The Humble Safety Pin

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.

The Humble Safety Pin
The Humble Safety Pin

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.