Believe it or not, plain old dental floss has many uses aside from teeth cleaning. 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’ve ever tried to pull off a section of dental floss without the case’s built in cutter, you already can attest to its surprising strength. To give it a minty taste, it’s usually waxed – which makes floss great for knot tying. Finally, since it is going into your mouth, floss comes sterile right out of the package. With all these great qualities, it’s amazing that outdoor tool kits don’t come with a package of floss right in them. Read on to see some uses for floss that you might not expect.
If you’ve been severely cut in the outdoors, getting to an emergency room isn’t always the most practical option. 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.
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. Granted, it probably won’t look exactly like a tailor did it. But clothes don’t make the man in the outdoors.
If you’ve got strong hands, you can actually cut many meats and cheese with precision using dental floss. Simply wrap it around gloved hands, like you would when you’re flossing, and proceed to apply downward pressure on the item that needs to be sliced along with a back and forth movement.
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, its wax covering makes it perfect for tying even the most complicated fishing knot. Just try not to do anything silly (shark fishing, perhaps) with it.
Obviously you won’t be able to climb a length of dental floss or anything, but in situations where objects need to be tied together (twigs in a shelter, for instance) floss serves as a fitting substitute for thin rope.
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. With all of it’s amazing uses, you might have to consciously remind yourself to save some for your teeth!