10 Must-have Survival Tools You Probably Already Have

Some people use WD-40 to remove wax and dirt from skis; others to take off or prevent rust on them. And non-skiers have a hundred uses too. © Richard Hamilton Smith/CORBIS

This stout lubricant was originally invented in 1953 to prevent rust and corrosion – the name comes from the fact that it was the 40th version of the formula that worked [source: WD-40]. Since then, people have found lots of survival uses for it, from winterizing boots to keeping falling snow from sticking on windows to warding off rodents and other critters by spraying down their lairs. You can even use it to soothe bee stings [source: Dick].

An Asian bus driver once used WD-40 to remove a python that had coiled itself around the vehicle's undercarriage, and police officers relied on the product to dislodge a naked burglar stuck in an AC vent [source: WD-40]. Good to know in case you get trapped crawling to safety in an underground pipe.