Zip ties, also known as cable ties, are those brightly colored bits of plastic that can be used to tie wires and cords together, hold certain parts onto your car in a pinch, or even keep some of your tools connected to your toolbox. They also have a lot of uses out in the wild. If you find yourself in need of a multi-use survival tool (and who doesn’t) nothing works better than a pack of black or white zip ties. Here’s why you need to toss some of them in with your camping or survival gear.
Use Them On The Trail
Zip ties become handy trail markers to keep you from getting lost while backtracking on your path. Just place one around a small branch not far from the path, in a place where you’ll see it easily. These useful plastic ties also can hold items onto your backpack, in case you’ve over packed. You can even use them to hold parts of your backpack together, should it break while you’re hiking. As long as you can use the zip tie to make a loop around something, then you have an easy (temporary) solution. On top of this, if you’re walking in icy, snowy terrain and are worried about losing your footing, just loop some zip ties over your boots. Two or three per foot should be enough to give you some additional traction.
They Are Handy Clothing Adjusters
Why would you need to use zip ties to adjust your clothing? Well, if you’re walking through swampy water, you’ll need to keep your pants dry. You can use zip ties to bind your trouser gaiters (or any handy fabric, if you don’t have trouser gaiters with you) to your ankles in order to stay as dry as possible. In addition, if you don’t have trouser gaiters, but want to change your clothing and keep your wet pants and socks off of the ground, nothing works better than a zip tie. Loop it through the straps of your bag and adhere it to a tree branch. They can even become makeshift shoelaces if necessary.
For First Aid Purposes
If you’ve left your first aid kit behind, or just haven’t stocked it properly, then you can always use zip ties as a quick fix. Since they tighten up very well, a zip tie can easily become a tourniquet. You may need to loop a few of them together to fit around a limb, but they’ll do the job in a pinch. No pun intended. Zip ties can also hold bandages and splints in place. They are a better solution than bleeding to death in the woods or being too wounded to walk, should you accidentally break a limb.
Zip ties are a good way to organize the items in your bag. If you have a number of small items and no pouch to keep them in, you can zip tie things together into a bundle. This prevents the bottom of your backpack from becoming an unsightly mess. You can even use these pieces of plastic to make bulky items smaller. Wrap them around blankets, sweatshirts, and other large fabric items in order to shrink them down a little. They won’t work as good as those vacuum bags, but they will be able to get you some additional space for other gear.
Zip Ties Are Extremely Useful
No matter what type of terrain you’re in, a zip tie can help. Hopefully, this article has convinced you to stock up on them. You should keep at least a pack or two of them nearby at all times.