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Every once in awhile someone writes and asks... "Hey Rick, any chance I can get a free sample in exchange for testing it out, making a video or writing a review about it and then posting it on some survival sites and forums?"

And yep, believe it or not at one time I use to give away some FREE SOS Survival Kits in exchange for doing this. But not anymore. Why? Because out of dozens of free samples that I have given away over years there have only been less than handful of people who kept their word. And the rest of them? They took advantage of my kindness and generosity and ripped me off.

Oh, don't worry I am not giving up in trusting people. No sir. And so that's why I came up with this new type of survival kit. And so now whenever someone emails me and asks for a free sample, this is what I email back to them, this article and photographs.


Well, what do you think? Look at all this stuff ain't it neat? And it's all FREE, won't cost you a dime. And what I call this new kit of mine is a F.R.E.E. D-I-Y Survival Kit. And what it stands for is From Recyclable Everyday Expendables Do-It-Yourself Survival Kit.

Or another name that I think is a bit more appropriate on the type of people who keep contacting me in asking for a free sample is.. "The Do-It-Yourself, Cheapskate, Low-Income, Poor Man's Survival Kit." What do you think, sounds better? You betcha it does!

And yep, everything you see here in this photo can be easily found in your own home, your neighbor's garbage cans and behind almost any shopping mall or store in the dumpsters. And it's all FREE!

So whether you really are poor, don't have the money or you're just some "cheapskate tightwad" who would prefer to scrounge and crawl through some filty, germ infested, garbage cans & dumpsters instead of paying a few bucks for one of my SOS Survival Kits - then this kit is for YOU!

And here's what these items are that can be used in almost any type of survival situation...

IMPROVISED COOKING KIT - The frying pan you see in the photo is made from a large tuna can with a snap on & off "coat hanger wire" handle. The drinking cup is a modified tin can also with a snap on & off coat hanger wire handle too. And the water bucket you see there is made out of a large tin can as with a snap on & off coat hanger wire handle. And to make some cooking utensils like these, all you need is a little bit of imagination, that's all.

IMPROVISED CANTEEN WATER CONTAINER - Besides being able to use almost any type of zip-lock sandwich bags and condoms (new, NOT used and non-lubricate) as improvised collapsible, fold-up, water containers. You can also use empty plastic bottles too. And then by attaching some string or parachute cord to them, you'll be able to carry or wear it around your neck or waist. Oh yea,something else that I found in a dumpster that makes a great improvised canteen are those aluminum can "Munster Energy" drinks that come with a screw on & off cap. I can't believe these are expendables and thrown away after you finish drinking out of them and are not returnable or recyclable. You can usually find them in the trash cans near some "shop & go" stores or wherever there is a gym.

IMPROVISED HEATER & STOVE - Yep. these items can be easily made out of aluminum soda cans and any type of tin cans along with a little bit of duct tape and a piece of cloth. But what is extremely important and very dangerous is NOT to use any "combustible fuel" like gasoline. That's a big no-no because of the [combustible] vapor & fumes it gives off. And so instead, always use some NON-vapor and NON-combustible fuel like BBQ and Zippo lighter fluid. As to how to make these improvised lanterns, heaters & stoves out of soda & tin cans... Due to there are so many types and ways you can make them it's best to just Google the words: "How to make a coke can stove & lantern" and up will pop a dozen or more websites & pages including on Youtube too. Check it out and see!

IMPROVISED GENERAL DIRECTION COMPASS - All you need is a very thin narrow nail, pin and or sewing needle and some very thin wire, a very small piece of wood or even a leaf that will float in some water. And then find yourself either one (1) AA, C, or D (radio / flashlight) battery. Don't worry it doesn't have to be new battery, it can a used one provided it has a little bit of power left in it. And you'll also need some type of a cup or a small container that will hold water too. Then..(a) first fill the small cup or container with some water, (b) tightly wrap the thin wire (copper if possible) entirely around the nail, pin or sewing needle numerous times, (c) connect each end of the wire to the negative and positive ends of the battery, (d) wait about 30 (+/-) seconds or until the battery starts to get a bit warm or too hot to hold, (e) then remove the wire from the pin, nail or needle, (f) place it on a small piece of wood or a leaf and (f) PRESTO - you now got yourself an improvised, homemade, magnetized, general direction compass.


