Looking for DIY survival hacks, tips, recipes and projects? Keep reading…
A lot of people think DIYs are just for fun. When they hear “DIY,” they think of cute crafts and recipes. The fact is, DIYing is a truly lifesaving skill, and many DIY enthusiasts have other interests that include homesteading, survival and preparedness.
DIY and self-reliance go hand-in-hand, so it's no surprise that so many DIY-ers are survival and homesteading enthusiasts, as well.
The Ultimate List of DIY Survival Hacks, Tips and Recipes
If you're interested in living a more self-reliant lifestyle, you're in luck. We've collected all of our favorite survival and homesteading tips, survival food recipes, food storage tips, paracord projects and more for the ultimate DIY survival guide. Read on to learn more:
1. DIY Survival: Firestarting
Firestarting is one of the most basic survival skills you can have. Knowing how to make a fire ensures that you'll stay warm and be able to cook food in any survival situation. Sometimes, however, starting a fire is easier said than done. Here are some DIY survival hacks for starting a fire:
Need a quick way to start a fire? Or maybe you don’t have a fire pit and you don’t want to leave a trace? This tutorial shows you how you can make a fire starter using recycled materials that you most likely already have laying around your house. It is also a great survival candle. Trust me, you’ll never go on another camping trip without one of these.
Let’s get started!
Supplies you need to build the fire starter:
- Medium sized pot (for boiling water)
- Small metal pot (one that can easily sit inside the medium sized pot)
- Wax from old candles
- Tin can (crab meat/chicken/tuna can)
- Scissors or a box cutter
Check out my favorite firestarter and get it for FREE here.
This is a fun little project for a rainy or cold day, any day. You just need a paper egg carton, wax and dryer lint. It takes an hour from from start to finish to make them, and only about 10 minutes of your time. (Your wax will be cooling most of this time.) Making fire starters is pretty cool, and I needed some motivation to get my laundry done, anyway. Two birds, one stone. These light amazingly well. I never knew dryer lint would do that! Be sure to check out my burn test at the end of this post. Awesome stuff.
Why would you want to make these fire starters?
Recently, I was camping, and having trouble getting a fire started due to the humidity and rain. I was sure glad I had some of the egg carton fire starters in my bag. It was way better than matches or a pile of kindling. The wax and dryer lint combo really helps your fire stay going. I also did a burn test with just these fire starters. Keep reading to see how long they stay lit.
Here are some really cool small waterproof fire starters we’ve made. These little guys are great survival additions to any kit you have. They can really come in handy if you are stuck in a pickle!
Supplies to Make DIY Waterproof Fire Starters:
- Soda straws
- Cotton balls
FREE: The Everstryke is waterproof, easy to use and long-lasting.
2. DIY Survival: Top Food Recipes
Just like starting a fire, knowing how to make your own food is essential for any survivalist. It's important to have survival food that is long-lasting, nutritious and tasty. Believe it or not, making food like this is easier than it sounds — and once you start feeding yourself and your family on healthy, nutritious survival food, you'll never want to go back to processed food! Here are some of our favorite survival food recipes:
Soldiers and sailors the world over have used hardtack as a way to stave off hunger. It was one of the main sources of food used when Christopher Columbus set sail and eventually landed in America.
It is such a basic item that I am amazed no one I know under the age of 50 understands its importance, let alone how to make it.
Hardtack is simple. It has three basic ingredients and takes roughly a 1/2 hour of cook time to prepare.
This is one of the most cost effective long term survival foods that you can make.
It just isn’t very carb friendly…
You can make hardtack almost identical to what sailors, troops and pioneers have been eating (minus the weevils!) by following this simple recipe:
- 4-5 cups of flour
- 2 cups of water
- 3 tsp. of salt
Want to Know How to Make Homemade Survival Bars? So did I. Over the past few months, I decided to try a few varieties, and this is my favorite so far. The texture is right, the flavor is right, especially is you are a fan of fruity cereal. These taste a lot like Crunch Berries! You can also try lemon and orange flavored Jello in these easy-to-make bars. I guess together, they taste like Trix or Fruity Pebbles. Something like that, anyway. I promised I would try these, and I had not one, but two for a snack before I could put them down. Going to admit something here – I am a bit of a food critic. If I say these are good, they are good. Otherwise, I am going to call them edible. These are actually good. They are not like bricks, and they are not dry and bland.
