Survival belts have come a long way…
When thinking about belts, I bet the last thing that comes to mind is versatility. Because the primary function of a belt is to hold up your pants (or discipline children).
And since the latter is frowned upon, we’re left with the basic task of holding up one’s trousers. Beyond that, they are of limited use on a day to day basis, right? That’s what most people think.
But belts are surprisingly useful. A belt can be one of the most functional accessories you wear. A good solid belt is durable, designed to cinch and bind, and can secure things in place.
They can also work as a makeshift self-defense tool. When you really stop to think about it, the survival uses for a good belt are nearly endless.
And more recently belts have become available specifically for survival.
Some survival belts are not much different than regular belts but with much-improved durability.
While other survival belts are designed to with built in survival tools and functions.
That’s why finding the right survival belt for you can quickly become an overwhelming process.
So in this article, we’ll first cover a few of the better survival belts on the market covering the highlights of each belt, and then wrap up by talking about the best survival uses for belts.
So if you’re in the market for a survival belt, I recommend you pay attention. And if you’re not, maybe you should be.
Different Survival Belts and Where to Buy Them
Different belts serve different purposes. And the survival belt niche is growing fast and not all survival belts will accomplish the same things. So when selecting a survival belt, it’s important to consider your goals.
Classic style and rugged versatility, meet utility with this belt. Made by the Side Belts team, this belt’s strap has an internal webbing core and coated in a TPU alloy protective shield. This webbing and coating give it maximum resiliency and durability for emergency situations.
The buckle of The Survival Belt is made of durable nylon. It also features a built-in folding knife, a bottle opener, LED flashlight, and a fire starter rod. This belt has all the essentials for an emergency.
It’s one of the better survival belts on the market today. Watch the video below for an excellent overview of all this survival belt has to offer:
Like the survival belt above, the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Belt has a lot of built-in features. The strap is durable nylon, and the buckle is a composite plastic that can resist a lot of wear and tear.
The buckle comes with a small compartment to carry a few fishing hooks, fishing line, lead weights, and some clips. Plus, it also includes a signaling mirror and a removable mini-screwdriver with flat and Phillips head.
There is not a lot of “extra” room inside the compartment on this survival belt. However, there’s just enough room for an additional small item or two (i.e. matches, a picture of a loved one, a small blade, etc.)
The Elite Cobra Riggers Belt is a reliable option for tactical climbing needs. It’s got a built-in D-Ring Cobra buckle that allows for repelling from sheer face cliffs.
The strap is constructed using military spec type 13 webbing and is rated for 7000 lbs of tensile strength.
This is one of the simplest, most effective tactical belts on the market.
For obvious reasons, paracord belts make for fabulous survival tools. Paracord belts are durable, and they serve many survival purposes. Just unravel the 550 paracord to offer many yards of high-tensile cordage.
This style of belt is modeled after the paracord survival bracelets. Which serve a similar purpose, but in belt form provides much more length.
Beyond being useful when unraveled, these belts are also durable as is. They can be used for a variety of purposes without ever being unwound.
The Rattlerstrap Paracord Survival Belt is an excellent option for bushcraft survival.
This is the most basic survival belts on this list. I include them not because they’re insanely useful, but due to their reliability. Their dependability is exactly why the US military has been using the same style pistol belt for decades. They work because they are simple.
The material they are made from is both durable, and cheap. It’s a material made for attaching lots of extra tools and weapons. Sometimes simple is best, and if you’re looking for a basic, easy, reliable survival belt, then the Military Style Pistol Belt is the right one for you.
Want a tactical belt and 2 mag pouches for under $15? Look no further than the Condor Tactical Belt.
This tactical belt is designed to carry a pistol and a couple of magazines (plus, whatever extra gear and pouches you can fit).
It has a plastic buckle familiar to the kind used in by the military during the 1980’s and 90’s. It’s a sturdy buckle, but as a caution, if left exposed to the cold for a prolonged period it can be prone to getting brittle and breaking.
The belt itself is extremely versatile. It can be quickly adjusted by the velcro and comes with two adjustable pistol magazine pouches as well. Both of which can be repositioned as needed.
The Many Survival Uses For A Belt
Serious Medical Uses
Tourniquet: Any solid belt can make a great makeshift tourniquet (which is why heroin users are so fond of them). If you must stop bleeding, slip off your belt, and cinch it up tight. Whether it’s to stop a massive cut or in preparation for an amputation, in a pinch a good sturdy belt will get the job done.
