HomePosts Tagged "alternative uses"

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but nothing beats the common pencil when it comes to shit hits the fan situations. Have you ever stopped to think for a second what would life be without that curious thing? Yes, I know that most of you have little need for pencils since there are computers and laptops and printers.

But what happens if there are no more PCs around? Do we stop writing? Nope. Anyway, I’m not here to wax philosophy. Today, I want to talk about some clever, dare I say witty ways to use pencils in a survival-type ballgame. So, without further ado, here’s what that the common pencil can do for you when your ass is on the line. Enjoy!


This one’s a doozy – since pencils are made out of wood or, at least stuff that has the same properties as wood, it’s obvious that they can be used to start a fire in case of an emergency. I would advise salvaging the lead and use the pencil’s body. You can use that stuff to create a portable water filtration system. You can also add a couple of pencil splints to your tinder box – mine contains a piece of char cloth, a wad of steel wool, pencil splints, and a dash of sawdust.

Reveal hidden messages

Can’t really make out the writing on a surface? Use a pencil. Put a piece of paper on top and use the flat edge of your pencil to make a rubbing. FYI, that’s how I figured out that my son was doodling in school instead of taking actual notes.

Make those cloth moths skedaddle

Finding too many moths in your wardrobe? No problem. There’s a quick and cheap way to get rid of them. Use a pencil sharpener on at least three pencils. Grab a small satchel and place the shavings inside. Since most of them are made out of cedar wood, moths will not even dare to get close.

Getting a zipper unstuck

If you have zipper issues, use the gum on the other end of the pencil to get it, well unstuck. Just rub a bit of that stuff over the zipper’s teeth and give it a few tries. Works like a charm every time.

Magically open any lock or padlock

In a survival-type situation, there’s not much time for playing nice with a key that simply refuses to go inside the lock. You have two options: either use your 6-in-1 survival tool to break that lock or use a pencil. Here’s what you will need to do. Using your survival knife, shave a tiny amount of graphite over the keyhole. Now get that key inside and give it a twist.

Plugging holes

There’s nothing worse than spending minutes at an end trying to get a screw to fit inside a hole that’s just too big. A quick workaround would be to plug it using graphite shavings. You can also rip out a small piece of the gum and use in on the hole.

Replace cutlery

If you forgot to pack a fork, you could always replace it with two pencils. Yup, it’s just like eating Chinese food with chopsticks.


If you need to improvise a small splint for a toe or a finger, use a small pencil or cut one to shape. I’ve heard that there’s a guy up in Nebraska that uses graphite on minor wounds. Don’t know if pencil leads have this kind of properties, but you’re welcome to try if you’ve got nothing else on hand.

Water filtration

Since I’ve already said something about using pencil lead to create a rudimentary water-filtration system, it’s only fair that I show you how to do it. Grab a plastic water bottle, sand, pebbles, two pieces of cloth, and as many pencils as you can find. Using your survival knife, get the graphite out of each pencil and ground it into a fine powder.

Now, cut the bottom part of the plastic bottle and add a thin layer of pebbles. Next, add some sand, followed by the graphite shaving, and a piece of cloth. To finish off your water filtration system, add one more layer of pebbles, sand, graphite shavings, a piece of cloth, and some pebbles. Make a small hole in the cap and hang the bottle from a branch. Get a canteen underneath and pour the dirty water in the upper part. That’s it!

Extend the life of rechargeable batteries

After a quick trip to the hardware store, I found it useful to add another gadget to my bug out bag: a portable battery charging station and a couple of rechargeable batteries. They’re very useful, especially if you have gadgets that eat through batteries like there’s no tomorrow. Anyway, if you want to extend the life of your rechargeable cells, rub the terminals with some pencil gum.

Get a pair of muddy boots squeaky clean

It doesn’t matter how thing shitty gets – clean clothes and boots are one of those small things that keep us going. If you’ve been traipsing through the mud, you can easily remove the dried-out mud from your boots using the tip of a pencil.

Keeping your fishing supplies and sewing kit organized

If you find it hard to keep your fishing hooks, safety pins, and needles organized, try using a pencil’s gum. You literally have to stick them in the gum, and that’s the end of the story. If you have a paracord grenade or other mini version of the B.O.B, you can use pencils to keep your cordage neat and organized.

Tweak your landline

In 9 out of 10 cases, the reception’s bad because there’s too much gunk on the phone cradle. To clean those metallic bits and improve reception, use the pencil’s gum. Are all done with the cleaning? Call someone to see if there’s any improvement.

