You never know when you will encounter some smoke from a fire or teargas during civil unrest, and having a gas mask on hand can put you at a distinct advantage. Unfortunately, face masks do not always protect the eyes, nose and skin as well as they do the mouth. However, you can create a makeshift gas mask from an empty 2 liter bottle in just a couple of minutes. Learn this practical trick today so that you can be prepared for the unexpected.
Creating the Mask
The first step is to remove the label and clean out an empty soda bottle. Cut off the bottom portion at the point where the solid walls begin to form the base. The next step is to cut out a section of the bottle in order for it to fit around the contours of your face. Cut into the bottle about an inch below where the plastic begins to taper towards the top. Cut a line about a third of the way down.
Next, make a sloping, curving cut on either side until it reaches a 90 degree angle perpendicular to the first cut you made near the top of the bottle. Cut in a straight line until you reach about two inches from the bottom of the bottle. Round out this part on each side until it blends into the first cut you made and smooth it out as much as possible. Remove the cut piece of plastic.
You can now put the bottle to your face and see how this is the foundation for your mask. If it is too big, cut off some more plastic from the bottom of the bottle and shorten the length of the mask. Next, take some fabric, rubber or foam strips and either glue or staple them on the inside of the bottle along the edges. This will add some cushioning as well as help the mask to conform to the contours of your face. It will also add a layer of protection that will keep smoke and gases from penetrating the mask.
Fitting the Mask
Once the material has dried or set, test out the fit and make modifications as necessary. Next, cut two small gashes in each side of the mask near the top. This will be used to tie some string or a rubber band in order to create a strap to hold it on your head. Using a rubber band will provide you with some elasticity, whereas a string or shoelace will provide more strength. You can use any material you like as long as it creates a snug and secure fit.
Finally, place a face mask or cotton cloth in the top cone section of the bottle. This will be a filter that will block out some gases while still enabling you to breathe through the hole where the cap would normally be. Remove the cap, and now you have a makeshift mask that will ward off things like tear gas, pepper spray and smoke from a fire.
However, it is important to note that this mask will not have the filtration capabilities to block many toxic fumes and gases. But, it will work in many situations where biological or chemical threats are not the concern. Give it a try today and see how this can provide you with a basic, yet necessary level of protection so you can minimize exposure and maximize your chances of escaping to safety.