Are you looking for the simplest, most effective ways to prepare for major storms or even a complete social collapse? If you are on a tight budget like the rest of us, homemade survival gear may be just the thing. This guide offers an introduction to 10 easy projects that you can do in your spare time, and mostly with items from around the house.
1. Hoop Snare Trap
Making traps and using them is one of the oldest ways to hunt for food. This video shows you how to make and use a basic hoop snare trap. This trap requires little more than a rope and some twigs. Or, if you don’t have rope, you can use vines or other items found in the woods. These traps can also be built with 5 to 6 different size sticks and small saplings to fit the size animal you intend to catch. The most important parts of the trap are the bait, lashing cord, and the noose cord.
2. Char Cloth
Char cloth is an excellent tinder to start fires using flint and steel, bow method, or any other fire starting method that needs a low-temperature tinder to start a fire. You can make char cloth from heavy cotton materials such as denim or other thick woven cotton materials. Even though my personal favorite for a container to make char cloth in is an old shoe cleaner tin, you can use just about anything that happens to be available. See the video listed above for a basic guide to making char cloth.
3. Penny Can Stove
The video below shows you all you need to know about making a Penny Can Stove out of two aluminum drink cans. These simple stoves can be used for cooking and are an efficient source of heat. If you have two aluminum cans and a way to poke holes in them, then you will have a decent stove that can burn Heet or Rubbing Alcohol. No matter whether you need to survive the aftermath of a tornado or it’s your first night on the run after a major social collapse, this stove can be made in just a few minutes and will be a key to meeting several needs.
4. DIY Pocket Survival Kits
In these times, you just never know when a disaster is going to strike. If you have to abandon your home or car, there may not be time to snatch up a bug out bag let alone everything else you’ve worked so hard to store away. This is why you and each of your loved ones should have a pocket sized emergency kit that is carried at all times. Even though there are many variations of this kit, they should all include:
- A means of starting a fire (example a pocket mirror which can also be used to signal for help).
- Enough medications to last a few days (include aspirin and a fever reducer that you aren’t allergic to).
- Fishing line.
- Needles for sewing (you can sew with the fishing line).
- Paper clips can be made into fishing hooks or opened and twisted to make fasteners.
- A credit card knife/screwdriver kit.
- Trial size antibiotic cream and a few band-aids.
This excellent video above shows some basic items that you can fit into an Altoids tin and can be used as a good starting point.
5. Steel Can Rocket Stove
This is a cheap and easy way to make a rocket stove. All you need is 1 large coffee can, 1 16oz. can, 1 small soup can, dirt, and small gravel. All of these items can be scrounged very easily in a short time. This stove is very easy to build and use. You can use the rocket stove to burn twigs, leaves, or just about anything else that is on hand.
In a survival situation, it is easy to make a slingshot by using a small forked hardwood branch. Growing up and throughout life, I have made many slingshots. They are a simple to make weapon that can kill small game, or be used as a defensive weapon when nothing else is available.
7. Spring Pole For Automatic Survival Fishing
The spring pole fishing system is similar to the basic hoop snare. The snare is used on land while the spring pole is designed to take fish from the water. I have used this fishing system before and prefer to use it with multiple fishing rods instead of just one. It does work quite well when the rods are set up correctly. This spring pole is ideal for situations where fish are available and you need to feed several people in a group. It also works well if you need some kind of trap that will help provide food while you are doing other things.
8. Survival/Fishing Spear
Without survival/fishing spear, you are missing out on a simple, but very effective weapon and hunting tool. There are a number of ways to make these spears. I recommend the spear shown in the first video because it is a well-made design that works well in the field. Use the second video for tips on how to fire harden the spear point. This hardening process is very important but sometimes overlooked.
9. How to Make a Fire Starter Using Petroleum Jelly and Cotton Balls
To make this fire starter you will need cotton balls, petroleum jelly, a spoon, and a bowl.
I have used this fire starting method many times in the past. These fire starters are cheap to make and will burn with a hot flame for 3-5 minutes. This method can also be used easily by anyone trying to build a fire, regardless of skill level. It is also one of the few “simple” methods that can be used easily on damp wood or in situations where other methods would fail.
10. How to Make a survival fishing kit
From fishing trips to camping and survival needs, you will find a DIY fishing kit very important. I have used these kits many times and recommend them for any bug out bag. This video shows you how to make a good one that can also be expanded on to suit your tastes. Just remember that the following items are the most basic:
- Must have a fishing line of various lengths and weights.
- An assortment of hooks.
- Easy to use cork floats.
- 3 eyelet screws and 2 “L” screws to make a rod.
- Swivels and split shot to use on the line.
- 3 small fly fishing flies for bait.
As you can see, some of the most important and simple survival gear items are not expensive, difficult to get, or hard to make. You can use these videos to build a comprehensive survival kit in just a few hours. If you have made your own survival gear, please share your experience and methods. Did you try using the gear featured in this article? How did it work for you, and what else might you recommend for homemade survival gear?