How to make survival tools out of scrap

Ideally, when SHTF you’ll be safe at home with your loved ones. You’ll have access to supplies and survival gear that can help you deal with various scenarios.

But what do you do if you find yourself in the woods without access to most of your gear? Any other person will probably panic, but a true prepper will have the skills that can help him survive even without any prepping gear. (h/t to

Creativity and resourcefulness

As a prepper, when SHTF your most important tools will include your learned survival skills. You can also increase your chances of survival if you’re creative and resourceful.

Prepare yourself mentally because you will need a strong resolve to deal with the dangers that come with a natural disaster or societal collapse. Next, you must try to make weapons out of scraps so you can defend yourself from these dangers. Search your current location for any scraps that you can turn into a tool or weapon. (Related: Items that you should carry with you every day… for the ultimate prepper.)

Self-defense weapons

  • Blunt force weapons — You can turn random items like broom handles or table legs into blunt force weapons. Add nails to your chosen club for a deadlier weapon.
  • Flamethrower — This makeshift weapon requires some discipline. Follow the rules included in this link, and use the right kind of fuel.
  • Homemade pepper spray — This potent spray can be made from dried chili peppers. Get just enough water to make the dried pepper float, then mix and crush the pepper with a spoon to expose the seeds. Store the mixture in a spray bottle.
  • Knife — A knife is a versatile tool and/or weapon. You can also make one from scrap if you have the right materials, like a railroad spike dagger, a lawnmower blade machete, or a cable steel knife.
  • Paracord bullwhip — Paracord is tough and you can use it to make a bullwhip to keep your enemies at bay.
  • Slingshot — While it may seem primitive, a slingshot is effective if you learn how to use it properly. Use it for self-defense or for hunting small prey like birds. You’ll need a scrap of leather or sturdy cloth and wood for a simple slingshot. Alternatively, you can use metal scraps for a bigger slingshot.
  • Stun grenade — If you need a tool for escape or evasion, you can make stun grenades using PVC couplings, baking soda, and citric acid powder. You can also make DIY stun grenades using flash powders.
  • Throwing spikes/shuriken — Turn nails into throwing spikes, which are ideal if you don’t wish to closely engage an attacker.
  • War hammer — Create a “war hammer” using a heavy material like a brick, piece of metal, or a rock that’s attached to a pipe or a pole.

Survival tools

  • Bow and arrow — Use PVC piping or plywood and some string to make a bow. Make some arrows out of something barbed for the arrowhead (e.g., a bent piece of metal, nail, or screw). Find a straight rod or stick to attach the fletching, which can be made of feathers or plastic. The bow and arrow is perfect if you need a stealthy weapon.
  • DIY water filter — Turn two bottles or buckets into a DIY water filter by adding gravel, sand, and charcoal as filtering materials. Gravel will remove big items, sand will remove the rest of the particulate matter, and the charcoal can remove microelements.
  • Fishing lures — If you are near a body of water, you can use a fishing lure to feed yourself. Make a lure out of feathers, glue, stainless steel spoons, and thread. Fishing lures can also be made out of materials like corks, paper clips, and small sticks of wood.
  • Oil lamp — You can turn a mason jar or a glass bottle into an oil lamp if you have fuel like olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Rocket stove — This can be used for boiling water, cooking, and heating. A rocket stove requires “a combustion chamber, an air intake, and a chimney to vent the exhaust.” You can make one out of scraps like empty cans and cinder blocks.

During a disaster, your chances of survival will often depend on your skills and resourcefulness. You may not have easy access to food, supplies, or gear but if you use your imagination you can survive when SHTF.

Read more articles about how to stay safe when disaster strikes at

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