multiuse survival ideas

Mylar blankets for survival
Prepping at costco
Happy Preppers site for survivalists + preppers
Steel wool: multi-use prepping item
Four in one multi-tool
Stone tools
Silica gel packs
------------------------------------------------- Revised 02/22/2021
(C) Copyright  2012-2021 by All rights reserved. The site happily targets concerned
citizens who are self-reliant survivalists, preppers and homesteaders with original content on survival following
societal collapse. You may link to our site, but
you may NOT reproduce any part of our content, or store our
content in any retrieval system to represent it as your own. Further, you may not transmit content in any other
form or by any means, including (but not limited to) electronic, photocopy, mechanical, or recording without
written consent. makes no warranties. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising
program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, or Amazon is a great place to buy emergency supplies. In other words, we
recommend prepping gear sold on Amazon. It's a great place to shop.

Get prepared! Read more emergency preparedness information on our home page.

prepping article on multiuse survival items has been archived by The article has been
saved as many a 40 times between February 25, 2015 and February 22, 2021. This helps protect our copyright.

Do NOT copy. Linking is okay.

privacy policy
Military chewing gum with caffeine
Prepper Deal Alerts Check
daily deals for prepping
gear and food storage.
Above, stone tools made by Athonio Akkermans shows some of the
many ways stones were used.

Native Americans used stones:
  1. to craft arrowheads and spear points (flint, also quartz)
  2. for firestarting (flint)
  3. to grind acorns and wild grains (granite)
  4. for ceremonial purposes (red jasper, alabaster)
  5. to tan hides (flint)
  6. for cave paintings (hematite)
  7. to make jewelry (turquoise, obsidian)
  8. for medicinal purposes (Rose quartz and azurite for healing)
  9. to mix pottery with clay (pumice)
  10. for silver casting (granite) to craft weapons
  11. to carve peace pipes (Catlinite also called pipestone)

Now you now how to use ordinary things to do extraordinary things!
Knowledge weighs nothing, so keep on learning and growing.

Happy Endings...
Knowledge is your passport to survival, but your skills are your
wealth. You can turn everyday items into survival necessities if you
have the right knowledge.
Develop a skill set for survival.

More prepping articles...
* These prepper medicines are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any
health or dietary matter, always consult your physician. This information is intended for your general
knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific
medical conditions. Never disregard or delay in seeking medical advice when available.

Prepare to live happily ever after with us at - the Web site of
emergency preparedness, prepping, survival,
homesteading and self-sufficiency.
Above, National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers demonstrates a do-it-
yourself steel-wool fire.

Multi-use supply #30: Superglue.
Krazy glue, Gorilla glue or superglue: these glue formulas have
amazing powers. Here is the
list of super uses of superglue.

Multi-use survival tool #31: Safety pins.
Safety pins are included in survival kits for many reasons. With a
safety pin you can:
    #1. create an instant fish hook (you'll need cordage of
    #2. craft an arm sling from T-shirt for first aid.
    #3. improvise tweezers for splinter or tick removal.
    #4. secure a bandana to make a bandage to compress
    #5. make a finger splint.
    #6. hang stuff to dry.
    #7. affix gear to your bugout bag.
    #8. mend a broken shoe lace.
    #9. close your pant legs to keep out snow.
    #10. improvise a toothpick
    #11 connect blankets, bags or clothes to create shelter
    #12 close wounds (in extreme cases where no doctor is
    #13 open cans
    #14 defend yourself!
    #15 start a fire with a battery and safety pin (attach a safety
    pin to the terminals of the battery). You can do the same
    with aluminum foil
       (and, yes, you can repair your clothes)

Multi-use supply #32: Vaseline (petroleum jelly).
Petroleum jelly is a lubricant with many uses for preppers:
  1. firestarter
  2. lip balm
  3. treatment of rashes
  4. temporary seam sealant.
  5. Get more uses from a jar of petroleum jelly.

Multi-use supply #33: Vick's VapoRub.
Getting a cold is a buzz kill and Vicks Vaporub can help by
temporarily relieving coughs due to common cold, but there's so
much more that Vick's VapoRub can do. One of our most popular
articles, read
20 Alternative Uses of Vick's VapoRub.

