Have you ever been stuck somewhere with canned food but no can opener? Or perhaps you were prepared but your cheapie can opener broke? Now really, this is one area you want well covered when it comes to your preps but just in case you are stuck with out a working can opener, there are some options.
Today my friend Joe Marshall shares his solution to opening a can when there is no can opener is sight.
Did You Forget The Can Opener Again?
Have you ever headed out for a nice weekend of camping only to end up frustrated and hungry because you forgot one little thing… a can opener? Fortunately there is a little trick that lets you open up any tin can with nothing more than a rock.
Modern cans are sealed using a roller that bends the top of the can over the wall and the bends it again to form a leak proof crimp in the can. This leaves only a small amount of metal around the top lip of the can that actually seals the contents.
If you ever find yourself without a can opener simply find a large flat rock or piece of concrete, the rougher the better. Simply place the can upside down on the rock and press down slightly. Begin sliding the can back and forth across the rock until you begin to see moisture from the contents being left behind.
Once you see the juice, it means that the seal on the can has been broken and you should be able to use a knife or other sturdy utensil to pry the top of the can off. If you are not concerned with saving water and only want the food, you can keep sliding the can across the rock to further erode the seal and make opening the can easier.
This is a much safer alternative than trying to hack away at the can with your pocket knife and if you apply the right amount of pressure should take you less than a minute open.
The Swiss Army Knife Solution
Some multi-tools and Swiss army knives include a can opener attachment. If you own a pocket knife, check for a can opener attachment. It’s not as easy as using a normal can opener (it’s likely to be more fiddly) but with some practice, you should be able to use it proficiently.
The Final Word
I have one problem with these solutions.
For less two bucks you can purchase military surplus P51 can openers that are light weight, time tested and will fit on a key ring or in your wallet. It seems to me that using the real thing makes a lot more sense than a rock.
How about you. Do you have any other alternative tips for when you don’t have the right tool for the job?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Let’s be honest. There is no excuse not to have a proper tool for opening cans. Here are my suggestions.
2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 Model: At the time of this writing, 2 P-51 military surplus can openers are $1.80 with free shipping.
GI P38 & P51 Can Opener Combo Pack (Made in the USA): This is one of the army’s greatest tools. Can be used for dozens of jobs. Makes a great can opener, cutting edge, groove cleaner, screw drive, clean finger nails, open seams and many, many more practical uses. Now you can have one of each size – at the time of this writing $1.25 for both.
Wenger Serrated Backpacker Swiss Army Knife: Not all Swiss army knives include a blade that can be used to open cans but this one does.
Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II Pocket Knife: This is the Swiss army knife that both Shelly and I carry. It includes the following: large and small blades, two standard screwdrivers, bottle and can openers, a corkscrew, a wire stripper, scissors, key ring, reamer, and parcel hook. In addition, there is a tweezers and a toothpick that pull out of the end.
OXO Good Grips Can Opener: This is my own go-to can opener. I have owned this particular model for over 10 years and it still performs as well as when it was new. OXO products are not the cheapest out there but they are well designed and they just work. The one time I had an OXO product that I hated, I sent them an email and they sent me a refund. Talk about good customer service!
I really love the Provident Pantry Corn Muffin Mix which I cooked up as corn bread in my cast iron skillet. Oh my gosh – it was better than anything boxed that I have ever purchased and as good as home made. The best part is that all I had to add was water!
Same with the Buttermilk Biscuit Mix.
These are just two of the food storage items that you can purchase at Emergency Essentials. And if you need some recipes? Go to the Food Storage Recipes page of Emergency Essentials for lots of creative (and free) ideas for using the good you have on hand.
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