Dental Floss

Photo by Greg Ma.

One of the things about traveling to remote destinations without access to modern conveniences – or simply being a frugal traveler for that matter – is that it forces you to become very resourceful with what you do have.

Today’s gear post focuses on something you should really be carrying with regardless of where you travel – dental floss.

More than just an enabler of good dental hygiene, strong and durable floss has a multitude of creative uses you might not have realized but which could be handy in getting you out of a bind.

1. Replace a shoelace. If your lace breaks, dental floss will keep your shoes on your feet until you can pick up a new set of shoelaces.

2. Cut cheese. Floss works great for cutting all sorts of soft foods, so if you end up on a spontaneous picnic and find yourself without a pocketknife, use some floss to slice up your cheese. Just be sure to pick floss that isn’t flavored!

3. Sew a ripped backpack. If you develop a hole in your pack, sew it up with floss to halt the tear. A bit of duct tape over the top can add extra support and maintain the bag’s waterproofing.

4. Sew on a shirt button. Floss is much more durable than regular thread, so this can be a great way to reinforce coat buttons or any other buttons that are susceptible to falling off.

5. Lock your luggage. Tie floss in a knot around your bag’s zippers to replicate cable ties like these.

6. Fashion a makeshift clothesline. Tie floss to any two fixed objects (like a shower head, hook, door knob or curtain rod) and hang your clothes to dry.

7. Tie your hair back. No hair elastic? Just use floss.

8. Silence a dripping tap. If you find yourself in a hotel room unable to sleep because the tap in the bathroom is dripping loudly, tie a piece of floss to the bottom of the faucet and guide the string down into the drain. Rather than dripping, the water will then slide right along the string and down the gurgler, noiselessly.

9. Tie things to the outside of your rucksack. If you don’t have any carabiners, you can use floss to tie a wet towel, shoes, sleeping mat and more to the outside of your pack.

What do you think? Do you have any other creative uses for dental floss?