Home-Made Survival Gear: DIY Tips for the Crafty Veteran

Survival gear is an essential asset for military veterans, especially those who have experienced combat and other extreme conditions. Having the right gear can make a significant difference in life-threatening situations. However, it can be expensive to purchase pre-made survival gear. That’s why many veterans choose to make their own. In this article, we’ll explore some DIY tips for crafting your own home-made survival gear.

Key Takeaways

  • Survival gear is crucial in life-threatening situations.
  • Making your own gear can be cost-effective and customizable.
  • Choosing the right materials and maintaining your gear are essential for reliability.

Why Make Your Own Survival Gear?

For crafty veterans, making home-made survival gear is not only a smart and practical solution, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience. While buying pre-made gear may seem like an easier option, there are many advantages to creating your own.

Firstly, making your own survival gear can be cost-effective. Purchasing pre-made gear can be expensive, especially if you require a range of different items. By taking the DIY approach, you can save money in the long run and put the savings towards other important areas of your life.

Secondly, creating your own survival gear allows you to customize it to your specific needs. Everyone’s survival scenarios are different, and by crafting your own gear, you can tailor it to your individual requirements. This means you’ll be better prepared for any situation.

Finally, making your own gear promotes self-reliance. As a veteran, you already possess a range of skills that can be applied to crafting survival gear. By taking the DIY approach, you’re promoting your resourcefulness and creativity and taking control of your own safety.

If you’re interested in making your own home-made survival gear, there are a variety of DIY survival gear ideas that you can explore. From crafting shelter and clothing to homemade tools and weapons, there are countless opportunities to create the perfect gear for your next adventure.

Essential Tools for Crafting Survival Gear

Creating your own survival gear requires the right tools and equipment. Having the right tools can make a significant difference in the quality and durability of your gear. Below are the essential tools to have for crafting your own survival gear:

Tools Function
Multi-tool One of the most versatile tools for cutting, crimping, sawing, and gripping.
Knife A sharp knife is crucial for cutting and carving wood or skinning game.
Axe For chopping wood to create shelter or firewood.
Saw For cutting through thicker wood or bone.
Hammer For driving stakes into the ground or shaping metal.
Pliers For gripping and manipulating objects, bending wires, and cutting through small metal objects.
Sewing awl For repairing clothes and gear, and stitching leather.
Rope For tying knots and securing gear.

Having these tools readily available can provide you with the ability to craft survival gear that meets your needs. Before beginning a DIY project, ensure that you have all the necessary tools on hand and know how to use them safely and effectively.

If you’re new to DIY survival gear projects, start with a basic tool kit and add specialty tools as needed. You can find many tool kits designed specifically for survival gear DIY projects available for purchase or create your own tool kit based on your specific needs.

Selecting the Right Materials

Choosing the right materials is crucial when crafting your own survival gear. As a crafty veteran, you want your gear to be durable, functional, and easily accessible. Here are some DIY tips to help you select the appropriate materials for your home-made survival gear:

  1. Durability: Look for materials that can withstand harsh environments and extended use. Heavy-duty fabrics like canvas, nylon, and Gore-Tex are great for shelter and clothing. For tools and weapons, opt for high-carbon steel or titanium.
  2. Functionality: Consider the intended use of the gear. Will it need to be waterproof, insulated, or flame-retardant? Look for materials that possess these qualities or can be treated to achieve them. For example, silicone spray can waterproof fabrics, while aluminum foil can be added to insulate clothing.
  3. Availability: Utilize everyday items that can be repurposed for survival gear. Soda cans can be fashioned into stoves, and plastic bottles can be used for water storage. Visit your local thrift store or army surplus store for affordable and unique materials.

As you select your materials, keep in mind that versatility is key. Choose items that can be used for multiple purposes to maximize the functionality of your survival gear.

Crafty Veteran Tips:

When selecting materials, think outside the box and don’t be afraid to experiment. Consider alternative sources for materials such as scrap yards or construction sites. Additionally, take into account the weight and size of the materials, as they will impact portability and ease of use in a survival situation.

