5 Cheap Survival Projects to Make Right Now!
If you’re prepping to bug in in case of a major disaster (like most preppers do), you’re probably wondering what piece of gear to buy next? I know spending is fun, but the thing that’s more important is to have survival skills. Besides, some of these items are insanely expensive, they just aren’t worth the money considering you can make them yourself for a fraction of the cost.
In what follows, I want to give you a few easy survival projects you can do without breaking the bank. They’re actually useful, meaning you’re not doing this just for practice. Some of them are even suitable for kids – a great way to introduce them to prepping.
#1. Make an Altoids Tin Oil Lamp
Though altoids tins are most often used by preppers to keep their mini first aid kits, they also make perfect lamps.
The basic idea is to melt the wax of several candles (into a jar or something) by putting it in a pot filled with water on a stove. Once you melt the wax, you pour it into the altoids tin, but not before you glue the candle wicks to the bottom of the container.
Take a look at how this is done on Instructables.
#2. Make a Clay Pot Heater
Although clay pot heaters are not by any means good for heating entire rooms, they will be able to keep your hands and feet warm – useful in case of an emergency.
You will need 3 drainer pots, a 6 inch threaded bolt, some nuts, a few large washers, some candles and something to put the heater on, such as a couple of bricks. See the step-by-step process here.
#3. Make a Simple Solar Cooker
This is a little more complicated, but just imagine making bacon and eggs using nothing but sunlight! You will need:
- a cardboard box
- a few pieces of thermocol
- a black piece of paper
- aluminum foil
- a cutter
- a piece of glass (it’ll need to be cut to fit the box)
- …and some duct tape
Here’s a 4 minute youtube video showing how to make one using the list above.
#4. Making a Sundial
This is probably be the most exciting project, right? In an SHTF situation, you might not have the Internet to tell you time. I know I don’t wear a watch anymore since I always have my phone on me.
But if the grid goes down, you’ll have to rely on traditional watches, which either need batteries (will they work in case of an EMP and will you find replacements?), or on mechanical watches (which will stop working if you’re not careful). A sundial doesn’t have any of these problems, it’ll tell you what the time if you’re in the norther hemisphere and, with a little adjustment, you can make it work for the southern hemisphere as well. Here’s how to do it.
#5. Making a Small Stove
If you don’t want to spend money on a camping stove, you can make your own from a metal coffee can. The larger the better, of course.
You’ll need a sharpie to mark where you’re going to drill the holes using a drill bit. You’re also going to need a few metal pot holders, as well as a drill press to make the opening so you can feed the wood.
Take a look here for pictures and step-by-step instructions.
#6. Making Your Own Can Rotator System
These are special shelves that allow you to put #10 cans of food. They use gravitation to move them in a way in which you always use the one that has the oldest expiration date. This is useful for food stockpiling, when you want to rotate your food by opening your oldest cans and adding new ones for later.
These rotator systems can cost anywhere from $20 to $190 (from what I can see on Amazon), but there are youtube videos such as this one showing how to make them for pennies on the dollar. This other video shows such a shelf made entirely of thick cardboard.
Ok, I know you’re excited to try these projects out, but before you do, I just want to give you a few pieces of advice:
- Safety first. Clay pot heaters can overheat, here’s a youtube of someone showing the damage his heater did to his boat.
- Skills are more important than buying gear. It’s not just about saving a few buck, these projects turn into a handyman and they get your brain to think in that direction. You’re going to build a lot more things from scratch, because buying them may not be an option post-collapse.