5 Everyday Items You’d Be Sorry To Overlook During the Apocalypse


Every day you wake up could be the first day of the apocalypse. Look at that nurse in Dawn of the Dead, the entire cast of The Day After Tomorrow, or Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and crew in At World’s End. You never know when the objects or people around you are suddenly going to start ripping things—both metaphorical and literal—open at the seams. That’s why you should keep these five everyday items handy to help you survive and stay sane through almost any apocalypse. (Note: Survival not guaranteed…but good luck holding me accountable!)

1. Pennies

I know what you’re thinking—pennies? The most useless denomination of currency will actually prove itself the most crucial after the end of times. Pennies, as it turns out, can generate electric current when soaked in an acid solution such as lemon juice or vinegar mixed with water. You’d probably have to use three or more pennies to power an LED light, but in a world of eternal darkness and war, three pennies still won’t be much to spare.

2. Hand Sanitizer

Not only will this alcoholic gel or liquid prove an easy way to sanitize wounds or even eating/cooking utensils, it’s also flammable, meaning you could use it to start a fire or soak a torch once all the gas has been used up trying to flee the zombies. If you heat the container from the bottom to warm the stuff up and then ignite it coming out the nozzle, you could even create tiny jets of napalm, or a refreshingly scented blowtorch.

3. Skateboard or Longboard

In terms of transportation, a skateboard, like a bike, is totally self-propelled, making it a practical choice, especially in some of the more nonviolent apocalyptic scenarios. Depending on how well you grind and how many obstructions are in your path, you might even be able to outrun pursuers on a skateboard. It can also double as a cart on which you can drag things, or even as a gurney for someone injured. Don’t turn up your nose at these wheels in an emergency!

4. Earplugs or Headphones

Do you really want to hear the chaos and agony of Earth’s final days ALL the time? Whether it’s the screams of those being slaughtered, the whine of falling bombs, or the eerie silence of empty streets, you’ll want to control your ambient noise eventually. If you choose to go with a Walkman or iPod, you should practice charging it with pennies now!

5. Empty Soda Can

This is probably the lightest and easiest way to collect drinking water in any survival situation. Make sure it’s a can that still has the tab attached, since leaving that little bit of metal standing upright over the can’s mouth can channel further rainwater or morning dew into the can’s belly. The tab can also double as a fishhook if you find yourself near a source of water large enough to sustain life…assuming it isn’t radioactive.