A key component of a good survival plan is to take everyday items and apply them into useful purposes for a disaster scenario. Tin cans are just one of those items.
Tin cans, of course, cannot be resealed after you open and eat the food inside of them, but this does not make them disposable items.
Sure, tin cans are used for storing food. But they also can just as easily be used to store other food and items after their initial use. More food, coffee, ammunition, seeds, water — take your pick. You can use a bandana or plastic wrap with rubber bands as a makeshift lid.
The ability to boil water and cook food while on the go in the wilderness should absolutely be on your list of top priorities in a survival situation. After all, drinking water from a natural source that is contaminated or hasn’t been boiled can sometimes be more dangerous than not drinking any water at all. Consider including an empty tin can or two in your survival bag to make hot drinks, to boil water, or to cook food. When using a tin can over the fire, just remember to use a branch or other object to hold the can and prevent burning yourself.
You’ll need to be creative in how you make fire if your supply of traditional fire-starting materials is starting to run low. One such way is to keep your fire burning constantly, regardless of whether you’re stationary or on the go, in your tin can. The concept is incredibly similar to how you would make a fire bundle. Punch five holes in the sides and the bottom of your tin can, and then place coals from a recent fire at the bottom. The coals will burn for several hours, and you can keep them going by adding kindler and tinder at different moments. Caution: Avoid letting your skin coming into direct contact with the can (for obvious reasons).
Tin can pieces can be one of your best resources for fashioning fishing hooks and arrowheads. You can accomplish this either by bending the pieces yourself until you reach the shape you want, or better yet, you can cut them with a knife or another sharp object. All you have to do then is lash the arrowhead onto the end of a makeshift arrow or tie the hook onto some fishing line.
You can make your own wilderness shower just by punching holes in the bottom of a tin can. You’ll need to come up with a system where water is continuously pouring through the can. This is a survival use that you shouldn’t overlook.
Many campers believe that a fire is all they need while sleeping under the stars; it offers them protection, peace and warmth. But fire can’t alert you to danger while you sleep. This is where tin cans come in: Simply set up a perimeter of cordage or string around your immediate camp site, and then attach tin cans at various points, paired by twos. If something tries to get through, the cans will rattle, alerting you.
Many survival kits include candles to provide the user with immediate light and warmth. Nonetheless, lighting your candle and leaving that small flame exposed out in the open is going to pose some obvious problems if the wind is involved. Cut and punch a hole in your tin can’s side and then face it away from the wind. Set your candle inside of it for proper warmth and lighting.
This survival use doesn’t need too much of an explanation. If you ever need a shovel or a scooper in a survival situation, a tin can will do nicely.
There are so many survival stories where people made it out alive because they were able to signal for help. A tin can is an excellent signaling device if used correctly. Cut a small hole in the center of the bottom of your tin can, and then polish the outside with charcoal or chocolate. The surface should become very bright and smooth, and if the sun is also bright enough, you can aim the tin can at whatever or whoever you are trying to signal by looking through the small hole.