Crafting Shelter and Clothing

When it comes to surviving in the great outdoors, shelter and clothing are two crucial elements to consider. Making them with your own hands can not only be cost-effective but also allows customization to your specific needs. Here are some DIY survival gear ideas to get you started:

  • Creating a makeshift shelter using natural resources like branches, leaves, and debris can protect you from harsh weather conditions. If you have a tarp or other waterproof materials, you can also create a simple lean-to shelter.
  • In cold weather, insulating clothing can be a lifesaver. Use materials like fleece, wool, or even newspaper to create a layer of warmth between your body and the elements.
  • Waterproof gear can also be essential, especially in wet conditions. You can use materials like garbage bags or plastic ponchos to make a makeshift raincoat or cover for your shelter.
  • For footwear, consider crafting simple sandals or moccasins using natural materials like bark or animal hides.

With a little creativity and resourcefulness, crafty veterans can make their own shelter and clothing that fit their individual needs and preferences.

Homemade Tools and Weapons

When in a survival situation, having the right tools and weapons can make all the difference. As a crafty veteran, you can use your skills to create your own home-made survival gear ideas for hunting, self-defense, and fire starting.

Hunting Tools: With a little ingenuity, you can create hunting tools from natural or recycled materials. Use branches or antlers to create spearheads, or craft a bow and arrow using strong, flexible wood and twine. Remember to practice your aim and stealth for a successful hunt.

Self-Defense Weapons: In some situations, self-defense may be necessary. Create improvised weapons such as knives made from scrap metal or sharpened rocks, or a slingshot using rubber bands and a sturdy branch. Be sure to practice handling and using these weapons before relying on them in a survival scenario.

Fire Starters: Fire is crucial for warmth, cooking, and signaling for help. Create fire starters using cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly or wax, or make a bow drill using a wooden spindle and baseboard. Practice your fire-starting skills in different weather conditions to ensure your success in a survival situation.

With these crafty veteran tips, you can create your own homemade tools and weapons that are uniquely suited to your needs and preferences.

Food and Water Solutions

When it comes to survival situations, food and water are among the most critical supplies that must be secured. Fortunately, with some resourcefulness and creativity, veterans can utilize home-made survival gear to provide for these essentials.

DIY survival gear that can aid with food and water includes water filters, fishing tools, and food preservation methods. To create a water filter, use sand and charcoal to filter out impurities. For a fishing tool, fashion a hook from a paperclip and use dental floss as a fishing line. To preserve food, consider techniques such as dehydration and canning.

It is important to remember that in survival situations, water sources may not always be readily available. In these cases, it’s crucial to have a way to collect and store water. Creating a water collection system using a plastic sheet or tarp can help gather rainwater or moisture from plants.

By getting creative with home-made survival gear ideas, veterans can improve their chances of securing food and water in emergency situations.

Navigation and Communication Devices

When it comes to survival, having reliable navigation and communication devices is crucial. But what if you don’t have access to these tools? Fear not, because with some DIY tips and crafty veteran knowledge, you can create your own devices using readily available materials.

A compass is an essential tool for navigation. To create your own, you’ll need a magnetized needle, a piece of cork, and a container of water. Rub the needle against a magnet to magnetize it, then place it on the cork and float it in the water. The needle will point north, giving you a basic sense of direction.

Another important communication tool is a signal mirror. To make one, simply use a piece of glass or plexiglass and polish it with toothpaste or another abrasive substance until it’s highly reflective. Then, use it to reflect sunlight in the direction of your intended recipient.

If you need to communicate over longer distances, you can create your own communication device using a tin can and some string. Make a small hole in the bottom of each can and thread the string through, tying a knot on the inside to secure it. Then, pull the string taut and talk into one can while the other person listens through the other can.

With these DIY tips and crafty veteran tips, you can create your own navigation and communication devices to ensure your survival in any situation.

Essential Medical Supplies

When it comes to surviving in the wild, having essential medical supplies can make all the difference. Home-made survival gear can provide customized and effective solutions for medical emergencies. As a veteran, you can use your craftiness and resourcefulness to prepare yourself for unexpected medical situations.

One of the most important things to include in your survival kit is a first aid kit. This should contain all the basic medical supplies, such as gauze, bandages, antiseptics, and pain relievers. You can create a home-made first aid kit by using a small portable container, such as a tin or a plastic container. Be sure to include a list of emergency numbers and instructions along with the kit.

