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    30 Survival Uses for Ranger Bands

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    30 Survival Uses for Ranger Bands
    Image via GQ Prepper

    Like paracord and duct tape, ranger bands are one of those versatile items you'll want to include with your survival kits and supplies. Ranger bands are named for their use by U.S. Army Rangers to tie down their gear so it didn't move or make noise while they moved. Essentially, they are larger, stronger versions of the ordinary rubber band.

    You can buy “real” ranger bands from many online outletsbig box stores, army surplus stores, or you can make your own. You can cut them to any length and width that you want from a bicycle inner tube. New standard bike inner tubes sell for less than $5, and some bike shops even give away blown inner tubes upon request.

    One bicycle inner tube can provide around 10 to 20 bands. All you need is the inner tube and a sharp pair of scissors. Here's a video that shows how to make and use ranger bands. And here's another one.

    Now that you know how to purchase or make them, here are 30 survival uses for ranger bands.

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    1. Firestarter

    You can burn ranger bands to start an emergency fire in the wilderness. They work well even on wet wood. Ranger bands will burn intensely for around 30 seconds to three minutes, depending on their size. So, you can get a fire going by bundling together your kindling with a ranger band. (Avoid breathing in the fumes of the burning rubber.)

    2. Ax Grip

    Wrap one or more ranger bands around the handle of your ax to add a secure grip.

    3. Backpack Strap Ties

    Secure dangling backpack strap ends by rolling up the excess material and wrapping them neatly with a ranger band.

    4. Secure Box Lids

    Do you carry small survival items in an Altoids tin? You can make sure the handy tin box stays closed in your backpack by wrapping it with a ranger band.

    5. Fixed Blade Grip

    Add a custom-made grip to the handle of your knife with a ranger band.

    6. Protect Breakable Gear

    You can help keep sensitive equipment, like your compass or signal mirror, safe by wrapping it with a wide ranger band.

    7. Slingshot

    You can use ranger bands as a makeshift slingshot to hunt small game.

    8. Tourniquet

    In an emergency situation, you can use a ranger band as a potentially life-saving tourniquet.

    9. Strap Gear Together

    You can use ranger bands to attach your gear, such as flashlights and water bottles, to your backpack or to keep unused straps attached to the right device.

    10. Bundler

    Ranger bands are useful for bundling together loose items such as tent stakes, cords, electronic chargers, batteries, or camp utensils.

    11. Outer Seal Gasket

    Wrap ranger bands around lids and bottle tops to ensure a tight fit.

    12. Temporary Repairs

    Ranger bands come in handy for on-the-go repairs, holding together items that break, fray, or rip in a survival situation.

    13. Lighter Protection

    By wrapping a ranger band around your lighter, you can keep it dry and slow down the evaporation of lighter fluid.

    14. Splint

    You can use ranger bands to secure a makeshift splint to a broken or sprained finger. Very large bands can be used for splints for injured arms and legs.

    15. Hose Patch

    Ranger bands are waterproof. You can wrap one around a hose and it with a hose-clamp for a temporary patch.

    16. Knife Attachments

    If your sheath does not have a slot for your Ferro rod, you can use a ranger band to secure them both together.

    17. Screwdriver Add-on

    Try wrapping a ranger band over the tip of a screwdriver to help loosen or tighten a stripped screw.

    18. Noise Prevention

    Wrapping items in ranger bands prevents them from rattling around your backpack.

    19. Knife Closure

    You can keep your pocketknife from opening in your backpack or pocket by securing it with a ranger band.

    20. Rough Edge Cover

    Use a ranger band to cover up sharp or frayed edges on gear to protect you and your clothing.

    21. Flashlight Mount

    You can attach a flashlight (Maglite) to a tool or a weapon with a ranger band. Here are instructions on how to do just that from The Complete Ranger Digest.

    22. Wallet

    You can easily secure some folded cash, a credit or debit card, and your driver's license together with a ranger band.

    23. Cell Phone Placement

    You can prevent your cell phone from sliding around your dashboard by circling it with a ranger band.

    24. Insulation

    Ranger bands are heat- and cold-resistant. You can use them as a mini pot holder in a pinch.

    25. Belt Attachment

    This site shows how you can attach a pocketknife to your belt with the help of ranger bands.

    26. Fishing

    You could use ranger bands to attach a lure or bait to your fishing rod or even as a makeshift fishing pole in a survival situation. This zany video may give you some ideas.

    27. Sling Transport and Storage

    You can fold and secure your gun sling for easy transport and storage with a ranger band. This video shows you how.

    28. Clothing Holder

    You can keep jackets and other clothing tightly rolled by wrapping the roll with a ranger band before placing it in your backpack.

    29. Secure Foliage

    Use ranger bands to attach branches or other greenery to your hat or clothing when you want to camouflage.

    30. Tarp Holder

    Use ranger bands to secure your waterproof gear (tarps, groundcover, ponchos, etc.) to your backpack and to keep them tightly rolled to take up as little room as possible.

    After you get started using ranger bands, you will likely come up with many more uses for this versatile item. Keep in mind that all rubber products, even heavy-duty ones, can lose their strength and become brittle with age. It's a good idea to check your ranger bands occasionally and replace them as needed.

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