Top survival uses for grocery plastic bags

Every time you go to a grocery store you end up with a bunch of plastic bags that just keep filling the drawers in your kitchen. Apart from them occupying space, plastic bags are extremely harmful to the environment so you can’t  throw them away. They take a lifetime to degrade, and they don’t help the development of the ecosystem. Plastic bags pollute rivers, lakes, oceans, forests, cities, and we don’t want to see them around while going for a hike.

What many people don’t know about these despised items is that they can also be life savers in an emergency situation. If not saving your life then at least they can help you out in any survival scenario as they last for so long. Instead of wondering what to do with so many plastic bags around, start reusing them in different occasions when you don’t have any other material handy. They are light, don’t take too much space, and their multi use purposes will surprise you.

If you are a hiker, camper or a backpacker, be sure to have a dozen of this practical item because you never know when you’ll need it. Here’s a list of some ideas about all you can do with a plastic bag in a survival situation.

Make a rope

Make a rope
Make a rope

Tie many plastic bags together to create a rope for pulling a gear, hang your clothes, hold gear down or anything else you need. If you want a thicker rope, braid more bags.

Make a pillow

Staff a plastic bag with leaves or other plastic bags, and you’ll have a makeshift pillow. For a larger one use more bags and tie them with a duct tape.

Protect your feet from the rain

Keep your feet dry
Keep your feet dry

Plastic bags on top of your shoes will keep your feet dry when you’re outside in the rain. Use duct tape to secure the bags around your ankles. If the terrain is slippery, then put the plastic bags on top of your socks and then put the shoes on. This way the shoes will get wet, but your feet will stay dry.


Stuff many plastic bags with dry leaves and put them on the inner side of the tent wall. You’ll protect your tent from humidity and cold wind. It may be noisy at night if you move too much in your sleep, but it will make your tent a cozy place.

Make a sling 

If someone from your crew breaks an arm while in the wilderness and nothing else is available, plastic bags can be tied together around the broken arm and create a sling until a real medical help arrives or you go back to civilization.

Mark a trail

You can hang plastic bags on trees to mark a trail and never get lost around your campsite. Be sure to take them off the trees on the way back.

Keep your things dry

Keep your things dry
Keep your things dry

If you’re hiking in the rain or need to cross a river for some reason place all the valuables in plastic bags. You don’t want your new camera to get wet, right?

Carry water

You can carry water from the nearby river to your campsite. Put 2 or 3 bags together for bigger resistance.

Hold waste

If you can’t dig a hole and you don’t have access to a toilet use a double plastic bag for your waste. You can also collect the waste of an animal or the fish you’ve just cleaned. Always use two or more bags to avoid leakage.


Use a plastic bag as a glove
Use a plastic bag as a glove

If you need to pick up something you don’t like to have a skin contact with, use plastic bags as gloves to protect your hands.

Ground cover 

Put plastic bags under your sleeping bag to make sure no moisture will wake you up in the middle of the night.

Remember these useful tips and use plastic bags every time you go camping. Good luck!

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival