Multi-use items for survival kits

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I have posted this in another forum over a year ago and wanted to share it here as well. It is about items in your survival kit that have a multi-use. This is no way the perfect list or you may think you the only thing you need is a knife. But the main reason I am posting this is to give you ideas that anything you have around your surroundings may have multiple uses. Start looking at things and see how many uses you can get out of that item in an emergency situation. I make it a game when me and my daughters travel and hike. You be surprised on uses of things when you think of it.

 Here are the items that can be carried in a survival kit/BOB that have multiple uses:

Trash bags
Duct tape
35mm film cans
Walking staff
Ziplock freezer bags
550 cord
Snare wire
Aluminum foil
Surgical tubing
Dental floss
Sewing needles
Safety pins
Flexible cable ties
Sewing thread
Cotton gauze
Brass wire (copper wire, stainless steel)
Tarp or plastic sheeting
Survival blanket
Boot laces
Signal mirror
MRE package

Here is an example uses for a trash bag:

- Use them as "water-proof" boots/gaiters.
- Shelter; as a tarp or, using 2 of them & duct tape make a "tube-tent".
- Bandages.
- Water Container
- Fresh water still.
- Lashing material.
- Sleeping bag
- Stuff it with leaves and use it as a blanket or mattress.
- Gear bag; good for "wet or soiled" clothing.
- Orange bag good for a signaling panel.
- Transpiration still.
- Kite.
- Floating device.
- Sail Sled.
- Expedient weapon.
- used as a poncho
- to carry fresh water,
- snare,
- limb lines for set hooks.
- for sewing thread for shoes, coats, or tents; or stitches for you in case you get a deep cut. (You cut 1" wide strips of trash bag. Stretch it and then spin it...repeat until it is a thin string.)
- rain cover for bag pack
- rain cover for fire wood
- moisture barrier for bedroll
- bear bag for food
- temporary patch w/duct tape for large holes or rips.
- winter coat (stuff with natural materials).
- Temporary dry bag for canoe (not totally dry)
- Can be melted and used as a temporary adhesive
- Camp shower
- Temporary cover to keep injury dry. (It can even be used to cover sucking chest wounds)

I am compiling a list of the multiple uses of each. I want to add items that are in bug out bags, go bags and vehicle kits as well. Please add your suggestions and other items that may have multiple uses. Thanks.

Uses for Bandanas:

- signal device
- bandage
- collect water from a shallow or hard to reach water source
- pot holder
- for fishing bait
- hat
- anti redneck protection
- face mask... to protect from smoke, cold weather
- tourniquet
- carry bag (hobo bag)
- compress (as opposed to bandage, listed above)
- river washrag for bathing or dishes
- earmuff/ear cover
- make shift sling
- rip into strips to tie items together


Uses for 35mm film "cans":

- Holding fuel tabs
- bobbin for fishing
- misc. item for survival kit,
- medicine keeper
- keeping ID/Medical Info Dry. Just roll it up, insert, label outside.
- Owl caller
- store film (duh)
- store matches


Uses for a Walking Staff:

- fishing pole
- hobo pack carrier
- use to wrap 550 cord around
- measuring stick to test the depth of water or snow
- long handle to help some one up a bank
- self defense
- shelter pole
- splint
- crude compass
- sun dial
- wading pole


Uses for Duct tape:

- rifle sling
- rope
- repair anything (that isn't liquid)
- sunglasses
- snow shoes
- prevent blisters
- prevent the ends of rope from fraying
- bandage
- remove small splinters or needles
- tourniquet
- cordage
- tape

Duct tape has so many uses that it would be to much to list here. Search google "duct tape".

Uses for Zip-Lock bags:

- Water carrier
- Water proofer - maps, etc.
- Hat for rain - 1 gal size. For some of you 5 gal size.
- wound cover - Tape in place
- first aid kit carrier
- expedient shoes - tape in place
- insulation - partially inflate with air
- float - life preserver sort of
- freezer bag cooking
- solar distillery
- container
- vapor barrier in boots
- pillow (with duct tape seal)

It is recommended that you use the freezer type zip-lock bags. They are stronger than the normal zip-lock bags.

Uses for 550 cord:

- general cordage (duh)
- fishing line
- boot laces
- thread
- bracelets (braiding)
- bear bag rope
- shelter tie down
- clothesline
- firebow cord
- snare
- trip wire
- expedient belt
- loops for equipment
- tourniquet
- rifle sling


Uses for Snare wire:

- snare
- needle ( The end of a small piece can be ground on a stone until its like a needle
and on the other end you need to make a loop, put some thread through and
then push the loop closed very flat.)
- boot laces
- cordage
- tourniquet
- fishing line
- securing gear


Uses for aluminum foil:

- Boil water
- signal
- make char cloth
- cook in
- leave your track in the truck (Cody's advice)
- Use as scrubber for cookware
- Make a funnel to fill your water bottle
- tighten lose battery springs in electronics
- make a bowl
- make a cup
- fire deflector
- making fishing lures
- wind screen for a stove
- serve as a lid
- keep tinder dry by wrapping the tinder in layers of it
- Pinhole glasses. Just fashion the foil into a glasses shape and poke pinholes in
the "lenses".


