The art of survival is one of the most important things to master in life. Survivalism is also a growing industry, and there are tons of tools, weapons, and information available.
However, in addition to survival items and tools you can buy, there are tons of everyday survival items surrounding you. Once you understand more about these nifty survival items, you can learn how to use them in extreme situations.
Everyday Survival Items You Can Utilize
1. Altoids Tin
A used Altoids tin is the perfect container to hold small survival items. It’s durable, can take a beating, and is small enough to fit into your pocket.
2. Animal Parts
In addition to all the typical meaty portions you eat from an animal, the animal parts that normally get discarded have survival benefits. The bones, for example, can get utilized as weapons, needles, or fishing equipment.
Even other parts, like the fat and fur, serve as a source of warmth in cold conditions. The sky’s the limit when it comes to using animal parts to survive.
3. Binder Clip
Binder clips are some of the most versatile survival items on this list. You can use them as part of a compass, to bind your clothing together, or as a splint for a broken toe or finger.
4. Car Battery
You can use a car battery to create small amounts of electricity during a power outage. Car batteries are also one of the best tools for starting fires when you don’t have access to matches and other materials.
Metal cans are another very versatile survival tool in extreme situations. You can use cans as shovels, traps for insects and small birds or rodents, or as a container.
You can also turn cans into makeshift knives and weapons by utilizing the sharpness of the metal.
The reason that chapstick keeps your lips moist is that it contains small amounts of petroleum jelly. It just so happens that the petroleum jelly in your chapstick is also a great fire-starting source.
7. Credit Card
Because of movies, most people realize that you can use credit cards to jimmy locked doors. However, they also serve more practical survival uses, such as use as a weapon or form of identity.
In addition to their obvious use, condoms are one of the most surprisingly versatile survival items on this list. You can use them to wrap up items you don’t want getting wet, store food and water, and even use one as part of a makeshift slingshot!
9. Dental Floss
Because of how strong and thin dental floss is, you can use it to sew up torn items, create a fishing net, or as a fishing line. You can also use it as a tripwire for traps, a clothesline, or as tinder for fire.
Depending on the type of glasses you have, you can use them to start a fire.
In addition to helping you look good in the wilderness, lipstick can also get used for its small-scale, temporary waterproofing benefits. You can even use it to write messages, as a fire starter, and even use the container when the lipstick is gone to store small items.
The first obvious use for magazines as survival items is that you can use them to start a fire. However, magazines have a hard spine and solid pages, which means you can roll them up and use them as a makeshift weapon.
Aside from the obvious benefit of holding matches, matchbooks are great for other survival purposes. For instance, you can use the matchbook itself as part of the fire-starting process.
Maxi-Pads are great for soaking up moisture and cleaning up messes. You can also use them to bandage cuts and wounds that are bleeding.
15. Makeup Mirror
Makeup mirrors have glass and reflective purposes that can serve to start a fire. You can also use the reflective aspect to signal for help or speak in Morse code.
You can also use a makeup mirror to peek around corners if you don’t want to expose yourself. Finally, the glass from a broken makeup mirror is razor sharp and can get used as a knife.
As with magazines, newspapers are great for tinder to start a fire. You can also wrap them up tight and use them as a weapon.
Additionally, newspapers also have insulating properties making them great as a makeshift blanket in cold weather.
17. Panty Hose
Pantyhose is another one of the most versatile survival items on earth. You can use it for a wide range of purposes, such as securing bait on a fishing pole, as a tourniquet, binding things together, building a shelter, and much more.
18. Paper Clip
Similar to binder clips, paper clips are very useful and versatile survival items. You can use them for cleaning and sanitary purposes, as part of a compass, or as a splint for fingers and toes.
If you’ve ever watched a medical television drama, you know that pens are valuable medical and survival items. You can also use them as a straw for drinking water, as a weapon, as a measuring tool, or to make tiny holes.
Pencils are great survival items but not quite as useful as pens because they aren’t hollow in the middle. You can use pencils to plug holes, write messages, as a weapon, and for many other uses.
21. Plastic Bottles
The list of things you can use a plastic bottle for is nearly endless. It serves as a fire starter, a trap for fish and small creatures, a floatation device, and many other things.
You can also use it to protect your eyes on sunny days or to store items you want to protect from the elements.
22. Safety Pin
Safety pins are right along the line of binder and paper clips in terms of their usefulness as survival items. You can use them for all the things we looked at with those items, plus as a needle when sewing, to bandage and close wounds, or for fishing.
In addition to keeping your shoes strapped tightly to your feet, shoelaces are invaluable survival items. You can use them to construct a shelter, fish, as a tourniquet for wounds, and much more.
You can also use them to build a shelter or as part of a weapon, such as a slingshot or a bow.
Once you can get over the fact that they’re dirty socks, you can use them for tons of things. Socks are a great way to filter water on an opposite day to keep your hands warm instead of your feet or as a holding pouch.
You can also fill socks with rocks, tie the end off and use it as a weapon. Finally, socks are great as heating or ice pads or as medical devices.
25. Soda Can
Anything metallic can serve a multitude of survival uses. Soda cans, for example, can get converted into knives and weapons.
You can also use them as digging or signaling tools and as a conductor of heat.
Tampons, or Maxi-Pads, are great for soaking up moisture, including blood from a cut or nosebleed. They also serve as a source of tinder for starting fires.
You can also use the tampon wrapper as extra tinder if you need more.
When it comes to survival items, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more versatile tool than thread. You can use them for typical uses such as binding parts of a shelter together, a fishing line, or a tourniquet.
You can also use thread as tinder when you’re out of options or for sewing if you have a needle.
28. Wood Ashes
Just because wood ashes are the by-products of a burned fire doesn’t mean they’re useless. For instance, it’s common to use wood ashes to start a new fire or to provide friction on slippery surfaces, or to de-ice.
It’s also great for neutralizing bad smells from skunks and other foul things. Additionally, ashes are a common product to use in soaps and cleaning products or as a slug repellant.
Digital watches are next to useless for anything aside from telling time. Non-digital wristwatches, however, are extremely useful as survival items.
You can use the hands on a non-digital watch as a compass to understand your directions. Additionally, if you have a waterproof wristwatch, you can remove the inner workings and use it as a tiny, waterproof container for small items, such as line, thread, and a fishing hook.
Final Thoughts About Handy Survival Items
As you can see, you’re literally surrounded by everyday things that you can use as survival items. While many of these items may seem useless, they can mean the difference between life and death, depending on the situation.
For more survival tips and tricks, you should check out our 18 Essential Items for Building the Ultimate Survival Kit List.