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Ten Survival Uses For Socks

by Norita Sieffert

posted in Reference and Education

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In my third installment in this series, I decided to tackle yet another very common object that can have multiple uses in a survival situation. The nice thing about socks is that they are everywhere, and many people will overlook them in their rush to find items that were made explicitly for the needed function. Therefore, finding socks in a survival situation will not be that hard.
Socks go both ways when it comes to survival. On the good side, they are usually small and lightweight. This makes it possible to carry quite a few of them without weighing down a pack or tote. On the bad side, they are they are usually small and lightweight. Therefore, you need a lot of them if you have a bigger project planned. And you'll need to find heavy duty socks if you want extra thickness or bulk.
Besides just wearing them, I actually came up with some pretty creative uses for socks. But before we completely bypass just wearing them, let's do say something about just wearing them. If there's been a catastrophe of some kind, then taking care of your feet becomes very important. When all other modes of transportation are out, walking is the only remaining option. But it's pretty hard with sore or tired or infected feet. Because of this, it's important to keep your feet as clean and dry as possible. You should find all the socks you can and change them often. Wash them and hang them up to dry so that you always have a clean pair at hand. Feet sweat a lot, so try to have enough pairs to change at least once a day. More often is better, but if it's not possible, then be sure to remove your socks daily and check your feet. Wash the socks hang them to dry whenever you can.
First, if you don't have shoes, it's possible to put on several layers of socks in order to cushion your step. They will wear through rather quickly if you're walking on a rough surface such as cement. If this is the case, then hopefully you can have multiple pairs to use. And second, while you're wearing your socks, it's possible to tuck small items into them for carrying. This frees up your hands or pockets for other things. I've seen people stuff money, tissues, nuts and screws, extra loose ammo, and even small food items into their socks to keep them safe. Unless the socks are really loose, these items won't fall out. However, they might slide down over time and slip under your heel. So a sock that fits snugly is best for this kind of use.
Third, clean socks are also great for straining liquids. Just pour the liquid in through the top and larger items will be filtered out while the liquid runs through. If smaller granules need to be filtered, like sand for instance, then you'd need a sock with a much smaller weave. The thicker the sock, the heavier the yarn will be, and hence the looser the weave. So, for straining smaller items, you should look for dress socks that have a smaller weave.
Fourth, socks with larger weaves work well for holding long items. For example, if a person has whittled some spears or arrows and wants to carry them, they can be slid inside a sock and poked through the bottom to hold them in place. We assume here that the person isn't actually wearing the sock, but just carrying it. In other words, if you're in a pinch, the sock can take the place of a quiver.
And the feet aren't the only place that can benefit from using socks. Fifth, they make great hand warmers, too. Or, sixth, use them as oven mitts when needing to move very hot or cold items. Seventh, you can also fill socks with rice and heat them up to make a bed warmer. Or fill them with rice or sand and use them as a weapon.
Eighth, you can cut the top portion off of a sweat-type sock and stretch it out to use as a headband or wristbands. Or ninth, you can use it in place of a large rubber band. Socks actually make great holders for a lot of different types of items.
The tenth use is one that many people don't consider, and that's the actual thread or yarn used in the sock. If necessary, a sock can be pulled apart and the thread or yarn taken to be used for other things. If needing something pretty heavy-duty, a lot of socks would have to be undone and the various threads would have to be combined to add strength. But in a survival situation, we don't want to overlook any options.
I would love to hear of any other uses for socks that I didn't consider!
About the Author: Dr. Sieffert is a writer and speaker on multiple topics related to Christianity and preparedness. She's published a dozen books, including eight fiction novels, one non-fiction book, and a series of children's books. Her latest fiction novel, Unprepared, tells the story of a young woman struggling to find peace in a world changed by a nationwide catastrophe. Go to to view this book on Amazon. To browse other fiction and non-fiction books by Dr. Sieffert, you can also visit her website at
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