When it comes to survival, improvising efficient solutions from everyday items can save the day. There are useful tools all around you, and you need to be able and recognize them. The following household items can be found in most North American homes, and they will come in handy during an emergency.
Some may argue that the whole point of preparedness is that we won’t have to improvise when it hits the fan, but you might not have any other choice. You could be far away from your supplies and tools, you could be on vacation, for example, what then? Survival should be an option for everyone, regardless if they have their own survival toolkit or not. Relying on your wits and skills to make good use of household items will get you through whatever may come. All you need is a survivalist mindset and some useful household items.
Ten household items you can use in an emergency:
This is one of the household items that should be obvious when it comes to survival. I probably shouldn’t even add it to the list. You might not have your expensive and excellent survival gear with you all the time. However, I bet that if you walk in any kitchen, you will find a sturdy 10-inch chef’s knife. You will be able to make good use of it, just like you would with a survival knife.
Not to mention that in a self-defense situation holding and waving such a knife tends to discourage most attackers (we can thank Hollywood for that). A kitchen knife is good enough to get you out of a nasty situation.
Among all household items that you can use in an emergency, aluminum foil is probably the most versatile one. This is a multipurpose item that should be included in every bug out bag. I’ve written in a previous article about it. There are so many things you can do with aluminum foil that you could write a book on the subject.
You can use it to start a fire, you can use it to boil water or cook food, you can make an antenna from it and you can signal for help. People are using aluminum foil for all sorts of projects and the internet is full of ideas.
Related article: Most versatile items you should have in your bug out bag
Laundry bleach is an item that can be found in every home and most survivalists know that it will make water safe for drinking (eight drops of standard bleach will treat a gallon of water). Even more, it can be used to sanitize food storage containers and food preparation items. It can clean items contaminated by floodwaters and it can disinfect almost any item to prevent the spread of diseases.
Wire coat hanger
A wire coat hanger is a handy item because the metal from which is made is both bendable and robust. It is useful for anything from unlocking a car to securing a door and even setting traps. When it’s unfolded, a hanger has enough length to be useful for many DIY projects. You can make a grill to cook your food, you can make all sorts of hooks, you can use it to build whatever you think of.
You can check out the YouTube videos on the subject and learn more about how a wire coat hanger can be used in a survival situation. When scavenging for household items to use for survival make sure you don’t miss this versatile item.
From all the household items you can use in an emergency situation, the cardboard box may seem an unusual choice. These household items have been the primary construction material and survival items for the homeless for generations. You can turn a box into a temporary shelter if it’s big enough or you can improvise one from multiple boxes. It will keep you warm if you flatten and wrap it around your body since it’s a good insulation agent.
You can use it to carry small items, you can use it to leave notes and signs and you can use it to cover your windows. If you combine it with the aluminum foil, you can make a decent solar oven (the internet is full of how to videos) to cook your food.
This food can be found in every home and when it comes to household items that can help you survive, it is probably one of the best. Honey has been documented in the world’s oldest medical literature and since ancient times, it has been used as a healing aid for almost anything you can think of.
It offers antibacterial activity and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Honey is a good and healthy food source, it will help preserve food and it can even help you treat burns.
Related reading: Honey, the ultimate survival food
The ordinary broomstick that you find in all homes can be used to make a formidable weapon. A sturdy broomstick can make a good spear if you strap a knife to it. You can use it for self-defense or you can use it to spear fish or frogs. You can use it as a walking stick on rough terrain.
A broomstick can be used as a pole for fishing or you can use it to pull down fruits that are out of reach. It is one of the household items for which you can always find a good use; it’s just a matter of having the right imagination.
Although liquor can help you cope with a stressful emergency situation, getting drunk when you have to face a crisis is not the way to go. You should make good use of liquor’s proprieties and any alcoholic beverage of 80 proof or more will burn quite well. Hard alcohol can be used to start a fire, to disinfect needles or other instruments, to repel bugs, to relieve poison ivy and the list goes on. You can even use it as lamp fuel or to make herbal tinctures. Liquor is one of the household items that you can easily find in every house and you should make the most of it.
Everyone who cares about dental hygiene has at least of dozen packs of dental floss in their medicine cabinet. This is one of the household items that is overlooked by many and its big mistake.
First, this handy thread is super strong and it can be used for stitching up wounds. And second, it can be used for anything and it can replace the conventional thread successfully. You can use it for sewing, for wrapping and tying simple knots.
A CD or DVD can make a good signaling mirror during a disaster. It will work great for catching the attention of the rescue teams. You can also use a CD to start a fire and although it may take some time, it will do the job. You can even use CDs to keep birds from poaching your produce, just hang them in your garden and they will do the trick.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg of useful household items that are everywhere around you. You can exercise your survival mindset by thinking about survival uses of household items you can see around you. It’s a fun exercise to imagine how you can use the items from your house to help yourself and your family through an emergency.
Useful resources to check out:
Special Forces and the main reason they are the best Survival Outdoor Experts
Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation
A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting
Survival Lessons from the 1880s Everyone Should Know