Innovation is crucial to survival: How to use shoelaces for a variety of applications when SHTF

When SHTF, preppers know how to turn everyday objects into multi-purpose tools. For example, shoelaces can have various uses besides keeping your shoes in your feet. (h/t to

Here are nine ways you can use shoelaces in a survival scenario.

  1. As a belt – During a survival scenario, you need to stay as mobile as possible. If your pants are loose, secure them with some shoelaces so they don’t get caught on branches while you’re hunting or running away from danger.
  2. As a bowstring – With some pliable wood, a knife or saw, and shoelaces, you can make a bowstring for a bow and arrow. Check out this video to get started.
  3. As a fishing line – If you lose your survival gear, you can use your shoelaces to create a makeshift fishing line. One way to do this is by attaching a fishing hook or bottle cap to the end of your shoelace. Alternatively, you can make a fly lure by threading a hook through the shoelace, burning the end near the eyelet, then fraying the other near the hook. Here’s a detailed tutorial for the second method.
  4. As a snare trap – Aside from shoelaces, you’ll need a pocket knife and tree branches to make a snare trap. Follow this video tutorial to learn how to make a simple snare that can catch rabbits, squirrels, and other small critters. This trap will help keep your belly full even if you get lost in the wilderness.
  5.  As a squirrel trap – To make a squirrel trap, you’ll need shoelaces, a box, and a stick. This bait-and-trap method can catch a squirrel or even some birds. Tie the shoelace around the stick, then use the stick to prop up the box. Leave bait like food scraps or a shiny object to entice your prey, then pull on the string to trap them in the box.
  6. For “bear bagging” while camping – When you’re camping, don’t leave your food lying around outside. Bears or other animals with a strong sense of smell will be attracted to your supplies. Avoid this by bear bagging, or keeping your food in a bag and hanging it from a tree branch using some shoelaces. Bear bagging will also keep other animals like coyotes, opossums, and raccoons away from your camp.
  7. To escape from cable/zip tie handcuffs – If someone breaks into your house and ties you up with some zip ties, you can use your shoelaces to escape. Knot your shoelaces around the cable tie, then use your legs to create friction so you can escape. Here’s a video tutorial that you can help you practice this escape technique.
  8. To hold down a tarp or shelter – If the only shelter you have is a piece of tarp, secure it using shoelaces. Make a Trucker’s hitch/Power cinch knot so the tarp won’t fly away even if it’s windy.
  9. To start a fire – With a shoelace, some sticks, and a knife, you can create friction and start a fire. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a fire-starting tool.

Most of these uses treat shoelaces as some form of cordage, which you will need in several scenarios. Start practicing these uses so you won’t have trouble recreating the steps when you need to make these tools.

To learn more about other uses for shoelaces and other objects when SHTF, visit

Sources include: 1 2 3 4 5 6

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