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"Innovation may very well be the most important survival skill."
Quick: What's the first thing you think of when you hear, "survival item"? It's probably not a bra or a tampon. But those two items are exactly what Outside magazine says could save your life.
In a slideshow on the outlet's website, they name eight household items you may never thought of that could save your life.
"Innovation may very well be the most important survival skill," Creek Stewart, a survivalist and host of the show "Fat Guys in the Woods," told the magazine.
Besides a bra (which can work as a debris mask) and a tampon (which includes cotton that can stay dry and work as kindling), a AA battery and some chewing gum wrappers can start a fire, while a can of tuna can work as a candle. Below are four of our favorites, along with some explainers from the magazine.
"Believe it or not, the cup of a bra can make an impressive debris mask in a pinch," Stewart says. Most are sized perfectly to cover the nose and mouth, and the straps can be reworked to tie around the head for hands-free use.
Thankfully, Stewart says tampons are among the best tinder on the planet. Begin by removing the cotton plug from its waterproof wrapper and plastic applicator. Then pull apart the tampon to expose the highly-flammable individual fibers—these will burst into flame with just a spark from a ferro rod or cigarette lighter.
Stab a small hole in the top of an oil-packed tuna can, then roll a two-by-five inch piece of newspaper into a wick. Shove the wick into the hole, leaving a half-inch exposed. Wait a moment for the oil to soak to the top of the wick, then light with matches. "Your new oil lamp will burn for almost two hours," Stewart says, "and the tuna will still be good to eat afterward."
Take the cotton string from a tampon and, using a paperclip, stick it into a tube of lip-balm. Light the end, and you'll get an instant candle that can burn for about two hours. Keep the plastic tube from catching fire by slowly twisting out the lip balm as the wick burns down.
To see the other three, head over to Outside magazine.
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