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Survival Checklist - Multiuse & Multi Purpose Items

Updated on January 13, 2013

Survival Preparedness - Multipurpose items are best:

No matter what the situation is, space is almost always a finite resource, and this is especially true in a survival situation. Whether you are limited by the size of your dwelling or by the amount you can carry or transport, few will argue that space and weight are important.

There are ways to maximize your space and there are ways to waste it. Maximizing your space is one way that can help you survive any survival situation. I am going to try to help you think in an efficient and space conscious manner. While this will not be a comprehensive list of multi-purpose items for survival, it will be enough for you to get the idea of how you should try and look at items when considering space and weight.

Probably one of my favorite examples is a simple, clear garbage bag, but I suppose a more heavy duty example could be a clear tarp or a clear shower curtain. For space and weight I prefer the garbage bag in a survival situation. But what can it do? If you are already coming up with answers then you are getting into the right survival mindset. It can be one of many things. You can use it for:

  • A Solar Still
  • A Rain Catch
  • A Rain Poncho
  • Holding water from rivers or streams
  • Weather Tighten a make shift shelter
  • Tying off a wound to lessen bleeding
  • A pillow
  • Patching plastic items (obviously needs to be paired with glue or tape)
  • Keeping moisture sensitive items dry
  • Storing food

Duct Tape is another good example! It can patch things, it can bind things together (Wood for a raft? a stretch, but a possibility), it can be used for bandaging wounds (Best with cotton or paper so tape does not stick to wound.), it can burn like a candle, it can be turned into rope, you can use it in conjunction with sticks to form a splint, mend shoes, and the list continues. Some items are just so useful that they can, incidentally, be used for many things but do not overlook items that are meant for many uses either.

Multi-Tools And Other Useful Items:

Minimizing your load while walking or even driving is hugely important to survive. It means less trips to the car, less fatigue, fewer things to account for, and fewer things you may have to abandon if the survival situation came down to that. Not to mention it could save you a ton of money in gear! A good example of an item designed for multi-use is a good, quality multi-tool. Whether you know it by that name or not they come in many forms.

The specific multi-tool I am talking about is one that folds out into a pair of pliers while also having a small saw (usually), Phillips and Flathead screwdrivers, knife and many other possibilities. There is also the ever famous Swiss army knife. These tools were designed to be compact and effective. One of these tools in your survival kit can easily replace about 6 or more tools that you would otherwise need to lug around, find to use, and account for! There are some essentials that may not have multiple uses that you just must bring but do not worry about those items.

The best way to build a versatile kit is to get together the bare essentials that you must have that may not have multiple uses, then assess the amount of room you have left, then include the most versatile and useful things you can think of. While the Nylon Rain poncho is really nice, will it serve you as well as the clear plastic one? Only you can make his assessment. A nylon poncho has its merits; it can keep you warmer than a plastic one, but the plastic one can be used just like the garbage bag I mentioned above: as a solar still, etc.

Just remember that any survival plan is better than no plan. So get moving!

Get more information and ideas at


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    • debris profile image

      debris 8 years ago from Florida


      You are quite welcome! I hope that it helps you come up with great and useful ideas.



    • stuart747 profile image

      stuart747 8 years ago from Colchester, Essex, UK

      great hub, thanks for sharing

    • debris profile image

      debris 8 years ago from Florida

      @Rochelle: Thank you for the lovely comment. I try to avoid the sensationalism. I do believe we are in very questionable times but I'm not about to use fear to promote my hubs. I want to provide practical, organized information for people to have access to, not something peppered in fear.

      The irony to sensationalized survival articles is that they are an oxymoron. Survival requires you to be calm and collected. To make good decisions, yet the authors are using panic and fear to promote the article, which detracts from the idea of being calm and collected.

      I believe that everyone needs to be prepared for anything. Whether it be hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, or blackouts. Every region has their own reason to be prepared. I would just rather be overprepared than underprepared!

      Once again, thank you for the lovely comment Rochelle, and you are always welcome around here!


    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      I do love the way you present your subjects without the often-accompanied "doomsday" fear-inducing emotion of so many similar informative articles.

      I am always drawn to the practical 'be prepared' topics. Maybe I was a Boy Scout in a former life.

      Thumbs up.

    • debris profile image

      debris 8 years ago from Florida

      Peggy W: I love duct tape! It's a truly fantastic utility to have with you! I can't count the number of times I've wished that I had some duct tape for something!

      Sophie: I'm more than happy to share this information. I would love for nothing more than to know that if anyone ever gets into a situation that what they read on my hub may help to save them or a loved one. I'm terribly afraid that many people are not prepared for what may happen, and it makes me smile each time I see that someone has read one of my survival hubs!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Need to get more duct tape!!!