Another important medical need in the wild is wound care. As a crafty veteran, you can create your own bandages and wound dressings using natural materials like leaves and tree sap. You can also fashion your own tourniquets and slings using available materials like cloth or shoelaces. Remember to keep these items sanitized and clean to avoid any infections.

In addition to first aid kits and wound care solutions, you can also create your own natural remedies for common ailments. Many plants in the wild have medicinal properties that can relieve common illnesses like headaches, stomach aches, and insect bites. Research and learn about the plants in your area, and how to properly prepare them for medicinal use.

As a veteran survivalist, being prepared for medical emergencies is essential. Your home-made survival gear can significantly contribute to your survival in the wild by providing customized and effective medical solutions. Take the time to prepare your medical kit and familiarize yourself with the essentials.

Preparedness and Maintenance

Creating home-made survival gear is only the first step in being prepared for any situation. Maintenance and preparation are essential to ensure gear reliability, and it’s important to stay organized and up-to-date with equipment. Here are some DIY tips and crafty veteran tips for maintaining and preparing your survival gear for long-term use:

  • Regularly inspect your gear: Check your gear periodically for signs of wear and tear. Conduct repairs promptly to avoid further damage. Make sure you have spare parts and tools on hand.
  • Store gear properly: Keep gear in a dry, cool place to avoid damage from moisture or heat. Use airtight containers for food and water items. Label containers and keep an inventory of your gear.
  • Test your gear: Field test your gear regularly to ensure its reliability. Try out different scenarios and techniques to see if your gear works as intended. This will also allow you to identify any gaps in your equipment and skillset.

Maintaining and preparing your survival gear is just as important as crafting it. By staying organized, vigilant, and proactive, you can ensure that your gear is always ready to support you in any situation.

Testing and Training

Creating home-made survival gear is just the first step in ensuring your preparedness for any emergency situation. It is equally important to test and train with your gear to ensure its effectiveness and your competence in using it. This section will provide some tips for conducting field tests and honing essential survival skills.

Field Testing

Before relying on your home-made survival gear in an actual emergency situation, it is essential to test it in a controlled environment. Take your gear out to the wilderness or a remote camping location and simulate the conditions that you might face in an emergency. This will help you identify any weaknesses or deficiencies in your gear and give you the opportunity to make necessary improvements.

During field testing, pay attention to how your gear performs in various weather conditions and terrain types. Test your shelter for durability, insulation, and protection from the elements. Try out your navigation and communication devices to ensure that they are accurate and functioning properly. Practice using your weapons and tools to become more proficient and efficient in their use.

Survival Skills Training

No matter how advanced your survival gear may be, it is only as effective as your knowledge and skill in using it. In addition to testing your gear, it is also important to practice and improve your survival skills. This includes skills such as shelter building, fire starting, hunting, fishing, and first aid.

You can improve your skills by taking survival training courses, attending workshops, and practicing in the field. Look for opportunities to learn from experienced survival experts and practice your skills in a variety of environments and scenarios. The more you practice, the more confident and prepared you will be in any emergency situation.


Testing and training with your home-made survival gear is an essential part of being prepared for any emergency situation. By conducting field tests and practicing your survival skills, you can ensure that your gear is reliable and that you are competent in using it. Remember to always prioritize safety and continue to improve your knowledge and skills as you develop your home-made survival gear.


As a veteran, your resourcefulness and creativity are invaluable assets when it comes to creating your own survival gear. By making your own gear, you can save money, customize your equipment to fit your needs, and become more self-reliant.

We’ve covered a range of topics in this article, from selecting the right materials to crafting tools and weapons, but the most important takeaway is that being prepared for a survival situation requires both the right gear and knowledge. It’s not enough to simply have the equipment – you need to know how to use it and test it in real-life scenarios.

Stay Crafty, Stay Resourceful

By embracing your craftiness and resourcefulness, you can create your own survival gear that meets your specific needs while also ensuring your safety in emergency situations. Remember to test your gear and hone your survival skills regularly, and always be prepared for the unexpected.

Thank you for reading, and we hope these DIY tips have inspired you to create your own home-made survival gear.