Even though the western world seems to be moving away from the proliferation of single-use plastic drinking straws, they are still in wide use and I’m sure that they can be found in most of our junk drawers. We normally would either recycle or dispose of these drinking implements once we are done with them, but there are other applications for these in our various survival kits.
This article is a list of survival uses for plastic drinking straws and all of these uses come down to turning the straw into a watertight container which is used to store survival items.
The first thing we need is plastic drinking straws which come in a variety of colors and sizes. I like to pick the largest diameter straws I can find because it is easier to ‘load’ them up with materials.
Other tools you’ll need to acquire are a pair of pliers, scissors, and a lighter.
Making the Straw Containers
What we are going to do here is melt the ends of the straws to form a sealed tube in which our survival items are stored. To do this follow these simple steps:
1. Pinch one end of the straw with a pair of needle-nose pliers. You’ll want a small amount of the pinched straw sticking out (approximately 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch).
2. Using the lighter, melt the pinched end of the straw that protrudes through the pliers.
3. Cut the straw to the desired length using whichever container that you want to house it in as a template.
4. Load your survival supplies into the straw.
5. Melt the open end just as you did in step one.
6. Test the water-tightness before loading it into your kit.
Types of Drinking Straw Kits
Your imagination is the only limit for what types of kits you can construct from the simple drinking straw. These are six such kits that I either use currently, or have used in the past.
I like to tuck a few of these into my binocular harness when hunting because they are a simple and very compact way of having some fire tinder at the ready.
All I do is take some cotton balls with a dab of Vaseline and compact them as tight as I can into a drinking straw container.
I get two cotton balls into a straw that fits into a mini-Altoids container. To use you can either cut the end off and pull the tinder out to use or you can light the entire straw fire kit ablaze.
You can also use these containers to store matches inside as well. These matches should be strike anywhere so you don’t need to also include a striker.
You’d be surprised how much fishing tackle you’ll be able to jam into a drinking straw. I built a little emergency fishing kit that has about thirty feet of 10-pound test fishing line, two hooks, a swivel, and five spit shot weights. This kit is not much but it will make a primitive fishing rig and can absolutely catch dinner.
With larger straws, you could build more comprehensive kits or you can use these drinking straw containers to store individual supplies of fishing gear.
If you like to use Altoids tins to make fishing kits then using these straws to store hooks, swivels, weights, line, etc to keep all your gear nice and organized inside the tin.
Try and find the largest straws possible for this use, believe me when I say, its a real pain to try and get spices funneled into a small diameter drinking straw. This is a good option for carrying spices because it removes the weight and bulk of traditional sized containers. Either color code or label the straws so you don’t end up with salt in your tea.
You can also make straws containers with honey, olive oil, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, etc but you’ll have to take a lot more care in how you seal these containers since you are not only keeping water out but you’re trying to keep liquid in.
Storing medication is one use of these drinking straw containers that I am a big fan of. Instead of carrying a small pill bottle of medicines, I like to store them in drinking straw containers with each container being one dose of whichever medicine that is inside.
Since these packets are so small you can slip them into not only a first aid kit but any other survival kits as well. This is great for vitamins as well because you can store a day’s worth of vitamins in a straw which makes it easy to remember to take your vitamins.
Instead of carrying a full tube of antibiotic ointment or other creams, ointments, and gels, make your own single-use packages to save on space. A drinking straw container of Q-Tips is also useful, and you can pre-load them with antibiotic ointment as well. Visine or a saline solution is also handy to have on hand in case you need to flush out debris from an eye or a wound.
A needle or two and some thread is all you need to make a tiny sewing kit that you can stash damn near anywhere in your gear. Pre-thread the needle to make life a little bit easier when you need to repair clothing and gear in the field.
Here are a few additional items that I have not personally used these containers to store but would still be an effective use of these drinking straw containers.
- Water purification tablets
- Hand lotion
There are far more little drinking straw kits you can make, and these are only the six that I have used and found to be useful in my survival kits and preps. One of the most important aspects of micro survival kits like these is not to forget that you have them stashed away.
I can tell you from experience that it is easy to have a straw of tinder, medicine, or even a fishing kit tucked in the bottom of a possibles pouch or haversack and become oblivious to its existence when you need it.
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