Life in plastic is, without a doubt, fantastic, especially when you find yourself in a shit hits the fan situation. Can’t say that I’m a big fan of plastic. Anyway, one has to agree that plastic’s not that good for the environment, and yes, we should do our best to recycle as often as possible. As for today’s topic, a plastic bottle, no matter, if it’s Coca-Cola, sprite or the common milk jug, can serve a lot of purposes, apart from storing liquids. So, without further ado, here are 8 ingenious ways you can use a plastic bottle in a shit hits the fan situation.
Improv trash can
When you’re hiking or camping, you won’t always have the luxury of having a trash can around, especially if you decide to go off the beaten path. Now, if the trash starts piling up, you can always use an empty plastic bottle as a trash can. Normally, a carry a small bottle with me filled with a little bit of sand and water to use as an ashtray.
Watering can for flowers and veggies
Don’t have the time to go and look for a new watering can? No problem. Grab the largest plastic bottle you can find, poke some holes in the lid, and use it to water your daisies or veggies.
If you need to traverse an area filled with toxic fumes, it may be possible to improvise a mask using a plastic bottle, some charcoal, an empty tin can, and duct tape. Here’s what you will need to do. Use a pair of scissors to cut the bottom of a plastic bottle. Next, remove one of the bottle’s sides so that you can create a space for your face. Place some duct on the jagged edge to protect your forehead.
Now take an empty tin can and poke a couple of holes in the bottom. Use the scissors to cut the bottom of the can. Place a clean gauze on the bottom of the tin can and sprinkle some charcoal. Remove the bottle’s cap, position the tin can with charcoal, and use some duct tape to secure it in place. Congrats! You’ve just made your first dust mask.
Since I already covered water purification using charcoal, sand, pebbles, and a plastic bottle, I’m now going to show you another way to make water safe to drink. In the field, it’s possible to construct a small solar using a plastic bottle and an empty beer can. Here’s how to do it. Take a 2-liter plastic bottle and snip the bottom. Using your fingers, fold the edges inwards, as to create a small pocket.
Now take an empty beer can and completely remove the top (leave the rim) using a survival knife. Pour some water in the beer can, put the water bottle on top, and place in the sun. After a couple of hours, you will see some condensation on the walls of your bottle. Lift your bottle, unscrew the cap, and pour the water trapped in the pocket in a clean glass.
Craft a raft
A large body of water to cross but can’t find anything that floats? No problem, as long as you have some plastic bottles at your disposal. Grab a couple of beams or large pieces of wood and arrange them in a rectangular shape. Secure your beams using hammer or nails or tie the joints with your cordage of choice. After creating the frame, create compartments using boards or anything you have on hand.
Fill these compartments with as many plastic bottles as you can. Don’t forget to secure them to your boat. When you’re done, find yourself a pole or a very long piece of wood to use as a paddle. Cast that makeshift raft of your in the water and enjoy the trip up shit’s creek but with a paddle.
Waterproof tinder box
No place left to store your fire-starting gear? Well, if your tinder box is out of commission, you can always keep your stuff in a plastic bottle, to make sure everything stays dry.
On the topic of fire-starters, you can use a clean plastic bottle in order to concentrate the sun rays on some kindling or tinder. Rip the label, fill the bottle with clear water, and rotate it in order to focus the beam. It will take a while, but it beats sitting there and praying for fire.
Fish and small animal trap
If you don’t know how to make a simple body-gripping trap, you can always turn a plastic bottle into one. To do that, use a pair of scissors or your survival knife to cut the top of the bottle. Remove the cap, reverse the top, and place it inside the trap. Use some duct tape to secure the top part of the bottle. For small fish, you need to place that thing inside a stream or something. If the water’s clean, that thing will be invisible. For a small game like field mice, place something sweet inside the bottle.
Because boiling is the most efficient way to sterilize water, it may be possible to do that in the field with a bottle. To make an improv kettle, start by removing the top part of the bottle using your survival knife or a very sharp rock. Place the dirty water inside. Now, start a fire using your method of choice and pile as much fuel as you can find. When the fire picks up in the head, place a couple of small stones inside the flame and wait.
When they begin to change color, using some tongs or anything else, retrieve the stones and drop them in the water bottle. Wait for the water to boil, allow it to cool down, and serve.
That’s it for my article on ingenious ways to repurpose plastic bottles. Anything missing from the list? Head to the comments section and let me know.