As you meet and converse with other preppers or peruse written materials, you may hear or come across something that sounds downright odd. Strangeness aside, people may tell you to try something that seems absurd at best and you may hesitate to believe it. Even if a survival hack seems outlandish, don't be in a hurry to write it off, as there are plenty of unlikely, and unexpected, tips and tricks that will surprise you, such as the those listed below.
1. Crayons are not just for the kiddies anymore. You can use a crayon as a candle by simply lighting one end and standing it upright. This is another reason kids and matches don't mix, as they could light their crayons and carry them around as tiny torches, potentially lighting other things on fire as well.
Photo: Tactical Daily
2. Pantyhose have purposes other than making a fashion statement. In addition to keeping your legs warm, they can be used to make rope or serve as a tourniquet. They can also be used to filter water, removing large particles.
3. If you need something to drink while out in the frozen tundra, it may be tempting to eat snow to quench your thirst. This is actually a bad idea, however, as the cold temperature of snow can dangerously lower your body temperature. You should instead drink water by melting snow before consuming.
4. Condoms are known for providing a barrier through which fluids cannot pass, so you might as well use that as a survival advantage. If you have items you would like to keep dry, such as matches, store them inside of a condom and tie a knot in the open end to contain them. You can also use condoms over the barrel of a firearm to prevent moisture from getting inside.
Photo: Year Zero Survival
5. Cotton clothing may seem like a good choice where apparel is concerned, but it has its disadvantages. Wet cotton, for example, does not allow for heat retention, therefore making it possible to acquire hypothermia much more easily. If you're at risk of becoming cold and wet outdoors, adjust your apparel by wearing wool or synthetic blends instead, and always pack a change of clothes.
6. When a tsunami strikes and the water recedes, it may seem like a cool idea to take a closer look. This is actually a bad judgment call, as much like what goes up must come down, water that goes out will come back in, faster and with much more force. If you notice water receding, get to higher ground immediately, regardless of whether or not you've been made aware of a tsunami warning, as once the SHTF, alert and warning systems will likely fail.
Photo: Hiway 17
7. Tampons are a great part of any first aid kit, or they can be used in the absence of one. Tampons are made from layers of compressed cotton that can be pulled apart to act as gauze. Also, if you get a nose bleed, tampons are just the right shape to serve as a plug.
8. If a tornado strikes, don't believe the old wives' tales about leaving doors and windows open, as this will open your home up to more severe damage. Instead, close all windows and doors tightly until the storm passes. There is no guarantee your home will survive intact, but closing rather than opening doors will give it a better chance.
9. If you find yourself stranded in a snow storm, stay put inside your car. To generate warmth, run the engine for 10 minutes each hour, but always be sure to keep your tailpipe free of snow so your car can exhaust properly. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antennae or leave the dome light on to attract attention.
Photo: Final Call
10. When the creature comforts of a normal kitchen are gone, recreate them with aluminum foil. You can store items in foil, cook food inside of foil, and even use foil as a surface off of which to eat. When your meal is over, you can use that foil again to mark trails and paths or to signal for help.
Even if some of these things seem small and insignificant, they all have life-saving potential. In the end it will depend on what is on the line or what is at stake and how you can avert a crisis. If it takes a flaming crayon to bring light into a darkened world, then so be it.
Do you have any survival hacks you'd like to add? Feel free to let us know in the comments!