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Thread: DIY Survival Projects

  1. #1
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    DIY Survival Projects

    I like to make my own survival kits, especially out of stuff I already have. Like Altoid tins.
    These are just some of what I've put together, I'd love to see what ideas you have, so post em' up.



    This is my standard Altoids tin survival kit. These are great to throw in your pocket, keep in a bag, or your vehicle.
    Many of the contents came from stuff I already had. The rest can be found at sporting goods stores, Amazon, or the camping section at Wal-Mart.

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    This kit contains a little bit of everything you'll need in a short term survival situation.


    Contents:
    1. Fishing kit (Hooks, sinkers, splitshot, 25yds of 8lb test line, snap swivels.
    2. Ferro rod with striker fire starter.
    3. Aqua-Tabs. For water purification.
    4. Minimalist folding knife.
    5. Band-Aids (various sizes)
    6. Chicken bouillon powder, salt, pepper.
    7. Paraffin wax/cotton balls (For fire starting)
    8. Small compass.
    9. Wire saw.
    10. Safety pins.
    11. Strike anywhere storm matches.
    12. Sewing kit.

    Pack the contents into the tin, then seal with waterproof tape. Wrap 550 cord around the tin.
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    Ready to go.

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  2. #2
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    This next project is a long burning candle.



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    Once again, we start with an Altoids tin.


    Cut strips of corrugated cardboard, thin enough to fit into the tin bottom and still be able to close the lid. Coil the cardboard strips into the tin as tightly as possible.
    Melt paraffin wax and pour it onto the cardboard in the tin. It will absorb quite a bit, so you'll have to wait until it's done, and possibly pour more wax in.
    When the wax starts to pool on top, stop pouring, make sure the top of the card board is still exposed.

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    Cardboard strips are coiled tightly inside the tin, and then covered in molten wax.


    Pull up the end of the cardboard in the center and light it.
    It will act as a wick and burn the wax just like a candle.

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    This candle will last for many hours. Use it for light, heat, to cook over, boil water, and it can be pulled apart to use as fire starting material.

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  3. #3
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    Ok. Let's make a mini-survival stove.




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    Start with a tin.




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    Unroll some cotton balls and pack them into the tin's bottom. Cut a pie pan or other thick foil pan big enough to fit on top of the cotton, use a hole punch to punch holes in it.


    You'll need to have a small bottle for your fuel since it will evaporate if left in the stove. I use Iso-Heet, but +90% alcohol, lighter fluid, and other clear, lightweight, flammable fluids will work.

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    Burns with a steady, hot flame. to extinguish just close the lid. Watch it will be very hot.


    Just place this stove under a grill or between two rocks to place pots or pans above it for cooking and boiling water.

    Stay tuned for more survival products you can make at home.

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  4. #4
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    Here's another alcohol stove that I have made before.




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    Made from two aluminum cans.




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    Punch holes like so in the bottom of one of the cans.


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    Leave the other can bottom whole. Cut off both cans about 2" from the bottom.


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    Pack the bottom of the can with cotton.


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    Fit the two halves together. This may take some coaxing since the cans are about the same size, but through careful fitting, they will go together. This is what it should look like.


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    Now add your fuel through the center hole. Add until the cotton inside is saturated.



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    Light the stove through the center hole. This may take some time as the fuel needs to reach it's vapor point to burn. Let it burn like this for several seconds to allow the fuel to heat up and vaporize.


    When the fuel has been brought to the proper temperature, place a penny, or other piece of non-flammable material over the center hole. Of course if you are going to set a pot or metal cup directly onto the stove, the penny or center hole cover won't be necessary. That can be tricky to do though, so I usually place the stove between two rocks, then place my container of choice on the rocks.

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    When the fuel has been brought to the proper temperature, place a penny, or other piece of non-flammable material over the center hole.


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    The fuel will continue to heat up and vaporize and eventually you'll have a good flame.



    To extinguish, cover with a pot or cup. I have been able to blow it out, but I wouldn't recommend it as the flames could flare up and burn your face.

    It's a good idea to have a small, secure, bottle for your fuel as any fuel left in the stove will eventually evaporate.
    I carry this stove in a zip-loc bag, just be sure to let it complete cool down after use before stowing it.

    I have tested this stove thoroughly, and it burns really hot, please be careful when using this stove. Once lit, DO NOT attempt to move it or touch it!
    It will boil water in a little more than a minute.
    I've used it in a black out to cook on also.

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  5. #5
    G.N. Private First Class 77 wolfpack's Avatar

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    With the amount of fuel you use, how long will they burn? Also, what is the life span of one of these kinds of emergency stoves in a survival/camping setting? What fuels burn the shortest/longest?

