15 Survival Uses For T-Shirts

survival uses for t-shirts

There are a surprising amount of survival uses for t-shirts. Unfortunately, most preppers don’t know what these are. And this not knowing can be a real detriment when a crisis ensues.

Thankfully, we’ve got a few ways to use these ordinary pieces of fabric in order to get through an emergency. And once you see what these are, you’ll want to stock up on t-shirts ASAP to get through the next crisis.

Without further adieu, here are…

15 Survival Uses For T-Shirts

Head Protection

Want to avoid sunburn? Cut a t-shirt near the seam, making it one large piece. Then lay the fabric over your head and place a head on top to secure the fabric in place.

The t-shirt will cover your head and neck, and protect these from the sun’s harmful rays.


Close off the head/arm holes in the t-shirt, and then stuff the shirt with leaves. You can even stuff two shirts and connect them. Either way, you’ve got a pillow for the night.

Bring Wood

Cut the shirt’s seam so it becomes one large piece of fabric. Then lay wood pieces onto the shirt, and wrap it up in the fabric. This allows you to carry the wood anywhere.

Attach Supplies

If you want to attach small survival tools to your bag, you can do so with a t-shirt. Cut the shirt into strips, and then loop the strip through the MOLLE system on your pack. Tie the ends to a survival tool and you’ll have a hands-free way of carrying extra stuff.

DIY Pot Holder

Don’t burn your hands on hot pots and pans. Instead, wrap a t-shirt around a pot handle to protect your hand from the heat. You can also lay it underneath and use it as a pot holder.

Stop Overheating

To reduce your body temperature, roll the t-shirt into a long tube, and pour ice cold water on it. Then wrap the shirt around your neck. This will help you keep moving in the sweltering heat.

Get Found By Rescuers

Use bright-colored t-shirts to help people see you in an emergency (you can use these as trail markers, or you can wave them around to be seen by planes, ships, and rescuers.

Start A Fire

T-shirts make great kindling if you need to get a fire going. Cut the shirt into small pieces, and use those for the fire. This will help you salvage the rest of the shirt until you need it.

Keep A Low Profile

If you need to lie low, wearing neutral color shirts like brown, dark green and tan can prevent you from being seen by the enemy. Wear these with green/khaki pants.

Clean Your Guns

Use an old t-shirt to clean out your guns, survival tools, pots & pans, and more.

Treat Your Wounds

Need to stop the bleeding? Lay a clean shirt over the wound (or lay a few shirts on top of each other). Tie the ends around the body part, and allow the fabric to soak up the blood. Replace as needed.

Save Your Bum

Our backsides take a lot of abuse in our day-to-day lives considering how long most of us sit every single day. And in a crisis, this sitting will likely be on uncomfortable rocks and tree stumps (or the cold, hard ground). Save your bum by making a sit-upon. Tie off the openings of a t-shirt and stuff it with old clothes (and other soft things).

This will give you a cushion you can sit on.

Save Your Lungs

Cut the t-shirt into one large piece of material. Then hold it over your face to protect your nose and mouth from dust, wind, smoke, etc. You can also tie it behind your head to keep it in place.

Make A Torch

First wrap a t-shirt around the end of a stick. Then douse a t-shirt in kerosene (or other flammable material) and set the shirt on fire. Now you’ve got a torch that will light your way.

Rustle Up Some Grub

Want some dinner? Cut a t-shirt into strips, and use it to tie a snare together.

You can also use that t-shirt to help you make a fish/crab trap. Check out the how-to video below.

BONUS: More Survival Uses

Want even more survival uses for t-shirts? Check out the video below.

See something we missed? Put even more survival uses for t-shirts in the Comments below. Remember – Prepare Now, Survive Later!