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Many Uses for Dental Floss

            By John Milandred

Plain old dental floss has many uses other than cleaning teeth.  When you think about it, it actually makes sense. Because it has to fit in tight, abrasive spaces, floss is made of very strong nylon fibers. If you have ever tried to pull off a section of dental floss without the case’s built in cutter, you already can attest to its amazing strength. The waxed floss is great for knot tying. Since it is going into your mouth, floss is sterile right out of the package. With all these great qualities, it’s amazing that outdoor tool kits or survival kits don’t come with a package of floss right in them.  Here are some of the uses for dental floss that you might not expect.

Stitching a wound

If you’ve been severely cut in the outdoors, getting to an emergency room isn’t always possible. In a bind, you can use dental floss and a sterile needle to close up the wound and stop the bleeding. It certainly won’t be pleasant without anesthetic, but the primitive combo gets the job done. Make sure you use the un-waxed floss.

Thread for sewing

Along the same lines as the stitches, you can also use floss as thread for clothing repair. Whether it’s a popped off button or a torn sleeve, floss is a great substitute for thread when you’re in the outdoors.

Fishing line

If you end up near a body of water but forgot to pack a rod and reel, you can actually hand fish for most species using dental floss. As mentioned before, using waxed floss makes it perfect for tying even the most complicated fishing knot. The material used to create dental floss is durable enough to reel in small fish. To create a makeshift fishing rod, just bind the floss around a sturdy and flexible wooden stick and you’re done. Make sure that the line is secure.

Rope

When you need objects tied together (twigs in constructing a shelter, or as a tent/tarp tie down for instance) floss serves as a fitting substitute for thin rope.

Clothes Line

While in the outdoors if you need to hang some clothing to dry, floss can again be substituted for a thin rope.

 

Repair a Net

Again waxed dental floss would work should you need to repair your fishing net.  Floss is also strong enough to repair tears in mesh on things like playpens, beach bags and laundry bags.

Emergency Shoelaces

Use several strands laid together should you need shoelaces in an emergency.

Replace a screw

Temporarily replace a lost screw in eyeglasses using dental floss.

Seal connections

Instead of Teflon tape, to block leaky gaps around parts that screw into place. Just wind a length around the fitting’s threads half a dozen turns before screwing it on.

Fishing Net

Dental floss, when tied together, has enough tensile strength to support the weights of small to medium-sized fish. In this case, you can weave the floss together to make an emergency fishing net.

Snares

                In a survival or emergency you could use dental floss in the construction of making a snare.

To Hang Small Items

Use dental floss to hang pictures, sun catchers or Christmas ornaments. You can use it to hang just about any small object in need of string or wire.

 

As a Knife

If you wrap a length of dental floss around one finger on each hand, you can cut perfect cake slices. It’s cleaner and neater than using a knife. You can cut fruit, soft cheese, some meats, bread and hard-boiled eggs this way, too.

 

Cookie saver

Crumbling cookies?  Slide some floss underneath your baked goods to easily lift them off the baking tray.

Remove a Ring Stuck on your Finger

Try this little trick using waxed dental floss:  Wrap the floss around your finger from the tip down to the ring. The idea here is to reduce the size of your finger without cutting off the circulation. The ring will then slide over the floss so you can easily remove it.

Dental floss, with its convenient and lightweight packaging, is a great stealth outdoor tool to bring along with you on your next trip into the wilderness.  Oh, and did I forget to mention, make sure you save enough to floss your teeth.

 

 

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