When you’re without many resources, feelings of discouragement and distress are not far off. Due to sometimes unforeseen circumstances, one may be left without items that could virtually save their lives. Thankfully, in many different places and situations, there is almost always something available to lend a significantly helping hand, and a bicycle is one of them.
A common way of getting around, it is not unheard of for bicycles and their pieces to be found lying around, abandoned and unusable in the state that they once were in. Thankfully, when you rearrange the parts or use them by themselves or with other objects, they take on many different uses and purposes. Listed below are ten different ways that old bicycle parts can be utilized in case of an emergency.
1. Batteries / The Magneto
From older bicycles to newer ones, starting a fire can be possible when accessing, depending on their age, the magneto or the batteries. For the newer bikes, typically the headlights and taillights are powered by a recharging battery to keep them going. Using a metal activator such as tin foil or even gum wrappers, the battery can create a fire sustained by whatever you can find – wood, leaves, pine needles, etc.
For the older bikes, which may have a magneto powering their headlights and taillights, the small but effective generator using long-lasting magnets may also help you in building a fire, though this way is not nearly as reliable as the former. By creating an arc of electricity, potentially a fire could be started; though using the magneto in its place can be a more effective way of calling for help during the night. By spinning the wheels of the bicycle, the friction will turn the headlights and taillights on if the magneto is still working correctly. In addition to this, if a horn is installed on the bicycle, this is also a reliable method to attract rescuers and search parties to your location.
2. Bicycle Spokes
While bicycle spokes are not the easiest things to remove from the bike, once off they can provide many different uses. Possibly the most helpful accommodation they provide is the ability to create a weapon. Whether you are near water and can spear a fish or simply hunting smaller animals to eat, out of the spokes a spear can be fashioned to impale any reasonably sized game by binding several of them together and sharpening the ends.
If you need or want to go the extra mile, a handle to hold your new weapon can also be made out of the bicycle spokes, which will make it easier to tote around with you and pick up.
In addition to these uses, after spearing food for the night, use the leftover bicycle spokes to cook the meal without burning it beyond edibility or proper taste by putting together something to separate your fresh food and the flames.
Made of glass, bicycle headlights can be turned into a simple and quick tool. With sharp edges, cutting through plants, rope, and more can become ten times easier. Fires can also be started if the glass is angled just right, and help signals can be made via the reflection.
4. Inner Tube
Another multiuse commodity of a bicycle is the inner tube which can be used as a help signal by burning it to create thick smoke, a transporter for water, connectors and bindings for shelters and other items, or even a tourniquet should the situation call for one.
When it comes to newer and more flexible rubber, tying together wood (or even other pieces of the bicycle) can help to create anything from a shelter roof to a weapon depending on how you are able to bend and utilize it. In addition to this, due to the sturdy flexibility, creating a tie to keep splints in place can also be accomplished by cutting the tube into a smaller strip, wrapping it around the appendage, and tying it off.
Transporting water via bicycle inner tubes may seem, at first, like a rather tedious effort, but it is also an effective one. Through either cutting and holding the ends of the strips or submerging the tube completely and turning valves shut on either end of it (if these are available) you will be able to gather water without the potential of a leakage messing up the process.
Sharp and perfect for weapons with effective damage, sprockets are also useful for digging through harder patches of dirt and sand as well as pulling things out from both the earth and plants, similar to a shovel or spade.
Unless seeing your own face will help you to survive, a small bicycle mirror can be angled to help create a fire or signal to rescuers nearby during the day or with the assistance of a fire. They are also helpful in the case of a bite or scrape to get a better look at what you’re dealing with.
7. Bicycle Chain
While not all bicycle chains are in pristine condition, some of them are able to maintain a bit of leftover oil and this can be used to help begin a fire. Also, they can be utilized to create weapons if necessary, and are best paired with other items to achieve maximum results.
8. Seat Post
Although many do not know this, the bar that the bicycle sits on, called a seat post, is not only removable, but also hollow and the perfect thing to help out those bicycle inner
tubes with water transportation, or simply storing things such as weapons or tinder from outward elements that may otherwise damage them.
9. Brake Cables
Although brake cables are not as easily moved as bicycle inner tubes may be, they are still helpful in tying things together to keep them from shifting, as well as for weapons and other handy gear. Work them to the best of your ability, and focus on creating things within the capacity of their flexibility.
10. Bicycle Seat
While the seat post is very helpful, so is the bicycle seat itself. It can be used for a variety of different things, and most bicycle seats are made of some type of fabric or leather which can aid in creating gear to wear and protect you with. In addition to this, depending on the material of which the seat is made, it can be burned to send up a smoke signal.
If those uses aren’t applicable to your situation, medium to large sized seats can be used for exactly what they were originally made for – a seat, or even a pillow if necessary.
When in a survival situation, consider every possibility. You are not limited to any confinements, and if you see an opportunity to safely start a fire or harvest some food, go for it. You never know when these resources will be available to you again, and utilizing them to the best of your ability as soon as possible is the most ideal and helpful way towards surviving.