Why would you want to make homemade survival bars, anyway?
Easy-to-make, quick, and they taste great. Yes, they should have a very long shelf life. There is no oil or any ingredient that goes rancid or spoils quickly. They do not contain moisture, as you dry them in the oven, but they stay moist due to the Jello. Pretty cool, right? These homemade survival bars will stay intact without crumbling, pack well and are great for camping, hunting, hiking and to have on hand for emergency preparedness.
I have now tried many packaged survival bars, and have made a fruit flavored recipe for homemade emergency food bars with a long shelf life. I thought to myself, surely there is a better way to make a homemade survival food bar. The fruit Jello bars are good but awfully sweet. They also do not have the nutritional value I knew you could pack into a bar. The solution? Chocolate and Chia seeds.
If you do not know about chia seeds, keep reading. I included some nutritional info on chia, which is a pretty perfect survival food. Chia seeds stay good for years, and they retain their nutritional value as well as their flavor. They add a nice little crunch to this bar, and the chocolate combines nicely with them. I also added a scoop of protein powder to this recipe. Protein powder is one of my favorite things to add to baking mixes. It really adds value, and the flavor and texture are undetectable, at least to me. You can leave this ingredient out, if you choose.
I decided to make these bars individually. Rolling and cutting them was a tedious chore, and the bars were likely to crumble if not cut through properly. These store more easily, and it is far easier to control the exact portion size and determine nutritional value when made in the manner I describe. These round bars are much easier to get into a dehydrator. Piece of cake.
3. DIY Survival: Paracord Projects
If you're familiar with DIY Projects at all, you probably already know that paracord is one of our favorite materials to work with. It's durable, versatile and the possibilities of what you can make with it are virtually endless. From keychains, to bracelets, to snare traps and more, check out our favorite paracord projects below.
A paracord survival bracelet is a versatile tool that comes in handy for a number of emergency situations. Whether you are a survivalist, frequent hunter, outdoors person or just value the need to be prepared at all times, paracord bracelets are a great tool to have on at all times. In this tutorial, you will learn how to make the Cobra Survival Bracelet. When made correctly, this Cobra weave will quickly deploy to about 10 feet of paracord!
Supplies you need:
- Two 9ft pieces of paracord
- Side release buckle
- Tape Measure
Ever wonder how to make paracord bracelets? Here is a list of different paracord bracelet projects for you to make at home. All you need are a few simple supplies, and you will be making paracord bracelets for your friends and family. Not to mention your personal outdoor use. There are many different weaves, patterns and knots you can try when braiding the bracelets.
Check out our step-by-step tutorials and have fun!
Sometimes knowing the right knot could save your life. Case in point – you need to escape a POW camp and have a pile of bedsheets in your room (It’s a five star POW camp). What knot would you use to tie the bedsheets together so that you can still take the bedsheets with you to keep you warm during your trek through Siberia? By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly which knot to use.
Hint: It’s the Kamikaze Knot.
Hint Hint: You should NEVER, EVER USE IT! There’s a reason they call it that.
Here are four totally awesome knots that you can make with your paracord which every survivalist should know.
We love 550 paracord projects, and there are so many to choose from these days. Survival bracelets, paracord belts, watches, monkey fists, lanyards, gear wraps and 100’s of other creative and cool ideas. Super durable and strong, paracord is also stylish and can be found in all colors of the rainbow, plus some super cool camo options! We chose some of our favorite projects to share with you, and we hope you enjoy these step-by-step tutorials as much as we do.
