9 Preparedness Uses for Rubber Bands You May Not Have Thought Of
Rubber bands were invented in 1845, and most of them are actually made of rubber due to its superior elasticity. They can be used for everything from holding hair in place to keeping a stack of papers rolled up (such as a newspaper used to be). There are other uses for these guys, though, and I’m going to fill you in on some of the ones you may not have thought of.
9 Important Uses for Rubber Bands You May Not Have Thought Of
1. Magazine Pouches
A lot of people use the “rigid” or kydex magazine holsters for their pistols. I don’t prefer them personally, simply because things become “messy” when you assume the prone position. The ones with a flap help to protect the mag from detritus and from flying away when you don’t need them to. Blackhawk makes some good ones. They have a snap fastener and velcro. Sometimes even this is not enough. Want to ensure they stay closed until you need them? Put a good sturdy rubber band over the flap and just below the snap fastener. It’ll pull right out of the way or break if you need to access it. This will keep that flap from opening up of its own accord.
2. As an “Elastic Retention Strap.”
This is a term of the U.S. Army (specifically Airborne units), and it applies. When you have a long strap on your rucksack, gear, etc., that hangs off…it is a danger to you…to become “snagged” on anything…a tree, barbed wire, etc. S-fold, roll up, or accordion fold those long straps and then secure them with a rubber band…the retention strap. Don’t cut your strap! You never know when you may need to use that strap for another purpose. Do it on all of your gear.
3. To Keep Bags Closed
This can be anything from a wet-weather bag to a simple Ziploc bag with your gear. Especially the latter. The grooves at the top are designed to wear out, and then you need to keep the water out. The rubber band will enable it.
4. For Field-Expedient Grips
This can be applied to flashlights, tools, or anything you may need to use that may slip from your hand during times of wet weather. Just take a good-sized one and loop it over itself several times on the handle of that small mag light, or that tool to help prevent the slippage.
5. Chain Them
For larger or longer things to secure. Loop one end into another, and pull the “tail of the second one in between the two, and you’ve just created a two-loop link. You can repeat this. Then if you really want to strengthen it, you can make a “field-expedient” bungee cord by taking a length and then plaiting it with two other lengths to braid it…then tie it off or band it off on the ends.
6. Securing Covers for Optics
Best way to remove the glare from the forward objective end of your scope is to place a nylon stocking over it (taut, of course). Secure it in place with a rubber band. You can do this for binos, monocular scopes, and so forth.
7. Keep Those Poles and Pegs Together
Yes, anything with friction poles or multiple elongated pieces, you can secure together with the rubber band for storage or transport.
8. To Secure a Dressing
Yeah, in a torrential downpour that tape may start to come off of that bandage. You can use a rubber band(s) to reinforce that dressing if need be…taking care not to cut off circulation or tissue perfusion.
9. Field-Expedient Slingshot
No, not the “one rubber band and a coathanger” model you bought 50 years ago at the five and dime. Open up the rubber bands, the sturdier the better…and plait lengths of them together to both strengthen and lengthen them…and attach these endpoints to your “Y” of the slingshot that you fashion.
So, we have covered a few uses here. Let’s hear some of your suggestions and comments for some ideas as well. As with anything that has the potential for many different uses, you’ll want to stock up on them and store them in a place where heat and moisture will not overcome them. Look forward to hearing from you. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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