One of the things that’s curious about preparedness is that, the smaller the survival item, the more uses it seems to have. Bandanas, socks, paper clips, toothpicks and, of course, floss. And I’m going to prove it to you by showing you all the different ways in which this small and dirt-cheap item can save your life in an emergency or during the long hard months or years of its aftermath.
#1. For keeping your teeth clean (obviously)
Is this really a survival use? You bet. In a world with no doctors and dentists, cavities are the last thing you want. In Venezuela, after the economic crisis destroyed the country in 2016, the Government started restricting the use of medical equipment. They did it to save energy and, one other thing they did was they started importing sub-par medicine from China because they were cheaper.
Needless to say, going to the dentist in a post-collapse world is more of a fantasy, since not even the rich can afford basic necessities like food and toilet paper.
So what does this have to do with floss? Well, floss can reach places a toothbrush just won’t. That’s where many cavities are born and flossing is a surefire way to avoid them. I can vouch for it as the number of cavities were dramatically reduced since I started doing it.
#2. As shoe lace replacement
In a world where basic supplies will be hard to get, what can we say about ones that are less critical, such as shoe laces? They’ll be nowhere to be found. Now, packing shoe laces in your bug out bag may be overkill because the point is to keep it light… If you have floss, you can use that to tie your shoes. It’s pretty sturdy so it’ll work even with hiking boots.
#3. As a knife, to cut things
Floss is thin and strong, meaning you can use it to cut certain things, such as foods. Just wrap it around the item and move it back and forth, like you would a hand-crank chainsaw. This won’t work with any item, of course, you have to use your judgement when you try this.
Why would you want to do that? Maybe you found an intruder inside your home and managed to immobilize him. Maybe someone attacked your camp site at night and need to make sure he doesn’t follow you.
#5. To cause someone to trip
Set it up around your camp site to stop attackers in their tracks, as they approach. It won’t kill them but it will give you a heads up that they’re coming. If they’re smart, they’ll realize you are not to be messed with and go back.
#6. As a clothesline
You can also use Paracord for this. Whether you’re bugging out or just camping for longer periods of time, you need to wash your clothes and, of course, hang them out to dry. Since floss is pretty strong, it’ll work fine for this purpose.
#7. As fishing line
Not the best way to fish but, when you’re hungry and you don’t have a choice…
#8. To make a snare trap
If you’re looking to bug out indefinitely into the bush and already have your INCH bag ready, know that you can use floss to make a snare to catch small game.
More importantly, you have to know how to actually use it. Not something you want to postpone learning until you have no choice. It’s very likely you’ll get it wrong the first few times. Definitely not something you want to begin practicing when you’re really hungry.
#9. To keep your food at bay from bears and other animals…
…by suspending the bags with floss from tree branches. Easy.
#10. To pull someone up
If you and your family are forced to jump a fence or climb a tree and one of your members isn’t strong enough to pull themselves up, you can use floss to help them. Careful how you do it, though, because floss is very thin and can easily restrict blood flow to the body part that’s being tied. A better way is to tie it to one of the pants’ belt loops.
Of course, there are better things to use to help someone up, such as Paracord or a belt.
#11. To tie various things up
The sky’s the limit. You can, for instance, tie your survival knife to a pole to make a spear to use for hunting small game and fish. It’s preferable that you don’t do this with your main bushcraft knife, though. Try to protect the blade as much as possible from abuse, even though that’s what it’s fore. It’s always good to have a cheaper back-up knife, like the Mora Companion.
Other things you may want to tie with floss:
- trash bags (to avoid predators and critters getting into your garbage)
- trash bags again, only this time you’ll be using them as socks to keep your feet dry
- the branches that you should bring to your camp site to make fire
- a bunch of clothes that you need to carry with you but don’t have a container to put them in
- …and many more things.
Where should you keep floss?
Anywhere! But, to be more specific, keep it:
- in your bug out bag
- in your safe room
- at your bug out location
- in your car’s trunk
- in an underground cache
- in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets
- in your get home bag
- inside the attic
Unlike food and water, floss can be stored anywhere regardless of temperature.
I hope you now understand just how useful this little survival item is. And the best part is, you can get it for pennies on the dollar today. Don’t wait until the big one hits. Many Venezuelans did that and now they’re eating dogs and cats and buying TP on the black market.
Stock up now while these items are still cheap and don’t worry about spending… floss is something you’ll be using to keep your teeth clean, anyway, so no money is wasted.