Getting in Touch with Your Inner “MacGyver”

Guest Post By: Survivor Jane

We need to start thinking the ‘MacGyver’ way of survival. You know that ‘80’s TV show where the main character; a secret agent, escapes from bad guys by using everyday items he finds around him – like making a plane out of palm leaves, duct tape and bee honey to fly to freedom? Just so you know, this is where the term “I MacGyvered it” comes from.

Take making a fire for starters (*grin* no pun intended). Just think about how many of us carry a cell phone with us at all times. I mean, it’s like attached to our hip, right? Hold on, I know, what you’re probably thinking. If you had a cell phone you’d be able to call out for help in an emergency situation. True. But, let’s say in this example, that you can’t get a signal from your phone because you are out of range, or the phone was damaged. Taking a cue from one of those “survival guys” on TV I learned that you can use the battery from your phone to start a fire. Now I’m not talking about the “steel wool and battery” trick where you touch steel wool to the battery contacts to start a fire because how many of us actually carry steel wool around with us? I’m talking about gathering up a pile of tinder (leaves, pine cones, twigs, pine needles, moss, bark, cocoanut husk, dry grass … you get the idea … dry stringy stuff), take the battery out of your phone – make a crack in it with something sharp (I’m not even going there – be creative) and when the battery starts to really smoke put the tender near it and voila! you have fire. A big one so be ready for it.

We all know from our childhoods how to make a fire via a glass/plastic lens. Remember your brother burning up ants on the sidewalk using a magnifying glass? Ewww. I know. Did you know that the bottle of water you carry around with you all the time can work just as well? In fact, any object that is reflective or that the sunlight can pass through will work.

What? You’re a soda drinker? Not a problem. Take a little of that chocolate bar you’ve been hanging on to and start rubbing it on the bottom of the soda can (I know seems like a total waste of perfectly good chocolate – but hey, you can always lick it off the can later, just sayin’). What happens is the chocolate actually polishes the bottom of the can – leaving it shining like a new penny. And remember what we said about reflective? Yep, focus the bottom of the can and sunlight on your dry tender and once again … fi-yah.

Let’s say you have the means to make the fire but no tinder (the dry stuff). Pull out that chapstick from your pocket and put a little on a piece of cloth. No cloth? Or not willing to rip your clothes for the sake of survival? Okay then, well the lint from your belly button (you do so.) Either way, you get the idea. Most chap sticks are petroleum based and as we know petroleum …burns. So by adding chapstick to cloth or lint you have an instant fire starter. (This also works well using a cotton ball and petroleum jelly – so take a little medicine bottle, add a cotton ball with a little petroleum jelly and put it in your go-bag.)

Now to water. You’re in a situation where there is no body of water in site. Not even a mud puddle. Think about this. If you got up early in the morning – really early (that’s before 9 a.m. just sayin) and went outside, you would notice that the tree and shrub leaves are coated with a fine mist of water call dew (I said dew not doo.) When combined, this fine mist could result in enough water to at least keep you alive. Just fashion some of the leaves so that they drain into each other (like a cascading water fall) and ultimately into a larger leaf for drinking or pouring.

So my point to all of this? There are a lot of solutions to the same problem or emergency scenario. As a society we are so used to a traditional or standard way of doing something that we forget that there are lots of ways and means.

And just like MacGyver, there is also more to self-defense than guns. Like say, a Swiss army knife *grin*.

Just sayin’

– Survivor Jane

For more with Survivor Jane, visit her website, follow @SurvivorJane on Twitter, find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

For more survival tips and tricks, tune in to the season finale of Doomsday Preppers tonight at 9P. Tonight, on Doomsday Preppers: Gonna be a Big Bang, Brad and Krystal prepare for an economic collapse. They’ve stockpiled canned goods, cached weapons and secured bulletproof vests. But their holy grail of prepping is an underground bunker, which they’ve been struggling to obtain. Kevin and his family live the American Dream, but now they’re bugging out to Costa Rica. They believe an economic collapse will make America unlivable. With just weeks until moving day, see how Kevin and his wife prepare their family for a new life.


  1. Paul Bijelonic
    April 8, 2013, 12:06 am

    Is this producer just dumb or a raging idiot.?!?

  2. liver
    June 17, 2013, 6:03 pm

    You keep saying tender…I think you mean ‘tinder’.