The Prepper Journal

Survival Tools You Can Make Out of Scrap

Survival Tools You Can Make Out of Scrap - The Prepper Journal

Editors Note: An article from Tara to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies!

You have planned well. There’s the emergency kit in the corner, along with your survival backpack, where necessary supplies that can last you for at least a week take up most of the space. You’ve learned basic skills to help you when disaster strikes—how to forage for food, look for water, build a fire from scratch, and all the other tricks.

It could have been a breeze to wait out the worst of the disaster, but you lose your prepared kit and you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere with nothing to aid you. This is a do-or-die situation, and you have no choice but to improvise. Creativity, resourcefulness, and effort are needed to pull the kind of improvisation in a do-or-die situation.

You don’t have to go far to find materials you can use to defend and protect yourself from the bad guys and other actions that can increase your chances of survival. Whether they are weapons or tools, knowing how to create survival essentials out of scratch can go a long way, especially if you are caught unprepared, unarmed, and unaware.

What Is the First Step You Should Do?

Put yourself in a desperate situation. Your city lies in ruins after a devastating earthquake. You don’t have your backpack where you’ve put everything you need for emergencies, from flashlight, compass, and maps, to your ever-reliable knife and even a set of lock picking tools.

There is death and destruction everywhere. There are many survivors. Looting is everywhere, and so are the killings. Law and order are noticeably absent. People can do whatever they please and going out is akin to suicide. But to survive, you need to go out to forage for food and replenish your dwindling supply.

This can be a very difficult obstacle, but your will to live is stronger. So, you gather your resolve to go out and face the chaos. But first, you need to prepare. You cannot simply wander off to the ruins of what was once a prosperous urban area. To deal with outlaws and petty gangs, you must have weapons to defend yourself.

The first thing you need to do is to forage around your ruined home and look for handy scraps that you can fashion into something useful. More than useful, these weapons and tools you are planning to create can make or break your chances. By getting the materials ready, you will be able to start doing what you set out to do—protect and defend your turf.

Weapons for Self-Defense

Homemade Pepper Spray

If you have dried chili pepper in your pantry, then you’re good to go in making this handy weapon. You will need just enough water to make the dried pepper float, mixing and crushing it with a spoon to expose the seeds.

A spray bottle or can lying around can be cleaned out and used as a container. A spray of your homemade pepper can render the sight of your attacker useless, giving you time to run away or incapacitate him.


You happen to find a paracord just hanging around. Aside from being tough, a paracord bracelet has other uses. You can actually make a paracord bullwhip, an ideal weapon if you want your attackers to keep their distance. Any piece of wood can be fashioned as the handle, wrapped in the paracord and then braiding the paracord at a length of at least 6′ with an improvised weapon at its tip, a large bolt, a piece of sharp scrap metal, or even a golf ball wrapped in paracord.


For the more fearless type, a flamethrower is the kind of scary weapon that can stage an element of shock to your would-be attackers. It is relatively simple to make and can be very effective.

Just make it absolutely certain that you know what you are doing, using the right type of fuel and taking the strong wind into consideration when aiming your homemade weapon, as this can be very dangerous for both the user and the target.


Knives are useful anywhere as a weapon or as a tool. You’d be surprised to find just how easy it is to fashion a knife if you have the resourcefulness and the patience to find the materials. A railroad spike fashioned into a dagger, a lawnmower blade transformed into a beefy machete, and a cable of steel can be turned into a steel knife.

Stun Grenade

Useful for escape and evasion, stun grenades can be fashioned out of PVC couplings and the help of baking products like baking soda and citric acid power. For the more daring ones, flash powders are known to be used in this kind of do-it-yourself project.


It may remind you of David and Goliath—that’s how classic slingshots are. Small, simple, concealable, and not only easy to find ammunition for, but the above photo shows a homemade magnetic ammo carrier as well! Slingshots are a must in any survival situation. Aside from being a weapon for self-defense, a slingshot can also be used for hunting small game.

