As a prepper, I find a lot of inspiration from watching movies that have some element of doomsday survival. Not so much the fantastical aspects, but the more mundane like any blind spots I might have in the food storage department. If you haven’t watched, National Geographic’s American Blackout, I highly recommend it. One of the many opportunities to learn something from this survival movie was the scene that inspired me to learn how to open a can without a can opener.

Actually, this post when it first came out resonated with a lot of people on Facebook who had been affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda. Real people affected by a real doomsday survival scenario when they had lost everything. The word I heard at the time was the relief agencies had quickly provided canned food to the “1.8 million homeless and more than 6,000,000 displaced” but no one had a can opener. I do not know if that was true or not but the steps below on how to open a can without a can opener, and this post remain one of our highest visited pages ever.

Back to the movie and the topic at hand, this movie had so much more information to make you think about a doomsday scenario and what prepping could do in order to save your life.

In this movie, the premise is that the electric grid goes down completely. The movie follows several families as they are faced with several situations where emergency preparedness would have helped them. It’s a compelling fictional dramatization of what experts believe we as Americans could see should the electric grid fail us. It is one of the more prevalent prepping topics we see people reading this site in preparation for.

In American Blackout, there is one scene where the “Yuppie couple”, facing extreme hunger was trying to open a can of peaches that he had stolen in an act of desperation. When they got home he realized that they didn’t have a can opener in their fancy apartment so the guy had to use his own smarts to open the can himself. Spoiler alert – This is the same can he bashed over the head of a guy who was trying to steal it from him to feed his own family. Funny how this man was so desperate for food that he beat someone to death, but the can of peaches ended up kicking his butt.

When he couldn’t get the can open, he started jabbing a knife down onto the lid in frustration (bad idea) and ended up cutting his hand pretty badly. Not what you want to do in the middle of a crisis when hospitals are already overwhelmed and you don’t want to go outside for your own safety.

American Blackout teaches what can happen if you don’t know how to open a can without a can opener.

In this scenario there was no way he could make it to a hospital and there were obviously more people with much more serious injuries so he and his can inspired fit throwing would be at the back of the line. Not to mention both he and his girlfriend would have to leave the relative safety of his poorly equipped apartment to seek medical attention. They might end up in worse shape as evidenced by the bad guys who finally got to them at the end of the episode.

If the crisis had lasted longer than 10 days, there might never have been any medical treatment and he could have died from a relatively simple infection.

KitchenAid Can Opener
The KitchenAid Classic Can Opener is an essential tool for any kitchen. The can opener's large, easy to turn knob makes opening cans an easy task.

Most of us do have a can opener around the house and I recommend you have a manual can opener as a backup because canned food items are one of the simplest ways to stock up your food storage. This is especially important if you are a yuppie couple living in an apartment and don’t know how to open a can without a can opener. 🙂

How To Open A Can Without a Can Opener

There are ways to open a can without a can opener though and I found this quick video explaining the concept. It’s dirt simple and doesn’t require you to kill anyone first. These two guys are funny and my favorite line is: “Guess what? Cat gonna Survive too”. – Thanks to Sarah for correcting me. I don’t understand Russian too well 🙂

Enjoy!