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Of the many versatile items I’ve written about, I have to admit this is one of the stranger ones. But believe it or not, pantyhose is useful for all sorts of things in both temporary and long-term disasters.
If you’re prepping on a budget, be sure to add some pantyhose to your supplies. And don’t forget to add some to your bug out bag, too. They’re light, they hardly take any space, and they only cost a few dollars.
Here are 20 ways you can use pantyhose for survival:
1. Stay Warm. When it’s cold, every extra layer makes a difference. Wearing pantyhose will help you stay warm. Note: Men may have to cut some extra space in the crotch area.
2. Prevent Blisters. This is important if you bug out and spend several hours a day walking. You don’t want to get a blister on your foot that could get infected. Just cut the feet off the pantyhose and wear them under your socks, or you could get the footy or knee-high kind.
3. Prevent Bug Bites. Marines have been known to use them to stop tick, ant, and chigger bites. They will also stop jellyfish stings and leeches when you’re wading through water. However, they won’t stop mosquitos.
4. As a Mosquito Net. Although mosquitos can bite through them, they can’t fly through them. Cut several of them lengthwise and stitch them together to make a mosquito net.
5. As a Mask. If you are in an area with lots of dust and ash in the air, put pantyhose over your head like a robber would. This will protect your lungs. It won’t protect against viruses and toxins, but it will stop the dust.
6. For First Aid. There are several options here: use them as a tourniquet, as a way to hold bandages in place, to tie a splint in place, or to make a sling.
7. Filter Water. The first step to purifying water, no matter what method you use, is to filter out the debris and large particles. Stretch it over a container of water and pour the water into another container.
8. Sprout Seeds. First soak your seeds in two inches of lukewarm water for 24 hours. Then pour the water and seeds into pantyhose, squeeze out as much water as you can, and hang it up to dry. Pour water over the seeds and hang them up to dry again, and do that several times a day. Once the seeds sprout, transplant them.
9. Grow Plants. For potted plants, plug the bottom with pantyhose to keep soil from escaping while the extra water drains out. For climbing plants such as peas and tomatoes, use strips of pantyhose to tie the stalks to a support without damaging them.
10. Protect Your Garden. Put dog or human hair in some pantyhose, then tie them in several places on the fence around your garden. The smell will keep deer and other foragers away. You can also stretch them over squash and melons to keep animals from eating them.
11. Store Small Items. While foraging, you can use them to gather berries, nuts, and herbs. You could also use them to organize or carry small items like nuts and bolts, bathroom supplies, pill bottles, etc.
12. Store Your Food. Foods like garlic, onions, and potatoes spoil faster while lying on a surface. Put them in pantyhose, tie knots between each one, and hang them up. This works better than other types of bags because the holes allow air in so they stay fresh longer. In fact, onions can last as long as six months this way.
13. Dry Your Food. Put peppers, herbs, and other food in them and hang them in the sun to dry out. Another way is to spread them out on a surface in the sun and spread the nylon over them to keep bugs and dirt off.
14. Dry Your Tinder. If your tinder is damp, you don’t want to store it in an ordinary bag or in your pocket. It’s better to put it in pantyhose and hang it up so it can dry out.
15. Catch Bait. You won’t be able to catch large fish with pantyhose, but you may be able to catch some bait fish and things like crawdads and small frogs. To do this, stretch them over a Y-shaped branch to create a makeshift net, then skim the water. They are also a great option for storing bait while you fish.
16. Catch Crabs. Put some bait in the toe and dangle the pantyhose in shallow water. When crabs try to get the bait, they’ll get tangled in the netting. Then you can just lift up the hose and you’ll have a fresh crab.
17. Hunt Small Animals. Put a large rock or several small rocks in the toe and tie it off, then use it as a bola to kill birds and small game.
18. As a Rope. Twist it up really tight and it will make great cordage. You can tie things together, hang things up, or even use it to make cross joints and tie branches together to make a shelter.
19. As a Belt. If you don’t have anything else, you can use it to hold your pants up. After all, many of us are bound to lose weight after the SHTF.
20. Fix Your Vehicle. Pantyhose can also be used as a temporary fan belt. It won’t last long, but it could get your vehicle home or to the nearest garage.