11 Proven DIY Survival Gear Projects ANYONE Can Follow

By Jonathan Hands | Updated: 09/26/2023

DIY Survival GearToday I’ve got something really exciting to share…

An Ultimate List Of The Best DIY Survival Gear Projects

Because there are thousands of DIY sites, guides, survival hacks, and articles you could sort through.

But instead of wasting your time, I’ve honed in on the 11 best DIY survival gear ideas.

DIY gear that’s:

  1. Useful and
  2. Fairly easy to build

So let’s get started…

Survival Gear Checklist eBook Cover -with fire piston on a rock and campfire in the background

Want a free 54 item survival gear checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

1. DIY Fire Starter

There are so many ways to start a fire, right?

And we all know some are better than others.

Sure, you could start a fire with something as simple as a BIC lighter and a wad of paper.

Or you could really challenge yourself by using sticks and friction.

Over the years, I’ve seen hundreds of unique fire-starting ideas.

And in my opinion, the easiest to make, store, and use is this one:

↓ DIY Cheap & Easy Survival Fire Starter

This DIY survival project makes starting fires a breeze.

It’s a DIY survival gear idea that’s both simple and foolproof.

The bottom line:

All you need is a jar of petroleum jelly, some cotton balls, and a zip lock baggie; that’s it.

Add a scoop of petroleum jelly to a baggie, toss in some cotton balls, and gently rub them around until evenly coated.

But don’t over-saturate them, or they’ll get difficult to light.

Just coat them with a dab, and you’re done!

Roll the baggie up, zip the top, and put it in your bug out bag, or backpack.

Simple, easy, and effective!

Yes, this DIY survival gear project may seem too easy compared to the more elaborate DIY setups.

But complicated is NOT a virtue when it comes to survival.

Instead, simple yet effective is what you want. And this one works in all sorts of conditions: cold, hot, wet, and dry.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

So give it a try.

2. DIY Water Filter

There are tons of ready-made water filters available for purchase, and you should own some.

Now perhaps you don’t have one yet, can’t afford one, or lost yours…

But that doesn’t mean you should risk drinking nasty water.

So it’s still worth learning how to make one using only readily available materials.

I researched many elaborate DIY survival water filter setups.

Most were ok, so it was tough to decide on just one.

I ended up settling on this simple design because anyone can make it in the wilderness.

↓ Make YOUR Survival Water Filter – Step-By-Step

Again, you may think this DIY survival gear setup is overly simplistic, but THAT’s the point.

Complex gear fails and leaves you helpless.

Simple gear works and saves lives.

3. DIY Rocket Stove

There are so many unique rocket stove setups.

A YouTube search will reveal 144,000 videos on this topic.

Trust me when I say rocket stove setups run from the ridiculous to the sublime.

But at the end of the day, a rocket stove has 3 parts:

  1. combustion chamber
  2. an air intake
  3. a chimney (or flue) to vent the exhaust.

And they can be made from many different types of containers: empty cans, 55-gallon drums, cinder blocks, etc.

Heck, I once turn a rusty oil drum into a rocket stove.

Even though it looked like hell, it worked great and was perfect as a DIY survival gear project.

And here’s the really good news:

I’m going to save you the trouble of sifting through the trash and show you this hidden gem:

↓ How to build a better brick rocket stove for $10

I like the way this guy explains everything and keeps it simple.

It’s not as light and portable as I prefer, but it’s still a solid design.

4. Cordage From A 2 Liter Soda Bottle

I don’t know about you, but having a lot of paracord, twine, baling wire, and an assortment of straps is a survival necessity.

I live on a small ranch and use the aforementioned cordage types for various tasks.

Tying water hoses to fence rails, impromptu horse bridles, tying loose tractor hydraulic hoses, the list is long and varied.

In any survival scenario, having strong cordage is a “no-brainer.”

I’ve seen hundreds of videos that show how to make cordage from natural plant fibers, straw, hay, grasses, etc.

They’re all okay, and some are pretty darn good, assuming you can find the right natural materials.

But one unnatural material you can find almost anywhere is plastic bottles.

So when I saw you can make cordage from a plastic 2 Liter Soda Bottle, I was thrilled.

Littering is terrible (don’t do it!), and I don’t like it, but I’ll take advantage of it for survival.

↓ DIY Cordage from a 2 Liter Bottle

If you’re like me, you have more of these empty bottles lying around than you care to admit.

That’s why I think this guy’s idea is great.

So I did a quick test using my pocket knife, and the plastic cordage is both flexible and strong.

Try it out; it’s useful and easy.

Survival Gear Checklist eBook Cover -with fire piston on a rock and campfire in the background

Want a free 54 item survival gear checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

5. DIY Survival Slingshot

Ok, this one is more of a modification than a build from scratch, but it’s still badass.

This project will resonate with you if you ever had a slingshot as a kid.

This example claims to be capable of bringing down “big game.”

It shoots arrows and is designed on a “wrist rocket” platform.

