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9 Brilliant Uses for Shoelaces in Survival Situations

The most critical asset for effective survival is your mindset. A seasoned prepper understands that everyday items can be utilized as life-saving tools.

Uses for Shoelaces

This article explores the humble survival shoelaces. Keep reading to learn about the many uses for shoelaces in survival situations. You might be surprised by how helpful such simple ropes can be!

How Survival Shoelaces Could Save Your Life

There are a few manufactured tools that you should always have on hand. One such essential is a rope, as it is difficult and time-consuming to make one yourself.

For many applications, you must know your tool. You should understand the material, tensile strength, and weight rating of any length of rope before you use it to support your body weight.

Still, there are innumerable uses for shoelaces in survival situations. Survival shoelaces are short, thin sections of rope you always have on hand.

Reframing how you view your shoestrings will open your eyes to the uncountable ways they can support your survival efforts. Check out just a few examples below.

Uses for Shoelaces for Building Shelter

If you find yourself stranded in an emergency situation, you should first focus on building a shelter before you tackle other needs.

Exposure kills, and this is especially true when weather conditions are anything less than perfect.


A cool breeze can transform into a deadly chill, and too long in the hot sun can lead to severe dehydration.

Before locating food and purifying water, you need to create a home base. Survival shoelaces can simplify the process of setting up camp in the wilderness.

Securing an Emergency Shelter

There are many options when it comes to building a shelter. Your circumstances and available materials determine the cover you should create.

To learn more, check out our guide to 11 Types of Survival Shelters that you must know about.

Depending on the type of shelter you can build, you will likely need to secure the structure. You might not need additional tools if you can access strong and flexible vines.

You will not always be so lucky with what you can forage. This is one of the many uses for survival shoelaces.

Find out which bushcraft knot can accomplish the task using the least amount of string. You will need your remaining survival shoelace to tackle the following hurdles.

Fire Starting

Arguably one of the most important survival skills is knowing how to make and maintain a fire.

Ideally, you should always keep a lighter or waterproof matches in your pocket. When you don’t have access to these tools, you must understand fire lighting basics.

When starting a fire, survival shoelaces can help you in two key areas. One of the uses for survival shoelaces is crafting a bow and drill fire starter. Here’s how:

Step 1: Start the Bow

Gather two twigs and tie one end of a survival shoelace to the tip of one of the twigs.

Step 2: Add the Drill

Loop the string around the other stick once before fastening the bitter end to the other tip of the first stick.

You should now have what looks like a crude bow with a cross through it.

Bow and Drill

Step 3: Make an Ember Notch

Prepare your fire-starting surface by carving a roughly one-inch deep notch in a piece of dry firewood.

Step 4: Get into Position

Place the tip of the drill—the twig looped in the string—in the notch and add a handful of tinder. Hold the bow horizontally and the drill vertically and apply downward pressure on the drill.

Step 5: Add Friction

Draw the bow back and forth in a sawing motion to rapidly spin the drill while maintaining downward pressure.

After sustained effort, you will be rewarded with a tiny ember that can be coaxed into a roaring fire.

If you have cotton survival shoelaces, they can help you out of a soggy situation. Moisture is the biggest challenge when starting a fire, and finding dry tinder might be difficult.

Cut off a small length of your shoestring and use a knife or rock to fray it as much as possible. This fabric will catch fire easily and stay lit long enough to ignite your kindling.

Trip-Wire Sentry Alarms

Depending on the situation that you find yourself in, you might want to erect perimeter alarms. Trip-wires are easy to construct and can alert you to dangers approaching your camp.

Sentry alarms are most effective when you can limit the accessibility of your shelter. Try to barricade other points of entry and string survival shoelaces across the easy approaches.

Trip Wire

Tie one end of the survival shoelace to a stake about knee-high. Pull the string taught across the entrance and secure it to another stake.

You might attach bones or sticks to the string that will audibly jingle when jostled. Even without this additional step, a trip-wire can slow down any threats lurking in the night.

Uses for Shoelaces for Finding Sustenance

Short-term survival should focus primarily on finding water you can boil and drink. If you expect help to arrive, stay near your shelter and stoke your fire to signal rescuers.

Some emergency situations may require you to survive alone for more than a few days. In such circumstances, you must find enough food to keep your energy up.

A pair of survival shoelaces will serve you well on your quest for food. Explore a few ways to use a shoestring to fish and hunt small game.


An improvised fishing line is one of the most apparent uses for a survival shoelace. You won’t be filling buckets with fish, but it is still better than trying to master spearfishing in a day.

