Modern technology has made life a lot easier and we often take it for granted…until we’re caught in a situation where our gadgets fail us. Even though you probably won’t ever need to make a candle from cooking supplies or figure out how to keep produce cool without electricity, it’s good to know how to get along without the help of high-tech machinery. Check out the 26 wilderness and survival hacks below so you’re always be prepared.
1. Need AA batteries, but only have AAA? Ball up pieces of tin foil and use them to fill in the space between the appliance and the battery.
2. Always keep an extra $20 bill on the inside of your phone case. Then, if you’re caught without cash, you have it on hand.
4. If you know you’ll need something to jump-start a fire, soak cotton balls or pads in petroleum jelly or paraffin wax. Throw one on the fire before you light it.
5. Keep your toilet paper dry by making a dispenser out of an old coffee canister.
7. Can’t live without your spices? Use Tic Tac containers to bring them camping.
8. If you’re bringing beans or rice into the wild, keep them in plastic bottles instead of the bags they come in. The bags are likely to rip, but bottles will keep them dry.
9. Keep an Altoids tin with corrugated cardboard in your pocket on a long hike. It works as a tiny heat source in a pinch.
10. Walking to your car and feel a little unsafe? Hold your keys in your hands like so in case you need a weapon.
11. Keep mosquitos away with a homemade trap: mix water, brown sugar, and yeast together to stop bugs from biting you.
14. If you get a flat tire and don’t have a spare, fill it with grass to make it to your destination.
15. Set up a glow-in-the-dark security system for your campsite with a mousetrap and a glow stick.
16. If you’re in the woods at night, make sure everyone in your party has a glow stick to use as a signal in case someone gets separated.
17. You can fashion a makeshift magnifier with your glasses and use the sun to start a fire.
18. Stuck in the rain? Use trash bags with holes ripped in them as ponchos.
19. With a pair of scissors, you can make soda can tabs into hooks for fishing.
20. Make a "lasso" to remove ticks with a mechanical pencil and a thin piece of string.
21. If you’re worried about getting frostbite, put baby oil on the skin exposed to the elements.
24. Before heading out on a hike, make sure you have a piece of chalk in your pocket. Mark trees you pass to keep track of where you’ve traveled. It will stop you from walking around in circles.
25. Here’s an easy way to make a super-bright lantern: cut open a beer or soda can, and set a votive candle inside. The tin will reflect the light.