Practical uses for newspapers for when SHTF
By Edsel Cook // Oct 12, 2018

Old-fashioned, physical newspapers will remain useful long after the content they bear become outdated. They can even be used during crisis scenarios when SHTF. An article in Survivopedia shared a number of reasons and uses as to why you should stockpile them.


The most valuable and versatile newspapers are the ones made from regular paper that only use black ink. Avoid the colored ones because their inks are toxic, and don't waste your time with glossy paper since it has far fewer uses than ordinary paper.

Stay warm and dry with the help of newspapers

When the power grid goes down, you will lose air conditioning, heaters, and other means of controlling the temperature. Newspapers can make up for this by serving as insulation material or fuel.

As an insulator, newspapers can keep out cold temperatures and drafts. Use them as lining material for your clothes, blankets, sleeping bag, or home.

When added to clothes, they will also cut back on the sweat you build up. At home, make sure that the open end of the newspaper faces the source of the draft from the door or window.

You can also turn newspapers into burnable logs for fires. Rolled-up logs are simple to make, last longer, and generate plenty of heat.

If you want the best logs, soften newspaper with water for easier compacting. Store them in a cool, dry place. Consider making smaller logs as starter materials for drying out firewood or igniting coal fires. (Related: How to keep your survival shelter location secret: 5 tips to keep it undetectable.)

Keeping weeds out of your survival garden and helping crops ripen

Your survival garden will provide you with food for the longest time. In addition to hiding it from human sight, you must protect them from encroaching weeds.

Newspapers can serve as underground weed barriers around your plants. Unfold them and arrange them inside the soil around individual plants. They will keep other growth out of the protected plant's space.

In addition to stopping weeds, newspapers can be used as frost protectors. Use multiple sheets to form a paper hat that is large enough to cover the plant. These covers keep frost from forming on the plant. They also trap as much heat as possible.

Finally, they can help speed up the ripening process for many fruits and vegetables. Harvest the crop of your survival garden a few days early. Wrap the produce in newspaper and let them stand for a couple of days.

The cover traps the ripening gases around the fruit to maximize the effect. They also keep the food from rotting. The technique can be used on apples, bananas, and tomatoes, among other produce.

Other uses for newspapers

Paper mache is not just a material for children's arts-and-crafts. It can be made into decoys and baits for hunting, medical casts for broken limbs, and food containers such as bowls and cups.

Newspapers combine well with sticky materials to make paper mache. Remember to use a water-soluble glue for body casts so that the cast will dissolve in time.

They can also be used to maintain cleanliness. As lining for a drawer or cabinet, they keep the contents and the container free from dust.

They are also good for cleaning up messy workplaces. And while it actually takes a lot of effort and care to wrap a breakable item in them, they will keep the object safe from damage.

Finally, putting newspaper in the bottom of damp shoes will help dry them out and reduce the odors in the footwear. They not only keep your shoes smelling good, but protect your feet against infection.

You can find more tips about other uses for newspapers at

Sources include:

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