Necktie Wilderness Survival Guide
So your plane crashed, you wandered too far from your camp group, or you just can’t work a compass. Either way, you’re now stranded in the wild and you’re, at best, having a bad day. To make matters worse, you’ve got absolutely no survival skills, so prospects aren’t looking good. It’s time to focus on the bright side.
What do you have on you? Just the clothes you were wearing when you last saw civilization? If part of that wardrobe includes a tie, you might be better off than you’d imagine. You see, not only are ties versatile fashion statements, they also might just save your life. Here’s five ways the tie can be the clothing equivalent of a Swiss army knife.
A good necktie can act as a miniature rope if you need something to support you or help extend your reach slightly. Simply fasten one end of your tie to something sturdy and hold on to the other while you reach for whatever your arms aren’t long enough to get on their own.
Your results with this are going to vary widely depending on your fabric. Stronger neckties, like those made of silk, offer more durability. Weaker fabrics can still be useful, but don’t put too much pressure on them or the tie will rip and you’ll… Well… We’ll cover injuries a little later.
Since you’re not likely to be rescued on the first day, one of your most important tasks is to build a shelter to protect you from the elements during the night. Your tie can be an invaluable building block to help make sure your temporary home is stable while you sleep. We should warn you: you’ll probably have to rip your tie. A lot.
The lean-to is probably the most popular choice for shelter. The first step is to find a suitable spot like a large rock or a fallen tree. Then find some sticks large enough to shelter you (preferably a few feet long) and lean them against whatever you found. To make it more secure, use threads from your tie to bind the ends of the sticks together. Then pile up debris with leaves, sticks, or anything else you can find in the forest.
If you can’t find anything to build a lean-to against, go with an A-frame shelter. Find longer sticks (at least taller than you) that are about the same length, then assemble them into, as the name suggests, frames resembling a capital A. Use another stick to bind the tops of the two frames, and then two more sticks to bind the bottoms on each side. For everything, you can use threads of your tie to bind the material together. Create walls using anything you can find in the forest.
If you just can’t build a shelter, your tie will, at the very least, provide you with a more comfortable (although smaller) pillow than a pile of leaves.
Now that you’ve gotten your shelter taken care of, it’s time to get some food in your stomach. You’ve got two real options: hunt or fish.
For hunting, you can use your tie to build a snare for smaller animals like rabbits. First, rip some thread from your tie to use as the noose. The more durable the thread is, the better. Tie the thread into a loop attached to a stick on one end. Stick the non-noosed end of the stick deep into the ground. Now find a way to keep the noose open (probably easiest by proping it open with other sticks). Then do everything you can to entice an animal to get caught in the trap. These kinds of traps aren’t the most effective, but they’re simple enough that you can pull it off with just your tie and some natural supplies.
If you prefer fish, rip a decent length of thread from your tie and find some form of bait. Now you’ll need to find a hook of some sort. If you’re wearing a clip-on tie, you might be able to use the clip. Since you’re probably not, though, we’d recommend a small, sharp stick, unless you have some other bendy, semi-sharp object. Perhaps the most difficult part is finding suitable bait. Odds are you don’t carry fish bait around with you, so you’ll have to improvise. Dead insects, small leaves, or, if you have it, colorful plastic can entice fish into nibbling on your line. Now find a suitable spot to set up and wait. You’ll have fish in no time. Okay, it might take some time. Sometimes a lot of time.
You’ve probably seen enough movies about people being stranded in the wild to know that you’re inevitably going to get injured. Let’s say you’re minding your own business waiting for some dinner to get trapped in your snare when, suddenly, a bear attacks you for no reason. You put the bear in its place, of course, but he gets a few lucky scratches on your arm. It’s just a scratch, but it’s bleeding. Use your tie to bind the wound. Okay, this probably won’t work for bear attacks, but the idea is still good. When it comes to improvised bandages, a tie is probably slightly better than any other torn piece of clothing.
Your tie can also work as a decent sling if your injury is more broken bone-y instead of an open wound. Don’t worry, though. No one saw that embarrassing trip you had. I just hope it wasn’t over your own snare.
5. Confidence Booster
At the absolute minimum, your tie is a creature comfort that will help you get through this ordeal. You may be stranded in the wild, but you’re the best dressed person in the whole forest. You’ll just have to look past the fact that you’re probably the only person in the forest.
And when you finally do get rescued, be sure to give your tie the respect it deserves. Odds are, it didn’t survive the ordeal, but it gave its life to help make sure you did. What have your socks done for you lately?