Fishy Survival Tips

Love them or hate them, sardines may have the potential to save your life. This summer I’ve been reading Outdoor Life and Tim Macwelch’s Prepare For Anything Survival Manual, which includes 338 tips for a survival situation. Much to my surprise, there are many creative ways to resourcefully use a can of sardines besides eating them.

1. My grandma once told me she tried to make a grease lamp using a string and olive oil. She also told me that the lamp failed terribly. Needless to say, she was very excited upon discovering that she could make a grease lamp out of a can of sardines. All you have to do is eat the oil-packed sardines (a-duh) and put a string into the leftover oil with one inch sticking out of the can. Boom, grease lamp.2. Now, imagine it’s the zombie apocalypse. You don’t want to be out in the woods 24/7 scavenging for food where you could get caught off guard by a zombie. What do you do to save time and energy? Set traps. That’s right folks. Not only can sardines be used as bait, but even their cans can trap animals. All you have to do is cut an “x” in the middle of the tin and place it above a hole in the ground. Then, attach the can to a stake in the ground with a sturdy wire. If something like a fox were to step on the “x”, its foot would fall through the hole and it would be secured to the stake for some time. Congratulations, you now have a little fox… I mean, just so you can respect, admire, and pet it, obviously. Don’t eat it, you animal. Just feed it sardines.

3. Have you ever seen one of those movies where the characters are shipwrecked on an island in the middle of nowhere? Where planes occasionally fly above but don’t see anyone jumping around, flailing their arms? Well, if you ever find yourself on a random island, your sardine can could be turned into a signal mirror. Just rub toothpaste or chocolate (I know!) on it with a rag, and it will be super shiny. Nothing is better than blinding the pilots you will hopefully be hopping into a plane with.4. Many people are aware of my intensely ridiculous fear of insects. There have been countless instances where I’ve been shocked at the sudden appearance of a spider and jumped back, flopping around like I was a fish out of water. Luckily, if you’re like me, there is a way to temporarily repel insects from your shelter using, you guessed it, sardines. Put the can on top of something that won’t catch on fire. Then put hot coals inside of it, and crumble dry wood over them. Now get out of that shack, because before you know it you will be choking on all the smoke coming out of that sardine can. Trust me, you’ll be running and so will the insects. Huzzah! You’ve created a bug-free area.These are just a few of the many sardine-based survival tips included in the Prepare For Anything Survival Manual.

Don’t thank me. Thank Tim Macwelch.

(Copyright 2017 Audrey Sacks)