Survival In A Soda Can: Part III

afrankelSurvival, Survival Skills

In Part I of Survival In a Soda Can, we touched on Tom Brown’s survival concept of the “Sacred Four.” Among the four essential survival needs is Food. There are four basic concepts in food procurement: hunting, fishing, trapping, and foraging. Among them, fishing is one of the lowest energy expenditures; a vital consideration in survival. As in trapping, fishing lines can be set up and left to be checked on later. Or, if time and energy level permits, you may decide to actively fish. No fishing tackle you say? Well, read on…

Soda Can Tab into Fishhook

You will need:

  • 1 Soda Can
  • 1 Multi-tool or knife
  • Anything blunt you can smack something with – also known as “batoning”.

Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the tab from the can.
  2. Lay the tab on a hard surface.
  3. Place your blade on the tab at a 45 degree angle (give or take) as in the illustration .
  4. Strike the top of the blade with the blunt object.
  5. Move the blade a ¼” down the tab at the same angle.
  6. Strike the top of the blade with the blunt object.


  • Wire cutters can be used instead of a knife.
  • If you have a file or a smooth rock, you can further sharpen the edge of the hook, increasing its effectiveness.

Fishing Lure

You now have a hook to fish with, but finding bait to attract a fish is not always the easiest thing to do. With a little more work, you can make a fishing lure from your can too.

You will need:

  • Remnants from the center of the can.
  • Knife
  • Straight edge
  • Fishing line

Note: Don’t damage or discard the large center piece of aluminum, it will be used to make the final survival tool.

Follow these steps:

  1. Place the center portion of the can flat on your working surface.
  2. Cut off a 3” strip from one side of the piece of aluminum.
  3. Gently score the piece down the center of the strip width-wise.
  4. Using the straightedge, cut 3/16” strips lengthwise along the entire piece.
  5. Poke a small hole in the center of the score in each strip.
  6. Fold the strips at the score with the shiny side out, so that they each form a steep arrow shape ( > ).
  7. Tie off a couple of knots 6” – 8” up the end of your fishing line.
  8. Thread the line through the hole in each strip one at a time, and push them up until they reach the knot. (If the knot is smaller than the hole in the tab, tie more knots).
  9. Thread the hook up until you reach the last of the strips and tie it off.

You now have a fishing lure with a hook.

Part IV will address an aspect not covered in the “Sacred Four”, but is exceptionally important – Rescue.