21 Ways To Use Socks For Survival

socks for survival

We’re betting you had no idea all the ways you can use socks for survival.

Socks are everywhere – in the stores, in our laundry hampers, on our feet… and yet so often we don’t recognize the astounding uses these little cotton survival tools have.

Luckily, socks are incredibly versatile, and can actually do a lot for you in the midst of a survival situation.

Don’t believe me? Check out these…

21 Ways To Use Socks For Survival

1 –  Filtering Water: Stage 1

In a survival situation, you may need to gather water from a natural spring, lake, etc. As such, this water might have a large amount of sediment in it.

You can use a sock to help filter out the dirt (as well as large debris), making it easier for drinking. Use tightly-woven socks for this method, since they’ll catch more sediment. Be sure to go through a second (or third) purification step, such as boiling for a few minutes, to ensure the water is safe to drink.

2 – Make A Tourniquet

Socks can make surprisingly good tourniquets if you’re bleeding. Use long socks to wrap around your extremities and help stop the bleeding. Keep in mind the thinner the sock is, the easier it’ll be to wrap around/tie.

Also, remember that you must be able to relieve pressure so that the limb doesn’t become permanently damaged (so make sure you can untie the knot quickly and easily).

3 – Carry Ammo

If you want an easy, convenient way to carry ammunition, simply place them inside a sock. (Make sure it doesn’t have any holes first). Tie off the top and you’ve got a secure, dry holding place for your ammo until you need it.

4 – Accompany Your Rifle Sling

If your rifle sling is uncomfortable, you can slide an old sock over the sling. This can help insulate those sharp corners and make it easier to carry.

5 – Clean Your Firearm

You can use a sock to help ensure your firearm stays clean at all times. And the good news is you can cut up the sock to make it last longer for this purpose.

Cut the sock into pieces (make each piece about 2 in wide) and use it to clean out each component.

6 – Burn-Free Pot Holding

Whether you’re boiling water to purify it or cooking up some survival grub, chances are you’ll be using a pot to do it. And you won’t be able to cook very long if you burn your hand on the pot handle.

Instead of oven mitts, you can wrap a sock around the handle to protect your hand from the heat. Just make sure to use one with natural materials, such as wool or cotton.

7 – Make A Hot Pack

Hot packs can help ease the pain if you hurt your back (or other body part) in an emergency. And you can use a sock to make one yourself.

Take a wool or cotton sock and fill it with pebbles or dry beans. Tie off the end, and lay it about a foot and a half away from the fire (you want it to heat up, but don’t want it to catch any sparks).

Wait until the sock gets nice and warm. Then test it gently on your arm/hands to make sure it isn’t too hot. When it’s ready place it on your sore muscles to get some relief.

8 – Makeshift Shoes

This method is for when you’re in dire circumstances, and need SOMETHING to protect your feet. Put on the socks and use strips of duct tape to tape the soles of the socks. Make a nice, thick layer of tape on the soles so that it’s difficult to puncture.

Keep in mind you don’t want to use too much tape. Leave about an inch or so of sock at the toe so that you can get out of the sock if necessary. And, if you’re worrying about your socks falling down, simply pull them up as high as they’ll go, and tape duct tape over the sock, around the ankle. This will help prevent them from falling underneath your heel.

9 – Release The Tannins

Here’s a cool trick. You can remove the tannins from acorns by placing them in a sock, tying off the end, and then setting them in some moving water (such as a river). This will help strip the tannins out of the acorns, and leave you with a much better tasting nut that can also be useful for making flour.

10 – Defend Yourself

Need a defense weapon? Place a heavy rock into the bottom of a sock (just don’t make it so heavy that the sock rips). Tie off the top, and then swing it hard to hit your attacker in the head.

11 – Help Rescuers Find You

Carry long, bright socks with you when you leave for camping, hiking, bugging out, etc. Then if you get lost, tie strips of the sock onto tree branches to help rescuers follow your trail.

12 – Start A Fire

If you need some emergency tinder, you can use socks with all-natural materials (such as wool or cotton) to start a fire. Make the sock last longer by cutting it into strips – that way you can save some tinder for later.

SURVIVAL TIP: Rub some pine resin onto the sock to help the flame last longer.

13 – Hold Essentials

If you’ve got compact survival tools, or odds-and-ends that need a home, a sock could be a perfect place to store them. Place your batteries, mini flashlights, and more in a sock and tie off the end to help keep them secure.

14 – DIY Toiler Paper

If you forgot to stock up on toilet paper (or if you ran out), long socks can be helpful for this use. Wash out the sock afterward with soap.

15 – Keep Your Hands Warm

If you’ve got an extra pair of thick wool socks, you can use them as makeshift mittens. This can help prevent frostbite, and are great for when you need to warm up while taking a snooze.

16 – Rest Your Head

If you need a soft spot to rest your head, you can lay down some thick socks and take a snooze.

17 – Makeshift Cordage

Don’t have cordage? You can cut up a sock into long strips, and then braid them together to make a stronger cord.

18 – Soak Up The Sweat

You can bet you’re going to be sweating in an emergency situation. Soak up the sweat by tying a long sock around your forehead.

19 – DIY Dog Toys

Need to entertain your pup? Tie a knot in the middle of a sock and use it to play tug of war with your pooch. They’ll be dog tired in no time, leaving you free to get more done.

20 – Makeshift Sleeves

Need to keep your arms warmer? Cut off the toe of the sock and pull the cotton tube over your arms to help prevent frostbite.

21 – DIY Dust Mask

If there’s smoke, dust, or debris in the air you can use a sock to make a DIY dust mask. Simply wrap the sock around your nose and mouth to help make breathing a little easier. It may not be the most effective solution, but it’ll help.


What other ways can YOU think of to use socks for survival? Let us know in the comments and help your fellow preppers prepare for the worst.