5. Wristwatch

In a survival situation, your first concern probably isn't the time of day. But, your wristwatch can still be a big help. An everyday watch can pull double-duty as a compass. Here's how.

First­, you'll need a nondigital watch in working condition and a sunny day. Hold your watch with the flat bottom parallel to the ground. Turn it, while keeping it parallel, until the hour hand is pointing in the direction of the sun.

If it's morning, you'll find south about halfway between the hour hand and twelve o'clock, clockwise. If it's afternoon, south lies about halfway between the hour hand and twelve o'clock, counterclockwise. Accordingly, north will be on the same line but in the opposite direction [source: Farmers' Almanac]. The technique isn't 100 percent accurate, but it will give you enough of an approximation to make some informed choices about which way to go.

If you prefer to use your watch as a handy, always-with-you survival kit instead of a compass, remove the inside mechanisms from your watch. Take off the face, pull out the gears and fill the empty space with survival tools. Stuff it with items like wire, foil, dental floss and a paper clip (for a fishing line and hook), a magnet, aspirin, match heads, bandages -- anything else of survival value that can fit in a small space [source: Sneaky Uses]. You might not know what time it is, but you'll sure be prepared for anything.