As you are well aware, crisis can begin at any point. We can prepare for years and years and have stockpiles of items that we need, but we may not be anywhere near that equipment when things hit the fan.
It’s one of my goals to ensure that you and your family are safe at all times. When you are on a trip, whether it’s downtown or far away from home, you need to be ready for just about anything.
This week, we’re going to talk about a few items that have MULTIPLE survival/emergency uses. I want you to think outside of the box with everyday items. Being able to understand that there are different uses for things that can be found just about anywhere you look or easily carried on you, you’ll find yourself in the best shape possible when stuck in the worst conditions.
In situations where you’ve got space, weight, or money limitations, it’s vital to not only have items that have multiple uses, but also to train your brain to identify alternative and additional uses for everyday things. By doing so, you won’t just be prepared faster, but you’ll also be prepared more often.
If you rely on specialty products and want to be prepared all of the time, you end up saddled with carrying a heavy bag or backpack ALL OF THE TIME with your gear. If, on the other hand, you know multiple uses for the clothes that you’re wearing, the items in your pockets, and for everyday items that you find in your environment, you can travel light and still be prepared for disasters and emergencies.
I am not going to attempt to list every possible use for these items, or every possible item that has multiple uses, but I encourage you to add to the list by commenting below the article…
The first item is paracord/parachute cord/550 cord. Even though these labels are used interchangeably, they aren’t necessarily equivalent. A 550 cord is cord that has a test weight of 550 pounds. Paracord and parachute cord can have test weights that are hundreds of pounds less to hundreds of pounds more.
Parachute cord—also called 550 cord—is designed to exacting standards because they know that people’s life depends on the cord having consistent qualities from inch to inch. Simple paracord, on the other hand, may or may not be made to exacting standards or any standards at all. One section could be 700-pound test and the next section 300-pound test.
Why do I mention this? If you’re going to be using paracord at the edge of the performance envelope, make sure that you’re using new, rated paracord…not just paracord that happens to be the right “tactical” color that coordinates with your gear.
Also, you need to be aware that if you wear a paracord bracelet or use paracord bootlaces, the sharp turns that bracelets and laces experience will severely weaken the cord over time. It will still have multiple uses, but the capacity of the cord will be diminished.
So, how can you use this stuff? Here are 20 of my favorite uses:
1. Shoe laces
2. Making fire with a bow drill
3. Traps/snares/fishing line
4. Early warning devices
5. Cordage for lashing sticks for shelters
6. Creating a shelter out of a poncho
7. Cutting restraints
8. Holding game for field dressing
9. Restraint (human) or leash for a pet
10. Lashing/towing branches & lumber for fires
11. Slings/belts/suspenders/clothing repair
12. Making loops for gear
13. Wrapping handles for easier handling
14. Retention lanyards
15. When tied to a weighted object, they make a nice weapon
16. Zipper extensions and repair
17. Strapping items to packs/load bearing vests
18. Emergency improvised rappel (with the right setup and practice)
19. Belay cord (not for climbing) to connect you to a known point or another person for no-light conditions, smoke obscured conditions, whiteouts, or sandstorms
20. Improvised way to secure doors
On the same hand, let’s think about multiple uses for bandanas:
1. Sun shade
2. When wet, an evaporation cooler
3. Smoke/dust screen and filter
4. Odor protection (morgue/spoiled food/etc.) when used with gas, essential oils, etc.
5. Essential oil “diffuser” (wear it like a mask with a drop or two of essential oils by your nose)
6. Medical Sling
7. Pressure dressing for wounds
8. Traction splint
10. Weapon (soap, sinkers, rocks, etc. held in “pouch”)
11. Sediment pre-filter for water
12. Friend/foe identification
13. Pot holder
14. Light filter for flashlight
15. Scalpel blade handle
16. Head cover to insulate head
17. Headband to catch sweat
18. Signaling device
19. Use to secure splinting material (sticks/boards/SAM splint)
20. Shoulder sling repair/padding
…all that, and I didn’t even use it to blow my nose, as a blindfold, or as a mask
And contractor (thick) garbage bags:
1. Improvised bag/pack
2. Rain Poncho
3. Rain/snow “kilt”
4. Sleeping bag
5. With cordage, use as a shelter
6. Solar still
7. Improvised boot liner/wader
8. Rain cover for pack
9. Bear bag
10. Carrying water
11. Solar water heater
12. Sun shade
13. Burns black for signal fires
14. Sealing a tub drain before a storm
15. Dig a hole under your gutter downspout, line with trash bag, and collect emergency rainwater
16. Holding wet gear in an otherwise dry bag
17. Collecting and transporting human waste
18. Water/wind proofing for a debris shelter
19. Solar heater to melt snow
20. Emergency buoyancy device
Of course, I could go on…I’ve got a handful of items in my kits that all have 20+ uses. And, I’m guessing there are at least 100 uses for each of these three items, and that’s why I carry them in all of my kits. Can you add to the lists? Do you have other favorite multi-use survival/every day items? If so, please share them by replying to the newsletter.
Want more multi-use items, as well as tactics, techniques, and procedures for using the above-mentioned items in survival situations? Check out the ad in this issue or click here.
God Bless & Stay safe,