It’s time for another round of helpful and practical tricks and tips that can be worth their weight in gold during all kinds of survival situations.  They’re ingenious in their simplicity, and most involve making good use of items that you already have or can easily obtain.

Bandanna Water Filter

Take two cups, place one on a stand so that it’s elevated above the other, and fill it with dirty water.  Twist up a bandanna and put one end into the dirty water and the other into the lower empty cup.  The water will travel through the material and drain into the empty cup, and the fabric will remove quite a few of the impurities along the way.  All you need to do is strain the clean water if some particles remain before boiling it for 10 minutes to make it safe for consumption.

Cell Phone Case

Most of us use a protective case for our cell phones, and this is a great spot to stash some cash, spare keys or other small and important items.  It’s also a good place to keep a list of phone numbers or contact information that you can access if your phone breaks and you can’t pull up your address list.


Pack away a few crayons to be used as emergency fire starters or candles.  They should ignite on the first try, they work well in wet conditions, and they also burn for a decent amount of time.  If you need more light, or it’s too windy to use the crayon as a candle, consider making a shield out of an aluminum can.  Cut a vertical line down one of the sides, cut horizontal lines across the top and bottom of the slit, open the flaps and you now have a place to set the crayon.  Not only will it protect it from the elements, but the metal will also reflect light from the flame and give you a bright, improvised lantern.


Pack a couple of pieces of chalk in your bug out bag, and you can use it to mark trees or other objects to help you avoid getting lost.  It can also help to direct rescuers to your location as well.


Keep a few keys on a ring and put it somewhere that is easily-accessible.  If you’re ever in a fight, all you need to do is grab the keys, make a fist and let a few of them poke out between your fingers.  This little trick can be as effective as brass knuckles, and it may stop an attacker dead in their tracks after one or two good punches.

Glow Stick

Attach a string to a glow stick and twirl it around.  This makes for an excellent signaling device that can be seen for great distances after dark.

USB Drive

We all know the importance of having important documents on hand following a disaster, particularly if you have to evacuate and start over somewhere else.  While you can keep hard copies and bring them with you, it may be easier, and safer to store them on a secure thumb drive instead.  You can also do both and give yourself an extra layer of protection if your hard copies get lost or destroyed.

Aluminum Foil

Make sure to pack a few sheets of aluminum foil in your bug out bag.  You can use it as a base for starting a fire on wet ground.  Foil can also be used to pad the end of a smaller battery and allow you to use it place of larger ones.  You can also attach strips to both ends of a battery, join them in the center, and use it to start fires as well.  These are a few examples of dozens of uses for foil in the field, and you definitely want to have some on hand in an emergency.

Try to remember these tips, and always keep your eyes open for other little ideas that can make life easier during a survival situation.