That’s about it on creative ways to use a pencil in SHTF. Anything missing from the list? Let me know in the comments section.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but nothing beats the common pencil when it comes to shit hits the fan situations.

As the saying goes, there are more ways to skin a <please insert name of an animal other than a cat, because Mr. Jynx is giving me the death stare while I’m writing this> and even more ways to use a pleasure rubber when the shit hits the fan. Yes, you’ve nailed it – today’s article will be about that one item that flushes out first-daters, being the embodiment of unbridled passion, lost nights, and broken hearts  – the condom.

With a history that spans at least one millennium, this STD prevention is, in some parts of the globe, standard equipment for infantry and other military branches. Did you know that during the Juno beach landing of 1944 US soldiers used natural rubber condoms to prevent sand and enter seeping into their weapons? Yes, it’s quite an ingenious trick which kind of proves to us that even an object wildly associated with bouncy-bouncy can have many uses, some of them even outside the bedroom.

Anyway, ever since writing that piece on survival uses of chapstick, I’ve been messing around the Internet searching for even more ‘odd’ objects that have a great SHTF potential. Of course, I could’ve gone with anything like bobby pins, household bleach, zip ties or whatever, but yours faithfully seemed to be more drawn to the wondrous world of bedroom games and ear-ripping onomatopoeia rather than shed-ware.

So, without further ado, here are 17 great ways of using pleasure rubbers in a shit hits the fan situation.

  1. Water carrier

Remember when we were kids, and we used to buy rubbers by the dozen only to use them as water balloons? Well, wouldn’t you know it, condoms can double up as water carriers in case of an emergency. And if you’re now wondering just how much water a condom can hold, let me clear that up for you – most of the ‘regular’ fit types can carry up to a gallon of water or even more.

If you’re looking to enhance your B.O.B with additional water-carrying items, you should consider throwing in a pack of ginormous condoms. Word of warning though – don’t rely too much on condoms when it comes to storing water. Making do with one on an emergency is okay, but in the long run, you may get off with a very bad taste in your mouth after drinking water (that would be the lubricant or the anesthetic, depending on the brand).

  1. Open wound management

Bandages may be hard to come by during an emergency (happens all that time). That’s why you need to be ready to improvise. Though odd, carrying a condom or two in the first-kit may be more beneficial than you realize.

If you run out of sterile gauze or pads, you can tape a condom over the cleaned and debrided wound. This acts as a water sealant and as a barrier for bugs, dirt, or anything in between. In case of light luxation, you may be able to use a condom as an icepack (just fill the thing with ice or ice-cold water and apply on the affected area).

  1. Food storage

Yikes! Condoms used as plastic bags for food storage! What has the world come to? Actually, it’s a far better idea to store food in such a container, since condoms do a great job at keeping moisture away.

More than that, because most respectable condom manufacturers add a trace amount of disinfectant inside the rubber, those bad boys can also whack germs away apart from keeping moisture away. Remember when we were kids and used to think that milk-filled rubber gloves are udders? Use your imagination on this one.

  1. Sterile gloves

Any wound management protocol dictates that any nick, cut or open wound should never be touched without sterile gloves. Sure, that’s true in a world with ample medical supplies, but may become something of luxury during an SHTF situation. If you run of gloves or, worse, you sterilize medical supplies have gone bad; you can pull a condom over your hand and use them as rubber gloves. Of course, it’s trickier to worth with stuff that has no fingers, but then again, who cares?

  1. Corking bottles

I’m the kind of person that always loses bottle caps. Yes, I know it’s frustrating, and in most cases, those darn caps disappear as if wished away by a trickster or something. Don’t panic! If you have a condom within reach, you can use it to cover the opening of a container.

I wouldn’t use on fizzy drink, because the surface is not good enough to prevent the gas from getting out. In case you were wondering, yes, I did, in fact, used an open condom to cover a milk bottle, which I later placed in the fridge. I imagine my wife was not too pleased to discover a pleasure rubber stuck in the bottle when she made breakfast.

  1. Fire-starter

There are always plenty of ways to start a fire, but it all depends on what kind of tinder or fuel you’re using. If you don’t have char cloth or whatever, you can always rip open a condom pack and use it as a fire-starter. Be careful about lighting it though – it’s going to get up in flames really fast so keep a safe distance to prevent breathing in those toxic fumes.


