Dental floss – Survival uses for this super tough cordage

Dental floss has many uses
Dental floss has many uses

When looking for ordinary items around your house that you can repurpose into different survival applications, there’s one item that you will definitely want to add to your list. Dental floss!

There’s a few of us here at Outdoor Revival HQ that have dental floss in our packs, just in case, it’s strong and versitile, yet weighs next to nothing.

In fact, dental floss is easily one of the most versatile everyday items when it comes to survival.


Here are ten reasons why:

Dental Hygiene


This is the reason why we have dental floss in the first place, right? Personal hygiene is only going to be more important in a survival or disaster scenario, so dental floss is only going to naturally come in handy even if you don’t use it for any of the extra things we suggest below.



Set up a perimeter of dental floss around your campsite to use as a tripwire. This way you can get plenty of rest while still being alerted to an intruder’s presence.

You can make this method even more effective by tying tin cans to them and filling up those cans with pebbles. Whenever the tripwire is struck, the cans will rattle and you will be alerted to the presence of an intruder.

Fishing Line


Fish are easily one of the best sources of protein in the wilderness, but you may believe you’re out of luck if you don’t have any traditional fishing equipment with you. This could not be any further from the truth. In fact, you can just improvise your own fishing gear out of materials nature provides or you already have with you.


For example, take a strong branch and remove it of any smaller branches to serve as your fishing pole. Use a soda can tab or a paperclip for the fishing hook, and any worms you dig up as bait.

Then use your dental floss as the fishing line. You may want to wrap two or three strands of the floss together to make it stronger.

Shelter Building

Rope or string of any kind will make building any shelter far easier, and you can always use dental floss as an alternative if neither of those is available. Or if you need to tie something on your shelter smaller where rope or paracord will be too big, dental floss would work perfectly.



Do you need to tie somebody up for some reason? If so, you have a variety of options before you, including rope, paracord, string, natural vine, duct tape, and of course, dental floss.



Taking care of your clothes in a survival situation is important to ensure they last you for as long as possible. After washing them, you’ll need to hang them up to dry out on a clothesline, and you can easily fashion a clothesline out of dental floss. Since one strand of dental floss is not likely to hold up heavier pieces of clothing such as jackets or pants, you’ll want to wrap multiple strands together.



Lost your shoelaces? Just use strands of dental floss instead. Keeping your shoes wrapped around your feet tightly is important so they don’t rub against your skin and cause blisters, which will impede your ability to walk and make it back to civilization safety.



Any open wounds you sustain in a survival situation will need to be treated as soon as possible, and larger wounds in particular will need to be more than just bandaged. They need to be stitched so your flesh can heal faster and to help prevent the invasion of unwanted outside debris. If medical stitching is not available, your next best choice will easily be dental floss.


A far more effective way to catch a game than hunting it is to set traps and snares for it. Dental floss will be an excellent option for setting snares because of how thin it is. A simple noose with some bait under it will be an even more effective trap than you may realize.

Clothing Mender


Finally, if any of your clothing has become ripped and torn, you can stitch it back together using dental floss. You’ll need a needle of some kind, but the floss will serve as an excellent alternative to the traditional threat. Again, taking good care of your clothes should be important in a survival situation, so take care of any rips or tears as soon as possible.

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nick-oetken is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival