7 Survival Uses For Paper Clips

7 Survival Uses For Paper Clips 7 Survival Uses For Paper Clips thegearhunt.com

A major part of being a true survivalist is having the knowledge and the ability to take random, everyday items around those homes and repurpose those items into a survival situation. Not only would you likely be surprised by the number of different common house items that you can use for survival, but you would also be surprised by the number of different ways each of those items could be used.

The creative usages of paper clips
Survival Uses For Paper Clips

One example of a house item that you can repurpose is the paper clip. In our everyday lives, we use the seemingly insignificant paper clip to simply hold our papers or files together. In a survival situation, however, there are many more creative uses for paper clips that we will dive into in this article.

One of the best things about paper clips though is how they are so cheap, commonplace, and can be bought in bulk. You can literally buy hundreds of paper clips for only a few bucks. This means that by just storing a few boxes of paper clips for survival, you’ll be able to use the survival applications we’re about to go through again and again.

If you’re not yet convinced that you need to be stockpiling paper clips along with food, water, and ammunition, however, hopefully the following information will help change your mind.

Here are the seven best survival uses for paper clips:


In a wilderness survival situation, the ability to navigate is a top skill to have. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s more than possible to walk in the opposite direction of civilization and waste precious time and effort trying to escape. Such a situation could even, in the worst of circumstances, be fatal.

But if you lack a compass or any other kind of traditional navigation equipment with you, all is not lost. In fact, you can take any random paper clip and repurpose it to become makeshift compass for you. In addition to a paper clip, you’ll also need a knife, some water in a cup, and a leaf.

Survival Uses For Paper Clips

Take your paper clip and straighten it out into a thin line. This can be done either by hand or with a pair of pliers. Then, run the paper clip against your knife repeatedly to magnetize it. You can also use an actual magnet here as well of course, but since your chances of having a magnet on your person in a wilderness survival situation are slim, your knife will have to do.

Place your leaf in a cup of water so that the leaf floats. Once you’re sure that your paper clip is magnetized, place it on the leaf. In a matter of seconds, your paper clip will then point in a north to south direction.

While you will have to use additional navigational skills to figure out which way is north and which way is south, the very fact that you now know your north to south line will be invaluable to you in helping you get out alive.


Any serious injury in a survival situation needs to be treated with the utmost care and attention so that your chances of survival are not severely inhibited. This includes scenarios where your toe or finger becomes broken.

Survival Uses For Paper Clips

Just as you would with a broken arm or leg, you will want to fashion a splint for your finger or toe to keep it stable and help it heal quicker. A paper clip, thanks to its small size and rigid structure, will make for an excellent toe or finger splint.

Simply take your paper clip and cut it in two with a knife or pair of pliers. Then, place the two pieces on either side of the affected digit and secure it either with tape or some string.


There are few things as annoying as a zipper tab on your clothing or backpack becoming lost or broken, and in a true survival situation, it’s only going to make you frustrated.

Fortunately, a paper clip will allow you to make a quick repair in this department. Simply place the paper clip through the hole where the zipper tab was, and it will be as good as new.


Despite their small size, paper clips are quite strong and will be able to hold a number of surprisingly heavy objects. In particular, a paper clip makes for a very good clothing hook to either hold your clothes on your backpack while you travel or from rope when fashioning a clothesline.


Should your backpack, tent, or clothes ever become torn in a survival situation, making repairs will be necessary so you can continue to use those items. A paper clip will be an excellent sewing needle in this situation.

Survival Uses For Paper Clips

Simply straighten it out and then use your knife to sharpen on end of it. Tie your thread to the other end, and then proceed to make repairs to whatever has been torn.


Fish will easily be your best and easiest source of protein in any survival situation, and even if you don’t have a traditional fishing pole or tackle equipment with you, you can sill fashion your own out of natural resources and items you may already have.

A paper clip, for instance, can be used as the fishing hook or lure. Simply tie it onto your fishing line and then stab your bait onto the other end. It could alternatively work as a lure because fish are naturally attracted to shiny, silver objects.

Survival Uses For Paper Clips


Personal hygiene will be even more important in a survival scenario than your everyday life because you’ll be more susceptible to diseases or illnesses without running water. Cleaning all the grime, dirt, and debris under your fingernails on a daily basis will be necessary before you eat so you don’t transmit any bacteria into your mouth. A paper clip will be one of the best tools to use in this situation.