Multi-use supply #34: Vinegar.
Pioneers, among the earliest of preppers, used vinegar almost
daily and were sure to pack plenty of vinegar for the ride along
the Oregon trail. They used vinegar for pies, special tonics and
Vinegar is good to have in the prepper's pantry.

Multi-use supply #35: WD-40.
WD-40 is well appreciated by preppers for its varied purposes
from .
WD-40 is known as "the can with a thousand uses."

Multi-use supply #36: Zip-ties.
Also called cable ties / zip ties have a multitude of purposes for
preppers. Read: The
Zany Uses of Zip Ties for Preppers.

Multi-use supply #37: Zote soap.
A bar of soap can be a survival tool. Among the most favorite
brands are Zote soap and Fels Naptha.
Zote soap survival uses.

Stone: the Earliest Known Multi-use Survival Item:
To be a prepper is to effectively use the resources all around you
to survive. Even ancient man knew that a stone was valuable to
hammer, to grind food and cook, to defend a territory and kill prey.
Multi-use supply #11: Cigarettes.
Cigarettes are extremely useful in prepping. The primary purpose
preppers have for cigarettes is for tinder ~ think of cigarettes as
tinder sticks! Everyone knows how quickly a cigarette lights up
and this can help build and maintain a fire, but cigarettes have
many other uses too.

History reveals that cigarettes have been an important bartering
tool, particularly in times of war. Native Americans received gifts
of tobacco from the earliest settlers. Did you know that the
indigenous people are responsible for the concept behind cigars
and cigarettes? While the settlers used pipes, cigarettes were
made by the indigenous people by rolling wrappers of extremely
thin corn husks. Recognizing the medicinal value and the Native
Americans quickly discovered tobacco relaxes muscles!

They found it may help deal with worms and intestinal parasites
and they used it for relief of bug bites and stings.

Multi-use supply #12: Coffee and coffee Can.
A large coffee can (or a #10 can that holds freeze dried foods)
provides material for tools in an off-grid world. Save the cans to
create a:
  1. storage container
  2. Hobo camp stove or part of a cardboard box oven
  3. cooking pot or baking tin
  4. forage container
  • Coffee grounds can help add nitrogens and can acidify your
    soil. Find out the benefits of Coffee for Survival.

Multi-use supply #13: Cooking oil.
Cooking oil is essential, but it will eventually go rancid. If you
have rancid oil then you'll have fuel for an oil lamp or a candle. Be
sure to have wicks handy in your supplies. You can also use
Crisco or coconut oil for making a candle too. A stick of butter is
another unusual oil to make a candle.

Multi-use supply #14: Cordage.
Cordage, such as paracord has many survival uses. Stock some in
your bugout bag. You'll find
paracord imminently useful in an
emergency situation for such things as making snares and
tripwire; improvising as a fishing line; lashing to create shelter;
thread to sew or to make an extra shoe lace.

Paracord is cordage that's imminently useful in an emergency
situation. With paracord for survival, you can:
  • make snares and tripwire;
  • improvise as a fishing line;
  • lash foliage to create shelter;
  • make a clothesline;
  • improvise a first aid tourniquet
  • use as a fire bow cord;
  • sling a rifle;
  • tie down gear to the bugout bag;
  • use as a bear bag rope;
  • thread to sew (paracord has layers of cordage, just break
  • make an extra shoe lace or a belt.
  • improvising snow shoes (binding)
  • stitching a wound!
    The list of uses for cordage is endless!

Multi-use supply #15: Corn Starch.
Ordinary corn starch in your kitchen can have multiple purposes.
Typcially cooks use corn starch to thicken gravies, but a box can
do so much more. In addition to thickening gravies, stews and
soups, cornstarch is ideal for making puddings, and pies, and
fluffy omelets. Cornstarch is also a good source of Calcium! Want
to make powdered sugar?  It just so happens that an ingredient
in powdered sugar is corn starch. Also, cornstarch can be a
substitute for baking powder in some recipes.

Cornstarch has many uses in the kitchen, but cornstarch can help
you in many other ways to survive economic turbulance or help
with a medical situation...

