Prepper essentials: 30 Clever ways to use rubber bands
By Zoey Sky // Jan 24, 2023

Rubber bands may be the last thing you think of while buying items for your stockpile, but these small, elastic bands have many survival uses.

Here are the many ways you can use rubber bands at home and while outdoors. (h/t to

Attach gear to your bag

If you don't have a carabiner for your gear, use a rubber band to fasten items like flashlights or water bottles that you don't have room for in your backpack.

Hold paracord tight

Use a rubber band to stop a length of paracord from unraveling inside your bag.

Secure bulky rolled items

Use rubber bands to secure items like clothes, rolled blankets or sleeping bags in your bag.

Wrap up loose gear

Use rubber bands to keep cordage and other unruly items like belts, ropes or twist ties inside your bag.

As a weapon

With enough practice, you can use a rubber band as a makeshift slingshot for hunting small game.

Follow the steps below to make a DIY slingshot:

You will need:

  • Rubber bands
  • Forked branch
  • A tree saw with a long, extendable handle to cut branches
  • A knife to peel bark from forked branches
  • Pliers for twisting wire (if using)
  • Kitchen shears
  • Leather or canvas for the pouch
  • Projectiles like small round pebbles or ball bearings

When choosing a forked branch, look for a fresh branch from trees with hardwood like maple.

Avoid softwoods like pines, springy woods like willows and weaker woods like boxelder. These tree types tend to bend or yield when the slingshot is drawn, which can affect your aim.


  1. Wrap some friction tape around the handle of a Y-branch for a better grip.
  2. Connect three rubber bands together by looping them over the ends of each band to create a longer band.
  3. Interweave the long band with another set of three looped bands.
  4. Make the pouch for the projectiles using a piece of inner tube or leather.
  5. Punch two holes into the pouch on either end. Push the rubber band ends through and loop them to connect the bands to the pouch.
  6. Twist the end of the bands over the top of one of the tips.
  7. Secure the rubber bands in place with electrical tape.

Practice with the slingshot to improve your aim before using it to hunt.

Organize cups

If you are hosting a dinner at home, you can use different colored rubber bands to distinguish whose cup or mug is whose.

Keep tins closed

Use rubber bands to keep lids closed if you store an assortment of small items in mint tins or other small boxes. The rubber band ensures that the lid stays closed if the tins are stored in backpacks or bags.

Use as a lid remover

Struggling to open a jar of pickles? Wrap a rubber band around a tight jar or bottle lid so you have extra traction to unscrew it more easily.

Hold a bandage

Use rubber bands to secure a cloth around a wound in an emergency situation.

As a tourniquet

If you have a large rubber band, use it as a makeshift tourniquet while treating someone who is injured.

As a temporary sling

Use large rubber bands to help secure a broken bone until you can get medical attention. If you are treating broken fingers or toes, use smaller rubber bands to keep them in place.

Start a fire

Rubber bands are flammable, so you can use them as emergency fire starters.

For fishing

Cut large rubber bands and use them as makeshift lures.

Tie bait to one end of a cut rubber band and dangle it over the side of your boat or a pier to attract fish. Once you get a bite, use a net to catch them. (Related: Prepper supplies: 30 Survival uses for coffee filters.)

Keep cards tidy

Use rubber bands to hold decks of index cards and playing cards together.

To hold together books and manuals

Use rubber bands to hold a torn or loose book cover onto the pages of a book. You can also try using a rubber band as a bookmark.

Label batteries

If you have a lot of rechargeable batteries, use different colored rubber bands to organize them. Use certain colors to help sort charged batteries and which ones need to be charged.

As a ponytail holder

Use rubber bands as hair ties. Just keep in mind that they will pinch and pull your hair when you remove them.

Makeshift eraser

Did you know that you can use rubber bands as makeshift erasers?

Use a wad of rubber bands or wrap one around the end of a pencil that lost its eraser.

Keep eyeglasses secure

Use a large rubber band to secure loose eyeglasses or sunglasses around your head.

Wrap the band around the temple tips or the part that goes over your ears to hold the glasses around your neck when you take them off.

Fasten and unscrew nails

Use a rubber band to remove a stripped screw. Place the rubber band against the slot in the head of the screw, then insert the point of the screwdriver and turn to remove it.

As an accessory strap

Wrap a rubber band around your wrist and loop it into a flashlight or lighter so you can access it quickly when you are working.

Grip tool handles

Wrap several rubber bands around the handles of tools to help make them easier to grip as you work.

Mark the liquid level

Wrap a rubber band around the remaining level so you can easily see how much paint or oil is left in the can.

Prevent dispenser overflow

Wind a rubber band around a pump dispenser stem for lotion or soap so it doesn't put out too much product each time you use it.

As a money clip

Keep paper bills folded and secure with a rubber band.

Keep broom bristles together

If your broom is frayed but you don't have time to get a new one, extend the life of the frayed broom by wrapping a big rubber band around the bristles.

Stop a door from shutting tightly

To keep a door from shutting tightly, wrap one or more rubber bands around one doorknob and then around the opposite doorknob.

Prevent items from sliding and scratching tables

Prevent items like the TV remote from sliding off a table by wrapping a rubber band or two around it. The bands will also help prevent various items from scratching wood surfaces.

Prevent apple browning

After slicing an apple, secure the pieces with a rubber band. This helps keep the slices from turning brown in a lunch bag.

Keep spoons from sliding

If you cook a lot and hate having to fish out mixing spoons from a bowl, wind a rubber band around the end of the spoon handles to secure it against the rim of the mixing bowl.

Visit to learn about other common items with many survival uses.

Watch the video below to know more about some cheap prepping items you should stock up on before disaster strikes.

This video is from the Survival 101 channel on

More related stories:

Prepper essentials: 15 Uses of cooking oil that you may not know about.

Survival medicine: The medicinal uses of Epsom salts.

Prepper must-haves: 10 Survival uses of hydrogen peroxide.

Sources include:

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