Survival scavenging: 10 Items you can re-purpose when SHTF

In the event of a large-scale disaster, you may be forced to scavenge for survival. Some people might not agree with this, but in a matter of life and death, preppers should be able to do anything to survive. Survival scavenging isn’t just about taking whatever you want. It’s about finding useful things that you can re-purpose to suit your needs. If SHTF, scavenging for these 10 items could save your life. (h/t to

Baby carriages

If there are no infants around, baby carriages can no longer serve their intended purpose. It might come as a bleak thought to some, but baby carriages can be used to haul around heavy supplies.

Soda cans

Empty soda cans can serve a variety of uses. For one, they can be used to store and collect rainwater. Humans can’t last for more than three days without water. If there are no direct sources of water available, you can take a piece of cloth and soak it in some wet grass or other dew-soaked plants. You can then wring that water out into your empty soda can. You can also pull the tab off and fashion it into a crude fishhook. Just bend the top of the tab to weaken the corner, then cut out a small chunk with a knife or sharp rock. This should leave a sharp angle as your hook. Tie the tab to a shoelace or some string and you have a makeshift fishing line.


Aside from helping you create a makeshift fishing line, shoelaces can be used to make splints in case of injury. During inclement weather, you can use them to tie a bunch of sticks together to make a quick lean-to or an emergency tent. However, you may need to collect shoelaces from multiple pairs of shoes to make a sturdy enough tent. Simply tie the shoelaces together to make a long rope, stretch them between two tall points, such as a pair of trees, tie them around, and hang a poncho or tarp over the line.

Garbage bags

Use clean garbage bags to help you carry your personal items. Garbage bags can also offer some protection against the sun and rain. Turn it into a makeshift rain jacket by cutting a hole at the bottom and wearing it upside down.


Glasses can be used to magnify heat and start a fire. All you have to do is to hold the glasses around 12 to 14 inches away from some tinder and fuel and manipulate the sun’s rays to heat it. Once the tinder ignites, blow on it and add more fuel to get the fire going.

Cotton socks

In case you don’t have tinder, rub off as much lint as you can from a pair of cotton socks.

Wrist watch

An unconventional use for an analog wrist watch is as an improvised compass. While the method is not entirely precise, a working watch and enough sunlight can give a general idea of your direction. Simply place your watch on the ground with the dial facing up. Turn the hour hand towards the sun. During sunrise, you can find the southern direction halfway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock clockwise. During the afternoon, south will be at around halfway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock, counterclockwise.


Just like the soda cans, condoms can be used to hold drinking water. Because they are watertight, they can also be used to keep items dry, such as matches.


Bandanas can be used in both hot and cold weather. They can protect you against the sun and keep you warm if there’s a chill. They can also be used as a sling, a breathing filter, and a tourniquet.

Dental floss

Dental floss is also good for a makeshift rope if your shoelaces aren’t long enough to do the job. They are much thinner than shoelaces, but are still incredibly sturdy.

Scavenging deals with taking what other people don’t need. These items can no longer serve their original owners because the owners are either dead or long gone. It could also be possible that these items were simply discarded by their owners. If you can think outside the box, you might find ways to re-purpose all sorts of things that people regularly just throw away.

Find more tips on other things you can scavenge when SHTF by visiting

Sources include:

comments powered by Disqus