Here's how to use cornstarch:
  1. beats heat rash (sprinkle on the skin to avoid rashes from
  2. soothes rashes and prevents diaper rash (in powder form)
  3. is a sunburn reliever (when you make a paste)
  4. keeps roaches away (the little boogers don't like it)
  5. works as a dry shampoo for pets
  6. prevents chafing while hiking so you won't get blisters on
    your feet
  7. frees rubber gloves from sticking to your hands for easy
  8. stiffens clothes as a starch for ironing!
  9. polishes silver
  10. acts like a deodorant under the arms to absorb moisture as it
  11. absorbs odors in your shoes as a talcum powder

Multi-use supply #16: Dental Floss.
The main reason preppers like to stockpile dental floss and pack
it in a bugout bag is because dental floss is cordage. In a pinch
you can use dental floss for emergency fishing,

Your dentist will smile over the
25 unusual uses for dental floss.

Multi-use supply #17: Epsom Salt.
Epsom salt is worth it's weight in, well, salt! We've got Eight
Good Reasons to Stock Epsom Salt in your Preps.

Multi-use supply #18: Honey.
Honey is all the buzz in the survival forums as a natural addition
to your food storage, but did you know that honey is also an
antibiotic? There are so many reasons to stock this powerhouse.

Multi-use supply #19: Hydrogen Peroxide.
Did you know hydrogen peroxide expires? Stock ample supply of
hydrogen peroxide and look to restocking fresh supply of this
unstable liquid, which has strong oxidizing properties. Valuable
for disinfecting, hydrogen peroxide is a prepper's favorite.

Multi-use survival tool #20. Iodine.
A small bottle will help you purify water and simultaneously treat
wounds, as well as improve your health (including improved
thyroid function). Pictured right is Lugol's iodine solution. Apply it
to the skin or take it orally:
  • Applied to the skin, iodine destroys virus and fungus on
  • Taken internally*, iodine destroys vicious stomach bacteria,
    (especially salmonella), against gas, bloating, indigestion,
    heartburn. Doomed are harmful bacteria and parasite eggs!  
    Lugols also provides amazing relief and a calming, soothing,
    peaceful state to anxiety and a manic stage. Helps improve
    thyroid function as well. Add two drops to your coffee and
  • Iodine purifies water.

Multi-use supply #21: Kerosene.
Kerosene is a popular fuel from our American ancestory that came
about in 1848 when an
American medical doctor and geologist
distilled coal to produce a clear fluid that burned with a bright
yellow flame. He noticed that kerosene burned brigher and
steadier than candles. This clean burning fuel, also can prevent
rust, plus you can use it as a lubricant or as a solvent to remove
oil, grease, tar!

Multi-use supply #22: Lemons.
Pucker up your emergency preparedness plans with lemons. There
is more than one use for a lemon, giving you more reason than
ever to grow lemons and make lemons part of your survival plan.
Reasons to Include Lemons in your Survival Plan.

Multi-use supply #23: Mouthwash.
Certainly mouthwash makes the list of improvised tools and
supplies because there are
12 prepper uses for mouthwash.

Multi-use supply #24: Mosquito Netting or Pantyhose.
Survival expert Mykel Hawke brings mosquito netting because it  
has many purposes. A pair of panty hose belongs in your bugout
bag as you'll soon discover it has several survival uses for
preppers as well. Wearing pantyhose provides an insulation layer,
particularly in wearing pantyhose under socks has the added
benefit of preventing chafing and blisters. This is an old military
trick! Learn all the
survival uses of pantyhose.

Here are more reasons why the drill sergeant wants you to wear a
pair of pantyhose:
  1. mesh bag to hold supplies
  2. a strainer for water
  3. a fish net
  4. a covering for sun drying meat or storing root vegetables
  5. gauze, compression bandage, or sling
  6. cordage/ lashing,
  7. water strainer/pre-filter

Mosquito netting weighs hardly much at all and makes your
outdoor experience much better. Use mosquito netting at home to
repair screens, make a baby carriage net, too.

Multi-use supply #25: Mylar Survival Blankets.
Mylar is an extremely versatile material, which is why mylar
blankets are often included in survival kits. Don't expect mylar to
warm you up: the job of mylar is actually to retain the heat you
have. Read the
astonishing ways to use mylar for survival.

Multi-use supply #26: Rubbing alcohol.
Preppers store two kinds of alcohol: rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl
Alcohol) and the variety which has an intoxicating constituent
(such as Vodka).
Vodka has many survival uses too.

