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Creative Prepping: 5 Everyday Items That Do Double Duty in an Emergency

Let’s cover a few tools that you can carry and some of their subtle uses…not necessarily the uses for which they’re designed. You want things that are convenient to carry and usable, yet not for everyone’s eyes. Most of the time when a severe emergency or survival situation arises, you’re not going to have the time to go to your handy toolkit and pull out everything you need. You may have to improvise and also use what you have on hand.

We know about multitools, especially Leatherman’s, Gerber Multi-Tools, and folding knives. We are going to cover some you might not have considered, as well as listing some things you can carry that have multiple functions. Let’s do it!

Survival Card Tool 0.5

Yes, that is the name of it, made by Ultimate Survival Technologies. You can order this one at or pick it up in a big-box store for $3.00. It has 11 functions: Knife, flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, ruler, hex wrench with 4 positions, direction indicator, 2-position hex wrench, lanyard hold, saw, groove-wrench, and can opener. All of this stuff is on 1 tool, in the size and shape of a credit card and made of stainless steel…real steel, the kind that a magnet sticks to. It comes with a little plastic sheath. I advise keeping the sheath, as it’s pretty sharp and can potentially cut your wallet if you shift around with it. Also, you may want to cut the back panel off describing the functions…with a diagram…put into the pouch along with the card tool to help you until you’re familiar with it. Tuck it in your wallet until you need it.


Carry a small magnet with you…the “extra strong” variety, approximately the same size, and shape as a “button” battery. The magnet can be used for many things. Verifying that an object claimed to be stainless steel actually is, for one. Also, for testing any kind of jewelry or coins to find if you’re getting gypped. In addition, the magnet can support something, such as a map or chart you may need to reference on the go. You can affix it to something you may need to mount on an object made of metal. You can magnetize a needle and make a compass point out of it by rubbing the needle on the magnet repeatedly (a field-expedient method). You can also detect counterfeit money with it. Real currency has iron fibers within its ink, and it will move a bill that’s folded in half (in an L-shape) with one-half vertical and the magnet moved close to it.

Grocery Store Vegetable Produce Bags

When they come off the “roll,” they are folded into a long strip/piece. Separate them and refold them as an “accordion.” These bags can be placed into a wallet and kept for when needed.  Need to not leave a print? The bag can help you. Also, inclement weather? Place your piece inside of it, and then back into the holster. The bag will keep moisture and debris out of your weapon, and if you need to you can fire with the piece still in the bag with no ill effects. A multitude of other uses can be found quite easily for these bags.

Paper Clips

Very useful as a potential expedient fishhook, as a “probe” for some type of small object under your skin or in your flesh, a cleaning implement/scraping tool for a weapon…the list is endless. You can tuck one of these inside your hat liner or inside of your wallet. You can also escape cuffs with one of them, although you’ll have to practice. When you wish to test it on yourself, have someone around to help you if you’re not successful.

Safety Pins

These little guys are worth their weight in gold when it hits the fan. They can also be used as probes for splinters and foreign debris under the skin, as a fishhook, a fastener to temporarily repair or patch an article of clothing such as a tear or a busted zipper or snap. Read more about the multiple uses of safety pins and SHTF emergency. They can also be sterilized with a flame to lance a boil or cyst.  Make sure and obtain multiple sizes, and affix these to pocket flaps, hats, shirts, or whatever articles of clothing you are wearing all the time.

One thing I wish to stress is that you should not just gather these items. You should practice employing them in the manner that I’ve outlined here. This is just scratching the surface. You can make covers for binocular lenses out of plastic lids, turn a nylon stocking into a scope cover that cuts down on glare for your forward objective lens, or use the stocking as a field-expedient substitution for handcuffs or flex-cuffs. Only your imagination limits what you can do. We welcome your comments and what you may wish to share with others on this topic. JJ out!


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 2nd, 2018
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