> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Outside the Box: The Safety Pin



Outside the Box: The Safety Pin

Creative problem solving with limited resources. Finding uncommon uses for common items. A useful exercise and valuable knowledge.

Take the humble safety pin. What unconventional purposes can it be used for?

Let's see what the tribe can come up with.


  1. Unwilling the pin and shape it in to a ring with the nedle pointed out. Make shif Spike ring....aim for the eyes and run. Add hot sauce for effect

  2. That would certainly ruin someone's day!

  3. Unless TV and movies has lied to me it can be used to instantly pick any lock known to man in about 2 seconds.

    Other uses: finger nail cleaning, tooth pick, fish hook (Dave Canterbury has quite a few videos on this), frog gig (again, see Dave Canterbury), an awl, to pop a blister, use to conceal something to clothing (like a real handcuff key to the inside of the waistband), as a pick to clean out the port of a flintlock firearm, AND you can use it as a torture device by sticking it underneath your prisoners finger nails (see Sayid from Lost).

  4. Not a use, but a helpful hint. I safety pin all of my socks together. It keeps them together in the washing machine, and I always have a safety pin on me (unless I'm wearing flip flops, I guess).

  5. Keeps paired items (gloves, socks, etc.) close to one another and can fasten them to a fabric spot for easy retrieval. Fasten split shot lead fishing sinkers to aid aim when using as a grappling hook (I used this to fish an item out of a car door cavity).

    I googled possible uses - Wow!

  6. Slightly OT, but I've found that 'jumbo' paperclips are a must-have. They can be carried anywhere in your bag, inside or out, and there are countless times a small piece of metal wire would come in handy.

  7. An unconventional use these days would be the thing they were designed for: pinning a diaper on a baby !!

    1. You can also use them to hold a bunch of washers or O-rings, etc together instead of throwing them in a bucket or other container loose. Slip a quantity of safety pins onto a single safety pin by slipping the loop in the spring portion over the pin of the one (like a safety pin keychain) Oh yeah, keys! The possibilities are almost endless.

  8. A few more:
    - Use to help immobilize a broken arm
    - General gear/clothing repair
    - Dig out splinters

  9. Hold open stomach wound closed (saw a guy come in the E.R. like that)

  10. Safety pins are great for repairing flip flops if they break while at the beach. The bit of broken "thong" is shoved through the bottom of the flop, and then a safety pin is stuck through it. This will hold it together until you get back home.

    Also great for removing Sim cards.

  11. You can make quick electrical connections with safety pins, especially using 12v wiring and various auto bulb sockets.