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6 Useful Survival Uses for Drinking Straws

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6 Useful Survival Uses for Drinking Straws


I am truly blown away that there are so many survival uses for straws. Being in Search and Rescue, one can learn a great many survival idieas and skills. Here's a few we've learned:


1 – Survival Spice Rack

Gather a bunch of straws together, along with your favorite spices, and you’ve got the makings of your own survival spice rack – perfect for your next bug out trip. Starting from one end of the straw, measure how long you want the straw compartment to be. Then snip off the rest of the straw and set aside.


Using a pair of pliers, pinch the end of the straw about 1/8″ from the top. Then take a lighter and, still pinching, graze the flame over the clamped end of the straw so that the ends of the plastic melt together.


Now pinch the newly sealed edge, clamping it shut with the pliers. You’ve now created a waterproof, sealed container, perfect for storing spices.


Pour in your favorite spices for survival (i.e: salt, pepper, garlic salt, etc.) and use the same process to seal the other end of the straw (but make sure to allow a space for air at the top before sealing). Then use a fine-tipped marker to label each straw so you can tell them apart.


2 – Transport Medicine

Medicinal transportation doesn’t have to be heavy and bulky if you have the right tools. For example, you can simply cut a straw, seal it at the end (see directions in #1) and fill the straw with small pills.

Once you’ve closed up the other end, be sure to label each straw to know which pills are which. You don’t want to risk a mixup – especially in a survival situation.


Note: We understand that there are some necessities, like insulin, that should not be kept in straws.


3 – The “Fire Straw”

A great way to use these straws in a survival situation is to store fire starter in them – particularly cotton balls that have been soaked in petroleum jelly.


Note: This is a pretty common way to start a fire, but there’s plenty more unusual ways to get a fire going. .


For this method, you’ll have to rub the jelly through the cotton ball; then pull apart the cotton and rub it between your fingers, forming a long, thin tube shape. Use a match (or other small object) to push the cotton into the straw, leaving room at the top.


Seal off the other end (as described in #1), and you’ve got a waterproof, portable and insanely compact tinder container.


When you’re ready to get your fire going, simply cut open the tip of the straw, and light it on fire. The entire container will burn. Or, if you don’t want to use it all in one fell swoop, you can take out a little bit of tinder at a time, and set each bit on fire.


To reuse, you can make a cap for the straw (details for this are listed in the video below #6).


4 – First-Aid Storage

Straws are particularly good at providing you a super compact, watertight container – especially for first-aid supplies such as antibiotic ointment and burn cream. You can generally pour straight from the tube, or use an eyedropper in order to get the liquid into your straw.


As always, make sure to leave a space at the top for air, and seal off the ends tightly (as described in #1).


5 – Prevent Gingivitis

Mouthwash is an essential bug out bag item, as it helps prevent bacteria and gingivitis from wreaking havoc in your gums. Seal off an end (using the directions in #1), and then use an eyedropper to pour the mouthwash into the straw. Leave space at the top for air, and seal up the other end.


Note: Gingivitis is no joking matter…but neither is any other emergency that can happen with your teeth/gums. Especially in a survival situation. Stay prepared to heal/repair. Anything that can go wrong in your mouth.


6 – Fishing Compartment

If you’re in a survival situation, one of the most crucial things you’ll need is the ability to wrangle up dinner. With small hooks, line, and weights, you’re on your way to having a successful fishing trip in the great outdoors.


You can store these tiny survival items in a straw – simply seal off an end (using the process described in #1) and push the tools in, sealing the other end tightly.

Now that you have some ideas on how you can work with straws and be light weight in your pack, the skies the limit on what you can do.

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