Tie the shoestring to a strong branch or sapling growing near the water. Find a sharp twig or thorn and secure it to the bitter end of the survival shoelace.


Dig under decaying leaf litter and lift stones and logs to collect insects for bait. Skewer a bug on your makeshift fishing hook, toss it in the water, and wait for a bite.


You must conserve energy in an emergency situation, and survival shoelaces can help. Traps are a passive way to kill small-to-medium-sized game animals.

Building a tree spring noose snare with survival shoelaces is easy. Follow these steps to make a spring snare:

Step 1: Find a Tree Spring

Start by locating a supple green sapling that is flexible enough to touch the ground without breaking.

If you cannot find a suitable sapling, you may substitute a sturdy branch with the same properties.

Step 2: Attach a Survival Shoelace

Securely fasten one end of a survival shoelace to the part of the tree that can touch the ground.

Step 3: Create a Snare

Tie the other survival shoelace into a noose or slip knot.

Step 4: Craft a Trigger

There are several ways to construct the trigger for a tree spring noose snare.

The most straightforward method involves two sturdy foot-long sticks and a bit of whittling.

If you are familiar with Lincoln Logs, you may recognize the type of notches you will be carving. You can use a knife or sharp rock to carve out a square-inch chunk of wood from each stick.

Test the connection between sticks before assembling your snare trigger. They should fit snugly together and tighten when tension is applied.

Step 5: Set the Stake

Drive one of the stakes deep into the ground and ensure it can withstand the pull of the tree spring without breaking free.

Step 6: Equip the Trigger Snare

Take the other notched wood—the trigger stick—and attach your snare to the bottom. Tie the bitter end of the slipknot to the notched end of the trigger stick.


Step 7: Attach the Tree Spring

Securely fasten the tree-spring survival shoelace to the top of the trigger stick.

Step 8: Set the Trap

Carefully set the trigger by linking the two notched sticks together. Spread the noose out around the trigger stick.

Any creature that comes close enough to set off the trap will likely get ensnared in the slipknot.

You can use this method for fishing by replacing the noose with a makeshift fishing line. Only do this in a life-or-death scenario, as this fishing method is illegal in most areas.

Check traps often. They are not immediately fatal, and trapped animals suffer unnecessarily in neglected snares. You might also lose meat to spoilage and scavengers.


You might think you can use a survival shoelace and curved branch to make a bow. While this is possible, it is not a feasible hunting solution.

Making a usable bow requires access to specific wood types, special crafting techniques, and time. There is a better way to use your survival shoelaces for hunting.

A shepherd’s sling is a primitive projectile weapon that is straightforward to create. It consists of two tethers connected by a fabric square.

Here is a basic shepherd’s sling made from a cloth face mask and survival shoelaces.

Shepherd Sling

Using a sling to hunt is straightforward, and you will start hitting bullseyes after only a few hours of practice.

Uses for Shoelaces for Promoting Safety

You must have a solid foundation of first aid knowledge if you want to survive. Survival shoelaces can save your life if you know how to use them.


A deep wound that bleeds profusely could end your life if left untreated. Any strong piece of fabric long enough to wrap around the wounded limb could make a suitable tourniquet.

You must only use a tourniquet on severe bleeding that cannot be stopped by applying pressure and a bandage.


Tourniquets cut off blood flow completely. For this reason, the affected limb may need to be amputated if you cannot seek medical help promptly.

Here’s how to use survival shoelaces as an emergency tourniquet:

Step 1: Tie Off the Wound

Start by tying the survival shoelace around the limb just above the wound. Complete the first step of a basic box knot and pull it as tight as possible.

Step 2: Add a Winch

Enclose a strong twig or branch and complete the box knot, securing the middle of the shaft.

Step 3: Tighten

Wrench the tourniquet tight by twisting the stick until it cannot turn anymore.

Step 4: Secure

Use the remaining survival shoelace to fasten the stick in place. This will stop the tourniquet from unwinding while you seek help.


Immobilize broken bones as soon as you can. You likely won’t be able to set a break perfectly, but a simple splint can minimize continued damage.

Find two sturdy branches about the same length as the broken bone you want to stabilize. Use survival shoelaces to secure the branches to either side of the break.


You can use the same basic design as the shepherd’s sling to support your arm in the event of an injury. Combine this DIY sling with a splint to help immobilize a broken arm or wrist.

Wrapping Up Uses for Shoelaces in Survival Situations

After reading this article, you should understand how valuable a simple pair of survival shoelaces can be. Do you want to learn more about using rope for survival? Check out our Knots post to discover more awesome resources.