5 Survival Items Within Arm’s Length

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 4.05.10 PMInitially, I was going to limit this list to items that fit in your pocket, but then I started digging around and found a few extremely handy items (which I call “hyper-multipurpose”) that I’d have to leave out, like newspaper or aluminum cans…

Instead, I’ve settled on items that are most likely within arm’s length of you right now, as you’re reading this.

My goal: To turn as many common household items into multi-tools as possible.

Changing the way we look at everyday items sharpens our minds in the event that we truly do need to improvise in a SHTF scenario. It also gives us a chance to watch cool YouTube videos and impress our friends with our amazing resourcefulness. Enjoy.

1. Bandana –  There’s a reason bandanas have been a standard part of military uniforms for hundreds of years. They can be used to bandages, tourniquets, to clean guns, etc. Some bandanas even have survival information printed on them for reference.

2. Aluminum Can – With a little polish (toothpaste, chocolate, or clay) and some elbow grease, you can turn the bottom of a beer can into a parabolic reflector. Then you can use this reflector to focus sunlight and ignite tinder. No, it’s not very quick or easy. But it can work…

3. Wristwatch – Along with making you look more sophisticated, a wristwatch can serve as a makeshift compass, helping you locate North and South in a wildness situation. Even if you have a digital watch, you can draw a clock face in the dirt and use the same method described in the video below.

4. Shoelaces – There’s a reason prisoners aren’t allowed to have shoelaces… they’re pretty versatile. They can be used as weapons, twisted together to make ropes, to hang a survival shelter, or even to help collect water in a desert environment. Check out this video:

5. Newspaper – Sure, you can use newspaper as tinder to start a fire. But you can also weaponize it by rolling it up tight. This video demonstrates just how effectively newspaper weapons can be in a pinch.

6. Gum Wrapper – If you have a gum wrapper in your pocket and a live batter of nearly any size (a AA will work just fine), you can easily start a fire. Oddly enough, this method was perfected by resourceful prisoners as a way to light cigarettes.

Share Your Favorite Dual Purpose Survival Hacks Below!!


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  1. This is very cool I found out things I should have known but didnt.

  2. pocket magnifier..i carry a spring loaded one by mighty bright… pop out glass might take a while to start fire but the button magnification within the larger glass will focus rays more tightly

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