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  • Alan Urban

35 Survival Items You Can Make At Home

I’ve met quite a few preppers who regularly purchase all sorts of survival items, but who never actually make their own survival items (you know who you are). There are many reasons why this is a huge mistake, but let’s focus on two in particular:

First of all, you’re wasting money if you’re buying things that are cheaper to make at home. And second, during a long-term disaster where grocery store shelves are all empty, you might be forced to make your own stuff. So why not go ahead and learn how?

Below you’ll find a list of 35 survival items that are fairly easy to make. For each one, I included a link to a tutorial that will walk you through it. So next time you’re bored, try making one of these and don’t forget to leave a comment letting me know how it went.

Antibiotic Wound Cream

Being able to dress wounds properly is essential in any survival situation, and having an easy-to-make recipe on hand will keep you from having to scavenge for antibiotic ointment.

Aquaponics Garden

For a more long-term sustainable food option, try your hand at balancing the ecosystems of a garden and an aquarium with an aquaponics garden.

Beef Jerky

The great thing about beef jerky is that it’s very portable and lasts a long time. If you’re on the move or working hard all day, a delicious piece of beef jerky from your pocket can be a great pick-me-up.


Having homemade butter on hand will be extremely useful for cooking when the SHTF, particularly if you’re tied down to cooking outdoors without non-stick cookware.


For anyone surviving without electricity (or with limited access to it), candles are quite beneficial as a source of light, heat, and as a bug repellent.

Char Cloth

Char cloth is a very useful material to help you in the fire-starting process, giving you excellent tinder that will light instantly in many different conditions.


If you learn to make your own charcoal, you can keep grilling out no matter how long it takes for grocery stores to get charcoal back in stock. It’s actually easier than you might think, it just takes a little time.


Keep your perishable items cool without electricity by making an insulated cooler. Use a cardboard box, some foam, foil, and bubble wrap to make it. This makeshift cooler can be a game-changer for food preservation.


While not a necessity for survival, deodorant can do wonders for your morale and humanity by keeping you smelling fresh.

DIY Grain Mill

In a long-term survival scenario, being able to process grains into flour will be crucial. You can construct a simple grain mill using boards, PVC, and plywood to grind wheat, corn, or other grains. This homemade mill will be invaluable for making bread, tortillas, or other food items from scratch.

Emergency Bread

This is a recipe for a simple flat bread that is surprisingly filling. You can make ordinary sandwiches with it, or you can use it as a tortilla to make wraps, burritos, or whatever you want.

Fire Starter

Having a tried and true fire starter can be the difference between life and death in a survival scenario.

Having a good fire starter will make it far easier to get a fire going.

Fishing Net

A fishing net can greatly increase your chances of catching food. With some sturdy twine or cordage and a little patience, you can knot a net to help sustain you. This skill might take some practice, but it’s a valuable asset in a survival situation.


A sustainable life after SHTF may require some sort of fuel to power engines and generators for transportation and generating power. Fortunately, there is a DIY process for making your own ethanol.

Hard Tack

This simple snack only has three ingredients (flour, salt, and water), and it’s very easy to make. Plus, it will last for years.


You’ll want to keep your skin in good and healthy condition so it doesn’t get itchy or cracked. Disasters are hard enough as it is, so anything that will minimize discomfort is worth doing.

Mosquito Trap

Protect yourself from the annoyance and potential diseases carried by mosquitoes with a DIY trap. Cut a plastic bottle in half, and invert the top into the bottom. Boil water with brown sugar, cool it, and pour it into the bottom half, then add yeast to create carbon dioxide, attracting mosquitoes. Cover the trap with black cloth, and place it in a mosquito-prone area.

Oil Lamp

An oil lamp is even better than a candle since it provides a little more light can’t get knocked over as easily. All you need is a wick, a mason jar, and some olive oil.

Paracord Belt

You never know when you’ll be in a situation where a few feet of rope could make all the difference. Wearing a paracord belt is a great way to carry a great length of rope at all times.

Plant Pest Deterrent

Protect your survival garden without commercial pesticides by making your own. Common ingredients like garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, and soap can be mixed with water and sprayed on plants to keep pests at bay.


You’ll want to have some sort of substance to ease your pain and bring inflammation down when you suffer wounds and injuries, and poultice is an herbal solution you can forage for and find in many different areas.


For hunting game small to large and even for protection, fewer DIY weapons are more useful and simpler to make than a bow reinforced with PVC.

Rainwater Collection System

Water is life, and setting up a rainwater collection system can be as simple as positioning clean barrels or buckets under your gutter’s downspouts. For more advanced setups, consider adding a filtration system to make the water potable.

Rocket Stove

A rocket stove is easy to make and can do wonders for your survival cooking, allowing you to bridge the gap between proper kitchen cooking and roughing it over a campfire without any cooking utensils.


Soap is something every prepper should learn how to make. Hygiene will be even more important during a long-term disaster where sanitation is on the decline, diseases are on the rise, and doctors are unavailable.

Solar Dehydrator

Preserving food is crucial, and a solar dehydrator can be made with some wood, a window, a screen, stretchable cloth and some hardware. This setup allows you to dry fruits, vegetables, and meats using the power of the sun, extending their shelf life significantly.

Solar Oven

In a survival situation you will most likely not have access to a stove, but you can increase your odds of survival by learning how to create your own solar cooker, which uses the energy of the sun to heat up a chamber for cooking.


Protect your skin from harsh sun rays by making your own sunscreen. Ingredients like zinc oxide (non-nano), coconut oil, and shea butter can be mixed to create a protective barrier. This is especially crucial in environments where you’re exposed to the sun for long periods.

Tin Can Stove

This is a simple stove that uses a few candles to heat up things like canned food and warm drinks, and even make flatbread.


Carrying enough food in a bug out bag to survive for months at a time is practically impossible. Instead, try carrying a few homemade traps or the materials to make one.

Washing Machine

Hygiene is crucial, and clean clothes can keep you healthy. Create a simple hand-powered washing machine with a clean plunger and a 5-gallon bucket with a lid. Drill a hole in the lid for the plunger handle, and you’ve got a way to wash clothes without electricity.

Water Filter

Having drinkable water is one of the basic essentials for human survival. Knowing how to make your own water filter can save your life in a survival situation.

Waterproof Matches

Waterproof matches are exceedingly useful for anyone spending time outdoors and starting their own fires, as they can be used even in wet and cold weather.

Wind Turbine

Generate your own electricity with a DIY wind turbine. You can use a car alternator, PVC pipes for blades, and a sturdy frame to hold everything together. While this project is more complex, the ability to produce your own power is invaluable.

Zeer Pot

Extend the life of your food and keep it fresh with a homemade Zeer pot. Zeer pots have been used in many rural locations in Africa and the Middle East as a way to naturally refrigerate food and keep it fresh longer.


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