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Old 12-12-2012, 06:15 AM
Tuirc Tuirc is offline
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Default Most flexible preps



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I wanted to start a thread of items you consider the most flexible multi use items you have or want for use in a survival situation. I'll start with a couple of items.

I have a military background so these items are from that experience. The 52" triangular bandage. Also commonly called a "drive on" rag. It's official use is as either wadding for a pressure dressing or a sling. But, it's more common use among infantry soldiers was as a bandana. Wrapped around the neck, it can keep the sun off or in dusty conditions brought up around the nose and mouth to keep the big chunks out. It can also be used as a head covering with trailing neck cover. You can use it as a wash cloth or a towel. In short, everyone should have lots of these gems both sterile and not.

The next item is the poncho liner aka wubbie. Officially, this thin, light poly-filled, cloth of inner warmth and contentment is meant to attach to the Army issue poncho. In that form, it can be used as a water proof blanket or you can use the snaps on the poncho and make it into a warm weather sleeping bag. Some folks used the liner to sew into their unlined Army rain jacket to make a new item we called a "hawk jacket" so called because it was so effective against the cold, wet wind in Europe. On its own, it is an awesomely warm, light, effective blanket. I've used it with heavy sleeping bags in warm weather by leaving the sleeping bag open and just covering with the poncho liner. I've used it in intermediate cold weather bags to increase the effectiveness of the bag down to -20 (no tent). In short, very flexible, very useful, very light, very warm, everyone needs about a half dozen of these.

Those are my top two, what are yours?
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:04 AM
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Zip ties. My most favorite multi use item. I like those things and use them for all kinds of repairs. Pet taxi's are a good example. The little bolts fall out and a zip tie fits in the holes perfectly.

Hair elastic. Not only can you use them for the obvious reason but they are useful to have around.

Vaseline. Good for firestarter, chapped lips, dry skin, baby bottoms and many more.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:08 AM
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Dare I say Duct Tape?

I have a ton of zip ties--Gypsymoonfarm nailed it. They're in my BOB, they're in my car kits--you can do almost anything with them, it seems.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:42 AM
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bunggie cord, D-rings
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:47 AM
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D-Rings, Paracord, Poncho, Leatherman Multi-Tool (is that cheating?), Zip Ties (some small, some big)
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:39 AM
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Nylon flat webbing- Mine was originally used for rock climbing, but for safety it needs to be replaced, so I have a bunch of it around. It comes in many sizes and can be used as an anchor for climbing or tying down gear. Snip a piece off and repair your pack or tent, make a rifle sling or handle. Tie it into a loop, double it up over a branch and add your blanket for a comfortable sling-style chair.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...ch&um=1&itbs=1

Pliers-
I always have a pair of linemanís pliers in my BOB and in the car. Very useful- they can be used as pliers, of course, but they really excel at cutting- they will go through a car battery cable like a hot knife through butter. They easily can cut chain-link fence, barbed wire, etc. they are heavy and sturdy enough to do some light hammering in a pinch. Iíve used them to bend and fabricate all sorts of things- like pins from wire stock.

http://www.service.kleintools.com/To...ct/D2000-9NECR

Also, a lot can be said for the small needle nose vise grips and a pair of channel locks.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:25 AM
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Aluminum foil: cleaning, cooking, storing, reflecting heat and light... I'll always have a use for it.

Tarp, preferably of a camouflaged color and waterproof: for shelter, sleeping on, wrapping things in for transport and to keep dry, concealment, covering up equipment and traps... list goes on and on.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:42 AM
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My biggest and most valuable and most versatile prep is a supply of canned food. It will not go wasted. When the expiration dates tick down I can rotate into normal use, distribute to family members, or give to a food bank.

Food and water will be the most valuable thing to have. Everyone will be trading (or killing) for it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:54 PM
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my education and training, both military (especially) and civilian. allows me to to think outside the box and improvise in any given situation from a broad knowledge base.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strvger View Post
my education and training, both military (especially) and civilian. allows me to to think outside the box and improvise in any given situation from a broad knowledge base.
I agree, but we're talking about tangibles here. Anything you have in your stack of stuff that's good for lots of uses?
Old 12-12-2012, 03:25 PM
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Money.

