22 Survival Uses for Safety Pins

Safety pins are often overlooked by preppers and survivalists as a trivial item.  However, the attitude around them is shifting as more people realize the multiple uses of safety pins and see the value in having them in their preps.

For starters, safety pins are small, compact, and lightweight; all good things when thinking about preps! Bonus point: you can fit 100 of them in a very small space, making them excellent for your BOB!

Here are just some of the ways you can use safety pins.

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    1. Keep your gear secure. If your survival kit or BOB has zippers that don’t stay closed, use a safety pin to keep them together. You’ll want to make sure that you pin at the bottom of the zipper, not at the loops or pullies.  This will help make sure your items are secure, and it adds an extra step for anyone trying to sneak in.
    2. Did you know you can use a safety pin to go fishing? Surprise, you can!  While you won’t win any awards for the biggest catch, you will be able to catch enough to put food in your belly, and that’s always a win! Because safety pins are malleable, you can’t hook a large fish and expect it to stay on.  But with smaller fish, it’ll work great in a pinch.
    3. Keep your fishing hooks together! Thread them through a safety pin to keep them all together and going the same direction.  You won’t have to worry about untangling them and getting stabbed when you need to use one!
    4. Secure your shelter. With safety pins, you can pin tarps closed helping make sure you keep wind and rain out of your shelter.  If you have some additional material, you can pin it together and then fasten it to your tarp to help insulate it. You can also use safety pins to “pin” together evergreen branches or other types of bushes and foliage to help keep a survival shelter intact.  Simply pin through the smaller branches to attach them to each other.
    5. Mending your clothing. If you’re replacing your drawstring with paracord, you can use a safety pin to thread it through.  Replacing your drawstrings with paracord allows you to have an additional function in survival situations! (Read this for uses for paracord.)
    6. Secure a bandage. If you’re injured and need to keep a bandage in place until you can suture the wound, you can use safety pins to secure an improvised bandage. Just rip a piece of cloth, be it a shirt, pants, or other clothing items, and wrap it around the wounded area.  Make sure there is enough material to completely cover the wounded area, then secure it with a safety pin, or two.
    7. Temporary sutures. In a survival situation, you may not be able to head to the doctor’s office straight away. Using safety pins to temporarily close a large wound is an option. Ideally, you want small safety pins, ½ inch typically works best.  Clean the pins to make sure they’re sterile and then close the wound with them.  Use as many as you need to ensure the wound doesn’t have any gaping areas, wrap with a bandage and you’re good to go.*Note: you should really research bushcraft medical to make sure you have a firm understanding of medical care in a survival situation.
    8. Replace a broken pant button. If you’ve lost the button on your britches, you can keep it closed with a safety pin until you can sew on a replacement.
    9. Altering clothing. If you have pant legs that are too long, you can ‘hem’ them with safety pins.  It works for shirt arms as well. Think long term SHTF here, if you have to take the clothes you come across, you’ll not be able to make sure they fit.  Having safety pins available for alterations is important!
    10. Remove a splinter. I can remember my grandfather using a safety pin to remove my splinters when I was little.  It always worked and he never hurt me doing it.
    11. Strap your gear to your bag. If you don’t have any carabiners or paracord, you can use safety pins to secure items onto your BOB or other bags. Again, thinking long term SHTF scenario here, when you come across items, you’ll need to be able to take what you need with you since you can’t just run to the local store.
    12. Flush out a wound. Using a safety pin, you can poke a small hole in a plastic bag or bottle to create a stream of water you can direct and use it to flush out an open wound.
    13. Secure your bait on a trapline. In a long term, full-scale SHTF scenario, trapping will certainly make a comeback.  Securing your food is a huge morale booster, but trapping can quickly turn your mood sour if what you’re trapping makes off with your bait without you knowing they were ever there. Use a safety pin to secure the bait to the trigger on your trapline.
    14. Make-shift sewing Awl. If you’re in a pinch and need to sew on heavier material, such as leather, you can use a safety pin to fashion an Awl. After straightening out the pin, use the sharp side to puncture the material and twist it around to make the hole large enough to fit your cordage.  You can push the cordage through using the tip of the safety pin as well.
    15. Drying your clothes. When you have your paracord strung out for a clothesline, use a safety pin to secure your clothing to keep it from blowing away.
    16. DYI splint. If you don’t have material to create a bush splint, you can use a safety pin to fasten the sleeve of a person’s shirt to the torso area of the shirt.  This keeps the arm in position and helps prevent further damage. You can also use safety pins to splint a finger.  Simply place a closed safety pin on each side of the damaged finger and then wrap it with a cloth.
    17. Use it for a lance. Be it a boil, blister, or smashed fingernail, you can use a safety pin as a lance to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure. Make sure you sterilize it before use.
    18. Pick a lock. Talented locksmiths can pick a lock with a bobby pin or a safety pin.  It takes a lot of practice to get this right, but it could be a very useful skill in a long term SHTF scenario.
    19. Protect your feet. Using a safety pin, you can close the gap in your pant legs to help keep out snow or bugs.
    20. Use it for a toothpick. While this won’t save your life, it can help with your sanity.  Nobody likes picking at their teeth for hours to get that pesky piece of food out.
    21. Secure the blade on your p38 can opener. A lot of people like the military issue style p38 can opener, but many comment that the blade doesn’t stay closed, presenting a risk.  You can secure it with a safety pin!
    22. Self-defense. While it would take a lot of poking, a safety pin is a sharp object.  You could potentially use it as self-defense to cut or stab if you have nothing else within reach.

What other uses for safety pins can you think of?  We’d love to read your comments!

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