Targeting a bird for food may prove easier than setting up a trap and waiting. While traps are smart that can become complicated and time-consuming, though they are something you should do as well. You’ll need a scrap of leather or sturdy cloth and wood for the simplest ones. Others make use of metal scrap to fashion an effective slingshot.

Blunt Force Weapons

Materials for blunt force weapons can be found everywhere. It includes random things like table legs, broom handles, pots and pans, and instruments that can be fashioned from clubs. After that, you only need to add a few nails into the club as an upgrade.

War Hammer

You can feel like the god Thor with this homemade weapon. Just find a pole (metal pipe) and fasten something heavy on one end, and presto, you have a weapon worthy of the gods. The latter can be a brick, a rock, or a piece of metal.

Throwing Spikes

A throwing tool that can be easily concealed was called shuriken by the Japanese. In the Western world, they are known as throwing spikes. You can easily fashion this weapon out of nails. Lightweight and can be thrown through several techniques, this weapon is smart to use if you want to do considerable damage without closing the distance between you and your attacker.

Tools for Survival

Bow and Arrow

Your bow can be made out of PVC piping or plywood and some string. It is an efficient weapon that does not draw that much attention. Of course, if you make a bow, you also need the arrows. Something barbed for the arrowhead will do, and this includes nail, screw, or a bent piece of metal. Next, you can look for a straight rod to attach the fletching on.

Rocket Stove

A stove is vital as a tool. You can use it for cooking, heating, and boiling water. In order to function, a rocket stove must include a combustion chamber, an air intake, and a chimney to vent the exhaust. Scraps like empty cans and cinder blocks can be useful in this DIY project.

Oil Lamp

In case of power outage and electrical supply damage, light is important especially if you’re on an emergency. Learning how to make an oil lamp with mason jars or glass bottles is a very useful skill. Your fuel can even be found in the kitchen, like olive oil or vegetable oil. Practical and decorative, oil lamps are easy to learn and make but need care in use as they can instantly go from useful to deadly.

DIY Water Filter

Water is essential for survival. If you can find a source of water, then you’re lucky. But you can never be too sure if it is safe for drinking. To rectify that, you need a water filter. Gravel, sand, and charcoal can work together as filtering materials.

The big stuff are taken care of by the gravel, the rest of the particulate matter are caught by the sand, and the microelements can be worked out by the charcoal. Make use of two water bottles or any makeshift buckets for the water and filtering materials.

Fishing Lures

Lures are expensive even in normal situations. In desperate circumstances, it will be a shame to pass up an opportunity to fish if you are near a river or a lake because you lack the means to do so. Making fishing lures at home is possible if you have utensils.

Stainless steel spoons, thread, glue, and feathers can be transformed into lures that can hopefully help you with your dwindling food supply if worse comes to worst.  Other materials that can be made into lures include corks, small sticks of wood, and paper clips.

Snow Shovel and Trenching Tool

For clearing a path, getting to possible buried supplies, you can fashion your own basic survival shovel, one that will aid you in moving snow or lightweight debris. Or a trench/garden tool for digging.

Human Will

Nothing ever is easy after an apocalyptic situation, but having the iron will to persevere and survive can make anything possible. The power of creation falls upon the survivor, and the possibilities are limitless. Although creative thinking is not innate to everyone, it can be accomplished through practice. Seek, find, improvise, and create.

But remember as well, there is a difference between thinking and doing. It’s one thing to let your imagination dictate awesome things you can create, but under pressure and with so much going on around you, it is extremely hard to focus on a single task at hand.

Know your priorities. Is it to fight and stand your ground or to provide for your basic needs first? Can’t it be both? Setting priorities can make a huge difference on your survival chances.

Survival, after all, depends not only on the tools you have at hand but also on your skills, presence of mind, and resourcefulness. Every decision you make has a succeeding repercussion or reward, so think very hard before you make a choice. Through both your mental and physical skills, you can learn to prepare, adapt, and overcome.

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