Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The U.S. Postal Service uses them to sort and group mail. Food distributors use them to secure vegetables, like asparagus and leeks, for retail sale. And publishers use them to hold folded newspapers and catalogs.
You probably have a ball or a bag of them in a kitchen junk drawer, but you might be surprised at all the uses for rubber bands, especially for preppers and homesteaders. Here are 30 survival uses for rubber bands.
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You can improve the grip of a hand tool by wrapping a few rubber bands around the handle. You also can wrap them around slippery bottles to make them easier to hold.
2. Accessory strap
Need a little extra light? You can attach a flashlight to your arm while you work on a project with some rubber bands.
3. Cord Wrapper
Keep everything from extension cords and phone chargers to Christmas lights from getting tangled or in your way by securing them with rubber bands. You can use different colored bands to help identify the cords.
4. Card and Book Holder
You can use rubber bands to keep index cards, playing cards, and book pages together.
5. Dispenser Helper
Do your soap and lotion dispensers put out too much liquid each time you use them? Try winding a rubber band around the dispenser stem to take care of the problem.
6. Battery Labeler
Use rubber bands as an easy way to know the difference between your charged and uncharged batteries.
7. Pencil Holder
Use a rubber band to organize your pens and pencils.
8. Hold Paracord
A rubber band will prevent your paracord roll from unraveling in your backpack.
9. Eyeglass Strap
You can use a large rubber band to secure your eyeglasses or sunglasses around your head or around your neck if you take them on and off.
10. Cup Label
A rubber band can serve as a label showing whose coffee cup or water bottle is whose.
11. Screw Removal
Got a stripped screw? Try placing a rubber band over the screw. Then, insert the point of your screwdriver and slowly turn to remove it.
12. Jar Opener
Wrap a rubber band or two around a stuck lid to give you extra traction and opening power.
13. Ponytail Holder
You can use rubber bands as make-do hair fasteners. Just be ready to find out why the store-bought kinds have material covering them. Ouch!
14. Gear Holder
Attach your multi-tool or flashlight to your bug-out bag or backpack with rubber bands.
15. Container Closure
Keep small containers – like Altoid tins – closed in your bag or backpack by securing the lids with a rubber band.
16. Makeshift Eraser
In a pinch, you can use a rubber band as an eraser. Just wrap one around the end of your pencil.
17. Clothing Holder
A rubber band can help keep your pant leg or your shirt sleeve closed and tight to your body to keep out insects.
18. Fire Starters
Rubber bands are flammable, so they can come in handy as emergency fire starters.
19. Broom Repair
You can extend the life of a broom by wrapping the frayed bristles together with a rubber band.
20. Emergency Tourniquet
Rubber bands can be wrapped around a leg or an arm when you need a makeshift tourniquet.
21. Liquid Level Marker
Sometimes it’s hard to see how much oil or paint is left in a can after you put on the lid. Wrap a rubber band around the outside of the container to show the remaining level.
You can use a slingshot for hunting small game and as self-defense in a survival scenario. You can use a rubber band to make this small weapon. Learn how in this article.
23. Electronic Device Cushion
Wrapping a few rubber bands around a TV remote or a cellphone can prevent it from scratching your table or from sliding off a slippery counter.
24. Money Clip
You may need extra cash during an emergency. Keep your bills folded and secure with a rubber band.
25. Page Turner
Wrapping a rubber band around your fingertip can help you turn the pages of a new book. (Be sure the band is not too tight, or it could cut off your circulation.)
26. Spoon Holder
You can prevent mixing spoons from sliding into the bowl by wrapping a rubber band around the handles.
27. Doorknob Blocker
Do you need a door to stay open? Wrap one end of a rubber band around a doorknob and the other around the opposite doorknob. When you have a tight connection, you’ll be able to prevent the door from shutting tightly. (This hack comes in handy when you have little ones.)
28. Teabag Stop
Everyone knows that a cup of tea can be soothing. But it’s not so great when the tea bag string slips into your mug. Use a rubber band around the top of your teacup or mug to secure the tag while you pour in the hot water and then sip your tea.
29. Apple Slice Holder
Here’s a way to keep a sliced apple from turning brown. After slicing an apple, replace the slices around the core and then use a rubber band to hold them in place. It works!
30. Cutting Board Slip Prevention
Wrapping rubber bands around your cutting board will keep it from sliding while you do your kitchen prep.
Natural rubber comes from the latex found in the bark layers of the rubber tree. Historians believe that the Ancient Mayans and Aztecs used rubber for many purposes thousands of years ago. For example, the Mayans probably used rubber to make tools, shoes, medicines, and even balls for their ball games.
However, it wasn’t until 1845 that the modern rubber band was invented. That year, British industrialist Stephen Perry secured the patent for the production of elastic bands made from vulcanized natural rubber. Today, about 75 percent of the rubber in production is a synthetic product made from crude oil.
However, most rubber bands are made from natural rubber because of its elasticity. Now that you know some of the many uses of rubber bands, you’ll find you’ll want to recycle and keep the ones you already have.
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Julie B says
I have for weeks now been sharing these ideas to my emails. I then read over, write everything in a note book and a shopping list. I have different note books for different subjects like say one for hoe prepping, one for backpack bug out bag one for survival tools and on and on. My hand is sore. Does anyone know if there are books thru this site one can buy? It would sure make my life easier and better to carry a book into the store then 10 pages of shopping list. That way I could shop for each book wrong off as I get the things needed. If anyone has ideas feel free to e-mail me. Thank you love this site and the YouTube videos great stuff. One can never be over prepared right
Jackson Wells says
You forgot one that may not be appropriate here, castrations. Tightly wound around the base of the scrotum will deprive the testicles of blood. They will fall off in a week.
Ok guys breathe, I’m talking about farm animals.
Brian Short says
Nice twist at the end there! I use rubber bands a lot. I always have a few with me. If you take a ‘doggy bag’ home after a restaurant meal, rubber bands can keep the containers from leaking.
Dave Smith says
Not exactly a perfect use for rubber bands but I’ve used them to tension tripwires a few times when springs weren’t available or suitable.
Linda Hall says
I knew a man who wrapped a large rubber band around his wallet. That way a pick pocket couldn’t remove it without him feeling it. How cool!
Rick Palmer says
Did you know my father inlaw? He did the same rubber band on the wallet fo the 36 years I knew him. He too, said that it was to stop pickpockets. But I always noticed that it also slowed down his response time when the check for dinner was presented. Those that went through the depression came out of it being very ” THRIFTY “.
how many times have you picked up a rubber band to use it to hold something only to find it rotten and snap with little pressure? it is the action of oxygen. the same thing as rust. the answer is using the small hand warmers. they use up the oxygen. sealed inside a jar and one of the warmers activated will remove the oxygen and extend the life many years. having smaller jars and divide the powder up will allow items for barter. items that you will have and others will now find worth more. it will be like a bank account. another thing is that when items are looked at by people that ransack will not see these as valuable. the value of items must be looked at for what they will be in the future the rubber band is only one of many things that may be stored and the life extended by removing the air. seeds is an item that would be most valuable. I use it to store wheat that will provide the basis of life when crisis event is upon us. what will you store?