MPROVISED FIRE STARTERS & TINDER - Look closely at the photo you will see several different types of fire starters. Some are just plain old regular paper or wooden matches and then there is two different types of BIC lighters, one small and one large. Which when the fuel inside these BIC lighters is all used up people normally just toss them in the garbage or on the ground. But they are still useful and can be used to start fires. And to make and use them like that over-rated and over-priced fire starter called a "Spark-Lite."

All you have to do is remove the metal clip from the top of these BIC lighters so the flint & striker wheel are exposed. And so you can get the sparks closer down to and on top of some dry tinder to ignite it. But be careful when you remove these "metal clip" covers is to protect and keep in place the "striker wheel." And if you're not careful, what will happen is not only will the striker wheel pop out but also the flint and the flint spring will pop out too and you'll never find or be able to put these pieces back inside of the BIC lighter. And so once you remove the metal cover it's best to wrap some thin wire around the two plastic arms that are holding onto the striker wheel so it won't pop out.

To make a nifty storage container for your quick starting tinder like cotton balls, simply cut off the lower bottom portion of these BIC lighters with a saw and you'll be able to stuff inside of it several cotton balls. Or simply remove from any clothes dryer the "trapped lint" in the lint catcher screen and use that to ignite and get a fire going. To learn more about how to convert BIC lighters into a fire starter, just log onto this link here: http://www.survivaloutdoorskills.com/zips_and_spark_lites.htm

IMPROVISED FISH & SNARE KIT - To make these all you need are some pins, small nails, coke can pull tabs, nylon string, dental floss and almost any kind of "thin" wire and or some strong nylon string. To make some fishing hooks it's best to use some small safety pins and sewing needles along with some coke can pull tabs & aluminium foil so they can be used to make some fishing lures. As for what to use as fishing line and for making small game snare traps.. dental floss and nylon (parachute cord) string work the best. As to what to use as multi-purpose all year round fishing bait, try packing and using different colored "sticks of gum." To learn more about how to make and use some of these items for fishing and snaring game just go to this link here: http://www.survivaloutdoorskills.com/fishing.htm

IMPROVISED CUTTING TOOLS & KNIVES - The ones you see here in the photo I was able to make out of a tin can lid tops, a broken file saw blade, a jig saw blade, a window paint cleaner razor and some heavy duty razor blade too. All securely attached to a piece of wood and or some cork along with the use of some duct tape. To learn more about how to make some of these improvised saws and cutting tools, just go to this link here: http://www.survivaloutdoorskills.com/purifying_water.htm

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IMPROVISED RAIN JACKETS & PONCHOS - These can be easily made out of any large trash bags or rolls of plastic. And if you're wondering what's the difference between a rain jacket and rain poncho.. a rain jacket trash bag has just one hole in it for your head + two holes for each of your arms. And a rain poncho trash bag has one hole just for your head and the sides of the trash-bag are cut open on both sides like one of those Mexican poncho villa blankets.

IMPROVISED SHELTER - These can be easily made out of almost any large size trash-bags or just some ordinary sheets of plastic. It really doesn't matter what kind of tie-down cord you use just as long as it's strong and you can securely attach it to the corners of the trash bag or plastic. Which is by placing a very small lightweight, round, smooth, rock to the corners of the trash bag or plastic and then wrapping some string or cord around the stone (inside the plastic) and then tying it off. Don't ever try making a hole into the plastic and then adding some tie down, it will never work nor last long and will eventually rip and fall apart. To learn more about how to make an improvised trash bag or plastic shelter simply go to this link here:http://www.survivaloutdoorskills.com/expedient_shelters.htm

