cable ties (zip ties)

Zany Zip Tie Survival Uses
Prepping in peculiar ways with zip ties!

Prepping with cable ties
Preppers know duct tape, WD-40 and SuperGlue can fix just
about anything. Now they can add cable ties (also called zip
ties) to the
list of multi-use tools to stockpile.

Give McGyver a bag of zip ties, SuperGlue, duct tape and WD-40
and there'd be no limits. A zip tie is a simple device with so
many applications. Anytime a prepper needs to bind two or
more things together: zip ties provide the answer!

You'll want to stock several packs of zip ties for use in your
home, garage, office, and shop. It helps to have an assortment
of colors identify different groups of wires, cables, or hoses.

Surprising Uses of Cable Ties / Zip ties for Preppers

Zip Tie Prepper Use #1: Handcuff restraint.
Perhaps the most popular of unconventional uses of a zip tie is
as a restraint. Cable ties make an excellent improvised handcuff
restraint because they feature strong nylon construction with
self-locking teeth to eliminate loosening. It takes little room in
your pocket to stash a large cable tie, which is just another
reason it's a great item to have as a prepper. Law enforcement
uses cable ties when there are crowds and not enough metal
handcuffs; however, their cable ties are specially coated in
Teflon. To use a cable tie as a handcuff restraint: use two and
loop them together. This will minimize escape possibilities!

While a popular consideration is using cable ties as a restraint,
it is wise for preppers to learn how to escape from handcuffs.
Here is a quick demonstration:

Here is another unconventional way to escape from zip tie

Zip Tie Prepper Use #2: Make an anti-tamper deterrent for
your bugout bag.
Deter others from easily getting into your gear with cable ties.
It's easy to affix your bugout bag with cable tie locks as an anti-
tamper deterrent to prevent pick pocketing. The zippers of your
bag, which come together to close each have a hole: just loop
the cable tie through each hole and you will make it more
difficult for someone to snoop in your bag. Mind you that it is
only a deterrent as a makeshift lock. Anyone who wants to get
into your bag need only take a knife to the material.

Zip Tie Preppers Use #3: Affix gear to your bugout bag.
Ideal for "locking" bugout bags, you can also use cable ties to
affix gear to them. Sometimes you'll want to use carabiners
with your zip ties. In combination, you can secure an item to
the carabiner with a zip tie, and then affix the carabiner to the
molle of the bugout bag. This allows easy access for instant
retrieval. You see, sometimes a carabiner is too thick for gear
that has a clip or no clip at all. In such cases, you put a zip tie
on the clip and secure the gear to the caribiner. The caribiner
then latches onto your bag and makes for easy retrieval, but
would not otherwise work without the help of the zip tie.

Zip Tie Prepper Use #4: Strap gear to trees.
You can affix just about anything that has a grommet, handle
or a strap.
  • strap lighting in your campsite for pathways.
  • hang out clothes to dry
  • fling a bear-proof container to the trees
  • secure tarps for shelter

Zip Tie Prepper Use #5: Mark Trails.
While ideal for affixing gear to trees or to your bugout bag,
another excellent use of zip ties is for marking trails. During
your journey (as with hunting or foraging), tie colorful zip ties
on branches and foliage to mark your path so you will find
yourself safely back to camp or indicate to search parties that
you are in the vicinity. Obviously, you'll want to avoid this
peculiar use of cable ties if you are avoiding being seen. There
are other, less conspicuous
ways to mark trails using nature.

Zip Tie Prepper use #6: Compress gear.
Rolling clothing is a way to compress it for travel, but adding
zip ties will secure a hold and offer further compression. Cable
ties are also useful for compressing tarps and will make them
easier to grab and avoid having them unravel at inconvenient
times. Roll it and zip tie it.

Zip Tie Prepper Use #7: Improvise Gaiters.
A gaiter is a garment worn to cover or protect the ankle and
lower leg. A cable tie can cuff your pant leg to improvise a

  • Cuffing pant legs to avoid chiggers and ticks.  A large
    cable tie can cuff your pants, like a gaiter. If you're on a
    bugout in wild terrain, you'll want to cuff your pant legs to
    avoid skin exposure to grasses and foliage. A zip tie can
    keep chiggers and ticks from climbing up on to your skin.

