Just because we don’t expect a firey apocalypse to happen any time soon, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. One day you might find yourself living in the woods surrounded by nothing but useless trash and nature. Yikes!

Well that useless trash lying around might help you eat dinner tonight. From creating hunting gear right down to crafting a small stove to cook your dinner on, these 20 survival hacks will help you be the last one standing at the end of the world.

1. Doritos, Fritos, and other corn chips can be used to make a fire in the event of an emergency. Essentially, they are carbon-based wafers soaked in oil and covered in hydrocarbon, so just place them on aluminum foil or the chip bag itself and ignite! They contain enough oil to sustain a fire.

2. If you’re a little more prepared and managed to throw together a small survival kit, then you’ll only need two things to start a fire: steel wool and a 9-volt battery. When both battery terminals touch the steel wool, electrons move rapidly from the battery through the steel wool to make a complete circuit — and fire. 


3. Duct tape is essential. You should ALWAYS have it with you because it can do anything. It’s magic. If you need to open a jar and don’t have a jar grip (because it’s the apocalypse and all) just use duct tape to open it with ease.

4. If there’s no clean source of water — or you simply aren’t by a source of water — then you can collect it yourself… even if there is no rain at all. Drape plastic wrap over plants or grass and collect condensation. It will be enough to keep you alive.


5. Not everyone loves tuna, but if you’re in an apocalyptic situation, you sure will! Puncture the top of a can of tuna in oil, place one end of a makeshift wick inside, and light. You’ve got an improvised candle that will last for up to two hours!


6. Another great candle stand-in are crayons. Just break the tip off and light the paper wrapper. Burning a crayon will provide light for about 30 minutes per stick. A standard 24 pack will provide 12 hours of light!


7. Not everyone has a 9-volt battery and steel wool, so if you have a AA battery and gum, then you’re in luck. The current from an AA battery and a bit of foil will provide a quick source of fire.


8. Chances are if you’re using these tips to survive, then you don’t have a five-range stove to cook on. You can make a stove out of cans like shown below, though. Then you can add some kindling and light it with a previously mentioned method!

9. If sprain or injure your ankle, grab a sturdy stick or branch that’s around your height and turn it into a walking stick. Whittle a hole at the top and thread through any twine, string, or vine for a handle.

10. If you need to travel a long distance and prefer to travel by water instead of foot, you can create raft by gathering some thin, but strong, wood. Wrap it in a tarp to keep you dry and then down the river you go.


11. Since the hospitals will be unmanned, if you’re injured, you’re on your own. If your arm needs to be in a sling, create your own by wrapping paper towels around your hand, wrist, and forearm as a cushion. Then, use duct tape to create a shoulder strap.

12. If you’re stranded by the ocean or have two simple ingredients, salt and water, then you’re in luck. Soak any wounds that need cleansing or bug bites that won’t stop itching in salt water for relief.

13. Just because it’s the apocalypse doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep proper hygiene. You can substitute toothpaste for baking soda. It’s abrasive composition and odor-killing properties will get the job done.


14. If you’re tired of eating Twinkies and would like to catch a real meal, a simple bathroom supply can help you: dental floss! Catch fish using it in place of fishing wire. The protein will help you stay nice and strong.


15. You can rub baby oil on your face if you’re stranded outside in the colder months. The baby oil will hydrate your skin and prevent frost bite and chapping. The last thing you need is to deal with frost bite when you’re trying to survive the end of the world.


16. “Magical” duct tape has healing powers as well. You can cover blisters or small wounds with duct tape after washing, since it creates a nice seal that will keep dirt and bacteria out of your injury.


17. There are several ways you can keep mosquitoes at bay: smoke in general irritates those pests and will keep them away, but wild plants also work well. Some repellent plants include basil, garlic, floss flower, and lavender.

18. You can also make a fishing hook from the trash left behind. Just take the top of a soda can and cut it like shown below. Maybe attach it to floss for a lame fishing pole so you’ll never go hungry?

19. If you need to make a reflective signal then you can use a number of materials that are no longer useful to you during the apocalypse. Rear-view mirrors, CDs, polished metal, and pendant jewelry could be life savers. 

20. If all you have is a small headlamp and you’re looking to create a bit more light at night, grab an empty jug of water. Fill it up and wrap the headlamp around the outside of it with the light facing in. You now have a light that can project in 360 degrees!