(SurvivalDaily.com) – A good portion of the population may have never even considered the need for a gas mask, after all, why on earth would anyone ever need one? Unless you live in a war zone, having a gas mask seems like a silly idea. Unfortunately, there really are a number of good reasons why a person may end up needing one at some point in their life.
Why Have One?
Gas masks are designed to keep foreign particles and vapors such as gas, dust or even volcanic ash out of your lungs, eyes and mucous membranes. If you find yourself in a city erupting with riots or in an area affected by a volcanic eruption, knowing how to create a gas mask from scratch is a good thing. Having one at home is also advisable just in case a fire breaks out. Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in house fires, and a gas mask can help you get out alive.
Can’t I Just Buy One?
Of course you can. There’s an abundance of them on the Internet and in military surplus stores. They work very well, however, they are also pretty expensive, require routine maintenance, and you may not be allowed to carry them everywhere you go.
How to Make a Simple Mask
Making your own gas mask is cost effective, and if need be, you can do it on the run. There are a few options when it comes to creating your own. The first is so simple anyone could do it, and that’s simply to tear and layer a T-shirt; use the bulk of it to cover your mouth and nose while tying it behind your head with the torn strips. Dampening the cloth may boost the effectiveness.
The next option is more to cover your eyes and should be combined with the T-shirt method or another way to cover your mouth and nose. A quality pair of swim goggles can keep you from losing your vision during a fire or any situation where particles may get into your eyes. To combat tear gas, use the swim goggles in combination with a cider vinegar-soaked bandana or cloth to cover your face until you’re in clean air.
Make a More Effective Gas Mask
A more complex DIY gas mask that’s still simple to build is the soda bottle gas mask. The tools you’ll need to construct a soda bottle mask include: a sharp cutting utensil, a Sharpie (or permanent marker), 2-liter bottle, rubberized foam insulation at least 1-inch thick and an N95 mask. It’ll take you about 15 minutes to complete the mask, and you’ll spend a fraction of the cost that you would on a gas mask.
To start, clean and remove the labels from the 2-liter bottle. Next, draw a U-shape on the bottle that’s about the size of your face. You’ll need to cut the bottom of the bottle along with the U-shape; for this step, it’s best to cut the shape smaller than your face and trim until the fit is snug.
Next, use the foam insulation to seal the sides of the mask. You also need to make a circle of foam insulation about 2 inches from the spout for the resting place of the filter — in this case, an N95 mask. Now, you’ll need to carefully cut the N95 mask, leaving just enough to keep it sealed. Place it at the bottom of your mask with the filter pointing down and out of the spout. Take the N95 mask’s elastic bands and use them to secure the mask firmly on your face.
While a gas mask may seem unnecessary, it’s actually an important part of a prepper’s gear. Of course, military and other quality gas masks are likely better than your homemade one, but surviving is all about using what you have available. If your gas mask is enough to get you through, then that’s good enough. Plus, who doesn’t like to save money?
Preparing for worst-case scenarios takes time, not only to plan but to also gather the supplies. Check out what you can do if you’re caught off guard and have to do some last minute prepping.
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