This paracord dog collar is your best bet if you are looking for a stylish collar that is also super strong and durable.
If you’ve been following our paracord projects, then you know the Cobra weave is one of the more popular weaves. For this paracord dog collar, we are going to take it one step further and do a King Cobra weave! This weave is super strong and even adds a thickness and padding to the original cobra weave, making the collar more comfortable for pooches of all sizes.
The tutorial below is done for a large dog, so our collar ends up being a whopping 20″! If your pup is smaller, you can follow this simple rule to calculate the amount of paracord you’ll need: 1.5 feet of paracord for every 1 inch of your paracord dog collar.
These instructions and tutorial will show you how to use paracord and sticks to create a basic snare that will increase your probability of catching something in the wild. Let’s get started on this cool paracord project that is one of our favorite DIY survival hacks!
Supplies you need to build a paracord snare trap:
- Pair of gloves
Supplies you need:
- 3 5ft strands of paracord – (Try it with three different colors!)
- Lighter or matches
Step 1: Starting the Paracord Keychain
(The bottom one should be horizontal, the top one vertical.)
Under 2 oz., quick and simple conversion, and FREE. Get it here.
A paracord monkey fist is beneficial to carry on you for survival and self defense purposes. It’s super easy to conceal and carries enough power to slow down any attacker.
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to make a paracord monkey fist using a pool ball! This giant monkey fist weighs in at a hefty 6 ounces!
When you are in a survival situation, every second counts. This blaze bar paracord bracelet is designed to quickly deploy. How quick you ask? Under 20 seconds!
Follow this tutorial to make your very own blaze bar, quick deploy paracord bracelet and be at ease knowing you’re a little more ready for an emergency situation.
A paracord monkey fist is beneficial to carry on you for survival and self defense purposes. It’s super easy to conceal and carries enough power to slow down any attacker.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a paracord monkey fist knot keychain.
Supplies you need:
- 1″ steel ball bearing
- 6ft 550 paracord in a color that you want to be the main color
- 4ft 550 Paracord in a color that you want to be the compliment color
- 1″ Monkey Fist Jig
- key ring
- lighter or matches
A paracord survival bracelet is a versatile tool that can come in handy for a number of emergency situations. Whether you are a survivalist, frequent hunter, outdoors person or just value the need to be prepared at all times, knowing how to tie a paracord bracelet is a great skill. Knowing how to tie several is even better- try making our Cobra Paracord Survival Bracelet and our Tire Tread Paracord Survival Bracelet. In this tutorial, you will learn how to make the Oat Spike Survival Bracelet.
These paracord belt instructions show you how to make a DIY paracord rescue belt, my favorite of all the paracord belts I tried. Paracord bracelets can come in handy but only have 8-12 feet of rope, while a paracord belt can have up to 50 feet or more of 550 paracord. In extreme survival situations, 50 feet of rope would be a lot more use for you than 8-12 feet. However, this paracord belt gives you at least 50 feet of paracord rope that is quickly accessible, and depending on your waist size, up to 100 ft of 550 cord.
This belt is a quick deploy survival rescue belt that uses Slatt’s rescue weave. You can unravel, or deploy, the paracord in a matter of seconds.
Are your tools and weapons always slipping out of your sweaty palms? Are you tired of drawing your war hammer, only to watch it go flying and land at your enemy’s feet? Are these follies the result of you not keeping up with your hand grip routine like you said you would? No stupid, it’s because you didn’t go to DIY Projects and learn how to make a Badass Paracord Solid Gear Wrap.
Looking for cool new paracord projects to try out for your gear? Paracord can be used in really cool ways to update and enhance your survival gear and weapons.
Tired of boring old knife grips? Give your blades and gear handles a makeover with this cool 550 paracord project. All you’ll need is some paracord and a half hour. No experience necessary – this tutorial is perfect for beginners!
4. DIY Survival: Homesteading
Homesteading is the art of self-reliance. True homesteaders live off the land and off the grid, finding creative uses for everyday items and making sure they are using every resource to its full potential. When done right, homesteading can be rewarding in a number of ways. Here are some homesteading survival tips from our site and from our sister site, Homesteading.
