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15 Multi-Use Survival Items (Save Weight)

To cut down on weight and gain the most value from your pack on your next outdoor adventure, Wage War Outdoors has put together an extensive list of valuable multi-use survival items.  These are things that you may not have thought of, but can be amazingly useful in a multitude of situations from the most mundane acts to things that can save your life.

The list is in no way meant to convey all possible ways these items can be implemented but we’re willing to bet there is some stuff in there you’ve never thought of.  Feel free to add comments at the bottom of the list to add to uses we may not have covered.

Trash Bags

  •  Water Proof Boot Gaitors
  •  Shelter From The Elements
  •  Water Container
  •  Bandages
  •  A Distiller For Fresh Water
  •  Lashing Material
  •  Sleeping Bag
  •  Use As A Blanket Or Mattress By Stuffing It With Leaves Or Other Materials
  •  Keep Wet Or Soiled Clothing Isolated In Your Pack
  •  The Orange Heavy Duty 55 Gallon Type Bags Are Great For Signaling
  •  A Trapped Air Flotation Device
  •  Poncho
  •  Waterproof Pack Cover
  •  Rain Cover For Firewood
  •  Bedroll Moisture Barrier
  •  Bear Bag For Food
  •  Use As A Coat Stuffed With Materials
  •  Melt And Use As An Adhesive
  •  Cover Injuries, Great For A Sucking Chest Wound
  •  Camp Shower
  •  Stitches….Wait What?!  Yes That Is Right, If You Cut 1″ Strips Of Trash Bag, Stretch And Spin It, You Can Repeat That Until It Is Thin Enough To Use.
  • ……….Wait For It………………………You Can Put Trash In It.  Always Try To Bring Out More Than You Took In!

Duct Tape

  • Catch Bugs Around Camp, Just Like A Fly Strip
  • Use As A Bandage
  • Repair Clothing
  • Repair Shelter
  • Blister Prevention
  • Twist Into Cordage
  • Repair Just About Anything That Isn’t Wet (Except There Are Stories Of Canoe Repair Using A Patch On Both Sides!)


  • Use As A Face Mask For Protection From Smoke Or Cold Temperature
  • Use As A Hat
  • Tourniquet
  • Compress Bandage
  • Sling
  • Tear Up For Tiedowns
  • “Hobo” Carry Bag
  • Wash Rag
  • Ear Muffs
  • Use As A Signaling Device

Walking Sticks

  • Fishing Rod
  • Measuring Stick For Water And Snow Depth
  • Self Defense
  • Lodge Pole For A Tarp Shelter
  • Carrying Stick For The Bandana “Hobo” Pack

Ziploc Bags

  • Water Proofer
  • Wound Cover
  • Freezer Size Can Be Used As  A Rain Hat
  • Carry Water
  • Float

550 Cord

  • Snare
  • Cord For For A Fire Bow
  • Laces For Boots
  • Bear Bag Rope
  • Fishing Line (Strands Can Be Seperated)
  • Clothesline
  • Repelling/Climbing (Up To 550lbs As The Name Suggests)
  • Belt
  • Poncho Shelter
  • Bind A Knife To Branch To Use As A Spear
  • Tourniquet
  • Stitching

Aluminum Foil

  • Cup
  • Bowl
  • Pot
  • Boil Water
  • Cookware Scrubber
  • Funnel
  • Tighten Loose Battery Connections In Electronics Like GPS And Radios
  • Windscreen For Stove
  • Fishing Lures
  • Pinhole Glasses For Snow Glare

Surgical Tubing

  • Sling Shot
  • Tourniquet
  • Straw
  • Syphon
  • Tie Down
  • Tensioning
  • Traps

Dental Floss

  • Thread
  • Sutures
  • Fishing Line
  • Weave Together For A Shoelace
  • Lashing
  • Cord For Fire Bow
  • Net Weaving
  • Shelter Construction
  • Clothesline
  • Snares
  • Guide Line For Spelunking

P38 Can Opener

  • Seam Ripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Clean Fingernails
  • Cut Fishing Line
  • Digging
  • Clean Out Groove On Tupperware lids
  • Reach In And Clean Out Small Cracks
  • Scrape Around Edge Of Boots
  • Bottle Opener
  • Gut Fish
  • Scale Fish
  • Prying Items
  • Strip Wire
  • Scrape Pans In The Field
  • Lift Key On Flip Top Cans
  • Chisel
  • Marking Tool
  • Clean Sole Of Boot/Shoe
  • Pick Teeth
  • Measurement
  • Striking Flint
  • Stirring Coffee
  • Write Emergency Messages
  • Bee Sting Removal Tool (scrape off w/ blade)
  • Sharpen Stick Or Pencil
  • Can Opener

Cable Ties

  • Gear Repair
  • Use For Attaching Items To Pack Or Belt
  • Shoe Lace
  • Pant/Shirt Button


  • Light Source
  • Heat Source
  • Cooking/Warming Food
  • Waterproofing Seams
  • Adhesive


  • Water Container
  • Pillow
  • Flotation Device
  • Sling Shot

Cotton Gauze

  • First-Aid
  • Fire Tinder (Soaked In Vaseline)
  • Fire Tinder (Coated With Wax)
  • Trail Markers
  • Torch
  • Personal Hygiene

Rubber Gloves

  • Bandage
  • Tourniquet
  • Keep Hands Dry/Clean
  • Water Carrier
  • Solar Water Distiller