Survival Uses for Pool Noodles

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    Every now and then you come across an item or object that makes a light bulb come on above your head. Usually this is when something you are using seems as though it could be useful for another task, making it dual-purpose. Better yet, it is sometimes possible to find even more uses for an object, making it become a practical tool for survival.

    While going for a swim recently, I noticed a pool noodle that was left behind. Admittedly, I have never really seen what the appeal of a pool noodle is, but out of curiosity, I picked it up and examined it anyway. As it turns out, the pool noodle has many survival uses. To make it even better, the pool noodle is cheap and can be purchased at dollar stores or big box stores starting at a dollar for the smaller ones and a few dollars more for the larger versions.

    The advantages of the pool noodle begin with its buoyancy. While it may look like something easily sinkable, the fact of the matter is that a pool noodle has some serious floatation capabilities. It can literally hold an adult above water, even if all you have is a small pool noodle. Its ability to float objects and people of great weight makes it useful in a survival situation where water crossing may be necessary or flood waters could be present. A pool noodle alone may not be able to save your life, but if you are able to keep a grasp on it, being near to the surface will be likely due to the densely packed material of which it is made. Also with its floatation capabilities in mind, a collection of pool noodles can be used to create a raft to carry people or supplies across water.

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    The usefulness of pool noodles doesn't stop at floatation, however. They are round and have a continuous void that runs their entire length. This void does not leak (unless the noodle has become damaged, perhaps) and can be used as a means to transport water. Each end will need to be closed off in order to keep the water in, but a piece of paracord is an ample means of doing this. Pool noodles can also be used to direct the flow of water if need be.

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    Pool noodles are useful in many other ways as well. Here are some examples:

    When nature calls and all you have is a bucket, answering that call can be quite uncomfortable. Line your bucket rim with a pool noodle for a more comfortable toilet seat.

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    If you've got an injury, pool noodles can help. In addition to being used as a makeshift brace, they can be added to crutches for padding. It is also possible to massage pressure points and eradicate pain by using pool noodles; simply roll your foot atop one or have someone apply pressure and roll it over your back.

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    Keep sharp edges away from children by adding a pool noodle. Cut a piece of noodle and insert sharp points into it so accidental injuries are less likely to occur. This is great for use on campfire skewers or household tools.

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    In the same vein of child protection, add pool noodles to places where a head might be banged or a fall might occur, such as the fireplace hearth. You can even use pool noodles as makeshift guard rails to keep children from rolling out of bed.

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    Since fishing will be a part of most survival plans, having a float will come in handy. If bobbers or cork are not available, but a pool noodle is, it can take the place of those things and perform the same function or be used as an adapted form of jug fishing.

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    Next time you're in the area of a dollar store, spend a buck on a pool noodle and see what uses you might be able to develop. That silly shaped child's toy might just surprise you, proving to have many more survival uses than were mentioned here. If you have already walked down this road and have experimented with pool noodles, feel free to chime in below and let us know what you think of pool noodles and what uses you have for yours.

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