The key to a successful homestead does not only lie on being able to grow your own food but on other skills as well. Here is our list of homesteading skills that will surely help you be successful in your urban homesteading journey.
Keep in mind that learning these skills will take time, patience and perseverance, and not all of these skills are applicable to certain situations. Hopefully, though, you’ll be able to pick up some great ideas that will inspire you and get you started!
Homesteading takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Living a self reliant and sustainable lifestyle is difficult but hugely rewarding for those with the motivation and know-how.
Homesteading may be hard, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Try out these cool projects for your homestead and survival preps for some productive fun!
Let’s face it…we live in a world full of commodities. So many that we’ve grown very accustomed to a certain lifestyle and it’s difficult when that gets thrown out of whack – especially when you live off the grid. Homesteading brings life back to the basics a bit, but it’s a learning process to say the least. You learn to get clever with what you have, and sometimes when you learn a new trick you find out later that it’s actually quite an old trick. So why am I telling you all of this? I wanted to share with you all a couple of tricks I’ve learned throughout my homesteading years through my experiences I’ve had while living off the grid. And so, without further ado, here are some off the grid hacks that are useful no matter where you live on or off the grid.
Interested in homesteading, self-reliance and debt-free living? Learn how to start your own homestead and overcome the struggles of everyday survival. We’ve come up with 11 helpful tips for the average ‘Joe’ who is about to embark on the bumpy ride to self-reliance and modern-day homesteading.
5. DIY Survival: Weapons
Most people, if they have weapons at all, rely only on what is available to purchase. They don't realize that making your own weapons is entirely possible, and often very practical. More importantly, it's a skill that can save your life if you find yourself in the wild without a weapon to hunt or defend yourself with. Here are some of our favorite homemade weapons tutorials from our site and from our friends at Homesteading.
Have you been wanting to make a bow for practicing in the yard? Ideally something cheap to bond with the kids over, or maybe to be ready when you need to survive a real world situation? For many survivalists, when they think of a “Survival Bow,” they think of honing some hearty tree sapling in the woods. BUT….
The world is changing! There are many supplies available to use that might be more readily available to you, including scraps of PVC.
This unique project is not your average duct tape construction. I decided to use something other than duct tape to create the seams, giving it a much more finished, unique look. I really wanted to find a way to sew my duct tape patterns together. I found that machine sewing does not work very well, because the needle tends to get gummy. However, sewing with a thicker material through duct tape that has been punched works great. I love the look of leather, and have enjoyed making a few custom pieces out of it. However, leather is expensive and also not ideal if you know your project is likely to be exposed to moisture. Duct tape is inexpensive, durable, waterproof & lightweight, perfect for creating custom items for holding all sorts of things.
If you ever do find yourself in a survival situation, we all hope that we would be prepared with the appropriate tools and supplies. However, we can’t plan for everything so if you find yourself stranded and need to make your own makeshift tools, a knife will be one of the first things you should make. A survival knife is handy for cooking, creating shelter, hunting and self-defense when necessary. Even if you are the most self-sufficient, emergency prepared person you should learn to make this essential survival tool using this easy tutorial.
Hopefully you will never find yourself in a survival situation, but if you do you should always be prepared and use what you have on hand to create the survival tools you’ll need. One of the best tools to have for emergency preparedness is a survival knife. If you forget your knife, lose it or it breaks, don’t panic yet! We have compiled a list of the best knife making tutorials so you can remain prepared and make your own knife. The best part is, all the knife making supplies are materials you can easily source in a survival situation. Whether you’re living in a survival scenario or just want to learn a new hobby, knife making is a useful skill to learn. Here are our top 5 picks for best knife making tutorials.
So you have real crossbow-making tutorials and then you have what we like to call “non-lethal but still gleefully fun and potentially revenge-worthy” crossbow-making projects. This lies in the latter, and comes up when you find yourself stuck in the office and dreaming of the weekend.
