(Natural News) Survival situations aren’t always easy nor are they always kind. One day, you could be cruising down the highway, blasting your favorite Kansas or Lee Greenwood tracks. The next, you could be wasting a few good hours trying and failing to start your car. In situations like these, it pays to be knowledgeable in basic auto repairs. These and other mechanical skills are musts for your personal survival skill set — find out which ones you’ll need down below. (h/t to DoomsdayMoose.com.)
- How to do simple auto maintenance and repairs: The great thing about the modern day is that you can just pay someone to fix your car when it breaks down. But when you’re in a survival situation, you’re pretty much on your own. That’s why you need to be comfortable and capable of performing the following repairs to your car when the need arises:
- Changing a flat tire
- Changing oil
- Checking and replacing spark plugs and wires
- Checking and replacing your car battery an alternator
- Replacing the air and oil filter
- Replacing brake pads
- Replacing distributor cap and rotor
- Rotating tires
- Don’t forget your tools: Of course, you can’t do all of these with your own bare hands. You’ll need to keep a few tools with you in order to carry out these maintenance and repair jobs. Make it a point to always keep the following tools in your car:
- Air compressor
- Adjustable wrench
- Electrical tape
- Gas tank patch
- Jumper cables
- Seatbelt cutter
- Screwdriver set
- Socket and ratchet set
- Tire plug kit
- Torque wrench
- How to start a fire without a lighter: Lighter fluid runs out, but the need to stay warm never will. The good thing is that you can start a fire using almost anything. The important thing is that you keep the wind direction and your surrounding area in mind. The last thing you want is to start a forest fire by accident. That being said, here are some everyday items you can use to stay toasty:
- A battery and gum wrapper: Cut or tear a long narrow strip of gum wrapper and place each end onto the positive and negative terminal buttons.
- A car battery: The idea here is similar to the one above. Only instead of gum wrapper, you can use steel wool, a knife, or anything conductive.
- A pair of eyeglasses: Far-sighted specs and a sunny day are best for this. Spit on the lens and angle them between the sun and a pile of kindling, focusing the sun’s rays through the lens. This should result in the formation of a single heat point in your kindling. A bottle of water can work in the same way.
- Sticks: You’ll need two straight, very dry sticks and a bundle of kindling. Sharpen one stick and create an indention in the other one for the sharpened stick to rest into. Twirl the sharpened stick into the hole of the other stick to create friction that ignites the kindling. (Related: How to build a fire in a winter survival situation.)
- How to signal for help: Nobody wants to be in a situation that they can’t get out of on their own. But the fact is that it can happen to anyone at anytime. Should it ever happen to you, the least you’ll want to do is be able to catch the attention of anyone who’ll help. There are various ways you can do this, and they are:
- Using fire: This is a very effective method of signaling for help. What you’ll want to do is create three signal fires in a very visible place and arrange them in the shape of a triangle. Make sure that your fires don’t get too big though. Otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time putting them out.
- Using flags: For this, you’ll either want brightly colored or highly reflective garments. Lash your makeshift flag to a tent pole then a tree to make a free-standing signal flag. You can lay it out on the ground as well if you can find a large, clear area to place it in.
- Using flagging tape and markers: Simple and easy to use, bright pink or blue flagging tapes with messages of help will catch anyone’s eye.
- Using whistles: This is especially helpful if you’re stuck in a relatively hidden place. If help can’t see you, they can at least hear you.
Luck favors the prepared. So stack the odds in your favor by learning all of these skills and adding them to your arsenal.
Become the best prepper you can be by going to Preparedness.news for how-to guides, checklists, and more.