Do or die: A guide to making survival essentials from scratch

Preppers should be prepared for any scenario. Do-or-die situations without any access to your stockpile, equipment, and shelter for various reasons make up such a possible crisis. An article in The Prepper Journal detailed the essential survival tools you should know how to make from scratch.

These makeshift tools can be divided into two groups: Weapons you can use to defend yourself, and tools that will help you secure essentials such as food and shelter.

Both will keep you alive in a scenario where a disaster has devastated the area so much that it deprives you of your prepared gear. (Related: A step-by-step guide to making your own #10 can oven.)

Protect yourself with these makeshift weapons

Anything that is long and hard enough can be turned into a blunt weapon for bashing a target. Examples include furniture legs, the handles of long brooms, brushes, and mops, or a pot or pan with the right combination of weight and sturdiness.

If your club is made of plastic or wood, you can hammer in a couple of nails to add piercing injury to its bludgeoning one. If it is made of metal, you can tie something big and heavy to one end, turning it into a makeshift hammer that will hit harder.

Or you can take those nails, sharpen their points, and throw them at anything that looks threatening. They won’t be as effective as the shuriken used by ninja, but they can inflict serious hurt on hostiles.

Pepper spray is a good non-lethal weapon. Collect dried chili pepper and water. Add just enough water to float the pepper. Mix and crush the pepper with a spoon until you can see the seeds. Fill a spray bottle or a spray can with it.

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A whip can be made from sufficiently long paracord. Wrap one end of the cord around a handle. The rest of the cord should be at least six inches long. The business end of the whip should have something hard and sturdy.

Knives can serve as weapons and as tools. Get a metal object such as a railroad spike, a lawnmower blade, or a length of steel cable. Grind the object on a hard abrasive surface to give it a pointed end, a cutting edge, or both.

Secure a strip of leather or length of stretchy cloth to a Y-shaped scrap. Now you have got yourself a slingshot, which can be used to defend yourself or hunt small game. You can use any object that is small or hard enough for ammunition, though you may need to train in its use.

Hand-made tools to keep yourself watered and fed

A PVC pipe or plywood can serve as the body of a makeshift bow. Secure a length of string to both ends of the bow.

For the arrows, use nails, screws, or twisted pieces of metal as their heads. Look for straight and lightweight rods for the bodies of the arrows. Finally, get feathers for fletching.

Empty cans and cinder blocks can be combined to construct a rocket stove. It can be used for boiling water, cooking, and heating.

Glass bottles or mason jars can be filled with any kind of oil from the kitchen to serve as oil lamps. They should be used with care due to their flammability.

To purify water for drinking, get charcoal, gravel, and sand. Fill a water bottle or a bucket with one layer of each material. Gravel filters out large objects, sand stops smaller particles, and charcoal handles microparticles.

If you live near bodies of water, you should make fishing lures. Draw the attention of fish towards your hook by adding colorful threads, feathers, or shiny objects.

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