Emergency Gear: 10 Survival Uses for a Baseball Cap

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Baseball caps are as American as apple pie, the 4th of July, and well–baseball. But these stylish caps aren’t just for keeping the sun out of our eyes or hiding a hideous haircut. Like most things in this world, they become yet another tool in the hands of a creative survivor. Here are ten survival uses for the all-American baseball cap.

1. Water Filter
Even if your hat is as dirty and greasy as some of mine, the fabric of most baseball caps can make a fine pre-filter to assist other disinfection methods. Whether you are straining out larger debris to run your water through a proper filter, or you’re just screening out some particles to make your disinfection tablets work better, these hats do a surprisingly good filter job.

2. Field-Expedient Dressing
A gushing laceration is no joke, and if you get caught without proper dressings, any piece of cloth is better than none. Grab a baseball cap, hold it in place over the wound to apply pressure. Elevate the injury if possible, and keep the cap in place until the bleeding subsides. Then wash your gross bloody hat when you’re done.

3. Signal Flag
Ever notice how a primitive survival shelter is naturally camouflaged? Shelters such as leaf huts, wiki-ups, and lean-tos are notoriously hard to spot. Fix this by hanging up a colorful baseball cap on a pole high above your survival shanty to garner attention and assist with rescue. It also helps you navigate back to your hut in thick brush and dense vegetation.

4. “Slap Cap”
Line the interior back side of your baseball cap with some sewn-in lead buckles, fishing weights, or some similar heavy material, and your cap can deliver a mighty slap. Use this as a backup self-defense item, or for herding large beasts like horses or cattle.

5. Temperature Regulator
Stuff leaves or other insulation under the cap to help keep you warm in cold weather, or pour cold water on it to cool you down in hot weather. Either way, it helps to keep you closer to 98.6 F.

6. Gear Storage
Use a little ingenuity and you can turn your cap into a survival storehouse. Hook a few lures onto it for survival fishing (be careful, though!). Sew a universal handcuff key into the headband for urban survival. Buy a cap with built in LED lights in the brim for signaling and working in the dark. Sew a pocket inside the hat for the storage of match books and all kinds of survival gear.

7. Container
I couldn’t count the times I’ve used my hat to collect berries, cherries, nuts, tinder and other outdoor treats and goodies. Fold the hat in half, and it even doubles as a pouch.

8. Glove or Pot Holder
No, this isn’t as cool as using your hat as a weapon. But the hat can be used to pick up hot things (or sub-zero things), and it protects your hands from unnecessary wear and tear.

9. Cool Compress
Fill a hat with ice or snow, then apply it as a treatment to bites, sprains and strains.

10. Fire Starter
You hope it never comes to this, but a terminal use for your favorite cotton fabric cap could be as tinder or char cloth. At least your beloved hat will go out in a blaze of glory.

Leave us a comment to tell us what you can accomplish with your trusty cap and some imagination.

For more, check out:

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25 Survival Uses for Bandanas

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5 Survival Uses for Beer Botttles