Emergency uses for cable ties

Emergency uses for cable ties

Survivalism is a social movement consisting of people who actively prepare for catastrophes and disasters.

Survivalists or ‘preppers’ often extol the virtues of the cable tie, (or zip tie if you are American) so we thought we would take an occasionally tongue-in-cheek look at some of the ways the cable tie could come in very handy in an emergency.

Making repairs to your survival kit

In all great survival scenarios, there always features a bag or a tent! But what do you do if either gets damaged? Use cable ties to repair holes! Broken straps can also be spliced back together with a cable tie or two.

Immobilise a broken bone (yes really!)

Anyone can suffer a broken bone and not just in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, so it pays to know how to treat a break or at least stabilise one until you can get medical treatment for the patient. Wrap a tee-shirt or something similar around the limb and secure on either side with a couple of straight sticks. Then simply secure everything in place with a cable tie.

*Note: a cable tie should NEVER be used as a tourniquet – medical professionals say they are too thin and are unable to stop all blood sufficiently. A tourniquet should be soft and a cable tie will cut into the skin.

Save space in your BOB

All serious preppers have a bug out bag or BOB prepped and ready to go. A BOB is a rucksack or portable backpack that holds enough essential items to survive the first 3 days post evacuation. It goes without saying that your BOB should include a supply of nylon 6/6 cable ties in an assortment of sizes and colour but they can also be used to secure items of clothing tightly to take up less space inside the bag.

Carry extra gear or equipment on the outside of your BOB

No room inside your BOB for essential equipment? Secure it with cable ties to a carabiner on the outside of the bag. No spare hands to carry a sleeping bag or sleeping mat? Roll it up as tight as possible, secure with a cable tie and attach to the outside of your bag.

Build a shelter

Shelter building is an essential skill in any post-catastrophe world. Not only can cable ties be used to lash tarpaulins together to throw over a basic tepee frame, but the frame itself can be made from poles secured with cable ties. Once your shelter is complete, you can use cable ties to anchor it to a nearby tree.

Mark trails

Coloured cable ties can be used around low branches or rocks to mark out a trail, allowing you to find your way back to a given starting point. If emergency services are trying to locate you, coloured cable ties will also signal to them that they are heading in the right direction. This is a practical tip for anyone enjoying a hiking trip, catastrophe or not!

Snow traction

If the catastrophe happens to occur in winter, cable ties can be incredibly useful for creating extra traction, working similarly to snow chains. Wrap round shoes, with the join to the bottom of the sole, or around bicycle and car tyres. This is actually a valid tip even if we’re not facing cataclysmic global disaster!

So, whether you are a prepper, a lover of the great outdoors or just very practical, there is a use for cable ties beyond bundling wires and cables. If you aren’t sure which cable tie meets your needs, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.