You’ve probably heard this one before – brush and floss before hitting the sack. I can wholeheartedly say that dental floss is the best thing to happen for yapper health right after ceramic implants. Have you ever stopped to wonder if the same stuff we use to floss our teeth can be used for other purposes?
Of course you did, and I have to admit that most of you can become very inventive when it comes to, let’s say, repurposing floss (you really should that news piece about that guy who ended up in his hospital after his SO tied him to the bed with dental floss for a wild sex game).
Anywho, floss is very handy to have around, especially when the shit hits the fan. It doesn’t take too much imagination that dental floss can be successfully employed as cordage when the need arises.
From crafting weapons to drying your clothes above the firepit, dental floss is a powerful ally, one that can help you get stuff done without too much effort. So, what are the survival uses of dental floss? Well, keep reading, and you will find out. Maybe I’ll even manage to surprise you.
Though I can’t say that I’m very comfortable around weapons, bladed or otherwise, in case of an SHTF situation, you can craft yourself a sturdy weapon which can be used for hunting, self-defense, and both. Easy enough to do it – take a long pole and tie your survival knife to one of the ends using as much dental floss as necessary. You can also use floss as a bowstring if you can find a piece of wood with the right curvature.
No fishing lines? No problem. Just cut a long piece of dental floss and tie the hook to the other end. If you don’t have anything on hand to act as a floater, you can always inflate a condom and attach it to the dental floss line. You can create your custom fishing box – just like a tinder box, but with fishing implements – using a small oval container (I fashioned mine from an old coconut shell coated with resin), a few hooks, dental floss, a floater, and some piece to act as a weight.
Tying your shoes
There’s nothing worse than a ripped hiking boot shoelace. But wait! It gets even better – no reason to cry over ripped shoes when you’ve got a spare, but that usually never happens. So, if you’re out and find yourself with nothing to tie your shoes, just grab a long piece of dental floss, cut it to size (use the other shoelace as a reference point) and carry on.
Drying your clothes
Anything can happen when you’re in a survival-type situation. I personally abhor anything that ends in me having to sit for any number of hours with soaking-wet clothes. Of course, you can always use the extras in your B.O.B, but that still leaves you with wet apparel.
The best and quickest way to dry them would be over a fire. Take two long sticks and insert them into the ground just about the firepit. Use your survival knife or another sharp implement to create grooves at each end of the stick. Cut a long piece of dental floss and connect the two sticks. Now that you have a clothesline, the only thing left would be to start your fire and hang your clothes out to dry.
Making a simple alarm
Whether you’re alone in the woods or have a small mountain refuge, you’ll need some sort of alarm system. Of course, when you’re still in contact with the rest of the world, you can always hit the local hardware store to purchase an alarm. However, when you’re out there, things take to change a little, in the sense that you will need to improvise.
To make a simple alarm for your overnight camp, plant a couple of sturdy sticks around your location and connect them using dental floss. Attach a couple of cans or empty container, and that’s about it. You may not be able to see what comes your way, but you’ll certainly be able to hear it long before it can set foot inside your tent.
Mend ripped clothing
I know that sewing is not on your top 10 favorite activities list, but any prepper should know how to repair his clothes, especially when there’s no one around to do it for him.
Sewing kits should be a part of your B.O.B. However, in case you’ve forgotten to throw in some needle and thread, you can always use a fishing hook and some dental floss to patch up your clothes. If your first-aid includes a suturing kit, you can also break open a pack and use the sterile thread to seal holes in your clothes.
Stitching up wounds
And because I already broached the subject of suturing, if you’re unfortunate enough to wind up with a big bleeder, you can always use dental floss to make stitches. As for the needle, grab a fishing hook from the kit, and throw it in the fire. You will also need something to hold the hook during the procedure – if your first-aid kit doesn’t come with a pair of straight scissors, you can always use your multitool’s plier.
After cleaning the wound with whatever you have on hand (I would recommend clean water and mouthwash), grab the needle by its midsection, run it through the first incision line, cross the gap, and piece the other edge of skin from beneath.
Pull the thread, grab the longer end, loop the thread four times around the pliers, open it a bit, grab the smaller end, and pull. Repeat the procedure until you close the wound. Congrats! You now know how to make simple interrupted sutures.
That’s it for my 7 cookie ways of using dental floss in an SHTF situation. Have something more to add to the list? Hit the comments section and let me know.