Although a gas mask is a great thing to include in your preparedness supplies, it’s usually not a top priority for most preppers. There are only a few specific scenarios where you would need one, each of which isn’t very likely.
Still, I think we should be prepared for as many scenarios as possible. But if for some reason you don’t have access to a gas mask when you need one, there’s a way to make your own from a few household items.
In this video, Black Scout Survival explains how to make your own gas mask. Of course, it’s a lot easier to simply buy a gas mask, but if you’re in a survival scenario with many other people who also need gas masks, you may have to improvise. That’s why I think this is a skill worth learning.
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Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2-liter bottle (rinsed out, label and cap removed).
- Soda can.
- Thick rubber bands.
- Cotton pad rounds.
- Duct tape.
- Medical tape.
- Activated charcoal (not pills, but a large container like you’d find on the aquarium isle).
Here’s how to make it:
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- Use scissors to cut off the bottom of the 2-liter, right where it starts to curve.
- Cut off about 1/4 of the side of the bottle, down to where it starts to curve toward the top. Round off that end.
- Use medical tape to pad the rough edges you just cut (optional).
- Put duct tape around the bottom and fold it over to pad the rough edges on the bottom.
- Put duct tape down the edges of the section you cut out and fold it over to pad that as well.
- Use scissors to cut multiple breather holes in the bottom of the soda can.
- Cut off the bottom of the can, about two inches from the bottom, creating a small can.
- Put a cotton round in the bottom of the small can.
- Pour a layer of activated charcoal onto the cotton round.
- Put a cotton round on top of the activated charcoal.
- Use duct tape to tape a cotton round to the top of the small can.
- Poke a hole in the center of the cotton round.
- Use that hole to fit your new filter over the 2-liter’s spout.
- Use duct tape to tape the filter to the 2-liter.
- At this point, put the gas mask up to your face and make sure you can breathe through it, otherwise you’ll want to add more holes to the can.
- Break a rubber band. Now poke holes at the two corners near the top of the mask.
- Run the rubber band through one hole and tie a knot, then run the other end of the rubber band through the other hole and tie a knot.
- Put it on and make sure there’s a good seal all the way around.
I explained the steps as clearly as I could, but if you found them confusing, you may want to watch the video below to see how it’s done.
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Jinnie Elle says
Those of you saying it won’t work, I suggest getting some banana oil to test your mask when you’re done. Activated charcoal is what is inside your military issued/grade gas mask filter. Things like sarin gas, while immediately deadly, don’t stick around long; a few minutes at most. If you’re indoors and there’s a chemical attack, put on your mask and head to the highest floor. Seal any windows, door frames, and vents with plastic and duct tape, and go to the innermost room. Stay there with your mask on until you get an all clear message. Or it depends on what agent was used as to how long you need to take cover. If you’re traveling and can’t take shelter in a building, get under a tree, bridge, whatever you can get underneath, and upwind. Don’t touch anything, especially if you see droplets of something. VX is going to probably stick around the longest- more than a day or so. Sarin, about 6 minutes. But we’re not likely to get attacked by a chemical agent. More likely, a biological agent. And I think we already were – COVID-19.
I wouldn’t trust my life to this. Worse than useless.
You have about 1 inch of charcoal and you are going to stuff the bottle spout into that. There would be very little filtration of air. To be on the safer side it would be better to have at least 3 inches of charcoal buffer before you put the spout in.
Timothy J Kelly says
great stuff!! My only suggestion would be to use some cuttings froma vacuum cleaner bag over the very end portion of the can. 99 micron material as a first layer.
Ray M says
I see the man doing the demo has a beard as do I. When I was in the Marine Corps they told us that a gas mask is somewhat ineffective when you have a beard because of leakage through the whiskers. Also, .5 micron material can be purchased on Amazon and other places. Would that be recommended in the filter? Also, could the whole soda can be used in order to have more charcoal?
Rick Palmer says
# 1 Thanks for serving brother . # 2 take this with a lot of grains of salt . I doubt seriously that this guy has been through gas mask training .
Mine was Way back in 1966 , but our masks worked . In ’67 , l had to don a mask because the South Korean Tiger Div . that surrounded our base camp , lobbed a number of C. N. 105mm. canisters into the hills above us. Needless to say Murphy’s law prevailed and the wind blew down the hill into our valley . We tended to forgive them because both the N.V.A and the Cong were leery of provoking the ROK troops , so they didn’t attack us very often either .
I do wonder if someone,possibly a chemist that could provide some ways to neutralize some of the nasty chemicals that a terrorist would use for a gas attack.saran gas has been used before and may again. what could be used in a container that would stop the toxic reaction? I know any gas can be filtered but how small would the filter need to be? I know we have many smart people this information on the many toxic gasses and what will block them would be a plus.
That was truly inspiring. Thank you for the.. loaded with life saving information. Most people would have charged, for info like that. Give yourself a pat on the back, your one of tte good guys. ( I’ll be making a few dozen of these ?)