How to Open Cans Without a Can Opener

  1. GPS1504
    Suppose you find yourself in a SHTF situation and you are hungry. Of course you took measures to ensure you would have food, so there are plenty of canned goods from which you can choose. However, you have to open those canned goods somehow. If the grid has failed or you have elected to go off-grid, then an electric can opener will not do you a drop of good. That is where a manual can opener comes in handy, but oops, you forgot that, too. Sure, you can beat your can on a post in hopes of gouging a hole in it, but in truth all you will do is spill or ruin the contents, which is something you do not want to happen when food is scarce.


    Opening a can with a knife is an option. I\'m embarrassed to say this was routine in my house back in the days of being newly out from under the parental wings. Spend $3 on a can opener or buy more to eat? The choice was clear for some of us poor 18 year olds-- we bought more cans. You don\'t even need a super big or sharp knife to do this, although you do need something with more of a point than a butter knife. Simply stand the knife inside the rim of the can with the point facing down and hold it steady, then give the handle a downward thump with your other hand. Move around the rim repeating this until you have removed the lid. It will be jagged and sharp, so be careful not to cut yourself. This process does take a few minutes so be sure to get started before you are ravenous or else you might wind up frustrated.


    Let\'s say you forgot your knife in addition to the can opener. Now what? You\'re alone, away from civilization (provided civilization even exists at this point), and have none of the luxuries of home. Your stomach is rumbling and all you have is a can of food that you cannot open...or can you?

    Many places you will travel are within close proximity to a concrete jungle or at least are near to a road. If you have access to any sort of concrete, be it a curb or parking barricade, you can open a can. If you have road access, you can open a can. How? Simply flip the can over and lay the top against concrete or asphalt. Being sure to keep your fingers safely out of the way, rapidly rub the can back and forth. This will create friction, which causes wear, and will erode at the rim of the can. Do this for a few seconds and check your progress; you should have worn down enough of the rim to weaken the lip holding the lid in place. With your fingers, apply pressure around the edges of the can, being careful not to cut yourself. The lid should pop right off, exposing your delicious canned meal.


    Do not despair if you have canned items but lack the standard tools to open them. There is always an alternative that will enable you to survive, you just have to find it.

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