Most everyone knows that dental floss is an integral part of daily oral hygiene but how many of you knew that dental floss was also a key component to a survival kit? In fact, for the little that it weighs and the amount of space that it takes, dental floss could very well be one of the most valuable components in your survival tool kit!
- Sewing – It is hard to beat the durability of dental floss, especially when it comes to making emergency repairs to clothing and equipment. Unwaxed dental floss is typically the best option for sewing.
- Whip A Rope – This is the best way to keep a rope that is not nylon from unraveling. Check out this tutorial to see how to whip a rope.
- Replace A Shoelace – This is pretty straight forward but doubling or tripling the thickness of the floss will work best.
- Clothesline – Fall in the lake? No big deal, just tie up some floss between two trees and hang your clothes up to dry.
- Trip Wire – A nice tight length of dental floss is a great trip wire for an early warning device. Just make sure to rub some dirt on the floss to keep it from standing out like…well, a piece of white dental floss tied between two trees.
- Suspend Food In The Air – If you find yourself in the woods without a good place to store your food, place it all in a bag and then suspend it in the air from a tree with some floss.
- Fishing Line – It is estimated that dental floss is equivalent to about 20 lb test line which makes it great for almost all survival fishing.
- Fix Glasses – While not pretty, a piece of floss can be tied through the frame of your glasses to replace a missing screw.
- Start A Fire – Wax dental floss burns well! Wrap dental floss around a match to significantly increase the burn time.
- Make A Snare or Trap – Dental floss will not hold its form as well as wire but it can definitely be used to make a snare or trap in a survival scenario.
- Lashing Together A Shelter – An improvised shelter will need to be lashed together in most cases but if you don’t have any cord, use some floss!
- Tie A Knife To A Pole – Dental floss can be used to secure a knife to a stick or pole for use as a spear to hunt or fish with.
- Securing Gear – Don’t have room in your bag for a piece of gear? Tie it to the outside with some dental floss. It can also be used to make a dummy cord for an important piece of equipment.
- Make A Bow String – I don’t know that a single strand of dental floss would work well as a bow string but a braid of three strands would likely work well as a backup or improvised solution.
- Hand Cuffs – This one makes me cringe a little. (I think it could be a bit painful!) If the emergent need arises to detain an attacker or invader, floss can be used for handcuffs in a similar manner to handcuffing someone with paracord.
- Make A Fishing Net – This takes the knowledge of how to make your own fishing net but, dental floss will hold up well against the water and makes a strong net.
- Cutting Food – While not sharp, the small diameter of dental floss allows it to easily cut through some foods. In this case, think soft foods like cheese or bread dough.
- Make A Rope – Dental floss can be woven together to make a rope.
- First Aid – Floss can be used as a substitute for sutures as well as for tying off a severed artery or the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. (It is not a great substitute for a tourniquet because it can just cut into the skin instead of effectively stopping bleeding.)
- Hide Items In A Wall – Use dental floss to suspend items in the hollow space inside interior walls.
- Treasure Hunting – This was a surprise to me but there has been successful treasure hunts using dental floss as the key component of the treasure recovery system. Read a first hand account here.
Hopefully if you didn’t realize it already, you now know how valuable dental floss can be in a survival situation and some of the many reasons that it should be included in your kit.
What else do you use your dental floss for?