Back in the days of ALICE gear, soldiers had to get creative in silencing and securing their gear. Rattling ALICE clips or gear falling off at an inopportune time we not good. So, the always inventive Army Rangers came up with their own solution to the problem, which became known as Ranger Bands--basically big rubber bands on steroids.
Like duct tape and paracord, ranger bands have a thousand uses. Mostly, they're useful for securing things, as cushioning on tool or weapon handles, and as tinder (they're rubber and burn quite easily), but their uses are only limited to your creativity.
You can buy "real" Ranger Bands from army surplus stores or you can just make your own. Buy a bicycle or other similar rubber inner tube and cut 'em to size. One inner tube can give you a bunch of ranger bands, and you can cut them to the size that you want.
Dave Canterbury of Wilderness Outfitters is a big fan of ranger bands. Check out his videos on YouTube--he uses 'em all over his kit to secure things down and attach small bits to sheaths and other gear--lots of good ideas there.
They're pretty handy and very inexpensive. I bought an inner tube this morning and have cut out a decent sized section and used it to cushion the grip on a Cold Steel machete and have cut out several smaller ranger bands. Right now, the ranger bands are being used them to keep the lids of my altoid kits firmly closed and also as a source of emergency tinder. The inner tube that I bought has a smaller inner diameter than it appears the ready made ones have, which is ok, but makes the bands a little tight to work with
If anyone knows more about ranger bands, what size or type of inner tube works best, etc., please share!
Ranger Bands >