Alcohol is valuable for medicinal purposes, bartering and morale
building, as well as cooking! Not only can you add alcohol to
make gravies, stews and pastas, alcohol is a fuel for an alcohol
stove or heater. This colorless, flammable liquid, is also used as
an industrial solvent or even to make a Molotov cocktail for
defense. While Vodka is perhaps the most likely to be bartered
kind of alcohol, don't overlook Whiskey, wine and beer.

Multi-use supply #27: Salt.
Are you worth your weight in salt? Stock up on iodized salt! Not
only is iodized salt an essential ingredient for life, (humans need
trace amounts of iodine for survival), but salt has many survival
uses. Salt can help you as a prepper scrub pans, get rid of garden
pests, and cure an electrolyte imbalance to name a few.

Add a bucket of salt to your preps and know that iodized salt can
help prevent an iodine deficiency and an enlarged thyroid. A
deficiency of iodine can cause hypothyrodism, which may include
an unhealthy weight gain, intolerance of cold, fatigue and a host
of other symptoms.

Multi-use supply #28: Silica gel Packets.
Silica gel packets are "dessicants," which are materials designed
to eliminate moisture.  
Uses of silica gel packs may include:
  1. Keeping your dried meats dry!
  2. Preserving your vitamins in a fresh, moisture free state.
  3. Preventing rust on metal.
  4. Averting mold with leather products.
  5. Reducing condensation in electronics.
  6. Acting as a dehumidifer for gun safes, and even
  7. Saving a wet cell-phone with silica gel.

Multi-use supply #29: Steel Wool.
Steel wool is an excellent supply item to help you scrub pots, but
did you know that steel wool is an excellent fire starter? All you
need is a
9-volt battery and steel wool to start a fire.

Here's the tutorial on how to make a fire from steel wool (along
with a few other tips you'll find useful):
Above, Sensible Prepper shows the survival uses and everyday life hacks of a
bobby pin.

Multi-use supply #7: Borax.
Borax is one of those everyday things that you should have
around, but probably don't. Back in the day, Borax was quite an
ordinary thing to have in the house. It might surprise you that
Borax is a natural product and that it has many survival uses.
Check out the
survival uses of Borax.

Multi-use supply #8: Buckets
Food grade buckets are ideal for do-it-yourself prepper projects
because they have a multitude of uses! From storing your food to
making a toilet (like the Luggable Loo, pictured left). Here is the
complete list of
27 projects for a five-gallon bucket.

Multi-use supply #9: Cat litter.
Another ordinary thing you can use to survive is cat liitter. Mind
you, the suggestion of kitty litter is not for your cat. Instead,
kitty litter has many alternative uses for preppers. Use kitty litter
  1. Deal with human waste in an off-grid situation. Just pour
    the cat litter into your portable toilet to keep down the
  2. Aid tire traction on icy roads to get you out of a sticky
    situation in Winter.
  3. Keep potted plants moist. Use equal parts kitty litter and
    soil to retain moisture. This will provides the added benefit
    of helping root them.
  4. Clean up an spill after an automotive oil change.
  5. Reduce mold and moisture around your essential
    prepping supplies. If you're storing gear in basement or
    damp storage area, lay it on a bed kitty litter to keep the
    equipment dry.
  6. Plug a mole hole. If you have a cat, use it for litter, then
    pour the soiled litter down mole holes to get rid of the pesky
    little critters your cat didn't catch.

Multi-use supply #10: Chewing gum.
Gum is something ordinary that might be in your purse or in the
glove compartment. A surprising addition to your bugout bag and
preps, chewing gum is a worthwhile supply to stock in the name
of emergency preparedness. Gum can help you fish, fix things and
even light a fire, but you have to know how to do it. "Chews" to
read the article:
How Chewing Gum can Save Your life. The article
also has interesting kinds of gum to quench thirst and help you
stay alert too. The U.S. Military employs gum for survival:
How to survive Radiation fallout
Proper use of a mylar blanket
Patriotic Prepping
Martial law - a practical guide to surviving
How to prepare for a cyber attack
Sealed Foods to last a lifetime
Ten nuke supplies to own ~ supplies necessary to survive nuclear fallout
Chemical protection suits for prepping
Water storage Options
Are water pouches worth the expense?
Off grid showers
Survival Tarps and how to use them
Using a Coffee Filter for Survival
How pantyhose can help you survive
Toilet paper tabs and the many uses for preppers
Prepper secrets about Neosporin
Cigarettes are a multi-use survival item
BIC Lighter Holder
How to make your own tinder
Wrigleys Chewing gum
Bulk Crisco
Augason Farms Iodized Salt bucket
How to use chewing gum to survive
How to use ordinary stuff to survive
Survival Hacks
Bobby Pins
Using everyday things you can make a balloon bottle sling or a mousetrap.
Creek Stewart's book,
Survival Hacks  gives you 200 ideas!

