Multi-Use Items

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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 53 total)
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    Jay Wilkerson
    BPL Member


    Locale: East Bay

    How many multiple-use items are out there? I would love to be educated on everybodys multiple use items.

    I use a Victorinox Knife and sometimes
    a poncho/tarp. What items are out there? I also use a tent stake as a digging tool . What say you?

    Michael Crosby
    BPL Member


    Locale: Ky

    20 Uses Of Baking Soda

    1. Baking soda will also put out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs.

    2. Wash food and drink containers with soda and water.

    3.Wash out thermos bottles and cooling containers with soda and water to get rid of stale smells.

    4.To remove strong odors from your hands, wet your hands and rub them hard with soda, then rinse.

    6. Sprinkle baking soda on your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth and dentures with it.

    7. Sprinkle soda in tennis shoes, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.

    8. Take a soda bath to relieve general skin irritations such as measles and chicken pox.

    9. Take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.

    10. Gargle with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 glass of water. Freshens and cleans your mouth.

    11. Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain.

    12. To relieve sunburn: use a paste of baking soda and water.

    13. Bug bites: use a poultice of baking soda and vinegar.

    14. Bee sting: use a poultice of baking soda and water.

    15. Windburns: moisten some baking soda and apply directly. Soak and wash diapers with baking soda.

    16. Use soda as an underarm deodorant.

    17. Add to water to soak dried beans to make them more digestible.

    18. Use to sweeten sour dishcloths.

    19. Use dry with a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

    20. Apply soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.

    Jay Wilkerson
    BPL Member


    Locale: East Bay

    Micheal, That's a great one-Baking soda. 20 uses-awesome!! Baking soda is easy to pack in too.

    BPL has a 3-in-1 First Aid Ointment for scrapes, burns and a anti-bacterial topical.

    Richard Gless
    BPL Member


    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    I think my most multi-use item is the bandana:

    1. hankerchief
    2. washcloth
    3. towel
    4. head band
    5. emergency head cover pirate style when your hat blows away
    6. dust mask/nose sun guard
    7. pot holder
    8. first aid sling
    9. water filter for the big stuff
    10. emergency TP
    11. topo map if you can find the right bandana
    12. etc

    Jay Wilkerson
    BPL Member


    Locale: East Bay

    Hey Richard, You can't beat a good bandanna- I actually sometimes bring two. Bandanna maps are way cool.

    Daniel Fosse


    Locale: Southwest Ohio

    You forgot a use that's right on the box

    21. Antacid (heartburn relief)

    Sorry you got it on number 9


    21. Baking Cookies

    Erik Graf


    Locale: Southeast

    Never go without it. I have personally used it as:

    * rain cover for my pack
    * a rain vest (my tent is a Gatewood Cape – so I needed a rain gear item to go out and relieve myself – hence, the Hefty bag rain vest was created – tear out a head and two arm holes and Voila!)
    * vestibule mat
    * wind screen (not that kind of wind screen)
    * bear bag (not my normal choice but in a pinch it worked)
    * slipped the bottom of my bag in it to protect if from some pony droppings that was under my Gatewood – it was everywhere – Grayson Highlands, VA)
    * dirty clothes storage
    * pack cacoon (in a bivy one night and it rained – I put everything in it and twisted it up – I got a little wet – my stuff stayed dry)
    * dry seat for the ground and logs (big enough for 2)
    * kept firewood dry
    * solar still (it was an experiment)
    * ground cloth for when I pack my pack. Lay it out, set everything on it, start packing my pack, the Hefty goes in a side pocket
    * stuffing in my sleeping bag stuff sack for a pillow
    * used a Hefty once to collect a seep of water into a pool deep enough to filter out of

    I'm sure there are more uses for it that I havn't thought of or been forced to use. I have a buddy who tapes two together and used them as a cheap disposable bivy. Lots of survival uses I'd guess – fishing, catching food (insects, etc.). They've really come in handy for me when I needed them.

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Michael has covered all of my reasons (plus a few) for using baking soda….
    Another use for a bandanna (and here two would be better) is as an hand warmer by wearing it around your wrist. Because I only have one, so far, I have experienced that it works, alternating wrists proves that.
    Another use is around the neck to stop the heat from the chest area escaping.

    Jay Wilkerson
    BPL Member


    Locale: East Bay

    Victorinox Knife
    7 Functions:


    This is a great little knife 0.7 oz. I really like it for fishing.

    Jeff Antig


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    1. Kind of like the bandana, the towel is one of the most useful things (according to hitchhiker's guide, haha).

    2. Pot scrubber can also be used as a pot grabber

    3. multi-function watches are very useful

    4. orikaso bowls/mugs etc. can be used as a plate, a fan, cutting board, mat to put things (ie. food) and more

    5. duct tape!

    this is not very relative but dryer lint is very light and highly flammable (but you all probably know that).

    Tim F
    BPL Member


    Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)

    My favorite: 'the Buff' headwear
    stocking cap
    neck gaitor
    balaclava (almost covers entire head and neck)
    pirate style head cover
    headband (can use for sweat or for warmth- can cover ears too)
    wrist sweatband
    can be used for a lot of the same things a bandana can be used for

    These are especially great when you are doing high-exertion activities in the cold. Keeps your head warm and soaks up any sweat.

    P.S.- Jeff, you must be a hoopy frood!

    Jeff Antig


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Glad to see another reader!

    I've seen those buff wear bandanas. I've always wanted one but cannot justify the cost when bandanas are so much cheaper. What can those do that bandanas can't?

