“This article was first published at reThinkSurvival.com.
A neat thread started yesterday at SurvivalistBoards on the most flexible preps. A “flexible prep” is simply something that can be used for a variety of different applications beyond their intended use. This reminds me of watching shows like Survivorman or Dual Survival where the guys tell me 10 different ways they can use willow bark.
Anyway, here’s a summary of their suggestions from the thread as well as their intended alternative usage if provided. In addition, my suggestions or comments are included in square brackets. Last, I can’t say how effective their alternative uses would be in all circumstances but it’s nice to know what might be possible if you had to:
- triangular bandage – pressure dressing, sling, bandanna, neck/mouth/nose covering, wash cloth, towel
- poncho liner (aka. “wubbie”) – waterproof blanket, makeshift sleeping bag, etc
- zip ties – assorted gear repairs
- hair elastic – [not sure about this one myself]
- vaseline – firestarter, chapped lips, dry skin, baby bottoms
- duct tape – [if it can’t be fixed with duct tape then it probably can’t be fixed ]
- bungee cords – [yet one more way to secure gear and tarps]
- d-rings – [easily attach gear to backpacks]
- paracord – [remember that the inner thread can be used for a variety of purposes including fishing line]
- leatherman multi-tool – [as the commenter said, yes, this might be “cheating” but I wouldn’t be without one]
- nylon flat webbing – rock climbing, securing gear, tent repairs, rifle sling, sling-style chair
- lineman’s pliers – cutting cables, chain-link fence, barbed wire, makeshift hammer
- vice grips – [I wouldn’t be without a good set of vice grips in my toolbox]
- aluminum foil – cleaning, cooking, storing, reflecting heat and light
- tarp – shelter, sleeping on, wrap for transport, concealment
- canned food – [I can only really think of ONE use for this]
- education and training – think outside the box
- money – still the most multi-functional supply out there
- wife – she does put up with a lot!
- cheap emergency poncho – transpiration bag, impromptu blanket (when stuffed with leaf litter), makeshift shelter
- signal mirror – shaving, looking around corners
- dental floss – sewing gear repairs
- everclear (pure grain alcohol) – stove fuel, cleaning wounds
- entrenching tool – digging, cutting tree branches, improvised hammer, makeshift weapon
- fishing line – sewing, tying, wrapping, hanging, trapping, trip wire
While I’m thinking about them, I would add other supplies like honey, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar as well. The often-touted tampon is a good choice too. Any other thoughts or uses?