Since I can remember, I was taught to always prepare for the worst. Which ultimately led me to think of emergency situations and how would I react in it with little to no supplies. Paranoia, you say? Probably. Or it could be that I watch one too many episodes on McGuyver with the bros growing up in the eighties.
But, having the mindset of a survivalist on some level ensures that you are prepared for catastrophe no matter what. You can rig things from the ordinary items you would have not used in the first place!!! Most campers and those with a military background are well versed on such training especially being out in the woods and having to rely on simple items often found in nature to survive.
I compiled a list of six of those items for the common practical traveler who is interested in survivalist tactics and preparation that costs little to nothing. These items are considered safe by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); however I would place the obvious items like the tinders and fire starters in my checked luggage and not my carry-on.
Most of the items serve many roles and can be applied to a multitude of tasks with a little imagination. In fact, you do not necessarily need a post-apocalyptic event to use it on an ordinary day! The best part is that I research the items on Amazon.com and discovered that all six items cost well under $25!
Here is the list along with a breakdown on the multiple uses for them and Amazon’s retail cost per item:
1. Cotton Bandana ($0.01 for one 22-inch square)
• Wash cloth
• Mini towel
• Ice Pack
• Dust or Sand mask
• Fly Swatter
• Small bag
2. Duct Tape ($3.50 for one 30 yard roll)
• Tape open holes on bags
• Tent construction
• Construct floor cover for personal space, see post
• Wound dressing (do not place directly on skin, dress with gauze or tissue first)
• Repair broken shoe
• Make a drinking cup
• Cover boots to make it waterproof and/or provide insulation
• Repair leaks from toiletry bottles
3. Trash Bags ($4.06 for one Earth Sense eco-friendly! 50 bags 33-gal. box)
• Construct floor cover for personal space, like above, see post
• Waterproof bedding- insulated blanket to retain heat
• Makeshift hamper for dirty laundry
• Protect shoes during packing and transport
• Makeshift shower
• Heat water- fill bag and set out in the sun for solar heated water
• Haul your things in case your luggage or bag cannot be repaired with the duct tape!
4. TSA-friendly and cheap fire starters & tinder (MOST ARE FREE OR THINGS YOU ALREADY HAVE IN STOCK) [Again, I would carry this in a checked bag as a precaution]
• Crayon burned as a candle
• Melted wax or wax shavings
• Cotton balls or a tampon dabbed with petroleum jelly
• Hand sanitizer
• Recycled toilet rolls pre-constructed and filled with wax, shredded paper or jelly
• Recycled lint from the dryer
• Lip balm stick
• Dried grass
5. Paracord ($5.99 for one 50 feet bundle)
• Hold bags together
• Sewing thread
• Tie down a tarp
• Improvise a hammock
• Build a ladder
• Assist in building shelter
• Shoe laces
6. Aluminum Foil ($8.99 for one Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Foil, 130 Sq Ft)
• Place a sheet under hotel’s room ironing board fabric to heat more evenly
• Use as a dryer sheet to remove the static
• Make a funnel to transfer liquid from one bottle to the another bottle
• Use as a reflective surface
• Polish your silver jewelry rings – line a bowl with the foil, pour cold water and two teaspoons of salt and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly and wipe clean with a soft cloth!
• Heat insulation
• Can be used in tandem with triple A batteries if you’re out of double A batteries- roll a piece into small ball and place in between the positive end of the battery and the connector
• Keep tinders dry
FOR A TOTAL COST OF $22.55!
Not bad for a few items to keep in your gear to keep you prepared and while the items are of light weight you don’t have to be concerned with overloading your luggage. Just take what you think you would need should say like for those densely packed items that comes boxed, like the trash bags and the aluminum foil. You can’t be too safe!
Be prepared to always have fun 🙂 and more so for your safety. Happy Travels!
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