  1. Water-proofing gadgets

The rain in Spain may, indeed, stay mainly on the planes, but out here it tends to knock out everything that’s electronic in nature. I had to pay a whopping $1,000 for two new phones because of the rain- yes, I don’t always carry an umbrella or raincoat.

Anyway, if you’re caught in the rain and don’t have anything on hand to protect your smartphone or tablet, you can use a condom to create a water-repellent barrier around the device. Just make sure you tighten the other end of the condom. Might be a good idea to keep the case on, as many smartphones have jagged edges which can punch holes in the condom.

  1. Slingshot

If you’re out hunting for small game or just target practice, you may be able to use a condom to fashion a slingshot. All you have to do is to find a y-shaped piece of wood. Tie both ends of the condom, put some padding in the middle, and that’s basically it. Good huntin’!


  1. Tourniquet

Although the tourniquet should not be used outside the hospital or by people who have minimal medical training, some cases call for drastic measures. If you’re dealing with an arterial bleeder, you will need more than one pressure point to control the bleeding. Condoms are great for this job – since the outer surface is dry, you can be sure that the thing won’t slip when you’re tying it around a wound.


  1. Weather-proofing matches

Saw a movie once about two Canadian soldiers fighting in the mud-filled trenches of Passchendaele who were having a chat on crucial field-survival techniques. While the first one argued that keeping you gun dry or having a full canteen are the most important things to consider in a survival situation, the other said that keeping your matches dry is much more essential (having something to light a cig and soothe your nerves before the big push).

War aside, the weather-proofed match can take quite a beating, but in some situations (dropping the box in a river or stream), not even goodwill can make those matches come back to life. This is where the condom comes in – before setting out, place your matchbox inside a condom to add an extra water-proof layer. Of course, you can do the same for other fire-starting gadgets the tinderbox, lighter, and emergency candles.

  1. Flotation device

If you ever find yourself floating on the ocean or any body of water for that matter, you can always blow up a condom and use it as life preserver or vest. Keep in mind that condoms can usually hold one or two gallons of water, which means that they tend to displace the same volume of liquid.

  1. Trash bag


Whenever in doubt, use a condom. In case you don’t have anything on hand to dispose of trash, pop open a condom and use it as a garbage bag. Sure, it won’t look pretty, but at least it gets the job done.

  1. Opening jars

Have you ever heard about the expression “mom-sealed jars”? Those aren’t your regular sealed jars, but the doing of someone whose aim was for the jar to stay that way forever. Yes, my mom always had a fiendish delight in seeing me getting read in the face when I tried to open one of her canning jars. Fortunately, there’s a way to breaking the seal without using torch blowers, saws or hammers – wrapping a condom around the lid. That will give you more grip than usual.

  1. Footcare

I could never wear a new pair of shoes without ending up with tons of blisters on the soles. And, apparently, I’m not the only having this problem. Now, if you’re just like me when it comes to new shoes, I would advise placing a condom on each foot before trying them on. This will minimize friction, thus allowing your foot to get used to the new shoes. Try this one for size!





  1. Hand care during woodworking

Doing a little bit of carpentry in your spare time is great. Except for those damned splinters that somehow end up in your fingers. Fortunately, there’s a great workaround for that and, yes, it does not involve wearing padded gloves – wrapping condoms over the fingers holding the wood. I know it looks silly, but don’t judge it before you try it.

  1. Keeping away peeping Toms and animals

I shit you not when I say that those things can really leave a mark if you know how to throw them. Having a hunting cabin means I’m accustomed to dealing with the regular scavenger bear and other two-legged beasts. In case of bears, I like to fill a condom with water and to throw it as close to the critter as possible (don’t hit it though, because this will surely prompt an attack). You can always do the same for people hanging around your property or for pulling a prank on a family member.

  1. Defensive weapon

There’s nothing more manly than that feeling you get when holding or making a weapon. If you find yourself in a close encounter situation, you can always defend yourself using a condom filled with sand, dirt, rubble, small rock or anything you found nearby. Sure, it would awfully silly to smack someone over the yapper with pink condom stuffed with sand, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do to protect himself.

That’s it for my killer list of how to use a condom in a survival-type situation. Thought of any other uses for a condom in SHTF case? Let me know in the comments section.

Remember when we were kids, and we used to buy rubbers by the dozen only to use them as water balloons? Well, wouldn’t you know it, condoms can double up

You know ‘em, you buy them by the dozen, and they usually end up in the washing machine along with the rest of the clothes. Yup, you’ve guessed it – the chapstick, the only thing that shouldn’t be missing from your pocket, especially during the cold weather, regardless of sex. Sure, it’s funny to see a 7-foot-something mountain of a man using a chapstick because of cracked lips, but still, the thing has its uses.

