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Unusual Survival Tools

Posted by on 1/15/2013 to Outdoor Survival

Everyday items and unusual ways they can be used for survival:

None of these items are on this list! Keep reading to find some strange survival uses for regular items.

Weird Survival Uses for Normal Items

The air force taught us a few tricks, as well as years of experience and being forced to survive with the limited tools available. You'd be surprised what innovative ways you can use almost anything to give yourself an edge in an emergency situation, or even accomplishing daily tasks for that matter.

Pencil Sharpener - No, not for note taking. Although that may be a priority if you want to keep a journal. What a pencil sharpener can provide is wood shavings. Also known as emergency fire tinder! Instead of a pencil sharpener, let's call it a "Survival Fire Tinder Maker."

Inchers (Firecrackers) - These loud miniature explosives can be a useful signaling device by obviously making loud noises, but less obvious are the ability to cauterize wounds, help start fires, and catch fish. That's right, go fishing with fire crackers!

Plastic Wrap (Saran) - This is primarily for an advanced first aid technique, particularly for chest wounds that puncture the lung. Some type of plastic wrap or similar material can save your life by sealing a 'sucking chest wound'. See our first aid for more details about this procedure.

Contractor Bag - Multiple uses here. The 2 main uses include a water container or small shelter, either in the form of a jacket, poncho, overhead rain fly or ground tarp. These bags are very durable and watertight if you invest in a good brand. Also, if you know cody Lundin, he'll tell you this is a good way to store a carcass.

Bandana - You can use a bandana for lots of different things, in fact I could probably write a whole other article entitled "30 Survival Uses for a Bandana". But I'll just name a few here. Sun shield, tourniquet, water filter, food/item container, cooling band (by wetting with water), sling, insulation and the list can go on but you get the point.

Aluminum/Tin Foil - Foil is basically an extremely flexible cooking pot. Can also hold water, use it to make char cloth, construct a hat, repair or create electrical circuits, and use as signaling device by reflecting sunlight.

Other strange items that are already well known:

Condoms - Dental Floss - Ziploc Bags

Do you have more ideas?! We'd love to hear your input, leave a comment and contribute. If you have a great idea and we add it to the list, maybe we'll give you a special coupon code that you can redeem for a free product! :)

(*Update: 3/11/2014* - WD-40 - Apparently this compound can be used for starting fires, protecting oneself, and lubricating things. Seems pretty useful to me!

Cliff's Recommended Survival Gear: Fire Tinder - Emergency Blanket - First Aid Items

Skip's Recommended Survival Gear: Survival Bag - Sun Shield - Emergency Stove

Blog Comments
Jenn Date 1/17/2013
The pencil sharpener is the best idea. I would never have thought about that. But I dont think I would ever want to have to heal a sucking chest wound. Does not sound good.
Alfonzo Date 1/17/2013
What fish will you get with an incher? Tadpoles?....or maybe you are useing a quarter stick of dynamite.
Dustin Date 1/18/2013
Safety pins - why sew when you can pin it together? Cotton balls - many uses, mix with the PJ below and you get an excellent fire starter Petroleum Jelly - first iad uses abound, can be mixed with CB above for firestarting Nails - never know when you need to use it as an awl, fasterner, improvised weapon, plumb bob, etc.
Devin Peterson Date 1/23/2013
oops ran out of room... We did think of the cotton balls but left them out because they are somewhat common already to use as a survival tool. I particularly like the nail idea though! Anyway, you're all in luck, use the Coupon code 'Unusualtool' to get 10% any order. It's valid for only 1 week from today!
Devin Peterson Date 1/23/2013
Thanks for the input guys. Jenn - Thank you, we are also developing a new survival tool we call a "Survival tinder maker" which includes a unique way to easily create wood shavings combined with a charcloth making container. Alfonzo - Provided you are in a rich shallow stream, fishing with inchers can be successful with fish as large as a modest catfish. And even still, there's nothing wrong with a tadpole stew :) Dustin - Great points about the safety pins and petroleum jelly. We did t
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marie Date 11/17/2013
i think you should mention plastic wrap for burns, credit cards for sucking wounds and tampons for punctures.
Mark Francis Date 3/10/2014
WD40 spray can - fire starting, self defence, lubrication
Kimberly Kelly-Sydow Date 4/23/2014
I would add in some chicken bouillon cubes, we had them included in a tiny survival kit at the Air Force Survival School, when they took us out to use our skills in the woods, our group of 7 only caught 3 small fish & used the bouillon cubes to make a fish stew. Even if you don't catch anything, you can still make chicken broth.
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