Survival Kit Plastic Straw Mods

Plastic drinking straws can be easily modified and used for many applications in survival kits or just general EDC tool/ ultralight-backpacking applications. Here’s a few I use. Some are classic survival tricks I learned from others (such as fluid, gel, and powder storage), others I thought up on my own.

Petroleum jelly is often mixed into a cotton ball as a great way to catch a spark and start a fire, however don’t get any ideas about carrying liquid bleach in standard polypropylene straws. Bleach is a very strong oxidizer and can attack the PP plastic making it brittle and prone to cracking over extended periods of time, even if it seems robust for the first few days/weeks of storage. For a more detailed scientific explanation, see the links provided in the description field at my original, 1-minute long video on using straws to hold liquids:

Straws can also be used as fire blow-sticks, to assist in fire making, to suck morning dew off leaves and other flat surfaces for clean water, to syphon water (or gasoline) from one container to another, etc.. Supposedly a straw filled with cotton balls can act as a crude “survival drinking straw”, but I would still advise boiling or using bleach/iodine in conjunction with filtering, to kill the possible pathogens such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Be safe.

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