A couple of days ago, I was at home watching this guy on TV who kept on repeating that all everyday items can be used in an SHTF situation. This guy did say that ALL EVERYDAY ITEMS, including the ones found in pockets and purses, can be used for survival. He managed to cover everything from lipstick, hand sanitizer, credit cards, and pens, but he missed out on one item that can do that all of that stuff put together.

And, after doing a bit of snooping around on the Internet, I’ve discovered some of the most ingenious uses for these objects which, as I earlier said, ends up on the clothesline after a good wash. So, without further ado, here are 9 awesome ways to use chapsticks in and SHTF situation.

  1. Blister buster

If you’re the kind of person who gets blister each time he wears a new pair of shoes, then chapstick is the answer you were seeking. Since the stick contains a small amount of antibacterial substance, applying a little bit on the area predisposed to chaffing and blistering will go a very long way. Give it a go and see how it works.

  1. Fixing small cuts

In case you find yourself without disinfectant or bandage, you can apply a thin layer of chapstick on the cut. Bear in mind though that this only works for small cuts (wouldn’t try using it on larger wounds). If you really want to speed up healing, you can use a combo of chapstick and clean cloth on the cut.

  1. Cleaning glasses

As the very proud owner of prescription glasses since the age of 12, I can tell you that nothing cleans lens better than chapstick. First, wipe both lenses with a clean cloth and then apply a very thin layer of chapstick. You can use the same cloth to wipe off the chapstick, or you can rinse the glasses with plain tap water (don’t do this too often, as water can erode the lens). Sure, this may not qualify as a run-of-the-mill SHTF situation, but do bear in mind that many car accidents have occurred because the drivers simply forgot to wipe off their glasses before getting behind the wheel.

  1. Hiding money

If you live in a rough neighborhood, then your kind of forced to improvise when it comes to money. Sure, keeping them on credit cards or a virtual account like PayPal usually works, but with cash being king you simply cannot step out of the house with a couple of greens on you.

A very clever way to conceal money is by using an empty chapstick tube. Pocket the thing and in case trouble find you the only thing your wannabee robber will see is a regular chapstick tube. You can also use the same method to save some cash for stuff – that’s how my wife bought me an amazing B.O.B for my birthday.

  1. Crafting emergency candles

For when the lights go out, that’s when all the hidden treasures of the world reveal themselves. The nigh may be dark and filled with dangers, but nothing a little light can’t solve. If you’re all out of 24-hour candles or flashlight died out on you, it’s possible to make an emergency candle out of a chapstick. Get a Q-tip and pop the top of your chapstick. Fluff the cotton on one end and dip it into the chapstick. After that, simply stick the other end in the stick, use your favorite fire-starting method on the fluffed end, and, voila, let there be light!

  1. Blocking sun glare

Summer’s great – except for that f-ing glare which makes you feel like somebody used your eyes for Voodoo practice. Of course, nothing beats sunglasses, but in case you lose or break them you can block some of the glare by using a combination of soot and chapstick. On a clean surface, put the contents of a chapstick. Grab a handful of soot and use a stick or something to mix them. Smear this under your eyelids, and you’re good to go.

  1. Setting up snares

If you’re trapped in the wild with no food, you can use chapsticks to bait small animals. Rabbits, for instance, are suckers for anything that’s sweet (no, you can’t use your engagement photo to lure the critter into your trap). Set up a trap and instead of food, place an opened chapstick (would be great if you have one with fruit-flavored one).

  1. Leather care

There is plenty of stuff on the market for leather care. However, I found out that nothing makes a leathery surface shine better than a chapstick. It’s very similar to using the cream for your shoes or boots: wipe off the dirt and dust with a clean cloth and then apply a thin layer of chapstick. For a great shine, use a fine brush after the chapstick has dried.

  1. Lubricant

First of all, wipe that smirk off your face. I was talking about things that need a little extra something to get moving like screws or a machinery’s moving part. If something’s stuck and won’t budge, you can always replace the famous WD40 squirt with chapstick. It works wonder on rusty things as well.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my piece. As always, if you have any questions, wanna say ‘hi’ or add something to the list, hit the comment section.

After doing a bit of snooping around on the Internet, I’ve discovered some of the most ingenious uses for these objects which, as I earlier said, ends up on the