Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
When you are packing your bug out bag or putting supplies on the shelf, lack of space can be a serious problem. That’s why it’s best to store items that can serve many purposes. Things like trash bags, chap stick, and pantyhose take up very little space and can be used in numerous ways. And so can dental floss.
Here are 27 ways you can use it for survival.
1. Make a Lean-To
Use floss to make a lean-to with a tarp or blanket. Just thread the floss through the holes of the tarp or the corners of the emergency blanket.
2. As Lashings
If you need a larger shelter, use your dental floss to lash branches together so you can build one. If you already have a shelter, use floss to make it a little sturdier.
3. Make an Alarm
Tie a few tin or aluminum cans and lids to a length of the floss and string it across the perimeter of your camp or outside your home. Because the floss is difficult to see, intruders will sound your hobo alarm.
4. Make a Tripwire
String the floss nice and tight around some trees. Anybody who comes traipsing into your area is going to fall on their face before they can reach you. The thin floss will blend in, especially if there is snow on the ground.
5. As Restraints
It isn’t pleasant to think about, but if you have to restrain somebody, several strands of floss around their wrists should do it.
6. As a Clothesline
String a line of floss between two trees and use it as a makeshift clothesline for your socks. Dry feet are important. The floss is probably not going to be strong enough to hold your jeans, but it can certainly hold your unmentionables and some shirts.
7. Mend Clothing
Floss is strong enough to mend shirts, pants, and even shoes. If you can, store some unwaxed floss just for this purpose.
8. As a Shoelace
If your shoelaces break, thread dental floss and use that instead. It’s not perfect, but it should be strong enough to keep your shoes on your feet.
9. Secure Hair and Clothes
You don’t want your hair or clothing to get caught on something if you’re hiking through the woods. Use floss as a hair tie or to secure loose clothing.
10. As a Dummy Cord
Tie important things to your clothes or backpack so you don’t accidentally drop and lose them. Things like compasses, knives, tools, etc.
11. Make a rope
Braiding several strands of dental floss together will create a strong rope you can use to pull gear, hang heavy items and any other purpose that requires something a little stronger than floss.
12. Whip a Rope
If you already have a rope, you can use this method to keep it from unraveling. Here’s a tutorial.
13. As Straps for Trash Bags
If you want to keep your feet and lower legs dry while traveling through wet, marshy, or snowy areas, wrap garbage bags around your legs and secure them with floss.
14. Make a Snare
Learn how to make traps and snares that will catch small game for you to eat. The floss is sturdy enough to hold on to most small to medium-size critters you may snare.
15. Make a Spear
Use the dental floss to tightly wrap your knife to a branch so you can fashion a spear for hunting or self-defense.
16. Make a bow
If you braid together several strands of floss it could work as a replacement string for your bow.
17. Make a Fishing Pole
If you don’t have a fishing pole, you can make a quick one out of floss and a branch. Just fashion a hook and tie it to the end of the line, and you’ll be ready to go fishing.
18. Make a Fishing Net
This is much more complicated, but if you know how, you can use dental floss to do it. Here are some illustrated instructions.
19. Hang Up Your Food
It’s important to keep food out of reach of pests, raccoons and bears. The floss can be tied around a bag and then tied around a tree branch. Suspending your food off the ground will keep it from getting wet from dew on the ground as well.
20. Cut Food
If you don’t have a knife, you can wrap dental floss around a hunk of meat or even a large piece of fruit and pull it tight. The floss is fine enough that it can cut through meat and other food, making it easier for you to divvy up.
21. As Tinder
Since waxed dental floss burns easily, you can use it to get a fire going. A better method is to use it to tie bundles of kindling together.
22. Start a Fire
If you need to make a bow drill to start a fire, you could use floss as your cordage to spin the stick back and forth.
23. Fix Your Glasses
Run a piece of floss through the area where the screw should have been or use the floss to lash together a broken nose piece. You can also tie floss around the ear pieces to carry around your neck so you don’t lose them.
24. As Stitches
If you get cut and need to close the wound, dental floss can be used to sew your skin back together.
25. Support Climbing Plants
If you have plants such as peas, tomatoes, or anything that climbs, you can use floss to tie the vines to supports. Just don’t tie them too tight.
26. Tie Down a Trunk
If you have too many supplies in your car’s trunk for it to close, try tying it down with dental floss. A dozen loops will do the job.
27. As it was intended!
Sure, this one is pretty obvious, but keeping your teeth in good shape is going to be tough when there are no dentists. Take care of them now so you don’t have a dental emergency after the SHTF. Flossing is probably the most important thing you can do for your teeth.
Also, check out 20 Survival Uses for Chap Stick and 25 Survival Uses for Q-Tips / Cotton Swabs.