10 Quick Survival Tips Anyone Can Do

survival tips


Natural calamities are inevitable. Accidents can be unpredictable. But calamities and accidents can be prevented from turning into disasters. Being prepared and having a few tricks under your sleeve can make the difference between life and death.

Take a look at this compilation of ten simple but most useful survival lifehacks out there:


Survival Tip #1:  Opening a can without a can opener

If you get caught in an urban disaster and you happen to find a can of food, being able to open a can may be the difference between life and death for you. The knife is indeed a very important survival tool. But losing it doesn’t have to mean the end for you. Learning how to open a can, any kind of can, without a can opener, a knife or any other tool, is a useful trick a survivalist should have.

Caution: The edges of the can will be sharp after doing Step 3 so be careful or else you will risk cutting yourself.

Step 1: It’s very easy. You only need to  find a flat rock or a piece of concrete block (the floor will do).  If you are in an urban area, this should not be difficult to find.

Step 2: Take your can and place its top part on the concrete.



Step 3: Rub the can back and forth against the concrete. Repeat until the edges start to come off.


Step 4: Squeeze the can until the lid pops out. If you rubbed it enough, the lid should come off easily. Otherwise, you may have to turn the can a few times to squeeze it on different sides.


Voila! You now have an open can of food.


(Screenshots taken from this video onYoutube.)


Survival Tip #2: Making a lamp with a soda can

Light is not just something that helps protect against the elements. It can also bring hope during trying times. If you need some light but a candle is not enough, you can use a soda can to make a lamp.

Step 1: Take a soda can and cut off the edges like this:


It should be easy to do with a knife.

Step 2: Place the candle inside the can like this:


As you can see, the interior of the can reflects the light from the candle. It will also protect the candle from wind.


Surival Tip #3:  Olive Oil Lamp

If you don’t have a candle, you can still use your soda can for a makeshift lamp using olive oil.

Step 1: Take your soda can and fill it halfway with olive oil.


Step 2: Roll up a paper towel and put the other end inside the can. This will serve as the wick.


Step 3: Light it up. You now have an olive oil lamp that will last for several hours.


(Screenshots taken from this video onYoutube.)


Survival Tip #4:  Making your own compass

Are you lost and you want to find your way home? A map and a compass can help you find your way. But if you don’t have your compass with you, knowing to how to make our own compass is valuable knowledge.

Step 1: Prepare a leaf, some water and a tiny piece of metal such as a needle.

Step 2: Take the needle and rub it several times against your shirt.

Step 3: Place the needle on a leaf and put in the water. The needle will spin and it will point you north.


Survival Tip #5:  Acorn Whistle

When hiking in the woods, you should always carry a whistle with you. You can use it to draw attention in case you get lost or separated from your group. Or you can use it to signal for help if you get injured or if you run into some trouble. But just in case you don’t have a whistle with you, you can make your own with an acorn cap. It’s very loud and it will help you save energy from shouting.


(Photo by redditor prater77)

Step 1: Hold the acorn cap as shown in the picture above. Your thumbs should be together with the tips making a V-shape.

Step 2: Position your mouth on your thumbs s as shown in the picture. Your upper lip should be on your thumbnails and your lower lip should be below the thumb knuckles.

Step 3: Blow. You can adjust the position of your mouth until you get a nice, loud, high pitch sound.


Survival Tip #6: Light source/Warmer


Light and warmth will keep your spirits high

When it’s dark and you’re out in the cold, here’s a good tip for you to create a light source which can also double as a warmer.

Step 1: Douse some corrugated cardboard with something flammable (oil, paraffin wax, etc.)

Step 2: Take a rectangular shaped tin can (just like the one in the picture) and stuff it with the cardboard from step 1.

Step 3: To use it as a light source, simply light the cardboard up and to use it as a warmer, simply close the lid ( the fire will go out immediately), and you can now use it as a warmer.


Survival Tip #7: From dirty water to drinking water

Imagine this: you’re in some kind of a survival situation and you only have empty containers because you ran out of water. The only water you can find are dirty and surely nonpotable. You can save yourself from thirst by following these steps:

Step 1: Fill about half of one container with the dirty water.

Step 2: Place an empty container beside the container from step 1.

Step 3: Roll up a piece of cloth and set it up in the containers as shown below.


Remember to boil before drinking

Step 4: After some time, clear water can be collected from the previously empty container. It is advisable to boil this first before drinking it.


Survival Tip #8: AAA Batteries Into AA Batteries

If you need some AA batteries for a flashlight or any other survival tool but all you have are some AAA batteries, this easy trick will definitely help you. All you need is some tin foil to fill the gap between the terminals of the batteries and the gadget. Roll a piece of that tin foil into a ball to get something that looks like this:




A temporary fix but this should be good for a few hours, until you can find batteries with the correct size.


Survival Tip #9: Make a Lemon Battery

If you run out of batteries, you can also make one out of a lemon (and a piece of zinc and copper). No, I’m not kidding.

To do this, you will need: a lemon (you can also use lime or any citrus fruit), a galvanized nail for the negative electrode,  a copper coin for the positive electrode and some connecting wires. A galvanized nail is used because it is coated in zinc. You can use any two objects as long as they’re made of copper and zinc. If you have a multimeter, you can measure the output of your lemon battery.

A Large Juicy Lemon Will Work best

A Large Juicy Lemon Will Work best


A few galvanized nails and copper coins

Step 1: Squeeze the lemon (without breaking its skin) to release its juices inside.

Step 2: Cut a slit on top of the lemon for the copper coin. If you are using two coins (one zinc and the other copper), cut two slits 1 to 2 centimeters apart.

Step 3: Insert  the copper coin into the slit. Push the galvanized nail on top of the lemon, 1 to 2 centimeters away from the copper coin.


When life gives you lemons, make a battery!


Step 4:  You’re done. Connect it with some wires and alligator clips to measure the output. To actually use it, connect the corresponding wires to the terminals of a LED for example to have an emergency light source.

Measuring the voltage with a multimeter

Measuring the voltage with a multimeter

You can also wire several lemons together to make a more powerful power source. Four lemons will give you an output of around 3.5 volts.


Several lemons wired together


Survival Tip #10: Tell people where you’re going.


Leave a message to a family member or close friend before leaving

Sometimes, people don’t see the value of simple stuff. Have you seen the movie 127 Hours? I think all that could have been avoided if he just told someone where he was going. If you’re going camping, hiking, boating or whatnot, call someone close to you or leave a note or a message. Tell them where you are going and when you will be back  so that if you’re gone for too long, someone will be looking for you. Going on impulsive trips is exciting. You can be adventurous without being careless.