Your bug out bag should contain all the necessary items to make survival possible. As a general rule, you should also have a change of clothes to withstand the changing weather. Carrying one or two pairs of socks can prove quite useful and there are multiple ways you can use your socks during an emergency.
Emergency preparedness requires a lot of work and improvisation to make survival possible. If you have the right mindset, you can find alternative uses for every item you’re carrying with you.
I often recommend packing items that have multiple uses and learn how to repurpose the ones you have. This is a good practice that helps train your mind to think out of the ordinary. You cannot gain survival knowledge without experimenting out in the real world. Just buying and hoarding stuff will do you no good if you can’t maximize the uses of every single item you stored.
There are ways you can use your socks during an emergency situation. You can do so regardless if you get lost in the wild or if you want to escape the concrete jungle. How you use your socks during an emergency situation is all up to your imagination. Here are just a few of my examples, to show you that everything is possible if you put your mind into it.
How to use your socks during an emergency:
Warm your hands
In a cold environment, you can wear an extra pair of socks like mittens. It will help you prevent frostbites and restore critical dexterity to handle life-saving tools. If your gloves get wet or if you lose them, you can use your socks as a last resort. Making a fire with cold and wet hands is not easy. Your numb fingers need to get warm in order to properly use a fire starting tool.
There are many ways you can get water if you know how to use your socks during an emergency. You could fill a sock with mud or wet clay and then wring out every drop of moisture into a cup. You can use your socks to sop up dew or water from inaccessible places such as tree trunks or rock cracks. And speaking of water, you can even improvise a water filter from a sock to remove sediments.
Suggested article: Ready To Drink Natural Water Sources
Improvise a dead-man anchor
I’ve seen this trick during one of my hiking trips in Norway. One of the guys accompanying us had a hard time securing his shelter due to strong winds. He filled a sock with snow, tied his guyline to it and buried it about a foot deep. He then packed snow on top to create an anchor. As a bonus tip, he told us this technique works well with sand and dirt too.
Dress a wound
If you plan to use your socks during an emergency as a healing aid, I recommend doing so with a clean pair. A clean sock can be used to control severe bleeding and for pretty much everything you can think of that might need a clean bandage. Even more you can use your socks to make-do splinting.
A lot of hikers don’t plan for the weather and they don’t bring spare gear. They assume that a universal pair of boots is all they need, since the sun is up. Hiking through difficult terrain without proper gear is dangerous in my opinion. To prevent slipping on slick ice or wet rocks, pull a sock over the toe of your boot. The sock fibers adhere to the slippery surface and improve traction. I recommend doing so with wool socks since they are stickier than nylon or polyester materials.
Improvise a carrying bag
You may have to use your socks during an emergency situation to transport things. It may seem like a poor substitute for a backpack, but it will work. You can use your socks to carry foods you manage to forage or other essentials. Tie the sock to your belt and you won’t have to worry about carrying the entire bag. This is a good solution when you have to explore the campsite area and you don’t have a spare backpack.
Make a weapon
Stuff a sock with stones to create a rough outline and improvise a swinging club. This can be used for hunting or self-defense purposes. You can try clubbing small game if you don’t have any other hunting option. When I visited London in 2008 on a business trip I saw a bar fight that left me speechless. A guy filled his sock with a snooker ball and started hitting three guys that were harassing him. He did some serious damage before the bodyguards could stop him. As you can see, you can sue your socks during an emergency to defend yourself.
You can use your socks during an emergency as improvised cordage. You can do pretty much everything using your socks as long as you know how to tie the right knot for the job. If the length of your cordage is too short, you can cut the socks and tie them together to make a bigger rope.
Suggested reading: Making Cordage in the Wilderness
If you have to forage for food in the wilderness, you can add these wild nuts to your diet. They are a good source of calories in a survival situation, but there is an issue you have to deal with. Acorns contain tannic acid and it tastes terrible. Not to mention that it will make you sick to your stomach. To deal with this problem, fill your socks with crushed acorn nuts (remove the shells), tie it off and secure it in a creek. The flowing water will remove the acid in two or three days. If you have a fire source and a pot, you can speed the process by boiling the nuts in hot water.
Improvise a signaling flag
You can use your socks during an emergency situation to signal for help. Getting lost in the wilderness is a traumatic experience and people should know how to help rescue teams reach them faster. If you have a bright colored pair of socks you can tie each sock up in a tree to signal rescue parties. Even more, you can cut pieces from your socks and attach them to branches to leave a marked trail. This will help you get back to your campsite without getting lost, but it will also help others pinpoint your location and limit the searching area.
There are many other ways to use your socks during an emergency. You could use fibers from your socks as tinder. You can even improvise snares for small games using nylon socks. There is no limit to what you can do with this common item if you have the proper imagination and your situation forces you to be resourceful. If you have any other suggestions on how to use your socks during an emergency, let us know using the comment section.
Other Useful Resources:
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
The LOST WAYS (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
US Water Revolution (A DIY Project to Generate Clean Water Anywhere)
Bullet Proof Home (Learn how to Safeguard your Home)