Equipment / Supplies

What Did We Ever Do Without Plastic? …The Many Plastic Preps We Rely Upon

Plastic BottleI’m still amazed at how pervasive plastics are–in all of its forms–in our modern society. The most amazing part is that the plastics we’re accustomed to using really didn’t become mass produced until around WWII or so. In just a matter of a few generations, plastics have become so ingrained that you simply cannot get by without them… well, most of us anyway.

Believe it or not, there are many, many types of plastics most of which are made from petrochemicals (oil), can be natural or synthetic, and include classifications like bakelite, polystyrene, PVC, nylon, rubber, and more… you know, the nerdy stuff. 😉

Plastics are literally everywhere and I’m not talking about in our televisions, microwaves, computer equipment, half of your car, or even the refrigerator that we rely on day-in and day-out. Rather, I’m thinking about those many preps made of plastic (wholly or in large part) that we’ve come to rely upon or may need, including (in no particular order):

  1. Soft drink bottles – good for water storage and especially SODIS.
  2. Large plastic jugs such as laundry detergent bottles – use for water storage, as a makeshift hand wash, etc.
  3. PVC pipe – for plumbing, solar heated applications, etc.
  4. Gutters – catches rainwater, can plant seeds, etc.
  5. Foodsaver rolls – keeps many things from spoiling or protection from water.
  6. Plastic rolls in 4 or 6 mils – useful for many reasons including home repairs.
  7. Disposable utensils, plates, cups, etc – keeps from transmitting diseases or using water to clean.
  8. Toothbrushes, floss – maintain proper dental hygiene.
  9. Bic lighters – the “easiest’ way to start a fire… most of the time.
  10. Fishing line – it’s hard to use your trusty fishing pole without it.
  11. Security window film – useful for good times and bad.
  12. Contact lenses or eyeglass frames – perhaps the most important faculty you have.
  13. Cell phones – undoubtedly one of the most important modern day preps for communications.
  14. Reusable plates, cups.
  15. Gas masks – hopefully we’ll never need these!
  16. Flashlights and patio solar lights – though not as durable as a trusty Maglite they still get the job done most of the time.
  17. Buckets… how could I forget those!? – so many uses, I wrote about them recently here.
  18. Bins of all shapes and sizes – great for storing and toting gear for evacuation.
  19. Duct tape (part of it’s plastic, anyway) – do you really need anything else? 😉
  20. Garden hose – errr… it waters things.
  21. Apparently portions of polyester clothes and tennis shoe soles are made of plastic (or so it appears).
  22. Some tent fabrics and tarps are derived of plastic.
  23. Trash bags – many uses such as a makeshift rain poncho, including other obvious ones.
  24. Camp shower and garden sprayer – may make for the best shower you’ve had in years if that’s all you’ve got.
  25. Safety glasses, hard hat, etc – you’ve got to remember your safety at all times too!
  26. Water barrels and IBC totes – I can’t imagine storing water without them these days.
  27. Dehydrator – I need to put mine to work again soon.
  28. Gasoline storage cans – metal cans are better but these are ubiquitous and fine for most of us.

Obviously, the above list is probably just touching the surface of items made from plastic that can be utilized for survival… just open up your imagination and think a little.

Regardless, plastics are here to stay and most definitely have a place in your survival preps… make use of them as much as you can.

By Damian Brindle

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