Injury elevation: With broken bones or joint sprains; elevate. Elevating an injured limb is key to helping it heal faster. With a belt, create a loop to hold the injured limb and fastened it to something above you.
Splint Fastener: Should you, or someone in your party, break a bone you’ll want a splint. That means attaching a rigid, straight object to the outside of the broken limb to hold it in place.
Pipes, straight branches, ski poles, all work perfectly for this. With your belt, you can secure one or more makeshift splints in place around a broken bone. Keeping it stable to avoid further damage.
A Lethal Self Defense Weapon
A whip: Yeah, using a belt as a whip is a great way to get people to take a step back. When you swing a belt, you can generate enough whip force to break the skin and cause bleeding. And if you’re swinging the buckle end, you can inflict some serious damage. Because now you have an improvised flail.
I’ve even seen some people fasten a rock in a loop at the end of the belt, which also works in a flail-like fashion.
Garrote: It doesn’t take a hyper-creative mind to figure out how you might choke someone with a belt.
Sling: With only a few modifications you can turn a belt into a projectile launching sling. Send rocks or other projectiles hurtling with greater force than your own arms alone. Slings are a very rudimentary, ancient, very reliable form of projectile weaponry.
Make a Spear: Take a knife, strap it to the end of a long stick using your belt. Viola. You’ll have to stick a few holes in your belt to do this effectively. But in desperate times, weapons are more important than pants-holders so keep your priorities straight.
Physical Restraint: You took a hostile prisoner captive and must restrain them. Or maybe someone in your group has gone crazy, and you want to keep them from hurting themselves.
Well, belts are great makeshift restraints. You can secure someone to a tree or pole, or you can use them more like handcuffs. Without a rope or actual cuffs, belts are your next best option.
Fastening Things For Easier Hauling
Carry Many Items: Wrapping your belt around a stack of books, a bundle of firewood, or a bundle of tools allows you to secure them into a single bunch. Making carrying a bunch of stuff much easier.
Cordage: When two objects need binding, but you haven’t any cordage to bind them with, slip off that belt and use it! You can use the belt as a whole, or, if the need arises, you can cut the belt into strips of leather. In this way, you get a multitude of thin cords with which you can secure whatever you need to.
Hoisting Food: At night, you will likely want to keep your food elevated up and out of harm’s way. Belts are great for exactly this purpose. Fasten your food all together into a bundle, tighten the belt around it, and hang it up in a tree.
Storing it up high will keep it away from unwanted thieves and other would-be scoundrels.
A Survival Belt To The Rescue
Pull People Out Of Harm’s Way: If someone falls in a hole, a well, a ditch, or quicksand, you can use your belt to save them. Like a rope, it will extend your reach by several feet, making it easier to pull them to safety.
Drag a Stretcher: If a group member gets injured, or you’ve killed a big game, you’ll want a stretcher to move the load. And if you are alone, that means you are going to have to drag it alone too. Which is easier with a belt or two fixed up as strap handles.
An Extra Note – On Survival Ingenuity
So now that you know how to turn a belt into a meaningful survival tool, you should feel comfortable with your odds. Right? Well, sort of.
If you do, then that’s great, because confidence is half the battle when it comes to survival. But it isn’t the belt that will save your life. It’s your survival ingenuity. Because even if you own the fanciest survival equipment and don’t know how to use it; you don’t stand a chance.
This article serves two purposes: first, to talk about survival belts. And second, to help stimulate the creative survivor in you. If you can turn a belt into a tool that can save a life, you’re honing your survival ingenuity.
Creative survival is the most useful survival and the most effective survival tool. Thinking inside the box can get you killed in an emergency. Being able to think in a non-linear, innovative way will put you a step ahead of the rest. And increase your chances to live another day.
The Final Word
No, belts are not the first tool you think of when planning for an emergency. But for many of use, it’s a tool we wear every single day.
That’s part of what makes a survival belt such incredible tools. The fact that they are almost always there, on your waist, holding up your pants.
The other quality of belts that gives them such utility is their simplicity. Simple objects can be most versatile.
Even if you never use a survival belt as a whip (or a tourniquet) it may still come in handy in other ways.
New survival gadgets are cool, but because they’re so complex they often lose utility. So think carefully when you are packing your bug out bag, or getting ready to evacuate in the face of an emergency.
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