10 Survival uses of a water canteen
By Zoey Sky // Oct 24, 2018

Even if you're a seasoned prepper, you can still lose access to your survival gear in a SHTF situation. But if you learn how to use multipurpose tools, you can survive even if the only thing you have with you is a water canteen. (h/t to PreppersWill.com)

Boiling or cooking container

You can use a metal water canteen as an emergency pan or pot when you're camping. For plastic or other materials that aren't fireproof, use an indirect heat cooking method such as rock boiling.

First, heat small rocks over your fire for one or two hours. Then carefully put the hot rocks inside the canteen to boil and purify water. Change the rocks frequently to maintain an even boil. Don't use rocks with water trapped in them because they may explode.

Tips for rock boiling:

  • If you have two canteens, use one to rinse ash from the rocks before transferring them to a second canteen.
  • If you're in a hurry, heat the rocks for at least 10 to 15 minutes to reach an adequate temperature.
  • Use hot rocks to boil water for about one minute, especially at higher altitudes where water boils at a lower temperature.

Dry storage

Aside from water storage, you can use an empty canteen to keep tinder and matches dry during a heavy rain. (Related: Your Bug Out Bag Essentials.)

Fire starter

Like a magnifying glass, you can use a metal water canteen or bottle as a makeshift fire starter. First, you need to focus light into a tight beam through reflection or refraction. With a metal canteen, you can start a fire using refraction by focusing light off it. If you own a see-through canteen, focus light passing through it to ignite grass or other kinds of tinder.

Heat pack

If you're camping in a cold area, you can turn your water canteen into a heat pack. Fill it with hot water and keep it close to your body as it releases heat over time so you can stay warm. However, this won't work with an insulated canteen.

Hunting trap

If your water canteen is big enough, you can use it to catch small critters. This may be necessary if food is scarce, such as in a post-SHTF scenario. Bury the canteen in an upright position and leave the opening exposed near the entrance of an active critter den. Check every few hours to see if you've caught something.

Improvised fishing-line bobber

If you're fishing outdoors, you can use a canteen as an emergency bobber. Empty canteens float, making them the perfect improvised bobber. Use an empty canteen to get your bait out to where it needs to be.

Improvised lantern

If you lose your lantern while you're outdoors, you can turn a canteen into an improvised lantern. Set up a flashlight so light refracts through the water. Diffuse the light for a lantern effect.

Irrigation syringe

During an emergency situation, you can turn a canteen into an irrigation syringe to clean out wounds. Secure a plastic bag with a pinhole over the canteen’s mouth to turn it into an improvised syringe.

Makeshift alarm system

If you're stuck in the woods on your own, you can turn a water canteen into an improvised alarm system. Put rocks inside the canteen, then hang it using trip wire near your camp. This will wake you up if trespassers or predators try to enter your shelter.

Signaling device

A brightly colored or reflective water canteen can be used to call the attention of rescue parties. Attach a brightly colored water bottle to some cordage, then wave it around to signal rescue planes. Alternatively, you can use a shiny metal canteen to reflect sunlight and call for help.

Use your imagination to come up with alternative survival uses for the handy water canteen. Remember, if you're going on an outdoor trip, always bring a sturdy metal water canteen with you. It might just save your life when SHTF.

Learn of more survival uses for ordinary items at Gear.news.

Sources include:



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