself to create a strap – for a belt, a sling, a carrying handle.
  3. Keep out cold air by closing leaks in clothing using tape. (Don’t tape to your skin. )
  4. Tape together Mylar blankets or large size plastic bags to make a sleeping bag or a shelter.

And while we’re on plastic bags, here are seven ways to put these everyday household supplies to use as survival tools.

Different weights of plastic have different uses. And, of course, the heavier the weight, the more they add to the weight of your survival kit. Here are some often overlooked survival ideas using bags and baggies. (More info, with prices, at the end of this Advisory.)

  1. Trash compactor bags are very thick – and thus work well to manage human waste in a survival situation. Place the bags in the toilet, or in a plastic bucket. (When full, add kitty litter or some disinfectant, close and dispose of.)
  2. Use ordinary plastic bags from the grocery store to line boots (over socks, inside boots) to keep your feet dry. (Probably won’t work in a stream but does fine through wet grass and puddles.)
  3. Use plastic bags as temporary gloves to protect your hands from germs, blood, yucky stuff, etc. (I used one just last week to dispose of a dead rat.)
  4. Large garden size bags can be used to line your pack to keep it dry. Raining? Cut a hole for your head and turn the bag into a poncho. Tape a couple of bags end to end for a makeshift one-person tube tent.
  5. Ziploc bags of different sizes are helpful for sorting clothing (clean, dirty, wet), protecting foodstuffs and matches from the damp, and keeping first aid items readily visible. And you can use a baggie to start a survival fire. A fire?
    1. Fill the bag with water.
    2. Twist to create a tightly filled plastic water “ball.”
    3. Position the ball over fine tinder and use like you would a magnifying glass. The sun shining through the ball of water can heat tinder sufficiently to start a fire! Here’s a great YouTube video from the King of Random showing just how to do it: https://youtu.be/vMcgs7Tx3Hs
  6. And from Primal Survivor, this idea for using a plastic bag to catch fish. Find a stream with fish. Create a sort of funnel in the stream by building a V with stones. (Open end upstream. ) At the tip of the V fasten a plastic bag with its mouth open and a few holes cut in to allow water to flow through. Go upstream and scare the fish so they head downstream – into your funnel and then into your plastic bag!
  7. And a final idea – using a clean clear large-sized plastic bag to capture water from a plant or tree. Pick a NON-TOXIC plant with large leaves. Pull a bag over a large branch with lots of leaves and tie it tightly. Be sure the lowest point in the bag is below the tie. Over time, the plant will release water vapor. The vapor will condense, run down the sides of the bag and collect in the bottom, where you can capture it to drink.  This will take time and patience, but could save your life in an emergency.  You can find an easy to follow picture-by-picture explanation here. https://www.instructables.com/id/Extract-Clean-Drinkable-Water-From-Plants/

I’ll soon be testing both the baggie-full-of-water-as-magnifying-glass and the bag-to-collect-transpiration-from a tree. (No streams with fish near me . . .) I’ll let you know how it goes.

Maybe YOU can test these two ideas with your own kids or other members of a group – Scouts? Sunday school?  Your neighborhood emergency response team?  (Watch the video and check the how-to-pictures first. They include a couple of safety messages you don’t want to overlook.)

Three ways to get everyday household supplies for your survival kits.

  1. Start by going through your cupboards and pull from your regular supplies. You’ll probably have aluminum foil, duct tape and a few assorted bags. If you find ties, pull some of them out, too.
  2. Make a list of other items you might want: flat packs of tape, trash compactor bags, heavy-duty large black trash bags, maybe even that very light-weight see-through bag that will work to capture water from a plant.
  3. If you are part of a group, consider pooling your money and making a bulk buy. By buying in bulk you’ll be able to save money and give everyone a chance to get a few of what they need and not overbuy.

Here are some suggestions from Amazon, where we often go first for our shopping. Since most of these everyday household supplies are probably readily available in your local stores, you may want to shop specials. I’m including price info from Amazon so you can get an idea of costs if you’re shopping for a group. And if you are a prime member at Amazon, all the supplies could be delivered at once, making it easy to get everything distributed.

Buy over time!

Not everyone can run out and immediately buy everything on every survival list. But items like the ones on this list are pretty inexpensive, so you can buy one or two every so often until you have everything you need.

It’s the same with assembling ALL your survival supplies — emergency radio, batteries, food, etc. Slow and steady means when the disaster hits you may not have everything, but you will have more to help you get through than you did last month . . .!

Good luck with your shopping!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team





Plastic Bags – Use or Reuse for Emergencies


PlasticBagsToday I stuffed 20 or so plastic bags into one, so I can take them back to the store to be recycled. It’s amazing how many accumulate in just a couple of weeks – and we carry reusable shopping bags!

Be that as it may, I always keep some bags handy for emergency use! Here are 20 ways they can come in handy or even save the day!

And the best part? You can collect these bags and add them to your kit for free. (Or at least you MAY get them for free. A new law was just passed in California to ban free plastic bags . . .)

Keep out moisture

  1. Use a plastic bag to line your Bug Out Bag, to help keep it water proof.
  2. Use zip-lock bags for storing food, small items, cosmetics, etc. in your bag.
  3. Put a plastic bag OVER a backpack to keep out the rain.
  4. Turn a large plastic bag – like a trash can liner – into a rain poncho. Just make a slit along the seams for your head and arms.
  5. Use bags inside your boots to keep your feet dry.
  6. “Wear” underneath your clothes for extra insulation.

Protect from dirt

  1. Pull a plastic bag over your hand before picking up something dirty. Then just turn the bag inside out and dispose of it.
  2. Tie a bag over your face to keep out blowing dirt or sand. (Of course, don’t use thin plastic that clings for this!)
  3. A plastic bag can work as a diaper. (Why, I remember the earliest plastic diapers that I used on my daughter really weren’t much different!)
  4. Water out of order? Use plastic compactor bags in the toilet to capture waste. (These won’t likely be bags that are reused. But having a supply is essential for your emergency stash.)

Aid for First Aid

  1. Use zip-lock bags to store different first-aid supplies, keeping them clean and dry. You can pack full small bags into a larger bag for easier and more efficient access. (For example, pack gauze in one bag, band aids in another, tape and scissors in a third; put them all in one larger bag.)
  2. Fill a bag with ice and apply over an injury to keep swelling down.
  3. Turn a plastic bag into a sling.
  4. Tie a bag over a bandaged wound to help keep it dry.
  5. Somebody sick? Use a bag to catch vomit or diarrhea. Yukky, but better than having it spread all over the car or your living area.

Other smart uses

  1. A bag with no holes can be a temporary carrier for water, snow, berries, etc.
  2. Twist a bag or two together and use them as a belt or a carrying strap.
  3. Fasten a number of bags together end to end to use as rope. Braid several strands for more strength.
  4. Use a white bag as a signal or strips of bag to mark the trail.
  5. If an emergency keeps you trapped in the house, use trash bags – for trash! You can always dispose of it later.

As you’re packing your Survival Kit, use a few extra bags as padding, to cushion the sharp corners on tools, keep shoes separate, etc. That way you’ll always have some at the ready.

And one last note about the “secret ingredient”

Many of the ideas above would work a lot better if, in addition to the right sized bag, you have DUCT TAPE. (That’s an old roll in the image, above. Recognize it now?)

Use duct tape to close gaps, make sure the bags stay put, and even to seal them up when they’re full of waste.

These two essentials – plastic bags and duct tape — should be in every one of your kits. And the good news? They’re practically free!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team


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