Tuesday, August 6, 2019
The humble zip tie ( AKA cable tie) always punches well above its weight.
A bag of 50-100 4"-6" weighs only a few ounces, but replaces yards of cordage and does many other tasks as well or better. They come in a wide range of lengths, strengths, and colors, from day-glo to near invisible. They come in nylon plastic, Velcro, and metal. You can even find re-useable ones, rather than single-use. The heavier-duty ones stand in for handcuffs, and frequently do.
Eight of them, two per corner, will lash thumb-thick sticks together to make a frame for a tarp* or poncho*. No fumbling with knots and wet cord as the temperature is dropping; just plug and pull and you're in business. Half a dozen more, and your poncho* or grommeted tarp* stays where you put it indefinitely on that same frame. Odds are the wind would rip the material before the tie fails.
If you were smart enough to replace bootlaces with parachute cord,* you can pull that out, and replace them with single or paired zip ties, and make your footwear into slip-ons. Now you've got 12' of free paracord, and your footwear still stays on.(You can never have enough cordage.)
If a pack, strap, or other LBE linkage fails, you can replace the connection with zip ties.
Many high-speed low-drag units specifically removed all the metal failure-prone ALICE metal clips from LBE, and replaced them with zip ties, which were non-metallic, lighter, stronger, and more secure than what they replaced. Some people still do that with MOLLE gear. You can too, and you don't even have to go to Ranger School or SFAS to do it.
You can take a pair of the sturdier ones to lash hooves or feet together for game kills, for easier toting.
They can even stand in as ad hoc snare* loops, as is.
They can be used for emergency hose clamps. The metallic ones can even replace hose clamps, as long as you have spares, and a method/tool for cutting them.
The acme of any survival implement. They probably belong in your kit and car if they aren't there already.
*The Sergeant Major notes "You will see this material again."