In my BOB and GOTH kits I have a few items that are simple must haves. The safety pin is one of them. I always have several floating around in my truck and I also keep them in my preparedness kits. There uses are legion but the most common thing I have used them for is field-expedient fabric repair.
I have seen lists of other things to use them for on the internet and some of the ideas are pretty wacky while others are downright dangerous in a SHTF situation. One of the dumber uses of a safety pin I have seen is to use one ot pop blisters. You should never pop a blister unless it is leaking fluid is what I have always been told and if you do pop it don’t trim off the skin over it but do cover it with a bandage while it heals and new skin forms underneath. The Survival Doctor has a good post on why popping a blister is generally a bad idea. The gist of it is that popping one can lead to infection and infections can easily turn very nasty when the SHTF.
Some of the best uses for a Safety Pin I have seen and of which some I have actually used include (in order of usefulness):
- mend clothing or gear
- replace a zipper puller
- as a clothes pin
- secure bandages
- pin a shirt sleeve to a shirt to make a sling
- take out splinters
- use on a blanket to make a sleeping bag
- wound closure (makeshift stitches)
- make a finger splint
- detangle or get knots out of your fishing line
- improvised lock pick
- use as fishing hooks (I have never done this and I wonder how well it works)
- Magnetize and use as a compass pointer (obviously only works with steel safety pins)
- use in making traps
Some of the dumber/less practical ideas I have heard:
- pop blisters (discussed above)
- use as a toothpick (can you say dental problems)
- hook together two pieces of cordage (why not just tie a not)
- torture device
This is not a comprehensive list of what you can use a safety pin for by any means. It does give you a pretty good idea of how versatile a seemingly mundane piece of equipment can be though. You should try to have most of the items in your BOB and GOTH kits be multi-use. Some by their nature will not be but many can and should be.