Let’s face it man, you’re a survivor. That three-day old slice of pizza sitting under your coffee table? You’d gobble that up in a heartbeat if it was a matter of life and death simply because your primitive survival instincts prompted you to.
Well we say don’t fight it. It’s this adaptation to our surroundings honed over thousands of years that has led humans to come out on top of the food chain. That’s not to say a little extra help isn’t a welcome reprieve from time to time. Pay attention hunter-gatherer, these are the common and modern household tools that could save your life in a time of dire.
Chewing Gum Fire Starter
When stuck out in the wild with nothing but the cold burdening on your frail body, it’s time to MacGyver things up. A simple AA battery can turn into a life saver with the help of foil-lined paper from the humble chewing gum wrapper. The trick here is to create a short circuit with the conductive paper. Simply tear an hour glass shape out of the paper and then press the thicker ends to each side of the battery terminal to start a fire. The heat will ignite the paper allowing you to light a bigger fire to stay warm and alive.
Tuna Can Oil Lamp
If you’ve got a spare tin of tuna laying around and you’re in need of light more than food for the moment, turn it into an emergency candle. Simply punch a hole into the top of the tuna can, roll a piece of newspaper into a wick and stick it into the hole. Let the oil soak to the tip of the paper and then light it up. You’ve got two-hours of burn time and the tuna is still good for food afterwards.
Okay we’re moving into weirder life saving territory here. But in life or death situations, such feeble concerns won’t matter. If your missus or any other female strandee has a box of tampons laying around, use it as the best tinder ever created (FYI: real tinder is a flammable material used for lighting a fire, not your non-existent love life). Simply pull out the tampon from the wrapper and tear it apart the fibres. All it’ll need is a spark or small flame to ignite a potentially life-saving fire.
Bra Cup Face Mask
We warned you it’d be getting weird. If you’ve already won over your female company with that little tampon trick but you’ve screwed up by setting the campsite on fire, ask to borrow their bra. Smoke and ash is dangerous to any pair of lungs and the best way to combat that is with a make-shift breathing apparatus. The thick padded section of a bra is perfect for this and can be cut to make two. The cup itself fits perfectly over the face to cover the mouth and nose whilst the straps can be modified to strap to your head in the worst case scenario of prolonged smoke.
Got a can, got a fish. The humble aluminium can can be converted into a handy fishing rod with some string or floss. Pull off the ring tab and cut one section of it diagonally before prying it out into a sharp hook. Tie it to the string wrapped around the can and viola, you have an improvised rod. Attach bugs to the ring hook and it’s time to catch some dinner.
Lip Balm Candle
Similar to the tuna, a lip balm or chap stick makes for one serious waxed candle supplement. Use a string or match stick and coat it with the balm first and then insert it all the way into the balm. Light up the improvised which and your new candle will burn for two hours. Be sure to twist the lip balm up to prevent burning of the housing.
Solar Water Harvest Bottle
Humans on average can only survive without water for two to three days so staying hydrated is imperative to one’s keeping you alive. An empty water bottle and the sun is all you’ll need to extract clean, drinkable water from questionable sources. Simply cut off the bottom of the bottle and fold down the wall edges a few centimetres inwards. Place the bottle over lush plants, murky water sources and when the sun evaporates the dirty water, it will hit the bottle and collect on the folded edges. That water is clean to drink.
Chip Signal Fire
Creating a smoke signal can be affective but to really let planes know your location when you’re lost in the bush can come down to a packet of chips. Use the reflective foile on the inside to reflect a nearby flame, thereby creating both smoke and a bright beacon for rescuers to spot.
Other Smart Gadgets
The following aren’t common household items but are definitely new survival gadgets people should consider if they do a bit outdoor trekking into the wilderness
Life Straw Personal Water Filter
The newly developed Life Straw is considered a proper life saving tool which has won countless awards since its inception. The intuitive device is used as a conventional straw but can be applied to contaminated water for safe drinking. The technology inside it ensures the removal of 99.9999 percent of waterborne bacteria and has been used by over 5 million people, surpassing EPA standards for water filtration. In the past it has safely removed iodine, chlorine and other chemicals from water. More importantly, it’s cheap.
We don’t live in the 90’s anymore so it’s time to go high tech for hiking. BirkSun is one company which mass produces the latest range of outdoor solar-powered backpacks for men and women. They don’t look too bad but more importantly they have a massive solar panel on the back dedicated to storing battery power to charge up to two phones and a host of other modern day gadgets. It could potentially save your life in the thick of the bush. It’s also inexpensive.