Putting together a survival bag can appear to be a daunting task at first and if you buy all the recommended survival items, the dollars add up quickly. It does not have to be an economic burden however because there are many things in your home that can be used, repurposed if you will, for virtually any survival situation.
1.) A Plastic Shower Curtain Is More than Just a Shower Curtain
The average curtain off the shelf is at least 72 inches long by 60 inches wide and even wider in some cases. The plastic is heavy gauge and along the top, you will see grommets for inserting hooks or inserting cordage (carry the hooks with you). The sides typically have suction cups for attaching to a tile surface, and the area around the cups is reinforced as well, so if you need to put additional holes in the curtain you would use this reinforced area. The curtains’ uses are numerous, but as a survival shelter, they are as good as a nylon tarp in an emergency.
Cordage can be threaded through the grommets and you can add holes where the suction cups are to keep the liner from tearing when securing with rope (remember the area is reinforced). The curtain can be used as a sleeping bag cover by folding the curtain in two and sliding the bag inside and then securing it together with rope or simply lay it on the ground as a moisture barrier.
Use a shower curtain as a raincoat by placing it over your shoulders and then pull a section up over your head and then bring it around the head and secure under the chin using the hooks from the curtain allowing the rest of the curtain to drape over your body. This makes an emergency poncho that is big enough to cover a shouldered pack as well.
2.) Number Two Pencil
Once the painted surface is scraped away, the wood, which is typically cedar, can be shaved for fire starter material. The lead inside, usually made from graphite and clay, is impervious to chemicals, weather, and temperature changes, and it will create a fire when an electrical current is introduced in any environment.
Starting a fire using a pencil should only be used in an emergency however because it requires a car, boat, motorcycle or lawnmower battery along with jumper cables.
Expose the graphite on both ends of the pencil and then connect the red cable to one end of the pencil on the exposed lead and the black cable to the other end. Then connect the cables respectively to the battery. Make sure the pencil is resting on a tinder bundle before connecting to the battery. The pencil will almost immediately burst into flames.
Do not create a fire on or near any battery!
3.) Makeup Compact
The mirror inside can be used for signaling rescue personnel and fire starting and once the makeup pad is removed you can also store small items to help keep them dry. Fishing line and hooks can be stored in some cases, depending on the size. Some compacts have battery-operated lights that activate once the lid is opened, giving you an emergency light source as well.
4.) Paper Towel
A sheet of paper towel can be used as an emergency water filter by fitting it over a container and pouring water slowly through it. Use the paper towel as you would regular coffee filters to brew coffee as well.
Use a sheet of paper towel as you would char cloth. Fold the sheet into a square and gently rough the surface with a knife blade to “fluff” the material. This creates a surface for the ember and provides air pockets to feed the flame. Create a spark using flint and steel or a Ferro rod.
5.) Plastic Can Liners (Garbage Bags)
The bigger the better if you plan to use them for rain gear and for storing items to protect them from the elements. If covering item place the bag over the item versus placing the items inside the bag. This method keeps the opening facing down to prevent rain running in, use one to cover the item from the bottom if needed, but always make sure the bag over the top overlaps the bottom one so it sheds water and does not allow it to run inside the bag.
Garbage bags can also be used as a water collection vessel by digging a small depression and lining it with the bag to collect rain runoff or morning dew. Colored garbage bags can be used as a signaling device as well.
The above-mentioned items are just a few of the literally dozens of items found in a typical home that can be used in any emergency.
Survival is all about utilizing items found in your environment, and very few items you would have on hand, have just a single purpose when you take the time to think about it. Before tossing an item in the trash, think about other ways of using that item especially in a survival situation.
Look around your home and imagine the various uses for the items you see. You will realize that with a little imagination you can practically put together a survival kit without even leaving the home.
What do you see that can be used in a survival situation? Look around you right now without even getting up from your chair and you will likely see numerous items that can be used to help save your life someday.