The mods are easy and inexpensive, and the video is well-made:

↓ Using the Slingshot to Hunt Bigger Game

No matter how many firearms you own, a hunting slingshot is an easy-to-make useful addition and to your weapon stash.

6. DIY Cigar Tube Fishing Kit

Easy to make, use, and small, this is one DIY survival gear that everyone should try.

If you smoke cigars that come in tubes, you already have the main part of this tool.

If you don’t, you could still buy one, give the cigar away and keep the tube.

Or you can substitute a piece of wooden dowel about 6 inches long.

Now take some fishing line of your choice, wrap a couple of hundred feet at most around the tube, and tape it.

Use the inside of the tube for hooks, sinkers, flies, whatever.

If you use the dowel, wrap up your accessories in a separate little bag.

There are many possibilities and variations on the same underlying theme.

For instance, I used an old Cohiba tube from Havana for this project.

It adds a cool factor to my little DIY survival kit.

Unfortunately, I could not find any videos that used a cigar tube.

But I did find one that shows how to make a “Hobo Fishing Kit,” and it’s the same idea.

Just using a protein drink cylindrical bottle instead of a cigar tube:

↓ Hobo Fishing Kit

7. DIY Survival Knife

Knife-making is an art and an ancient one at that.

But even if you lack the perfection gene, you can still make a basic version that will cut and stab.

You’ll also need some paracord to wrap the handle.

And, of course, you’ll need either a metal file or a grinder.

Ultimately, you’ll end up with a simple blade by grinding, filing, and beveling the edge.

No, not the best knife ever, but one that can work in a pinch.

There are many advanced videos in the knife-making category.

But I decided to share one that’s more “homespun.”

It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s easy to make, especially if you have a grinder.

And this method is easier on the wallet:

↓ Making a Survival Knife

8. DIY Bow and Arrow

I admit my archery experience is limited to shooting hay bales, missing them completely.

Or getting in trouble for punching holes in the wall of our barn.

But a bow and arrow is a deadly weapon in the right set of hands.

Not only that, but you can make a wooden longbow yourself.

As with all my selections in this article, I scoured YouTube until I found a few I thought worthy of presenting to you.

It was a difficult choice between hand-hewn, sustainably harvested tree limbs and store-bought PVC pipes and fiberglass rods.

Though the Grizzly Adams approach appeals to my inner frontiersman, I’m a city slicker at heart.

So it’s the plastic and fiberglass project for now.

The guy in the video is good on camera and knows what he’s talking about.

And if you follow his directions, you’ll have an awesome DIY survival bow and arrow setup:

↓ Build a $5 PVC Bow in 60 Seconds

9. DIY Survival Spear/ Walking Stick

Paleolithic hunters harvested mastodons and fought off saber-tooth cats with this simple but effective weapon.

Roman legions used them against their enemies too.

They often modified their pikes too, which are spears with extra-long shafts.

Anyway, before I get carried away with historical rants, I’ve found a good video on how to make a spear with a removable point.

The shaft is a broom handle, and the blade is a Cold Steel knife with a hollow, tapered handle that allows it to be mounted on a shaft.

Of course, you can also go primitive and cut your own shaft or mount a DIY survival knife like the one I described earlier…

The video I’ve selected uses the Cold Steel blade, which I think is the best.

I think you’ll agree:

↓ DIY Survival Walking Stick Spear

10. DIY Solar Setup

A small portable solar charger is a useful gadget.

I doubt I need to explain why you should have one, so I won’t insult your intelligence.

You’ll need to use a soldering gun to pull this one off.

You’ll also need to locate all the parts.

Now, you may be able to scavenge them from stuff you may already have in your garage.

I watched many videos on this subject to see how hard it would be for a guy like myself.

I built a Heathkit radio when I was a kid and swapped out the pickups on my first electric guitar when Jimi Hendrix was still alive.

So for what it’s worth, this is a pretty straightforward project for most preppers and DIY’ers:

↓ DIY Solar Setup: Step-by-Step Instructions

Survival Gear Checklist eBook Cover -with fire piston on a rock and campfire in the background

Want a free 54 item survival gear checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

11. DIY Ranger Bands

I have a lot of old bicycle tubes.

I used to look at them all piled into an old cardboard box, gathering dust and bird poop.

Yeah, I’m the kind of guy who never throws anything away.

Because I tell myself there must be a use for these things.

I never found one for these tubes until I learned about Ranger Bands.

A Ranger Band is a cross-section piece of an inner tube, usually from a bicycle.

Assuming the rubber still has some stretch, you’ll have the raw material to make Ranger Bands.

Ranger bands are a badass DIY survival gear project anyone can do in minutes:

↓ Ranger Bands Explained

DIY Survival Gear – Final Thoughts

I know there are more DIY survival projects out there.

I’ve only scratched the surface here.

But I hope you found these DIY survival gear 11 projects simple, useful, interesting, and enjoyable.

Jonathan Hands

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