Guest post by Jason R
Being a survivalist means so much more than having the latest gadgets or a really nifty gun. After all, the best weapon you can have is a sharp brain and an edge for creativity. With a little bit of ingenuity, even the simplest of household items can make the difference between life and death. While such opportunities are undoubtedly plentiful, below are some examples of how everyday things we take for granted can be transformed to perform a whole new set of tasks that can help you survive the next time you’re lost in the woods, confronting a natural disaster or even stranded in your car during a snow storm.
While you may have cursed your poor eyesight for years, you’ll find that glasses can prove to be useful in a survival situation. They can be held up to reflect the sun and send a distress signal in the hopes of rescue personnel looking for stranded parties.
Glasses that are made of actual glass, and not plastic, can be used to help start a fire in an emergency. Hold one of the lenses up to a small gathering of dried leaves, pine tree needles, or dry grass and the sun will help to set the kindling on fire. It’s best to do this from about a foot away, but since you can’t see anymore, you’ll just have to gauge it.
To get the fire started faster, dig out any lint from the pockets of jeans or other clothing and use that as well. To increase the magnifying power of your glasses, add a droplet of water to the lens to increasingly focus the sun’s heat in one particular focal point.
Keep in mind that not every type of lens will work for this; only eyewear designed for individuals who are farsighted and need help seeing materials up close will have the necessary shape. Reading Glasses sells lighted reading glasses that will carry the correctly curved lenses and come equip with LED lights that will be infinitely helpful for those times you’re jammed up in the dark. Plus, for those who wear metal framed glasses, the lenses can be popped out and the wires used for makeshift tools.
Dental floss can be used in a variety of ways. If you find yourself in the woods near a stream, the floss can be used as temporary fishing line. Part of the wire glasses mentioned above could be used as a hook and add a long stick and some worms. With a little luck and a lot of patience, you could be eating fish for dinner. If you plan ahead, make sure you have strong material like Oral B’s Deep Cleaning Floss.
Dental floss can also be used as thread, in the event you have no real thread nearby, and if you’re in a survival situation, it’s likely no one will notice the color doesn’t match the fabric.
Shoestrings are sturdy and you can use them in lieu of a rope when you don’t have one. You can also tie them together and tie each end to two close trees, throwing something over the shoelaces for a temporary shelter from the rain. Rain ponchos or even large trash bags work great as a cover for a temporary shelter.
Shoestrings can also be used for tying sticks together to help build a make-shift raft or even tie larger sticks together for a more permanent shelter, which with any luck you won’t need.
Feminine Pads and Tampons
If you’re lucky enough to be stranded with a woman, you’ve got a variety of survival tools in her purse alone. Almost every woman has a pad or tampon in there on any given day, and these can really come in handy. Pads can be used as a bandage in an emergency situation and tampons can be used to help stop a serious nose bleed, when the cotton part is gently pushed up the nostril.
Tampons can also filter water. This can be done by filling a plastic water bottle almost full and inserting the tampon in the top of the bottle. As you turn the bottle upside down, the water will filter out, leaving behind the silt and dirt in the bottle. This should only be used in a true emergency since water can carry harmful bacteria which can cause vomiting and diarrhea when not filtered or purified properly.
Tampons that come in plastic or cardboard tubes can be removed and the tubes used for makeshift splints for small bones, such as those in the fingers. You can also use the plastic wrapper as a place to store matches to keep them from getting wet.
So with a little thinking outside of the box, you’ll find that many everyday, common items can come in handy. When faced with life threatening situations, using your imagination may just keep you alive.