DIY Survival Hacks For The Smart Prepper

There are many great survival methods and tips out there, most of which are the best way to go in most situations. Nonetheless, you never know when you might get caught in a scenario with limited resources and you need to call on a little ingenuity to make it through. Here are some simple and inexpensive do it yourself survival hacks that can come in handy when supplies are low, or you’re in a pinch. These easy DIY methods are great to have in your back pocket when disaster strikes.

Fire Starters

There are a variety of effective methods for making fire starters, a useful and desirable device in a number of disaster scenarios. One popular method, in which you can create more than one fire starter easily includes an empty tin can and an egg carton. Begin collecting things like candle nubs and broken crayons in the tin can. Once you collect enough, place the tin can in a pot of boiling water on the stove and let it melt. Next fill each container of the egg carton with another flammable material, lint, a cotton ball, sawdust, etc. Then finish by adding melted wax to each compartment. When the wax cools break apart the compartments, and you’ll have a dozen fire starters.

As if duct tape didn’t have enough uses, it is also an effective fire starter, especially when combined with a flammable agent such as hand sanitizer (alcohol). Another surprising fire starter in a pinch? Believe it or not, Doritos Corn Chips help fuel a flame and work as an effective agent for starting a raging fire.

Many people have fire starter in their yard as well, pine cones and needles, which can also be combined with wax or petroleum jelly, also easily go up in flames.


preppers DIY firestartersDryer lint is flammable to begin with, but combine it with petroleum jelly and you have a potent little fire starter that is cheap and easy to make. Take a dab of jelly and roll it up with a small clump of lint until it rolls into a ball. You can store these little guys in toilet paper rolls, a container that can also be burned which increases its flammability. Some people also use paraffin wax, rather than petroleum jelly, but either method is highly effective.

Candles and Light

In a pinch, you can make a candle with items directly from your kitchen. A can of Crisco shortening can burn like a candle for up to 30 hours when you insert a wick. A crayon can also be used as a candle, which will burn and give off light for a shorter period of time.
One trick to get light in a pinch is to make a soda can oil lamp. Fill an empty soda can about half way with olive oil. Roll up a paper towel and place it in the top hole of the can sticking about 1/3 of the way out. You can then light this side and it will burn like an oil lamp for several hours.
To expand light in an area here’s another great trick. If you have a headlamp you can wrap it around a gallon water jug, this will distribute the light to a much greater area.


You can easily make a lantern out of a soda can that will expand the light in any given area. Simply by cutting open a door in the side of a can and sodacan2burning a candle on the inside you can create an effective light source in a pinch. The reflective material on the inside of the soda can will spread the light further through your area making a lot out of a just a little light.


In a pinch, you can make cookware out of a few simple items. One of the most popular methods is to use a tin can (a large coffee can is best). Similar to the pop can lantern, you can cut a door in the side to allow a place to maintain a cooking fire. With the can turned open top down, you can use the bottom of the can as a cooking surface, using a small candle or manageable fire underneath.


DIY solar oven for preppersYou can create a solar oven which can easily heat a meal for you. It takes some patience, but the bonus is there’s no maintenance. First take a cereal box and seal any openings with tape, the oven will heat better if there is less air escaping. Then cut a door in the flat side leaving it attached on one side. Cover the inside with aluminum foil. Place your food inside, prop door open (you can use a straw or pencil for example), and set the oven in the sun. This will work to slowly heat up items food items and provide you warm food and comfort in a time of need.



Many preppers will have security systems in place prior to any disaster scenario, but everyone needs a backup plan in case the grid goes down, or power becomes scarce. One increasing popular method for a security system is using a prepaid cell phone hooked up to a tripwire. If an intruder sets off the alarm you can make a few simple adjustment and hack the cell phone, which will call your phone and alert you of the possible danger to your home. Many people also employ simple booby traps, like trip wires rigged to air horns for example, that can deter or slow down possible intruders.


Set a trip wire security system to alert you to potential intruders. Run your trip wire around the perimeter of your property, or whatever area you are looking to protect. By attaching the wire to a mousetrap that is rigged with an unsnapped glow stick, you can create an early alert system that is near silent. If someone trips the wire, the mousetrap will snap shut, and the glow stick will begin to glow, alerting you to a potential threat encroaching on your property.

A smart prepper will have all the resources and supplies stocked away that they need to survive TEOTWAWKI, however having an impressive stockpile is only half of the true battle of prepping. You never know when you could be caught without your supplies and your resources become severely limited. The other half of being prepared is the knowledge you gain by learning new and creative ways to successfully survive. That is the hidden stockpile, the knowledge in your mind. Learn, research and stockpile all the survival information you can, and you’ll be able to call on that resource later when you need it most. Remembering these simple hacks is just one way to become even more prepared for anything that could come your way.

About US Preppers

Welcome and thanks for visiting! My name is Robert and our mission at US Preppers is to help you prepare for emergencies or disasters before they happen. As a family man and father of two boys, I am concerned about the future of our modern way of life. We know things can happen and we are not going to be complacent and let society dictate our survival.

We are US Preppers!