DIY

19 Camping Hacks That Might Actually Save Your Life One Day

Be prepared.

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1. Use duct tape to close a wound.

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"If you can't get immediate medical assistance, cut duct tape into strips and apply along the length of the laceration for DIY butterfly stitches," Willow Haven Outdoor owner and Fat Guys In The Woods host Creek Stewart told BuzzFeed Life.

2. Turn your watch into a compass.

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If you're lost, hold a watch with 12 o'clock at the left and the hour hand pointing at the sun, according to WIRED. The spot that's halfway between the hour hand and the 12 is south. Keep in mind that if you practice daylight saving time, you should subtract one hour from the hour hand.

3. Wear panty hose under your pants to try to prevent hypothermia.

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"Panty hose are an incredible base layer," says Stewart. "It's an old hunting secret to buy XXX-large women's panty hose before heading out into the woods."

4. Absorb dew with a shirt—and you've got filtered water.

"Dew is a water source that doesn't need purification," says Stewart. "Soak up dew on grass early in the morning using a t-shirt or bandana and wring it directly into your mouth or a container. I've gathered as much as 2 gallons in 1 hour."

5. Use a bra cup as a debris mask.

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Hold a bra cup over your nose and mouth to filter out harmful smoke in an emergency, according to Stewart. Leopard-print bras work best because, duh, animal prints are everything.

7. Use tin foil to turn AAA batteries into AA batteries.

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A thin strip of tin foil can save your ass. Stuff a ball of tin foil into the space where the battery's negative terminal connects, according to Life Hacker. If you have enough foil to fill in the gap, your device should turn on. Try this if your flashlight dies (and you don't have the proper batteries).

10. Make lint and petroleum jelly fire starters.

If you need to make a fire, start it with an easy fuel-extender. Roll a ball of lint (or a cotton ball) in some petroleum jelly (or a petroleum-jelly-based lip balm like Carmex), according to Stewart. Light the jelly ball and let the flames begin.

12. Cook something simple over a candle.

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Warm up instant oatmeal over a candle. "Your container needs to be a small to fully distribute the heat," says Stewart. "But as long as its right on the flame, you'll have a perfect cooking temperature."

13. Pack your toothpaste and toothbrush all-in-one.

Alison Caporimo

If you're going to be displaced for just one night, put toothpaste on your toothbrush and cover it with plastic wrap to avoid taking the entire tube with you, Alastair Humphreys told gear and clothing company HuckBerry.

14. Don't be afraid to eat cheese (it's most likely the only dairy product that will last you).

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Cheese in wax packaging—as well as aged Cheddar, Parmigiano, and Gruyère—will keep for at least a week unrefrigerated. Also, cheese is a good source of protein, according to the National Dairy Council.

15. Drop ice cubes into a thermos or bowl if you lose power.

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If the emergency escalates and you can't get any water, the ice cubes will easily melt and turn into safe drinking water.

17. Waterproof your shoes with lip balm.

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Most lip balms are petroleum- or wax-based, according to Stewart. For leather shoes (which are naturally water-resistant), apply lip balm to the shoes' seams to keep water from seeping in.

18. Turn a cat food can into a stove.

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Punch about 30 holes into an 3-ounce aluminum cat food can, add about an ounce of denatured alcohol, and you have a stove to cook on and stay warm with, according to Lao Tzu Cycles.