Uses for a P38 or P51:

- Can Opener
- Seam Ripper
- Screwdriver
- Clean Fingernails
- Cut Fishing Line
- Open Paint Cans
- Window Scraper
- Scrape Around Floor Corners
- Digging
- Clean Out Groove on Tupperware lids
- Reach in and Clean Out Small Cracks
- Scrape Around Edge of Boots
- Bottle Opener
- Gut Fish (in the field)
- Scale Fish (in the field)
- Test for 'Doneness' When Baking on a Camp Fire
- Prying Items
- Strip Wire
- Scrape Pans in the Field
- Lift Key on Flip Top Cans
- Chisel
- Barter
- Marking Tool
- Deflating Tires
- Clean Sole of Boot/Shoe
- Pick Teeth
- Measurement
- Striking Flint
- Stirring Coffee
- Puncturing Plastic Coating
- Knocking on Doors
- Morse Code
- Box Cutter
- Opening Letters
- Write Emergency Messages
- Scratch an Itch
- Save as a Souvenir
- Rip Off Rank for On-the-Spot Promotions
- Bee sting removal tool (scrape off w/ blade)
- Sharpen stick or pencil

Note: A P38 is a better striker for flint than a P51 is. A P51 is a larger version of the P38 and will help opening cans easier.

Uses for Surgical Tubing:

- bands for projectile weapons
- tourniquet
- drinking/suctioning/siphoning tubing
- elastic tie downs for tensioning
- trap manufacture
- tracheotomy


Uses for Dental Floss:

- as thread for sewing
- stitching a wound
- fishing line
- clean teeth
- emergency shoelaces, use several laid together
- lashing
- tent/tarp tie down
- make a net
- clothes line
- make cord for bow n drill
- shelter construction
- snares
- fire starter
- snowshoe bindings
- temporarily replace a lost screw in eyeglasses
- expedient snow glasses (with foil or cardboard)


Uses for sewing needles:

- sewing
- surgical tool (splinters, subungual hematoma)
- compass needle (if magnetized)
- awl
- suture needle
- repair needle
- fishing hook
- toothpick
- improvised compass on a leaf/pool of water/magnetized with silk cloth


Safety pins

- Repair of clothing
- Making a sling out a t-shirt. Take the bottom of the t-shirt, when worn and
bring it up over the injured upper limb (crossed in front of the chest), and
safety pin it to the chest of the t-shirt. Instant arm sling!
- Fish hook
- Pinning the tongue to the cheeks to keep an airway open. This is a "last
chance" fix for maintaining an airway with an unconscious patient.
- Foreign body removal from the skin, like tweezers
- Improvised compass on a leaf/pool of water/magnetized with silk clothe
- Sutures to hold large laceration closed
- Can be heated with flame to puncture a fingernail and evacuate a "sububngal
- Blister popper
- Equipment repair
- Mend a shoe lace
- Repair eyeglass hinge (depending on diameter)
- Awl (same as needle)
- Field expedient diaper (for babies)
- To close your pant legs to keep out snow. (assuming you don't have Velcro)
- Hook a dog tag back to the dog's collar.
- Rheostat on crystal radio
- To re-join split ends of rope


Uses for flexible cable ties:

- Gear repair
- Attach items to pack or belt
- Loop handle for items such as flashlight
- Expedient shoe lace (smaller size, pull through top eyelets)
- Expedient pant or shirt button (same as shoelace)
- Trouser blouser (especially in tick country)
- lashing for shelter building
- handcuffs


Uses for sewing thread:

- Thread (too easy)
- sutures
- dental floss (hygiene in the bush!)
- lashing (loop X ?)
- tie off a water bag
- expedient small game snare (dependent of type of thread)
- replacement for lost eyeglass screw
- fishing line
- trip line
- using with a stick for splint

Uses for 5 gallon buckets:

- Use as step stool
- Seat
- Table (if seated on floor)
- Haul water
- Store goods (5g buckets are mouse proof)
- Haul weeds to refuse pile
- Haul tools to work site
- Store electric cord, rope, etc.
- Toilet
- 72 hour kit


Uses for candles:

- light
- heat
- cooking or warming food/water
- wax for lubrication (rub the candle on the item)
- water proofing a seam that leaks
- an improvised adhesive
- waxing skis


Uses for unlubricated condoms:

- water carrying container
- pillow (blow up, tie shut)
- cover your rifle barrel end
- small solar distillery
- flotation device
- sling shot
- latex glove
- tourniquet


Uses for a Watch:

- Time of day
- Compass
- Time paces
- Time pulse
- Signal mirror
- With water a magnifying glass(remove crystal from watch)
- distance calculator


Uses for Paper clips:

- spear point
- fish hook
- blister popper
- compass(with magnet)
- needle
- clip items to pack
- hold bandages together


Uses for cotton gauze:

- first aid applications
- fire tinder
- soaked in Vaseline - longer burning
- coated with wax - longer burning
- heat/sunburn prevention (field expedient turbine)
- trail markers
- torch
- personal hygiene
- Keep bugs off food
- sling (any type - double or tripled for strength)
- cordage
- expedient boot lace
- strainer for water to keep out floaters
- folded over and use it for a hot pad
- ointment application


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