IMPROVISE SIGNAL DEVICES - What you see in the photo are some bright, orange cloth. Though you don't really need to use bright orange but.. the brighter the color (like orange) the more easily and further away it can be seen at a distance. To use it for signaling, either hold it up and wave it vigorously with your hand or simply attach it to a stick and then wave it vigorously to get someone's attention. This signaling method works best if you can find and use some shiny object like a mirror, tin can lid, aluminum foil, CD, etc. To learn more about improvised signaling devices, just go to this link here: http://www.survivaloutdoorskills.com/signaling.htm

IMPROVISED WATER FILTER & PURIFICATION KIT - The water filters in the photo are both, some made out of regular cloth and some are simply just "coffee drip paper filters" too. To purify water for safe consumption you can either boil the water for a minimum of 7+ minutes and or you can use some NON-scented, regular, Clorex Bleach too. Which the highly recommended dosage per liter/quart that will or should kill most germs and contamination is 4 x drops if it is clear water and 6 drops if it's foggy water. To learn more about how to use Clorex Bleach for purifying water and other water purification techniques just go to this link here: http://www.survivaloutdoorskills.com/purifying_water.htm

IMPROVISED NIGHT LIGHT (Besides the use of a fire) - What you see in the photo are not just some birthday & church candles but some lanterns made out of plastic bottles. All you need is a small bottle like those small mini whiskey bottle, a piece of cloth and some cut up and rolled up aluminum from any soda or beer can. The purpose of cutting up some beer or soda can and then rolling it is so when you run the cloth through it and it is absorbed with fuel it will stay lit and will NOT melt or damage the rim of the small plastic or glass bottle. But once again, DO NOT and NEVER use any gasoline as fuel, use strictly NON-vapor and NON-combustible fuel like Zippo or BBQ lighter fluid. Check out the photo and you will see how easy it is to make these.

IMPROVISE HUNTING WEAPON - To make some improvised hunting weapons, first you'll need some heavy duty thick, rubber bands, some nails of different sizes, some duct tape and some strong cord. And once you have acquired these items, to learn how to make a bow & arrow, slingshot, a throwing star and some other types of hunting weapons just go to this link here: http://www.survivaloutdoorskills.com/weapons.htm



Now for those of you who are thinking and saying to yourselves..."Damn Rick, there's a hellova lot more stuff you can improvise and use, buddy."

Well no shit, Doctor Einstein. Don't you think I don't know that, duh? Well of course there are many other useful things that you can improvise and use in a survival situation and these are just a few of them.

Now when it comes to survival kits, I agree 100% with what all these survival books, authors, gurus, websites and forums say about them. And that is..."The best survival kit is one you assemble and put together yourself to fit your own personal needs, weaknesses and comfort. And the less you know about survival - then the more survival stuff you should pack and carry. And the more you know - then the less survival stuff you will mostly likely need."

Make sense? You betcha! But remember this... The six most important basic essential survival items needed in all survival kits is...

Fire Starter - for igniting & building fires

Pocket Knife - for multi-purpose uses.

Compass - for determining directions.

Signal Whistle - for audio signaling.

Flashlite - for use during darkness.

Signal Mirror - for visual signaling.

Now depending on how often and how far off the road you like to venture as well as what the climate, temperature and weather is, you can always add more stuff to your survival kit.

And for those of you who don't want to crawl & scrounge through some garbage cans and dumpsters to make your own F.R.E.E. D-I-Y Survival Kit. There is an easier way. How? By simply ordering one of my Inexpensive, Ultra-Light, SOS Survival Kits.

And so com'on by and check out my SOS Survival Kits on my above "Kit For Sale" store page. Or come visit my other website at: www.survivaloutdoorskills.com and click on my "Wilderness Survival Store" page.

Thanks for stopping by, please don't forget to spread the word to your friends and fellow survivalist about my websites too. Enjoy my websites & Facebook page too.

Yours Truly - "Army Ranger Rick" Tscherne  

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Army Ranger Rick

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