Having a bug-out bag or survival supplies ready for an emergency is ideal, but what happens if you aren’t ready when everything hits the fan? How do you survive if you can’t run to the sporting goods supply store or order things from Amazon anymore? You’re not without options, but you may need to pick up some new skills. How can you make your own survival gear to keep you alive in a survival situation?
A Snare For Catching Food
A gun or a bow might be ideal for hunting, but if you don’t have any of these items on hand, you need some way to trap small game to keep yourself fed. Learning how to create a snare out of some wood and a length of cord or wire can make it easier to capture your next meal. You’ll need a noose made of cord or wire, a trigger which you can carve from wood, a leader line, and an ‘engine’ — a bent-over sapling works well for this.
This is something you can build with nothing more than a pocket knife and some scrap cord that you have lying around. Once the snare is set, all you have to do is wait.
Firestarters to Keep You Warm
Starting a fire is a challenge even in the best conditions. Making some fire starters help make the process a bit easier. You’ve got two options: making char cloth or making firestarters with cotton balls and petroleum jelly.
Char cloth is natural cotton or plant fiber that’s been charred but not burned in a low oxygen environment. Once it’s charred, it becomes easier to start a fire. If you’ve got a good pile of kindling, a spark from a flint rock and your pocket knife will be enough to start it.
Making char cloth is tricky, so expect there to be a learning curve the first few times you try to make it. This is a skill you’ll want to practice before you actually need it.
The other option is to raid your medicine cabinet for petroleum jelly and cotton balls. Petroleum jelly isn’t flammable by itself but it will melt and be wicked up by the cotton, acting like candle wax and allowing the cotton ball to burn for 3-5 minutes. Saturate the cotton balls with the petroleum jelly and once good spark will set them alight.
It’s helpful to know how to start a fire without these tools, but if you’re in a pinch or dealing with wet wood, having a firestarter handy can make the job a little bit easier.
Water Filters to Keep You Safe
In a survival situation, the last thing you want to do is drink unpurified water. It will make you sick, and could potentially kill you. If you don’t have water filters handy, you can make your own. Boiling water will kill any microorganisms or bacteria, but it won’t remove any dirt and debris from it.
You can make a simple carbon water filter with a soda bottle, and a few extra ingredients: gravel, sand, activated carbon, and a cloth. Cut the bottom off the bottle, stuff the cloth in the neck, then layer the activated charcoal, sand, and gravel, leaving enough room at the top to pour water in. The gravel filters out large sediment, the sand removes some microorganisms and fine impurities, and the activated carbon removes the rest. The cloth keeps the carbon from flowing out into your drinking water.
Be Ready for Anything
Being able to create DIY survival supplies can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation. Practice these skills before you need them — there is a learning curve. Practice might not make perfect but it will ensure that you have everything you need to survive.
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