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  6. #6
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    It all depends on the type of fuel you use. I use enough to fully saturate the cotton.
    I have used Iso-Heet fuel treatment, 97% rubbing alcohol, Coleman fuel, and lighter fluid.
    The Iso-Heet will burn, I'd say, 30-45 minutes.
    The rubbing alcohol ignites quickly but burns faster, clean burn of 15-20 minutes.
    Coleman fuel burns really well and hot, decently clean. Probably get an hour or more out of it.
    Lighter fluid will burn as long as the Coleman fuel, but will leave residue, it's not very clean burning.

    Iso-Heet is my #1 choice though.

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  7. #7
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    These are what I like to call "Fire Pods". Because it just sounds cool.
    Easy to ignite and hot enough to burn damp or wet fuel.
    They're great to keep around for normal fire starting or for any bug out bags and survival kits.
    These suckers are fire starting gold. Easy to make also.
    Let's get started.



    Safety first. You'll probably want to wear some work gloves and eye protection, hot wax isn't pleasant when it splashes on exposed skin or eyes. A set of food tongs is also needed to avoid contact with hot wax.


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    Step 1: Start with a cardboard egg carton, dryer lint, and paraffin wax. Cotton can also be used instead of lint.

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    Step 2: Cut out the individual egg cups.












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    Step 3: Pack the lint into the cup.


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    Step 4: Melt the wax in a metal pot over low heat.










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    Step 5: Use food tongs to dip the cup into the liquid wax. Make sure the wax coats the whole cup and saturates the lint inside.

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    Step 6: Use food tongs to remove cup and sit aside to cool. You can see I also made one with cotton balls. They should be ready to go in an hour or two.














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    Now you have a waterproof fire starter that can easily be ignited with one match or concentrated sparks from a ferro rod.

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    These things burn hot and long enough to dry and ignite wet fuel.

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  8. #8
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    Sasquatch's Ultimate Fire Tinder: When it absolutely, positively, HAS TO BURN !

    I've experimented extensively with survival fire starting materials.
    I took a few of my favorites and combined them.
    These babies will burn for 8-10 minutes and depending on contents and size, longer.
    Easy to make, throw em in a zip-loc bag and add them to your survival kit or bug out bag.



    First you'll want to gather some crystallized pine sap.
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    Find crystallized pine sap on damaged or pruned pine trees.


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    Ingredients: Cotton balls, crystallized pine sap, pertroleum jelly, and paraffin wax.

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    Step 1: Unroll a ball of cotton, add a dab of petroleum jelly, add pine sap crystals.







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    Step 2: Roll the cotton back up so that the jelly and pine sap are in the center.

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    Step 3: Dip cotton ball into melted wax. Remove and set aside to cool. Should be ready in an hour or two.











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    Ignites easily with a match. I've also had good results using a ferro rod with magnesium shavings.
    Works best if you pinch a small piece and pull out some cotton fibers to ignite.

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    Starts out with a small flame.

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    Once the petroleum jelly and pine sap ignite you'll have a large, extremely hot, long burning flame. Suitable for starting the most stubborn of wet or damp fuel.

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  9. #9
    Administration Survival_junkie's Avatar


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    I've never tried this with pine sap but can only imagine how much better it would be. If you fluff it back out, with the wax removed from the catch area, these will catch sparks off a flint or firesteel like nobodies business. Pretty much any incarnation of these works, I've even used hand sanitizer before but it burns too fast. How long does it last in this version? Here's what I've found in the past:

    Cotton ball, plain: medium flame, burn time approximately 25 seconds
    Cotton with Hand Sanitizer: medium to large flame, burns hotter and last approximately 45 seconds
    Cotton with Petroleum Jelly: small to medium flame at first growing gradually to medium to large, burns hotter than plain cotton but not as hot as alcohol, lasts significantly longer at about 2 to 3 minutes

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  10. #10
    Head of Operations sasquatch's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by Survival_junkie View Post
    I've never tried this with pine sap but can only imagine how much better it would be. If you fluff it back out, with the wax removed from the catch area, these will catch sparks off a flint or firesteel like nobodies business. Pretty much any incarnation of these works, I've even used hand sanitizer before but it burns too fast. How long does it last in this version? Here's what I've found in the past:

    Cotton ball, plain: medium flame, burn time approximately 25 seconds
    Cotton with Hand Sanitizer: medium to large flame, burns hotter and last approximately 45 seconds
    Cotton with Petroleum Jelly: small to medium flame at first growing gradually to medium to large, burns hotter than plain cotton but not as hot as alcohol, lasts significantly longer at about 2 to 3 minutes

    Thanks for the reminder, I forgot about pulling out some of the cotton to catch a flame better.
    I freaking love hand sanitizer, so many survival uses.
    I've watched this particular version burn for 10 minutes or more. The one I made for this tutorial burned for 11 minutes.
    The cotton tends to char and create shell around the melted pine sap, so if you poke it with something it will expose the pine sap and burn longer.
    The pine sap is the key and it depends how big you make the ball and how many pieces of pine sap crystal.

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