Buy stuff with it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:35 PM
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My wife ---- she puts up with all my various prepping spin offs
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuirc View Post
I wanted to start a thread of items you consider the most flexible multi use items you have or want for use in a survival situation. I'll start with a couple of items...
Those are my top two, what are yours?
Everything TANGIBLE that I know of has already been mentioned.

I actually really do put one intangible item on EVERY packing list that I make. The last line item I include is always, "That one important thing I forgot."

For the tangibles, I second the idea of always having Leatherman, DuctTape, and ZipTies.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyMutt View Post
...Also, a lot can be said for the small needle nose vise grips and a pair of channel locks.
http://youtu.be/9ZYUKArcKsE

Your post actually reminded me of ONE extra tangible I always try to carry. That is the (I think) 10" Knipex Alligator Pliers! This one tool can do as much as any crescent, or inch or metric combination, wrench set.

Take note of the "self locking" feature made mention in the video.

AND!!! Bonus points if you notice that the design restricts how far the handles close together. I have flattened my fingers with extreme pain on some other pliers that let you do that to yourself.

If you have fat fingers, and on the right selection of the tool, you can still slightly squish your digits. It won't feel good, and might hurt a bit, but you should be able to actually keep working on your project.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:01 PM
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I was thinking of making a similar thread, so, thanks for doing the work for me.

Cheap emergency ponchos, the clear ones, are in my bag because they're not only for protection from rain. They can be used as a transpiration bag to collect water and they can be stuffed with forest duff and used as an impromptu blanket, or cut open to make a small shelter.

My signal mirror can be used for not only signaling but for shaving, looking at areas of your body you can't normally see, and for looking around corners.


Dental floss for flossing and for sewing gear repairs.

Moonshine or any pure grain alcohol like Everclear can be used for not only stove fuel but for cleaning wounds and getting royally toasted.

I'm getting more and more into ultralight backpacking so I'd appreciate more dual use item ideas.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:12 PM
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Wow, a few others already stated my first couple (zip ties and duct tape). I would also say 550 cord is great, but I would say an excellent multitool of quality and durability.
I had a victronox in Iraq in 2003-2004 and it was a life saver in doing maintenance on our 65' era trucks, cleaning my weapon and many other things.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:07 PM
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Snip a piece off and repair your pack or tent, make a rifle sling or handle. Tie it into a loop, double it up over a branch and add your blanket for a comfortable sling-style chair.
Old 12-13-2012, 05:32 AM
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I'll add another since nobody has brought it up yet, the entrenching tool.

For those of you that don't know, this is the small collapsible shovel issued to Army troops. The blade is serrated on one side and smooth on the other and it can be folded in the shape of a pick or a shovel.

It's primary use is for digging and it's pretty effective at that. However, I will say in rocky conditions it's all but useless, you'll need real pioneer tools. That said, you can use it for cutting trees and tree branches up to about 3". You can use it as an improvised hammer. And, it's final use, and one it was intentionally designed for, it's a mighty fine weapon. You can sharpen the blade on these and it can be a oddly shaped machete. The Army found in WW I that soldiers often used their shovels rather than their rifles with bayonets affixed to do their fighting in the trenches. It turns out the shovel was more flexible in the attack and more maneuverable in the confined spaces of the trench. You should be able to find these on the Internet for under $20.
Old 12-13-2012, 08:10 AM
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Another to add: Fishing line.

For fishing, sewing, tieing, wrapping, hanging, trapping, and other things including making a trip wire or a security perimeter with an audible alarm such as hanging bells from the fishing line or something.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuirc View Post
I agree, but we're talking about tangibles here. Anything you have in your stack of stuff that's good for lots of uses?
my SAK hands down. has all of the tools i use most for little jobs, excellent quality, compact, and you can customize it by buying the one that has the instruments you need.
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