    Tim F
    BPL Member


    Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)

    The Buff doesn't necessarily do anything different, just better IMO. While the standard bandana will absorb water quicker, the Buff dries in about half the time. I have soaked one of each and dried them side-by-side. I did not, however, measure the amount of water absorbed by each; I just ran water in the sink to soak in.
    That said, I use the Buff for wearing and use a trimmed MSR ultralite towel (around .7oz) for drying hands, wiping condensation, etc. I haven't seen one of the extra large bandanas since I was a kid, and the standard size (I think they are 22" square?) don't stay on my funky shaped melon very well. They also don,t work well for a neck gaitor. Besides I used to carry two bandanas anyway, that way I wouldn't have to use my headwear for a condensation rag. Might as well have two items that are better for their respective tasks, and weigh the same. Also, it replaces a warm hat for 2.5 seasons because my warm jackets have hoods.
    I understand what you mean about having a hard time justifying the cost to yourself. I couldn't when I first saw it. Then I saw an ACU version made by SpecOps in a PX (it matches the pattern of the new Army Combat Uniform). I bought it with the intent of using as a dust mask, but it was so versatile that I still carry it with me anytime I'm in uniform, even in warm weather, in garrison.


    Tom Bender


    Locale: Out East, sort of

    Made gaiters when we got into loose sand. OK it takes two bandannas.

    Sleeves to protect from the sun.

    Calf covers.

    Brett Tucker


    Locale: Puertecito ruins

    The "Buff" is a tube-shape, stretchy material, and is an easy MYOG project. Biggest advantage over a regular bandanna, imo, is for use as a prefilter in conjunction with a cookpot. The Buff slides over the lidless cookpot and is held in place by itself and its stretch tension, making for an easy job of pouring water through it. The cookpot approach to prefiltering isn't just multi-use oriented, the large opening and capacity means you can slop a lot of water through the prefilter material in a hurry, then pour it into a water bottle and treat with Aqua Mira, etc.

    Lynn Tramper


    Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna

    Bandana can also be soaked in water and tied around your neck to keep cool in a Victoria bushfire (or any other hot conditions).

    Buff makes a great pillow case-hard to do with a bandana. A buff can also be layered over the neck of a windshirt to keep out spindrift. The tighter elastic fit of a buff makes it a much warmer balaclava/neck warmer, and it's easier to adjust on the fly.

    Another favourite multi-use item includes 95% ethanol. Cook with it, 'relax' with it, sterilise with it…

    But my absolute favourite at the moment is the Ti-Tri Caldera. I can use alky, Esbit, or wood; it's a windscreen and pot stabiliser, including use as a windscreen for canister stoves. And it comes with two titanium tent stakes.

    Lance Ruth


    Surprised no one has mentioned it (and it may well have been a topic in a previous thread), but actual MILSPEC 550 Paracord is worth its weight in gold. For those who don't already know, 550 refers to the tensile strength of the cord in its entirety. Inside of the sheath are 7 strands of filament that are good to 45-50 lbs per strand. Great for:
    1. lashing on a survival shelter
    2. boot laces
    3. fishing line
    4. emercency suture / mending torm shelter and clothes
    5. hanging a vessel over a fire
    6. If handled correctly and carefully, melting it can serve as a stop-gap seal on a torn tarp or poncho.
    7. Animal snares
    8. hanging a bear bag
    9. The occasional ad-hoc backcountry knitting bee

    The above are some of the most common, and I know others have uses not mentioned here (I'm omitting some uses that we train for in the military – for obvious reasons). I'm always on the look out for more 550 cord uses.

    Denis Hazlewood
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    My MYOG, SUL, Titanium Multi-tool. It "triples" as a spoon, snow stake and potty trowel. Weight 0.39 ounces.
    SUL Ti Multi-tool
    SUL Ti Multi-tool.

    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    I have a pocket shower. It's a dry bag with a shower nozzle on one end. Use it as a stuff sack. Take a shower. Wash your dishes. Haul a bunch of water. Doesn't work as a pillow.

    Extra shoe laces. Use them as shoelaces. Use them however you might use string. Tie your insoles to your feet for camp shoes. Hang your pocket shower.

    Mateusz Tomczyk


    How Buff work as a towel? Somebody check it?

    Michael Meiser


    Locale: Michigan

    I think this is one of the most multi-useful threads I've ever read. :)

    Justin McMinn


    Locale: Central Oklahoma

    Blow it up to use as a pillow.

    Put crushable items (i.e. bread) inside and leave air in it so that items in your pack will not crush what is inside the dry sack. Keep in mind that things will still bounce around inside of the inflated dry sack.

    Justin McMinn


    Locale: Central Oklahoma

    Get a cinch sack and cut off the bottom to use as a ultra cheap rain skirt.

    tkkn c
    BPL Member


    Locale: Desert Rat in the Southwest

    To add to the para cord thread, it makes a good fire starter.

    Frank Deland


    Locale: On the AT in VA

    Sorry, Denis, I'm not using my potty trowel as a spoon, but good idea for a tent stake. IMO a potty trowel would make a better stake than a tent stakes would make a potty trowel!
    To rid a shirt of BO, hang it near campfire smoke, It will soon smell like smoke instead.
    If your footwear still stinks when you get home, fill them with coffee beans for awhile. Throw out the beans or give them to someone else.
    If you see a bandana on the ground, dropped by a female, do not pick it up…see Richard G's #10.
    Tent stakes make nice handles for slingshots.

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