top of page

Dental Floss as a Survival Tool

How many times have you searched for a piece of string? The next time just grab the dental floss. Today let’s concentrate on uses away from home. There are many reasons to have dental floss in our survival gear.

1. Wind break: Dental floss is made of durable and strong material. Instead of using wire or string, use dental floss to hang Mylar blankets, or tree boughs to make a wind break.

2. Hang food. Use floss to hang food in a tree to keep it from animals who may be about.

3. String between two locations and use to support a light-weight fabric or other material to build a shelter. You may need to use more than one thickness, but it will work, and it will support quite a bit of weight.

4. Make a fishing pole. Food is always a concern if stranded in the wilderness or escaping a disaster area. Floss can be used with a hook (paper clip or safety pin), weight and branch to make a fishing pole.

5. Fishing net. Use a crisscross pattern to make a fishing net which can be used to trap fish or attached to branches and used to scoop fish out of the water.

6. Use several strands of floss and tie food high in a tree to keep out of reach of bears and other animals.

7. Mend. Mend holes in a fish net. Mend a hole in clothing or a backpack.

8. Tie small branches together to make a “scoop” to catch fish.

9. Adjust clothing. Use floss to downsize clothing. If you are with children, for example, and you may need to use adult size clothing or gloves to keep them warm and protected, you can simply sew a seam using dental floss to make the item a more kid friendly size, and thus easier to move around in and warmer because it is more snug to the body.

10. Sew rips in tent. Be sure to have needles in your kits with eyes the correct size to fit the floss.

11. Sew rips in backpacks.

12. Sew on a button.

13. Secure: Dental floss is perfect to use when you need to tie down or secure something. If you need to secure branches, for example, when making a shelter.

14. Fire starter. Wrap loosely around a twig and place under kindling to start the fire.

15. Secure newspapers or magazines you want to use as kindling until you can get some wood or bark to dry. Roll paper tightly and secure with dental floss. Now they will burn about the same amount of time as a medium sized branch.

16. Don’t unravel. When cutting a piece of rope keep ends from raveling by simply wrapping dental floss around the end several times. It will adhere to itself and works great.

17. Make a rope by braiding several strands. Use to lift or pull objects.

18. Shoelace. If you should break a shoelace floss works well to replace it.

19. Wind and snow break. Tie floss around the bottom of your pant leg at the ankle making the fabric snug. This will prevent wind and snow from going up the leg.

20. No more bugs. During summer months tie floss around the bottom of your pant leg at the ankle until snug. When walking through tall grass it will protect you against ticks and other insects.

21. Alarm. Tie several empty cans and hang on low branches or on floss strung between trees as an alarm to keep you aware of animals or people invading your space.

22. Clothesline. Even during a disaster, maybe especially during a disaster you will want clean clothes.

23. Make a spear by using floss to attach a knife to a branch.

24. Secure long hair.

25. Remove tight ring from finger. Wrap waxed dental floss from the tip of your finger until you reach the ring. Slide the ring over the waxed floss and slide ring off.

26. Tie on. Tie items you will need easy access to onto your belt loops or backpack.

27. Tie trunk down when it is overfilled such as when evacuating.

28. Tourniquets. Wrap cloth around appendage and place dental floss over fabric. Pull tight to stop the flow of blood. Do not remove. A doctor or emergency room should remove.

29. Snowshoes. Use floss to lash twigs.

30. Cut food. Wrap floss around food and pull.

31. Mark a path. String between trees and attach pieces of torn fabric. At night attach glow sticks for a safe path to the potty.

32. Hang lantern in the tent.

33. Repair glasses when the screw is lost.

34. Splint. Place broken finger next to good finger and wrap the two together securing with floss.

35. Splint number two. Place branch or other hard surface item on both sides or arm or leg. Secure with floss.

36. Support climbing plants and vines before a storm.

37. Slide between crevices in tools after a flood to remove dirt.

38. Separate photographs after a flood. Slide dental floss underneath the corner of a photograph that is stuck to another photograph or the page of an album and work through across the surfaces to separate them without damaging the photographs.

©Copyright 2021 Carolyn Nicolaysen,

All rights reserved. Duplication, redistribution or retransmission of this

work is strictly prohibited without express written consent of the author.

275 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page