7 Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items

Turn ordinary things into something with these seven simple survival hacks using ordinary household items you can use when the going gets tough!

In this article:

  1. Steel Wool & 9V Battery Fire Starter
  2. Soda Can Tab Fishing Hook
  3. Emergency Rocket Stove
  4. Emergency Water Filter
  5. Sewing Needle & Leaf Compass
  6. Crayon Candles
  7. Waterproof Matches

7 Survival Hacks | Common Tools That Can Save You

 

DIY Survival Hacks for Backup

No matches? Forgot your compass at home? No problem. With these easy survival hacks, all you need are some common, easy-to-find tools you likely already have nearby. As great survivalists know, it’s extremely important to be resourceful and creative with the objects you do have. Keep this list handy so you’re always ready – these methods are excellent backup plans for when you find yourself without access to tools and other equipment.

Hack #1: Steel Wool & 9V Battery Fire Starter

Steel Wool & 9V Battery Fire Starter | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items
DIY Firestarter: How to Start a Fire With a Battery Photo by Survival Life

It’s this easy to start a fire! Check out the materials and instructions for your steel wool and battery firestarter.

Supplies:

  • Extra fine steel wool, grade #000
  • 9V Battery
  • 3 medium pieces of firewood
  • Bundle of kindling
  • Cotton ball

Directions:

Step 1: Place pad of steel wool on a flat surface. Surround the steel wool with two pieces of firewood.
Step 3: Place a densely-packed bundle of kindling on top of the steel wool.
Step 4: Wedge the cotton ball underneath the kindling. (Pro tip: Soaking your cotton ball in petroleum jelly will make it burn much longer.)
Step 5: Rub the protruding end of the 9V battery briskly against the steel wool. Continue applying friction to all of the edges until the steel wool begins to spark.
Step 6: Add a third piece of wood so that the fire is contained on all sides.

Hack #2: Soda Can Tab Fishing Hook

Soda Can Tab Fishing Hook | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items
How to Make a Fish Hook Using a Soda Can Tab Photo by Survival Life

Did you know your favorite soda can be useful other than drinking? Soda can tabs are a great substitute for fishing hooks when you need one.

Supplies:

  • Pocket blade
  • Soda can tab
  • Scissors
  • Multitool
  • Paracord
  • Diagonal cut pliers
  • Lighter

Directions:

Step 1: Start by creating a hole in the bottom of the soda can tab. Then, create a sharp point by cutting as much metal around the hook as possible. Use a file to perfect the hole.
Step 2: Cut a piece of paracord that is about 4-6 inches in length.
Step 3: Insert your hook into the paracord. Cut any excess cord.
Step 4: Light the top end of the paracord and leave the bottom end frayed. Toss it into your tackle box, and you’re good to go!

Hack #3: Emergency Rocket Stove

Emergency Rocket Stove | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items

This rocket stove is small, lightweight, and ready to cook simple meals. Follow the steps below to make one.

Supplies:

  • Large empty can
  • Fireproof surface (brick or rock)
  • Can opener
  • Metal pliers
  • Scissors
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Rubbing alcohol, 70%
  • Matches or lighter
  • Gloves

Directions:

Step 1: Remove the lid of your can. Cut slits into the top rim of your can, about 1-2 inches apart.
Step 2: Use your pliers to bend these flaps, alternating so that every other flap is facing inward. Turn your can upside down and insert a roll of toilet paper. 
Step 3: Pour rubbing alcohol into the can until the toilet paper roll is saturated. Put your gloves on, then carefully light the toilet paper roll.

Your stove is ready to use! However, be sure to use it only in a well-ventilated area.

Hack #4: Emergency Water Filter

Emergency Water Filter | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items
Water Filtration Methods For Survival Photo by Survival Life

Drinkable water is always a priority no matter where you go. This emergency water filter will suffice if you lack the supplies.

Supplies:

  • Strip of washcloth
  • Two empty containers

Directions:

Step 1: Run a strip of washcloth from a container of dirty water into an empty container. Eventually, the water will migrate from one container to the other.
Step 2: Boil water to further eliminate dirt and debris. (Important note: Boiling water does NOT filter out any heavy metal or chemical contaminants.)

Hack #5: Sewing Needle & Leaf Compass

Sewing Needle & Leaf Compass | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items
Supplies:

  • Small bowl
  • Water
  • Small leaf
  • Sewing needle

Directions:

Step 1: Pour water into a small bowl. The water should be still without ripples or movement.
Step 2: Carefully place the leaf onto the surface of the water, making sure it does not sink or get wet.
Step 3: Rub your needle against wool clothing or fabric. This will magnetize the needle.
Step 3: Gently place the needle on top of the floating leaf. The needle will align with the Earth’s natural magnetic field.

Hack #6: Crayon Candles

Crayon Candles | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items
How to Make a Candle Out of a Crayon Photo by Survival Life

Your kids’ unused crayons will come in handy in the dark. Check out the simple instructions below on how to use crayons as candles.

Supplies:

  • Crayons, assorted
  • Lighter
  • Rock or other flat surfaces

Directions:

Step 1: Light the tip of your crayon, including the paper label.
Step 2: Wedge the crayon between two rocks or other flat surfaces and repeat this step with the rest of the crayons. Each crayon will stay lit for about 30 minutes.

Hack #7: Waterproof Matches

Waterproof Matches | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items
Easy Ways To Make Homemade Waterproof Matches Photo by Survival Life

You don’t want your fire-starting materials to fail when you need them the most. Learn how to waterproof your matches for outdoor use.

Supplies:

  • 2-3 heaping tbsp. turpentine
  • Matches
  • Small bowl or glass
  • Sheet of newspaper

Directions:

Step 1: Pour 2-3 heaping tablespoons of turpentine into a bowl or glass.
Step 2: Dip the tip of the matches into the turpentine and soak them for 5 minutes. This process will soak the head as well as the stem.
Step 3: Dry the matches by spreading them out on a sheet of newspaper and leaving them for 15-20 minutes. This waterproofing technique will last for several months, if not longer.

 

Looking for more survival hacks? Watch this video from Wengie and find out how an everyday tool can save your life!

Unfortunately, there will always be circumstances wherein the things or tools we need are unavailable. That is why knowing a thing or two about survival hacks can serve as good leverage when you find yourself in dire straits. This list of hacks contains tricks that are easy to do and can increase your chances of survival.

Do you know of other survival hacks you can add to this list? Share them with us in the comments section below! 

Up Next: Surviving By The Skin Of Your Teeth: 7 Reasons To Stock Up On Dental Floss

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Placard | Quick & Easy Survival Hacks Using Household Items

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 17, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.