Innovation is your most important survival skill! Think of a pencil
for survival. A classic sales and marketing business interview
question is when the hiring manager hands a pencil to the
prospective employee and says, "Sell me this pencil!" The
prospective employee is then expected not to just list features of
the pencil, but ultimately should relay clear benefits to consumers
so that they will take action to buy it and become a loyal
customer. This kind of role playing helps managers understand
thought processes of candidates.

An interesting case study is Arm & Hammer baking soda who
noticed a decline in sales as families no longer had time to bake.
Seeking to expand its market, Arm & hammer introduced new
uses for their product.

Today we know that
baking soda has many uses. First they
suggested you use it as toothpaste, then to help the fridge smell
fresh, soon they recommended you pour it down the sink. Baking
soda sales went through the roof! As a prepper, you can take this
concept with just about anything in your household. You should
be able to naturally find the benefits of owning an item. If it
doesn't have more than one use, then you likely don't have room
for it. Gain the skillset to use everyday items for survival. Become
a survival hack!

Here are some multi-use survival ideas...

Multi-use supply #2: Aspirin.
An ordinary use of aspirin is to treat pain or reduce inflammation.
Extremely worthwhile to pack for emergency preparedness, aspirin
goes well beyond its purposes in first aid to relieve pain. Did you
know aspirin can help treat bug bites and stings? Here are the
Weird and not so Weird uses of Aspirin!

Multi-use supply #3: Baking Soda.
There are several household and survival uses of baking soda that
came out as a result of Arm & Hammer's campaign to breathe
new life into the old standby in the kitchen. One of the least
know ways to use baking soda is as an antacid. Quite simply,
baking soda relieves indigestion naturally.

Multi-use supply #4: Bandanna.
A bandanna is nothing more than a piece of cloth worn around the
neck, but you can improvise use as trail-marker, a napkin, an ice
pack, a dust mask and more. Cowboys had them, campers and
backpackers bring them:
 bandannas are a multi-use survival item.

Multi-use supply #5: Bleach.
Bleach is one of the favorite things preppers stockpile. If you're
new to prepping, then learn the value of bleach and if you've
been around a while and already stockpiling bleach, then read the
article about the
things to know before you buy too much bleach.

Multi-use supply #6: Bobby pins.
Prepper ladies or families who have girls will likely find bobby
pins in the vanity drawers. Clever preppers can make use of them.
Here is Sensible Prepper in his usual McGyver style, showing us
his bobby pin hacks:
How to use ordinary stuff to survive
Innovation is your most important survival skill

Learn to use everyday things to survive.
Everything stockpiled in the prepper home should have multiple
purposes. Preppers must develop such a mindset to survive. It's
equally important when packing a bugout bag that every item
should have dual purpose to help in survival. Improvise, recycle,
re-use! These things go hand in hand in a sustainable lifestyle,
but it's been a lost skill. Preppers must innovate and recreate.

Ordinary things can be used for survival if you have the right
frame of mind and the knowledge. Learn to become a survival
hack. Your life someday may depend on creativity in using
ordinary stuff to survive. Below are some ideas to get you
thinking about multi-use survival items in your home...

How to use ordinary stuff to survive
In his book Survival Hacks, right, Creek Stewart shares ways to
use everyday items to survive. For example, if you have a jumper
cable and a pencil, you can have a fire (page 71). Ordinary things
can help you survive if you have knowledge and creativity.
Baking Soda uses for preppers
Super Glue
gab social media profile for happypreppers
Best used prepping books on to buy on Amazon
25 of the most overlooked preps
Russian Meddling