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12 Life-Saving Household Items For The End Of Days

Better hold onto a few things. Check out these handy hacks before watching the pros on National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers, on Tuesdays at 9/8c. They give a whole new meaning to "resourceful."

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1. Tortilla Chips

JD Hancock (CC BY http://2.0) / Flickr: jdhancock

Need fire but all you've got is the munchies?

Ditch the leaves and use tortilla chips as kindling. The oil in the chips helps the fire burn longer.

2. Toothpaste

Saint-Gobain Abrasives AB Sweden (CC BY http://2.0) / Flickr: sga_se

Can't see the road ahead because your headlights are covered in mud?

Squeeze some toothpaste onto a towel and get to scrubbing. Use non-whitening brands to avoid smudging.

3. Nail Polish

Dennis Skley / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Flickr: dskley


Got matches, but concerned about them getting wet?

Dip your matches into nail polish to make them waterproof. You can also dip rope into nail polish to prevent fraying.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar



Abe Novy (CC BY http://2.0) / Flickr: thenovys

Worried that the bugs are taking over?

Leave out an open dish of apple cider vinegar to attract intruders. It's a known remedy for capturing fleas and fruit flies.

5. Cloth

Joe Hall (CC BY http://2.0) / Flickr: 71753172@N00

Water pipes have been compromised and things are looking a little... brown?

Fill up a glass with the dirty water, and place it beside an empty glass. Roll up a piece of cloth. Put one end of the cloth into the dirty water and one end into the empty glass. Let sit. Eventually, clear water will absorb into the cloth and drip into the empty glass.

6. Empty Milk Jugs


Did the big flood come before the recycling was picked up?

Build a milk jug raft and float your way to safety.

7. Needles

Windell Oskay (CC BY http://2.0) / Flickr: oskay

Lost in the woods with nothing but a sewing kit?

Build a makeshift compass with a needle and a leaf. Rub the needle on your shirt, place it on a leaf, and place the leaf in still water. The needle will spin and point North.

8. Crayons

Loren Sztajer (CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Flickr: lorensztajer

Power went out and you're locked in your kid's playroom?

Crayons will burn just like candles. Giant crayons work too — they're like torches.

9. Chapstick

Steve Polyak (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Flickr: spolyak

Got into a scuffle with a post-apocalyptic beast?

After cleaning the wound, rub chapstick over it to help stop the bleeding. Use a non-scented stick to avoid irritation.

10. Soda Cans

USDF Forest Service Alaska Region (CC BY http://2.0) / Flickr: alaska_region

Hungry but not thirsty?

Turn your soda can into a full-blown fishing rod. Break the can's tab to make for a sharp hook, attach it to fishing line, and wrap the line around the can to make a reel.

11. Bar Soap

Christian Senger (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Flickr: 30928442@N08

Worried you have a gas leak and there's no handyman to call?

Rub bar soap over the pipes. If things start to bubble, you probably have a leak. If not, you just have soap on your pipes.

12. Mouse Traps + Glow Sticks = Alarm System


Worried someone has been trespassing on your post-apocalyptic property?

If you have a mouse trap, a glow stick, and some string, you can build your own alarm system. Place the glow stick on the base of the mouse trap, and attach the string to the mouse trap's trigger. Pull the string tight across the door. If the door is opened, the mouse trap will trigger, and hit the glow stick. A lit glow stick will prove someone tried to break in.