Saturday, September 22, 2007

How To Make a Homemade Emergency "Multi-Tool" With a Bic-type Lighter

I have several of these compact "multi-duty lighters" scattered where it counts. They've come in handy more than a few times over the years.

Here's how I make my favorite homemade emergency "multi-tool", starting with a plain Bic-type lighter...

Wrap a lighter with a foot or two of duct tape, as close to the bottom end as possible. Then wrap several yards of dental floss around the lighter, just above the duct tape. Secure the loose end of floss with a spot of duct tape. The dental floss can be used for many things besides your teeth.

Gorilla Tape can fix a bad day, and it is the world's best duct tape. Period.

My "deluxe" model includes a few more items wrapped around it. A tightly folded, brand new unopened plastic trash bag, plus a decent sized piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, then a bandana (that has been ironed super flat) is wound around the whole job, and tied in place with several rounds of dental floss. Sometimes I get in a fancified mood, and wrap the floss around the lighter in a decorative criss-crossed pattern. XXXXXXX

If need be, you can boil water in the heavy duty aluminum foil to purify drinking water in an emergency. A bandana and a bag = water carrier. There's a gazillion more uses for every item. Necessity may prove to be the mother of invention...

I have two "multi-tools" that feature a magnesium fire-starter and a small knife (instead of a Bic lighter), plus a few fish hooks and split shots, along with a lot of dental floss. I use a narrower strip of duct tape so I can freely use the magnesium firestarter without interference from the tape. With magnesium shavings, I can start a fire under almost any rain, snow, or sleet. I must be a serious firebug, because I go buggy looking at Cabela's firestarters.

You can customize your own lighters with a variety of small items that might help make a difference between a really bad day and a saved day.

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This article is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #1: HOW TO SURVIVE DISASTERS AND OTHER HARD TIMES. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site:

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