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Updated on Mar 16, 2020. Posted on Jun 21, 2017

13 Smart Survivalist Tricks That Actually Solve Everyday Problems

Disastrously smart.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Learn how to tell the time using the sun, moon, or North Star in case you're somewhere without a clock (or your phone dies on a camping trip).

Get all three tutorials on WikiHow.

2. Store dried foods like rice, pasta, and beans in clean, empty soda bottles to keep them fresh for a very long time.

Best if you already drink soda and have 'em around. Get the how-to on Crisis Survivor Tips.

3. Or opt for glass mason jars, which function similarly but may help things last longer because they're sealable — even without electricity.

Prettier but pricier than the 2-liter soda bottles. Read more about this food storage strategy on Melissa Knorris, learn how to seal jars without electricity on Tenth Acre Farm, and get basic tips for making your bulk storage last as long as possible from Outdoor Life.

4. Open stuck jars using a few inches of duct tape.

There's a specific way to lay the duct tape down so this works — check out this Instructable to learn how.

5. And make sure you always have duct tape on hand by making a mini roll on a pen, old gift card, or cylindrical keychain.

It's called your "EDC", or "everyday carry" — which could just be your purse! Watch this video for the how-to.

6. Next time you pack for a weekend trip, save space with a military-style skivvy roll.

Socks, underwear, and a shirt all in one neat package. Read more on Willow Haven Outdoor.

7. Solve minor outfit crises at your desk by bending a paperclip into a safety pin.!/

Just don't use on delicate fabric, because it doesn't have a sharp end. Get the how-to on Instructables.

8. Make more storage space by adding an inexpensive row of shelves ~above~ the shelves already in your closet.

Photo courtesy of Summers Acres /

The brackets were $2 each and the shelves were $10 — a cheap solution for food or those old school papers you can't stand to part with. From Summers Acres.

9. Start your backyard fire pit using a pencil sharpener and a stick from your yard.

10. Complete the connection between a battery and a loose spring by folding a tiny piece of aluminum to fill the gap.

Laura Moss /

It works even on non-survivalist electronics, like TV remotes. Read up on other uses for aluminum foil on This Old House.

11. Learn basic camping, fishing, hiking, and boating knots, especially if you do any of those activities for fun.

Knots: not just for Boy Scouts! Go to to see the full infographic with fishing, hiking, and boating knots.

12. Lace your shoes strategically to help them fit better.

Learn three different ways you can lace hiking boots to prevent heel slip, alleviate pressure in the top of your foot, or relieve pressure in your toes on R.E.I. Co-op.

13. Use a clean tampon to help staunch bleeding from a cut or scrape until you can get the care you need.

Tampons are super absorbent. Get more tampon survival hacks on Willow Haven Outdoor.

This week, we're talking about preparing for and surviving the worst things imaginable. See more Disaster Week content here.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

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