Empty tin cans can prove very useful when you find yourself in survival mode. Here are a few simple suggestions for transforming tin cans into practical tools.
- Light source: A tin can is easily repurposed into a light source by punching holes in the sides and placing a candle inside. This will yield a softer source of light and is safer than using a candle alone. You can also skip punching holes in the can, pour oil into it, and place a wick in it to make your own candle.
- Stove: A tin can be converted into a little stove when there is not much firewood or combustible plant material available. According to Survival Life, resourceful World War II soldiers in the North African desert cooked food in this manner with what became known as a Benghazi stove. Fill the can about half full with sand, then add some gasoline to the sand to wet it. You can ignite the stove by lighting some type of tinder on the top. This will only burn for about five minutes, but that is long enough to boil water.
- Planter: Use larger tin cans to create planters for herbs and greens. All you need are a few tin cans, seeds, soil, and a source of water.
- Trapping/Fish bait: Bury a tin can in the ground so that only the open top is exposed. Add a little water at the bottom of the tin to drown whatever may fall into it. This is a method for trapping and capturing insects, frogs, and mice for fishing bait or for consumption by you and/or your pets. Once you have trapped a few insects and are ready to go fishing, a tin can serves double purpose for the task. Snip off small sections of the can and add them to the hook to create a reflective and effective lure.
- Water filter: To make a simple water filter, punch a few small holes in the bottom of the tin and add layers of gravel and sand. This will remove particulate matter before boiling water, making it more drinkable. A tin can also be turned into a shower head by punching a few holes in the bottom, which effectively reduces the flow of water. Compared to dumping large buckets of water over you, this method will help you conserve often limited sources of water.