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November 28, 2018 3 min read

If you were facing an emergency and only had a few minutes to pack, what would you include in your go-bag?

Matches? Blankets? Flashlights? Dental floss?

I know what you’re thinking: In a life or death situation, am Ireally going to concern myself with flossing?

Although oral hygiene might not top your priority list in an emergency, survival would. You’d be surprised how many ways you can use ordinary dental floss in extraordinary ways!

Read on to learn 17 important survival uses for dental floss.

  1. Make a Shelter

If you need protection from the elements, you can use dental floss to create a lean-to. Thread the floss through the corners of your emergency blanket or the holes in a piece of tarp.

  1. Rig an Alarm

Need a warning if something (or someone) is approaching? Tie a few aluminum cans together with floss and string them around the edge of your camp. You’ll hear intruders coming long before you’re in danger.

  1. String a Tripwire

If you don’t have cans or other noisemakers for an alarm, you could always string an old-fashioned tripwire around your camp. Tie long pieces of dental floss a few inches above the ground along the perimeter of your camp.

  1. Restrain Someone

It’s not a pleasant prospect, but you never know who (or what) you might meet in a survival situation. If you needed to restrain a dangerous person or animal, dental floss could literally save your life.

  1. Stitch a Wound

It wouldn’t be the prettiest sight, but you could stitch a wound with a needle and dental floss. The floss should be strong enough to hold the skin together until you reach an emergency room.

  1. Go Fish

You can create a makeshift “fishing pole” with a tree branch, dental floss, and a hook. You could also weave a crude fishing net with the floss or use it to repair an existing net.

  1. Replace Shoestrings

You won’t get very far if your shoes are falling off. If you break a shoelace on your sneakers or boots, dental floss can secure your shoes during your getaway.

  1. Hang Up Food

What if your escape route takes you into the wilderness? Protect yourself and your food supply by stringing it high above the ground with dental floss. This will deter hungry animals from roaming into your camp.

  1. Start a Fire

Waxed dental floss burns easily, so it’s ideal to use as a firestarter. Alternately, you could use the floss to bundle pieces of wood or kindling together.

  1. Make a Clothesline

Tie a long piece of dental floss between two trees and use it to dry your clothes. It won’t be strong enough to dry jeans or other heavy materials, but you can at least keep your socks dry.

  1. Secure Valuables

Are you traveling with a compass, a pocket knife, or another important tool? Secure it to your backpack with dental floss to ensure it doesn’t get lost!

  1. Cut Food

What if you lose (or forget to pack) a knife? Use dental floss as a makeshift knife to slice through a loaf of bread or a piece of meat.

  1. Repair Glasses

If you lose a screw in your eyeglasses, thread a piece of dental floss through the space to hold everything in place. You could also tie the floss around the earpieces so you can hang your glasses around your neck.

  1. Tie Down

Did you accidentally overload your car? If there’s no rope handy, you can tie down your trunk with sturdy dental floss. Loop it at least a dozen times to ensure it’s secure.

  1. Braided Rope

Dental floss may be thin, but it’s very strong. In a pinch, you could braid several strands together to create a makeshift rope.

  1. Hair Tie

The last thing you want in an emergency is the distraction of hair in your eyes. Use dental floss to keep your hair off your face. You could also use it to secure loose or baggy clothing.

  1. Clothing Repair

If you rip your shirt or lose a button, dental floss can be a substitute for thread. It may not be a permanent solution, but it should do the trick until you can make the proper repairs.