10 Survival Uses for a Leather Belt

Here is another article in the series of 10 uses for items you may not think about. This time I will be tackling another item that most outdoors people have on them, a leather belt. Without any further explanation, here are 10 uses for a leather belt in survival situations. Enjoy!

If you are looking to buy a belt, check out our best survival belt buying guide.

Uses for a Leather Belt

1. Knife Strop

When a knife is used, little burrs of metal can be created along the cutting edge. By using a leather belt as a strop, the knife can be easily sharpened without the worry of taking off too much metal, as a sharpening stone can do. 

2. Carry Wood 

Sometimes carrying a pile of wood can be a real pain, quite literally. Holding a bunch wood in your arms with all of those little pieces sticking out and poking you, who needs that. Instead, lay a leather belt on the ground and pile the wood in the middle. Wrap the belt around the wood and through the belt loop and you will have an instant carrying strap.  

3. Tighten down a pack 

Many outdoor packs come with nylon straps that can be cinched down for keeping the contents of the bag from bouncing around when walking. But some bags don’t have these straps or hardware and straps can break. If you run into this try wrapping a belt around a pack and cinch it down to help keep items secure.

4. Start A Fire

While it might not be ideal, a belt could be used to help spin a spindle when creating friction fires.  

5. Sling 

A leather belt could be used as an improvised arm sling when an injured arm needs to be immobilized. 

6. Wrap around a tree for hanging things

If cordage is lacking, try securing a belt around the trunk of a tree. Items can then be hung from the belt to keep them off of the wet ground or away from unwanted pests. Plus, it makes for a nice homey looking shelving unit. 

7. Climb a tree

Smaller diameter tree trunks with high limbs can be difficult to climb. With one end of the belt in one hand, the other end can be thrown around the trunk and grabbed. This will give a third point of contact to slide up the trunk when trying to ascend a tree.

Even though I have used this method a few times, it can be very dangerous! I am not advocating this as a proper climbing method. 

8. Measuring Device

Before you head out on an adventure use a tape measure to find out the exact length of your belt. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make a few one-inch notches on it as well. This way you will always have an easy to carry measuring device on you at all times. 

9. Adjustable Loop

Feed one end of the belt through the buckle and you now have an adjustable loop that can be used for a variety of purposes. Some uses include moving heavy objects and raising or lowering items off of the ground. 

10. Passing Time   

Mental health is important to take care of and one way of doing that is by keeping your mind busy with positive tasks. While leather belts are strong, they are also soft which means that they are easy to “carve” into. This means that you could use the belt as a canvas for making designs or even for writing out your thoughts and experiences. 



Bryan Lynch
Written by Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. Recently, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. Read more of Bryan's articles.

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