Don’t Throw That Away! 15 Not-So Useless Items To Stockpile

Prepping is one of the most important tasks that a survival conscious individual will handle. If you are one of those ones, you know how important it is to not only make sure you have a great plan for when the SHTF, but also to have the necessary and vital items in your survival cache when it does. Being ill-prepared leads to disaster.

No doubt you’ve tried to think of everything that you might need, but even if you’ve planned for a long time, you might still forget some of these everyday items that are multipurpose and can be extremely useful in a survival situation.

  1. Shoelaces

Shoelaces can be used to bind for a splint. Place a couple of extra pairs of shoelaces in your first aid kit and you have yourself some handy binding cord.

They can also be placed in your bug out bag and used for alternative trapping wire. Use the shoelaces to snare a trap and you can catch a delicious wild animal for dinner.

Shoelaces can also be used to tie items high into the tree to keep away from bears or other wild animals.

  1. Garbage Bags

Garbage bags have several uses. But it’s important to note that in order for this everyday item to serve you well in an emergency situation, you need to invest in heavy duty, thick plastic bags. These ones are great quality and will not fall apart when you need them most. So let’s see how many different uses you can get out of a thick industrial strength garbage bag.

  1. Emergency poncho or emergency cover – Use the bag to cover you and keep you out of the elements.
  2. Cut it into a few strips and braid them into a sturdy plastic cord.
  3. Clothing to keep in the heat when you’re in colder climate areas.
  4. Roll and form a groove to collect rainwater in the event that you need hydration.
  5. You can use it as a pillow by filling it with leaves.
  6. Split and tie it in a tree to form a sun barrier and tree shade to sit up under.
  7. Debris movers – pile debris on top and slide out of the way with a garbage bag.
  8. Makeshift gurney – Same as the above but use to move people instead of debris.

Who knew that garbage bags could have so many uses!

  1. Shopper’s Loyalty Cards

You know those cards that almost every supermarket keeps asking for in order for you to take advantage of those great deals? Well, these little guys are also excellent survival aids. How so? These cards can serve as a firm edge to scrape insect stingers out of a victim. Loyalty cards also are good as finger splints if you cut them into even strips. They can serve as your go to splints in case you jam up your finger really bad.

  1. Pantyhose

Pantyhose are no nonsense in many ways than one. Pantyhose are made of super stretchy nylon making them excellent bindings for a makeshift shelter. Using the hose to hold a garbage bag in place, you’ll be able to secure you a stable shelter to rest.

  1. Saran Wrap

The number one way to use Saran or clear plastic wrap is to use it as a cover for a burn. Covering a bad burn with the clear plastic wrap aids the healing of the wound.

  1. Dryer Vent Lint

Lint from a dryer vent is a great accelerant, always igniting instantly when put in contact with a heat source. That’s actually how some house fires are started. When the homeowners neglect to clear out the dryer vent, the fire hazard increases each day that passes. Fire departments have long agreed that debris caught in the vents of a dryer have been the culprits in many sudden house fires.

Collect the lint from the dryer vent each time you dry a load of laundry and store it in a zip lock bag. It’s extremely important to keep the dryer lint dry, because if it gets wet, it loses it incendiary properties.  Store and pack in your bug out bag for quick access.

  1. Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly

Immediately you will know why putting this item in your emergency kit is a good idea. Petroleum jelly, like dryer vent lint, is an excellent fire starter. Soak a few cotton balls in it and store in a tin container to have instant access to them later. Petroleum jelly is also a good waterproofing agent as well.

  1. Condoms

Condoms are excellent choices for keeping things dry. If you happen to have an excess of condoms in your inventory, toss them into your emergency bag. Fill the condoms with anything you don’t want to get wet when you are bugging out. Some items that initially come to mind are matches, lighters, dryer vent lint, and other kindling material that needs to stay dry.

  1. Thick Socks

Thick socks, particularly wool socks come in handy in a survival situation. Thick long wool socks serve as a barrier for your feet. If you are bugging out in the desert, these socks will prevent your feet from freezing during the night when the temperature plummets. Socks can also be used as a dressing for a wound.

When used with other items in your first aid kit, you have an excellent absorbent wound wrapping. Thick socks can also be used as a basic water filtration system to filter out harmful debris when you’re in search for drinkable water.

  1. Paper Clips, Big and Small

When you realize that you’ve forgotten your emergency fishing kits, you can resort to your stash of paper clips to rig up a homemade fishing hook. Tie a nylon rope to the end of a stick, and then attach the clip on the end of the rope to create your very own homemade fishing line.

  1. Spare Glasses and Magnifying Glass

Use glasses and magnifying glasses as fire lenses, using the power of the sun to ignite fires.

  1. Tampons and Maxi Pads

At first thought, you may have cringed a bit when thinking about adding these items to your emergency kit, especially if you’re a male. Let’s take a look at why these feminine items are a perfect addition into your kit.  Tampons are designed to absorb blood, so it’s only logical to use one on a wound that is deep. Plug the wound and stop the bleeding with a tampon. Maxi pads act the same way in that they absorb blood. You can use it as a gauze and wrap the wound with nylon to secure it.

  1. Duct Tape

This wouldn’t be a great list article if we didn’t mention duct tape as one of those everyday items that your emergency kit can’t do without. You can find duct tape at any hardware store or discount store. Duct tape is a miracle wonder in itself. There are so many uses for duct tape already and more than likely you’ll find other uses for it.

Some uses for it in a survival situation include but are not limited to, taping and securing a broken limb, repairing your bug out bag, waterproofing your shoes and clothing, and trapping insects and even small animals in an adhesive trap.

  1. Needles & Thread

These items are good for stitching and repair clothing or gear. In a pinch you can also use the needle and thread combo to stitch up a wound.

You can also take a needle a curve it to make a very sharp hook for snagging small fish in the water.

  1. Paper Coffee Filters

Disposal coffee filters serve many purposes. You can use them to filter debris out of the water in order to provide clean drinking water for yourself. You can also use coffee filters for replacement toilet paper, paper towels, and kindling material.

This is just a short list of everyday items that you can use for survival purposes. Survival is extremely important and one needs to be on the top of his game if he is going to prep efficiently. Go through your personal inventory and see how many of these items you can find and start pulling these items together. You might be able to think of a few more items to add to this list, if so make sure you jot them down and collect them as well.

The point is having a survival stockpile that can extend your life and those with you. Knowledge is also the key to successful survival. It’s one thing to have these items, it’s another to know how to use them. Without the proper prepping knowledge, a person can stock up loads of survival items and gear, but still die because of the lack of experience to execute the things he’s learned.

Don’t let that be you! Now that you’ve gotten your list of 15 everyday items that you can use for survival, start making trial runs and practice using them in the suggestions of this article. Practice, be prepared and be ready to act.

About MIra J. Ross

Mira has been prepping for 10 years. Living in the outskirts of metropolitan Atlanta with her 3 children, she's preparing not just for SHTF events but also for everyday emergencies.


  1. Avatar

    You forgot to bring the fishing kit, but, hey, you remembered to grab those paper clips!! Yeah.

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    I don’t think many folks wear panty hose any more but my daughter’s worn out ballet tights do the job & are stronger. These are often seen at yard sales.

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    Please make your lists with a print button. Makes it a lot easier than having to cut and paste.

    • Avatar

      Just copy and paste the entire article to wordpad. Then you have it and can play with it at your leisure.
      That’s how I handle it.

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