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How to Open a Can Without Any Tools

How to Open a Can Without Any Tools

A recurring theme in the nightmares of many preppers and zombie apocalypse aficionados is a scenario in which survivors hunker down in their bunkers, surrounded by cans of food that should help them wait out the storm, only to realize that they’ve forgotten to pack a can opener. Quite a frightening thought, isn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be—there’s an easy way to open a can without any handy little implements, and the only thing you need in order to do so is a material that’s found all over the world:

Concrete.

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If you have any canned goods in the house, take a quick look at the cans’ tops for a second. You’ll notice that there are two edges that have been sealed together in order to keep the contents fresh and edible, which is why people generally use a can opener or other sharp blade to pierce through to the tasty contents within.

To get to the delicious niblets inside those cans without any tools, you need to break through that bonded seal, and that can easily be done by rubbing the top of the can over a concrete surface. The way this works is quite simple: if you’ve ever fallen on concrete, you might have ended up with scraped knees, elbows, hands, etc. Why is this? Because concrete generally has a rough texture that is as ideal for opening cans as it is unkind to skin surfaces.

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Opening the Can

To open your can, place it top-side down onto a piece of concrete. This could be a cinder block, a sidewalk, or any other cement surface that happens to be nearby.

Place the palm of your hand on the bottom of the can, apply a fair bit of pressure to it, and then scrape the can back and forth across the concrete surface. Doing so will wear away the seal on your can, but be patient—it’s better to take your time and wear it down slowly than to scrape it too hard, too quickly. You don’t want to end up forcing the seal open and getting concrete dust and grit in your food.

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Once you’ve worn away the seal, all you have to do is squeeze the sides of the can gently and the top should just pop open. If it doesn’t, scrape away at it a little bit more and then try again. I know this sounds almost too simple to be true, but I’ve tried it myself and it does actually work.

Be careful after popping the edges apart as they may have been sharpened by the friction and you probably don’t want to slice your hand open. In situations where you may not have immediate access to medical supplies, getting tuna juice or beef stew into an open cut is an invitation for some nasty infections. Let’s consider this a reminder to ensure that you always have a basic first aid kit in the house: not only can you patch yourself up with its contents, but you can use an alcohol swab to clean off your concrete surface if any canned goods spill out over it. Keeping things as clean as possible will lessen the chance of illness from rotting food particles and cross-contamination.

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If you’re having difficulty visualizing how this could work at all, check out this video. In it, a couple of terribly cool Russian guys (they call themselves “Crazy Russian Hackers”) give a demonstration on this very technique.

Just think of all the people in zombie films and Cold War shelters who could have benefited from knowledge of this technique! Talk about a true life-hack. Although some people may laugh off this technique as being ridiculous or extreme, you really never know when you might be in a situation where it might come in handy.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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