Or maybe you’re just looking to put an end to that in-office feud, once and for all. Or maybe you’re looking for a way to tell that cute guy/girl in the next cubicle that you like him/her, and since you never really learned to show your emotions you choose instead to chuck things at them.
This simple and easy crossbow is made from everyday office supplies used around the world! Shoot pens, food from the lunch room fridge or whatever else you can think of. Happy hunting.
6. DIY Survival Hack: Food Storage
One of the biggest challenges of being a prepper is food storage. This is especially true for those of us who live in small or rented homes and have limited space to store food items long-term. Here are a couple of DIY survival hacks for food storage.
Did you know that when you vacuum seal food, it stays fresh 5 times longer than other conventional storage methods? Because vacuum sealing removes the air from the container (reducing oxidation), foods such as beef, poultry, fish and even vegetables can have an extended freezer life– up to 3 years!
I’ve laid out a quick explanation of how to go about using your vacuum sealer to safely and quickly store your food.
Let’s get started!
Unfortunately, many people waste both their time and money on avoidable mistakes in their emergency food storage. And nothing will frustrate you quicker than finding that your hard work has gone to waste due to some stupid, preventable error. You need to be properly storing the right food, and have the ability to prepare the food you have. You will need access to the correct ingredients and equipment to prepare you meals, which takes quite a bit of planning. For this reason, we highly encourage you to read up on the following smart food storage strategy and tips. Follow these instructions and avoid emergency food storage fails.
7. Other DIY Survival Hacks and Tips
Here are some other great DIY survival hacks and tutorials.
Be prepared for a blizzard with these survival tips.When the next winter storm hits, be prepared with these blizzard survival tips. You don’t have to be the ultimate prepper to survive a blizzard, but everyone should have a working knowledge of cold weather know how. Watch for whiteout’s and always stay indoors and avoid driving during these types of storms.
Have some extra time and looking for some cool projects? Need a preparedness project you can do this weekend, or even several? Hoping to learn a new skill in the process?
Look no further. I’ve spent a lot of time lately researching cool projects, and I want to share with you these 36 great weekend preparedness projects I found. It was hard to decide, though. I found a ton of good ones. I may have to do a series like this.
Some are projects on the diyprojects.com site, some on other sites I like. Preppers, survivalists, and anyone who wants to be a little more prepared at the end of the day can get a lot from making these. All of these projects are low budget, many practically free. Most will not take more than a couple of hours, and some are faster than that.
Medicinal herbs are among the most useful items for preppers. First aid and health care are among the most essential needs for human survival. But what if you couldn’t run to the store for your supplies any longer? I rely pretty heavily on my medicine cabinet to help me deal with everyday aches, pains, and everything in between. From allergies to sprained ankles, I often find myself popping the top of a pill bottle for relief. What I failed to realize until recently is that I’m failing to use of the of best resources available to me – Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet. Find out what medicinal herbs are the most useful and effective, and why you should keep them all in your bug out bag.
Here we have an incredibly simple survival kit that you can make at home that covers the essentials of survival and and could very well save your life if you are ever stranded out in the wilderness with nothing but this kit and the clothes on your back.
Most everything in this kit can be found in your very own house. Here are all the instructions for putting it together.
Rainwater collection is a great way to reduce your water usage. Did you know the average person wastes about 30 gallons of water per day? Holy moly! Just imagine if you could save at least a third of your water usage. Well, you can! A rainwater collection system is a really great way to recycle water during those hot summer months when water conservation is at its most necessary!
Looking for some cool DIY survival hacks for weekend projects for preparedness? You loved our weekend preparedness projects for preppers so much the first time, we thought we’d give you even more!
Only this time, we’ve only included even better and more useful survival gear and projects for you preppers-in-training to work on. With our friends over at Survival Life, we’ve created a list of the best disaster preparedness projects for you and your family to work on in your down time.