Prepping and survival is often about using what is available to get something done. Little tips and tricks, along with some innovation, allows you to use other folks' refuse as a source of new found treasures. Have Fun and Be Safe.


Rusty Shakelford

 Howdy folks! Suvivalism and prepping are not only about storing and using things, it's about being more efficient with your space and your items. Today I want to show you how to compact a roll of toilet tissue for easier, more convenient storage.


Remove the cardboard roll from the tissue, do not discard as we will be using it for another project to follow.


Slide your roll of toilet tissue (minus the cardboard core) into your vacuum-seal bag, set the machine for maximum suction to remove all of the air. Push down on the roll as the machine is creating the vacuum as this allows for maximum air removal.

 You have now reduced the size of the roll by half and at the same time, made it waterproof. These condensed rolls are a much easier fit when packing your 72 hour bag (by only taking up half of the space). The good Lord knows that running out of an important item like TP while on the move is not a good thing.


Rusty Shackelford

In a survival situation one can take for granted the simple things in life, such as a funnel or a glass. I would like to show you how to, simply and safely, cut a bottle with string. To do this, all that is needed is some flammable liquid, a bottle and a bucket or pool of cool water.

Step One

Cut your string so it can wrap around the bottle 3 times, remember to leave some extra string to tie it off.

Step Two

Dip your string into a flammable liquid, I'm using lamp oil but many others work just as well (cooking oil, diesel and others will work just as well... I would avoid gasoline or alcohol). Make sure your string is natural cotton, siesel or hemp. Synthetics will not work. Tie your string around the bottle just below where you wish to make the cut, avoid tying the string off too close to the top or the bottom of the bottle.

Step Three

With your bucket of water and fire source at the ready, light the string on fire but DO NOT hold the bottle (a glove or pliers can be used). Allow it to burn for at least 20 seconds. Be careful not to get burned, safety first! Do this in a safe area, a range fire is not needed.

Step Four

Once it has burned for 20 seconds, drop the whole bottle into your bucket of cool water. Stand back, as these can "pop" loudly. As of yet I have not had one throw off any glass, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Step Five

The bottle should instantly crack into 2 pieces, leaving you with a funnel and a glass. The edges should not be sharp, but check them anyway... always remember safety first. Some experimentation and a little trial and error might be required. My first try made a very nice funnel and a decent glass, both of them work great in an emergency/survival situation.

 Now we have a left-over cardboard roll from our project above... What can we do with it? How about using a couple of items from around the house to use as a fire starter instead of having to buy it?


Gather lint from around the house, belly button or dryer lint will work just fine.



Tightly pack your gathered lint into the cardboard tube. Try to remove any trash, plastics or candy wrappers from the dryer lint. Try to pack the lint as tightly as possible but leave a little hanging out of one end, like a candle wick.



Although it's not necessary, I find that if you add melted wax to both ends it will keep your fire stick dry.


I tested this fire stick and it burned for 19 minutes, enough time to start a fire or to heat a little water. Another variation would be to cut a soda can in half, pack it with your lint and add a large amount of wax. Then you can simply use it as is or after it has cooled down, just remove the fire starters from the can.

 Until next time... Adios,

Rusty Shackelford.