Top survival uses for paperclips

By Nick Oetken
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Top survival uses for paperclips

Nick Oetken
 
Paperclips can be used for many things.
Paperclips can be used for many things.
 
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One of the most commonplace items in offices around the world today is the seemingly insignificant paperclip. Paperclips find themselves virtually anywhere, so they are very easy to find even when you’re not looking for them.

 

Paperclips can be found anywhere, even when you aren’t looking for them.
Paperclips can be found anywhere, even when you aren’t looking for them.

While we tend to think of paperclips as being good for holding a pile of papers together and not much else, the truth is they are one of the most handy-dandy survival items that you can have. What’s more, is that they can be bought in bulk on the cheap, so you can literally store hundreds of them in your survival kit or bug out bag.

 

Paperclips can be used in survival situations, not just to hold papers together.
Paperclips can be used in survival situations, not just to hold papers together.

 

Here are the top eight survival uses for paper clips:

 

Replace zipper tabs on anything

Replacing a zipper with a paperclip is simple, yet effective.   Photo Credit
Replacing a zipper with a paperclip is simple, yet effective.   Photo Credit

First, you can use paper clips to replace a zipper tab on virtually anything, whether it be a backpack or a coat. Losing just one zipper tab is very annoying because it can be hard to open and close the zippers at that point, but a paper clip will make for a just as good replacement. What’s more is that it’s incredibly easy to install.

Hang up your clothes

Paperclips are sturdy enough to hold clothes. Photo Credit
Paperclips are sturdy enough to hold clothes. Photo Credit

Don’t underestimate the strength of a paperclip. By bending it into the proper shape, you will be able to use it to hold up clothes just as a normal clothes hook could.

Fishing hook

If you need to improvise fishing gear, a paperclip can come in handy. Photo Credit
If you need to improvise fishing gear, a paperclip can come in handy. Photo Credit

When the time comes to improvise your own fishing gear, a paper clip will be one of the best items you can use for the hook. Simply bend it into the shape of a hook and sharpen the point with a sharp edge or a knife. Then tie the other end of the clip onto your line, and stab your bait onto the sharp end of the hook. Just like that you, you have your very own tackle set.

Makeshift compass

If you don’t have a compass, a paperclip can be used with other materials to help you navigate.
If you don’t have a compass, a paperclip can be used with other materials to help you navigate.

Telling your sense of direction is crucial in a survival situation so you don’t find yourself wasting time and energy walking around in circles. If you don’t have a traditional compass with you, you can very easily make your own. All you will need are:

  • Paperclip
  • Knife
  • Light surface, such as a leaf
  • Water container
  • Water

 

With water, a container, a leaf, a knife, and a paperclip, you can help figure out your sense of direction. Photo Credit
With water, a container, a leaf, a knife, and a paperclip, you can help figure out your sense of direction. Photo Credit

Unwind your paperclip into a straight line. Pour water into your cup and float your leaf on it. Rub your knife against the paperclip to magnetize it for at least one to two minutes, and then set it on the leaf. Soon, the straightened paper clip will point in your north-to-south line of direction.

Key ring

A paperclip can hold your important items together. Photo Credit
A paperclip can hold your important items together. Photo Credit

This one is extremely simple. Just bend you paper clip several times into a circular shape, and then run your keys through it. It will be just as good as a normal key ring.

Splint for fingers or toes

If you break a finger or toe, a paperclip can be used as a splint in an emergency situation.
If you break a finger or toe, a paperclip can be used as a splint in an emergency situation.

If a finger or toe becomes broken, you need to stabilize them as much as possible to reduce the pain and further injury. Simply place two sections of a paper clip on both sides of your finger or tie, and secure it with string or duct tape. This will help the injury to heal faster.

Needle for sewing

If you need a quick repair and do not have a sewing needle, a paperclip can help. Photo Credit
If you need a quick repair and do not have a sewing needle, a paperclip can help. Photo Credit

Straight your paper clip out like you did with the compass hack, and sharpen one end with a knife. Tie your thread to the other end, and you have your very own sewing equipment for repairing blankets, tents, tarps, and clothes.

Clean your fingernails

In order to stay clean, you can use a paperclip to get the gunk out from under your nails.
In order to stay clean, you can use a paperclip to get the gunk out from under your nails.

Use an ordinary paperclip to get rid of all the grime, dirt, debris, and gunk that accumulates beneath your fingernails. This may not sound like a serious survival issue, but the truth is personal hygiene is something you want to be extra considerate about in any survival scenario.

Paperclips are so useful.
Paperclips are so useful.

As you can see, there are many awesome uses for a simple paper clip. And since they are so small and lightweight, why not include them in your survival kit or bug out bag? Just two or three paper clips will be better than not including any at all.

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