Developing our capacity to be self-sufficient involves a lot of resourcefulness and thinking outside of the box. These two skills help us to re-purpose everyday items into useful resources, and the more creative we are in this regard can translate into being in a better position when we need to fend for ourselves. Let’s look at a couple of uses for old credit or debit cards in order to illustrate this point.
This technique works best on newer, metallic cards, but you can also apply the same principle to heavy plastic ones as well. All you need to do is scrape one of the edges over a knife sharpening stone, a file, some coarse sandpaper or even concrete. Scrape at about a 50-60 degree angle until a nice, defined edge starts to form. Keep scraping and smoothing until it starts to become sharp, test it, and repeat until you get the edge you’re looking for.
A good blade can be just as sharp as a knife or pair of scissors, and it can be used for all kinds of cutting tasks as well as a defensive weapon in an emergency. Just be careful when storing and holding the card because the edge will be very sharp.
Finger guards are a great line of defense against getting injured while working with our hands, particularly when we’re cutting things. While there are plenty of products to choose from, you can also make your own with a card, some glue, and the plastic ring from a pacifier or ring candy. The first step is to break off the nipple or candy from the plastic. Next, cut off the stem and file down the stub until the surface of the disk that supports the ring is as flat as possible. Once the disk is smooth, apply a generous dab of hot glue to the center. Press the card firmly against the disc and hold it in place until the glue sets.
Just make sure that you position the ring at the right angle so that the length of the card will protect all of your fingers when you’re wearing the guard. When ready to use, simply insert your middle finger through the ring and you’re good to go. If you want to fine-tune this technique further, slightly-offset the ring from the center of the card so that it aligns better with your middle or ring finger. You’ll be amazed at how this simple trick can provide so much protection while performing a variety of tasks.
These two examples illustrate how a couple of modifications can turn an ordinary object into a useful tool. All it takes is a little bit of ingenuity, creativity and experimentation, and we can come up with all kinds of solutions to problems that we will encounter in the field. Always keep your eyes open for useful tricks, but take some time to come up with your own as well. Chances are that You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get those creative juices flowing once the mind is oriented in that direction. You’ll also be surprised at the things that you come up with, and who knows, maybe one of them will save your life one day.