It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Makeshift Tools and Gadgets

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 05:20 AM

Makeshift Tools and Gadgets

I was thinking last week about a survival scenario where one has little or no time to prepare; even one where the person has woefully used his time improperly to prepare and has no kit. What I was thinking about are things you can find just by mucking about and use effectively for survival.

The list is pretty amazing. Here are a few from me.

So I went out and just wandered around and picked up some things and took them back to my “camp” (Backyard) and tried them out for usefulness …

1. Soda can for boiling water.
I thought about using this for transporting water and had to discard it as it was just not any kind of a shape conducive to transporting water not to mention the need to carve a stopper. I found one by the road and took it to my camp and started a fire and filled it with water then boiled the water. My results are what you would expect probably. The water boiled quickly and the can was hot so difficult to handle for a bit. The can stood up to boiling water several times before the material broke down, about 6 times actually.
2. Knife Making Material.
I was wondering around a State Forest and found the remains of an old piece of farm equipment. Rusty for sure and somewhat buried, but I dug some of it out with my hands and found some decent metal. I managed to pull some pieces off that were fairly thick and substantial and even closely shaped the way I wanted it. I found a couple of rocks and after some beating and twisting, managed to create a decent knife shaped piece that I sharpened with the rocks. Now it is by no means a quality cutting tool, but it a pinch it would do nicely.
3. A Carrying System.
What to do with all the things I would find? If I did not have my rucksack or backpack, what would I do? I remembered a movie called Pathfinder and a part in that where the Native Americans made a “Travois” to carry their gear. While I would prefer something I could carry and not have to drag, I thought why not. I started by using some vines to make some cordage, broke off some branches to the length I needed and in no time really I had a decent travois to pack my gear in and out. I knew I could use the same system to make a rudimentary backpack, but I could realistically carry FAR more with the travois.

Here are 3 things I found and was able to use for survival purposes fairly easily. While energy expenditure is important in a survival situation, it is necessary to make sure you do not begin making something that will take too long or expend too much energy.

What can you all find just laying around in the woods and use to help you survive?

I would love to hear some of your suggestions.
(Please be practical)


posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 06:15 AM
reply to post by semperfortis

This is where a practical grounding in primitive skills comes into it's own - weather that be a range of friction fire techniques using soley foraged materials, use of stone and bone to make points and blades, shelter building, bow making, trapping, tanning, foraged food and so forth.

Lots of folk still use these skills as part of their daily lives and the skills are far from lost - they are easily researched on the net and practicing them while out camping helps turn knowledge into skills that could be life savers.

I'm working my way through this skill set, mostly out of interest and historical geekery rather than survivalism but the end result is the same anyway.... great thing is that it's easy to get the young involved in such activities and they just lap it up due to the feeling of independence that they get.

A nd a weekend of caveman(person?)ism is stupidly fun too

posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 06:53 AM
reply to post by semperfortis

What can you all find just laying around in the woods and use to help you survive?

Well maybe not in the woods but same idea.

I went fishing this past weekend.
Every time I go,I look for others trash.
I found 6 lures left behind from someone else and caught a 30 inch pike with one of the lures i found.
( I went to 3 different locations)

I was fed by using someone elses trash left behind.

posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 07:10 AM
A 'medium' sized cloth sack makes a backpack, tie the neck of the sack when its full, leaving enough cord, two lengths, to tie to the bottom corners of the sack, which them make carrying straps, much like the Russian army did in WW 2, as for metal, every road/street has tons of it, usually with four rubber tires. Plus all the wire inside it for traps. The empty gas tank for water storage. and the other water storage items under the hood. Seat coverings for clothing, shelter, although the best shelter is inside the auto.
Anyway, the house kitchen is where you find knives! those knives with separate handles have the handles broken of and inset into spears and arrows. After they are sharpened into a point.(the knives)
I think that's enough for now.

posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 09:00 AM
Well the good thing about living in suburban America is the trash people throw away.
There are plenty of objects to be found just walking around poking through waste dumpsters.
People throw away everything!

I believe that the environment will drastically determine the tools.
If there is nothing but woods around, then ultimate survival skills kick in.
Rocks, trees and water are your friends in those areas. Being creative is crucial.
If you have areas of farmland or sparsely settled villages, you are better off.
Finding items from remaining autos, equipment and homes is a treasure trove.
Making something that is up to the finder.
As for large cities and developed areas, those are easy pickings.

Using your mind is 70% of the tool itself.
What one person decides is a wrench, another could say its a hammer.
Take an old bicycle for instance...
Finding bicycle tires and cutting the tubes out to use for straps on a slingshot that can easily be made from the fork of a steelwood tree branch. Using the spokes as a makeshift grill, sometimes they are stainless.The frame can be hacked away and formed into very powerful weapons like making a solid pipe from the cross member or a pitchfork from the front fork.
Also, it in remote areas, railroad tracks always have treasure...
I always look for thicker glass from old telephone poles (insulators). Usually found in older areas where railroads ran through or old telegraph wire was run. They are excellent to knap and form into points or tips. The steel pins or railroad spikes are a plenty along the tracks and make excellent hammers, wedges or use a useful blunt object to strike with. There is always tons of iron ore pellets along tracks too. Excellent Mmo for the slingshot you just made out of the bicycle tires.

Get creative and stay alive!

posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 10:46 AM
Surviving on the bare minimum will require the most important tool in your arsenal... your brain.
Knowing things is key.

What plants are edible and what is not.
How to skin animals.
How to make do with what's available etc.

I've been watching those shows recently where they drop the guy off on the island and he has to survive with nothing but the available things on the island.

Water is the first thing to figure out how to get.
Second is a source of heat for staying warm and cooking.
Third is finding food sources.

I would say the most important survival tool you can have is an axe. If you can find one of those or make one. You can use it to make shelter, use it to make wood tools and hunt.

posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by semperfortis


One caveat on using modern Food Tins or Pop Cans to boil water is that they ALL
have an internal lining of PLASTIC used as a vapour and anti-septic barrier and which
will POISON your food as it melts or vapourizes when heated.

You need to find OLD tins (pre-1970's) and old pop cans which do NOT have the modern
poly-plastic lining OR use GLASS pop bottles to boil water. Unfortunately what was taught
to me as a survival tactic is NO LONGER RELEVANT because of today's manufacturing
processes which will POISON YOU if you try to use those tactics today!


USE GLASS pop bottles instead!

new topics

top topics


log in