How Zip Ties Can Be Used In A Survival Scenario

How Zip Ties Can Be Used In A Survival ScenarioZip ties help in times of emergencies and are a great addition to any survival kit. Anytime you go out camping or fishing or hiking up the mountains take your survival kit along. Choose ties made of plastic as they are very cheap. These tiny tools will occupy a very small space in your kit but will come in very handy if need be.

Black ties are better than the colored ones, but it is a good idea to take some colored ties along as well.

Here are some very good reasons to include large and small plastic ties in your kit:

  1. Use for Space Saving:

When you tie up clothes and towels in rolls they will occupy less space. You can have more items in your back pack if you compress the clothes well enough.

  1. Bunch Items Together:

Use the ties to put together things like pens, pencils, and utensils. During a disaster, it will be easy for you to find what you are looking for without waste of time.

  1. Attach Gear to Backpack:

If you want to attach a flashlight or keys or survival knives to your bag, a zip tie will come in handy. Attach the tie to the holster so it will hang out and you will not need to dig in the bag when panic strikes.

  1. Use for Restraining People:

If you need to restrain someone simply tie their hands and feet with zip ties. They will not be able to escape. They work like plastic cuffs.

  1. Repair Bag Handles:

When you are about to get out the door to take a flight and the handle breaks you have no time to pack your clothes in another bag. Simply tie a zip tie to your bag to save the day.

  1. Use as Shoe Laces:

If you are hiking in the mountainside and your laces break, a small zip tie will work like a lifesaver. You can protect your feet from bruises and blisters. Secure the shoes in their stead and continue with the journey with confidence.

  1. Tie on Snow Boots for Improved Traction:

Sleet and snow can be dangerous to walk on and it is easy to slip if the shoes do not have ample traction. Tie a few zip ties around the boots to prevent a slip and fall situation.

  1. Tie up Trousers:

When you are out in the marshes and swamps you need to keep your clothes dry. Tie your pants up using zip ties so the clothes do not get soaked. You can also tie leather or polyester gaiters to your trousers at the ankles using sturdy zip ties. This will also prevent entanglements with things in the immediate surroundings

  1. Use for Marking New Trials:

When you are out making new discoveries in the wilderness, it is easy to get lost. Use the colored zip ties to mark the trail so you can return back to the base camp easily.

  1. Use as Compression Straps:

You can use zip ties to tie your bedroll, sleeping bag or blanket so it gets compressed and takes up little space. It will also not unroll when tied down well.

  1. Zip Ties Secure Bags:

When traveling it is wise to tie up your bag zippers using zip ties so no one can open your bag if you leave it unattended. Most backpacks have loops and you can thread the tie through these loops and cinch it down tight.

  1. Use it to Secure Bandages in Place:

If you have a wound you can use a zip tie to keep the bandage in place. Use two ties, one at each end of the bandage.

  1. Ties up Fractures:

If you get a fracture on your arm or leg get wooden sticks or tubes and to tie it on the fracture site with zip ties. The stick or tube you tie up has to be straight and long and goes on both sides of the fracture.

  1. Use as Tourniquet:

When you get injured and the wound keeps bleeding a little pressure from the zip ties can help stop it. Get a large zip tie and tie it where the blood flow needs to be cut off from.

  1. Build your own Shelter:

Ties work better than ropes and you can tie up fabrics, canvas, or sheets together to create a shelter. Choose the sturdier ties in black color for the purpose.

Related reading: How To Make A Tarp Shelter – 15 Easy Designs with Pictures

  1. Hang Objects from Shelter Roof:

Even in windy conditions, the zip ties will not let you down. You can ties up items you want to hang from the roof with zip ties.

  1. Zip ties make great Snares:

If you want to make a snare forget rope, instead, use a zip tie to make a snare and tie it up to whatever you need to by using more zip ties.


Zip ties are versatile items that can be used in a survival situation. Their use is limited only by your imagination. These items can be found in every household and many people don’t realize that they can be used in an emergency situation. Since necessity is the mother of all invention, you can find ways to use zip-ties for multiple, every day purposes.

Article written by John West for Prepper’s Will.

Other Useful Resources:

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Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

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3 thoughts on “How Zip Ties Can Be Used In A Survival Scenario”

  1. I also use metal bread ties & plastic clips Different colors Great for marking trails. or if in a group, mark what’s yours. great for marking Luggage for quick retreaval. I used a bright yellow. worked great.

  2. There are some clever and novel ideas for the use of zip ties I hadn’t considered before now bit if I may offer a few bits of information myself.

    First, DO NOT buy the bags of Harbor Freight zip ties. They are wonderful for lots of projects but they are constructed of greatly inferior materials and are prone to failure with so little as a stern look. I kid but not too far off. They won’t even last one season in your garden to secure parts together to create a small fence. UV rays seem to eat them up!
    Second, I would STRONGLY discourage using zip ties as ANY kind of tourniquet for at LEAST 2 reasons. One is they are far too thin in cross section and will crush the skin and surrounding blood vessels when applied tight enough to actually staunch the flow of blood.
    Another is you can easily pinch the skin beneath the tie wrap where the locking portion is. This can cause major pain to the patient if not cause another place for blood to leak from.
    Yet another is they are darned near impossible to remove once applied as tight as they would need to be to stop bleeding. You’ll also play Hell getting a cutting tool between the skin and the tie to remove it when appropriate.
    Lastly (for now) IF your patient is a LONG way off from advanced medical care and unless medical advice has changed, a tourniquet (AKA a TQ) it is supposed to be loosened after approximately two (2) hours to allow “some” blood flow and to, hopefully, keep from having to completely write off whatever extremity the TQ is applied to.
    I reiterate that this is OLD information that just came to mind and I haven’t followed up on to determine if the case is still true. I HIGHLY recommend you check with a TRUSTED (!!) trauma care person before taking this as gospel.
    Back to how cheap the Harbor Freight zip ties are….
    While the idea of using them to secure important things to the outside of your pack is probably an easy idea, consider what will happen if you get to your destination only to find the ties have failed and your axe, flashlight or your zip up IFAK kit is now MIA!?!
    Anyway, I cannot stress enough the importance of NOT trusting the Harbor Freight line of zip ties are!
    I have and use them for a bunch of tasks but, Brother (or Sister) I REFUSE to use them on any task that is deemed IMPORTANT or CRUCIAL and NEVER for something involving life or limb.
    Lastly, I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from using zip ties for some of the things in this post, only DO NOT COUNT ON THE HARBOR FREIGHT BRAND FOR ANY REASON except to, maybe, tie a trash bag to a tree limb or such.
    That or as a TQ for a medical emergency except in the MOST DIRE of circumstances and ONLY if there is ABSOLUTELY no other possible option.
    Sorry if this reply has drone on but I felt it necessary to cover a few very important points about items that could, possibly, mean the difference between life and death and your survival or demise.
    Otherwise I found some interesting ideas in the article, so Thank You.

  3. Except for the suggestion of using zip ties as a tourniquet, I agree with your article.
    One thing I have found while engaged in tactical camping is that it’s better to use heavy duty zip ties because the diameter is thicker, thereby providing more strength. If the zip is too long, just cut off the excess portion with your wire cutters or multi-tool after you have secured the object. My backpacks and BOV survival box always contain and ample supply of these little jewels.


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