When it comes to real-life emergency situations, relying too much on survival books that you have read is a huge disadvantage. Most survivalists do not rely on survival books. Instead, they make do with the best survival hacks that they know and have mastered throughout the years and through their creative endeavor and instincts that require fast thinking and an open mind that will help them survive any situation, big or small that comes their way.

A true survivalist must know how to adapt, improvise, and make split-second decisions while working with the only things that he has on hand. In short, you have to think like MacGyver by survival hacking your way to safety.

Below are 13 Survival Hacks that can be useful most especially in the most unexpected situations.

The 13 Must-Know Survival Hacks!

1. Dorito Fire Starters

Did you know that Doritos or most corn chips are flammable and can ignite quickly? Well, they sure do. So if you want to start a fire ASAP but you forgot to bring with you some paper or lighter fluid, then those Doritos in your backpack can serve as your makeshift tinder to get a small quick flame.

2. Alcohol Swabs Fire Starters


Just like your Doritos, alcohol swabs are also great fire starters. The alcohol on the swabs makes them flammable and the cotton can hold the flame long enough for you to gradually establish your fire.

3. Crayon Candles

Your kids’ crayons can also be used as a makeshift candle. Each crayon candle can last up to 15 minutes at a time. So if you get a box of 96 crayons, then you will have an emergency light that will last you for 24 hours.

4. Super Glue Stitches

If you happened to get injured and there is an open wound that needs closing and there are no other first-aid materials to be used, then a super glue can do the job. Put some superglue in the laceration. Pinch your wound to close it and wait until the superglue dries.

5. Makeshift Slings

Admit it, until you need one, slings are the last thing that comes to your mind when packing for a getaway adventure. Luckily, slings are one of the easiest to improvise. Your bandanas, t-shirts, hoodies, blankets, and even tarps can be modified into slings. If your bandanas or shirt is too big, just cut it. If it’s too small, just tie a few together. It’s that easy.

6. Can Top Fishing Hooks

If you want to survive in the wilderness, then, you must learn how to gather your own food. Knowing how to fish is one of the best ways to do this. But in fishing, finding the right material is not that easy. One of the most common items that make for an almost perfect fishing hook is the pop tops of your beer or soda cans. All you have to do is remove one segment of the top and file it to a point. And there it is: you’ve got yourself a functional fishing hook.

7. Water Bottle Ceiling Lights

How can you install a ceiling light even if there is no electricity? The answer: Transparent water bottles.

Fill your transparent water bottle with water and cut a hole in the roof of your shelter. Insert the bottle on the whole that you’ve just cut. The light will travel through the water and disperse, this will create a source of light that can illuminate your entire house.

8. Head Lamp and Water Jug Lantern

Tie your headlamp around the water jug. The headlamp’s light should be pressed against the side of the water jug. Also, make sure that the water jug that you will be using is not dark in color. Once you switch your headlamp, you will be surprised at the brightness that your water jug and headlamp will be emitting.

9. A cup and sewing needle as an improvised compass

This is one of the oldest and most useful survival hacks in the history of all survival hacks. It is so useful that it has saved thousands of human lives over the centuries.

Fill a cup with water and lay a leaf in the center of it. Slowly put a sewing needle or a piece of wire on top of the leaf so it floats. The earth’s magnetic field will naturally orient the needle to point North or South.

10. Rain Collection From A Tarp

Here, you just need a large tarp and a gallon of water. Tie the four corners of your tarp loosely. As the skies open up, your tarp will collect a significant amount of water that you can use for drinking and cooking. Transfer the collected water into your gallon.

11. Rear-view mirrors, CD’s and polished metals as improvised reflective signals

Reflective signals are very important most especially when you want to signal for help if you want your location to known. If you don’t have a readymade reflective signal with you, then, you can improvise. Rear-view mirrors, CDs, polished metals and even some jewelries can be used as improvised reflective signals.

12. Condom Water Carrier

Yes, you read it right!

Condoms are not just good as baby preventions but they can also be used to carry water most especially if there are no other viable ways to do so. Just make sure that the condom that you will be using is not used, flavored, or lubed before filling it up with water.

13. Tic Tac Spice Containers

If you can’t leave your spices behind, then, the best way to bring them is by using tic tac containers. Fill your tic tac containers with your favorite spices and label them.

Final Word

These 13 survival hacks in this article are just a small portion of the hundreds of survival hacks that have been invented throughout history. More and more hacks are being discovered and developed every single day. As they say, there is no right way to survive. Every individual has its own style, tricks, and hacks when it comes to survival.