Cable ties are ridiculously cheap and multifunctional. And when used with a bit of ingenuity and creativity, they can become a traveler’s best friend.
Here’s our list of how you can put the mighty cable tie to use.
- DIY Zipper Pulls
If you lose or break the stock pull on your zipper, put a cable tie through it, make a small loop and cut off the rest. This will allow you to use the zipper until you get it fixed. Make sure the cable tie loop you make is just big enough to put your thumb through to make it easier to operate the zipper.
- Organise Your Stuff
We know you carry a truckload of different cables with you when travelling. Cameras, phones, GoPro, GPS, laptops – most of us don’t #GetOut without at least a few of these electronics. But keeping all the charger and data cables organized when travelling is a real problem. Wind up the cables and use cable ties to cinch them. That way, they wont come apart. You can even use different coloured cable ties to colour code your cables.
- Emergency Shoe Laces
Make temporary shoes laces using cable ties if you have had to use your laces for cordage in a situation. Slip a small tie though several of your boot eyelets and secure.
Caution: Once drawn tight zip ties have to be cut off so make sure you have the tools such as a knife or wire cutters available when you need to take your shoes off. Some of the larger ties that are quality made will take some effort to cut away.
- Hand Cuff Restraints
An obvious use of course is for hand restraints. We’re not saying you’ll have need of restraints, we hope not, be we think you should know how to, just in case. In certain situations, you may need to restrain someone and cable ties are ideal “handcuffs”. However, the cheap ties can be manipulated and a person can break free. So once again, quality products pay off in the end.
- Versatile Camera Mounts
Cable ties can provide a simple and compact camera mounting solution for your action cameras. Find a favourable spot to mount the camera, loop a cable through the mount and the spot and cinch it tight. Just cut it free when you’re done.
- Makeshift Snow ChainIf
you’re trying to get around on a bicycle in the winter studded tires are a great investment, but if you’re going to be riding in the snow just this once, you can make a set of tire “chains” using a few dozen heavy duty cable ties. The ties themselves dig into the snow nicely but are not thick enough to make the bike bounce. Caution: Make sure that if your bike has fenders that the zip tie heads are low enough to not cause clearance issues and also make sure that you don’t try this if your bike has rim brakes; the zip ties will get in the way of the brake pads.
- Cycle or Motorcycle Lock
If you have to park your cycle or motorcycle unattended for a short while, this is a great hack. Pull back the front brake and hold it tight. Use a heavy duty cable tie and loop it around the brake and the handlebar as tight as you can and cinch it. We recommend using a black coloured cable tie to make it blend in.
- First Aid and Splint
Use cable ties to lash splints to a limb hat has a broken bone or to any limb that needs to be immobilized. Leave loose for the first few hours to account for swelling of the limb. Using cable ties as tourniquets is not recommended and it may do more harm than good in some cases. The ties would be too restrictive, and would cut into the muscle and flesh, and once tightened they would need to be cut off with a knife or wire cutters and this would be difficult if not impossible to do so without creating damage to the limb.
- Temporary Locks for Zippered Luggage
Use cable ties to secure bags, back packs and other luggage with zippers. Unless someone is clever enough to replace your cable tie with the exact one you used, you can tell if someone has been into your locked compartment or even bag of supplies because the only way to remove a cable tie is to cut it.
So here it is then. These are basic ideas. From here on, the sky, and your imagination, is the limit!