  • Keep bicycle chains from interfering with your ride.
    Another good reason to cuff your pant legs is to keep your
    pants cuff away from the greasy teeth of your chain ring if
    you have no chain guards.

Zip Tie Prepper Use #8: Make your bicycle ride better.
While we mentioned that you can keep the bicycle chain from
interfering with your ride, cable ties have many other
unconventional uses

  • Strap gear to your bike with cable ties. Water bottles,
    bicycle repair equipment, you name it. You'll find a few
    cable ties will secure your gear and minimize the rattling.

Zip Tie Prepper Use #9: First Aid.
A zip tie can provide many practical uses in first aid; however, a
tourniquet is not one of them. A zip tie is too thin for making a
tourniquet. Certainly a zip tie can help you apply pressure to a
bandage, but a better use of a zip tie for first aid is to make a

  • ZIP TIE WARNING: While we are happy to list many odd
    uses of zip ties in this article, please do not use a zip tie
    for making a tourniquet! Never use a zip tie for this
    purpose. A tourniquet should be soft and pliable. Here's
    where to get an overview on how to use a tourniquet

Zip Tie Prepper Use#10: support gardening, repair fences.
Cable ties are immensely useful in your back yard for gardening
or repair of fences.

  • Tying garden plants to support stakes.
  • Repairing fences and securing gates.

  • NOTE: The Stainless steel cable ties, left are antioxidative,
    anticaustic, uviofast, high temperature resistant, cold
    resistant, high strength and easy to use. Once you button
    up these cable ties, they can't be separated! They are very
    sturdy and won't deteriorate over time out doors like the
    plastic zip ties, making them ideal for gardening use.

Zip Tie Prepper Use #11: Lash furniture together.

The great thing about cable ties is that if they are too long, you
can cut the length. If they’re too short, you can easily combine
them. Here’s how to use cable ties

More stuff that's good to know...

  • Heat and light have an effect on the integrity of your
    cable ties. For long term storage, keep your cable ties in a
    cool, dark space as you would your other preps. Some say
    the best cable ties are the white ones, and that black or
    the other colors aren't as strong in the long run, but that
    theory hasn't been tested. Color can help you camouflage,
    organize, catalog, and design. Have fun with cable ties!

  • Consider also Velcro Cable Ties! If you find yourself with
    a project that you need to secure and then untie, a velcro
    cable tie is the answer because they are reusable. Velcro
    cable ties, like the ones pictured left, offer a space to label
    and they provide a tight fit. It won't be a tamper proof
    device, but certainly offers the flexibility for your projects.

  • Get a Cable Tie Gun Installation Tool or a Tensioning
    tool. Be sure to get a cable tie gun or a cable tie
    tensioning tool and a wire cutter. A cable tie gun, such as
    the one pictured immediate right, neatly fastens and cuts
    in one action. With tensioning tools, like the one also
    pictured right, you must first start the cable tie by hand.
    Get a grip, because with a cable tie tensioning tool, you'll
    need a strong hand to operate comfortably. The Wiss cable
    tie tensioning tool firmly tightens nylon cable ties when
    securing flex duct to take off collars, for example. It offers
    one hand operation and a cut-off lever that trips excess

Like this article and want another?

  • Watch this video by Sensible Prepper who has summarized
    many of the wonderful ideas for how to use a zip tie

  • Handy Prepper tip:

More ways to use Cable Ties...
The conventional use of zip ties is for organizing TV and stereo
cables, which is why they're also referred to as cable ties. Now
you know that zip ties have many more zany and surprising
uses for preppers:

  • Hold your shoes together in absence of shoe laces.
  • Support PVC pipe.
  • Provide tire traction for your vehicle for the snow:

There you have it: cable ties really can help you survive a
“Snowpocalypse” and so much more. How will you use cable

Happy endings...
Zip ties come in handy whether camping, gardening, bugging
out or taking care of the homestead.

Related articles...

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