My BOB Has A Secret… And It Isn’t Pretty


The secret weapon in my bug out bag is pantyhose. (Maybe I should call them man-tyhose.)

After you stop laughing, you might want to read on to see just why I keep these in my pack. You may just find yourself grabbing a few pairs afterwards.

If you are heading out for a weekend camping trip or if a disaster is on its way and you need to hoof it on foot to get out of dodge, make sure you always have a few pair of pantyhose in your gear.

It might not be a very manly thing to carry, and I get a few funny looks when I step up to the counter at CVS with a pair of pantyhose. But this is survival planning, and your looking manly is trumped by being prepared.

Not only are these cheap to buy, but there are dozens of alternative uses for them and they take up practically no space. Check out the list below for a small sampling of what these can be used for:

  • You can wear pantyhose as extra layer beneath your normal clothes to keep warm in cold weather.
  • Use pantyhose to prevent bites and stings. Wear pantyhose under your shorts or pants to protect against chiggers, ticks and other biting insects.
  • If you are going to be trekking through water, wear them to protect yourself from jellyfish stings and leeches.
  • Stretch a pair of pantyhose over a Y-shaped branch or stick and use as a skimmer or a fishing net. You won’t catch a 10-pound catfish in this, but you may be able to pick up a few smaller fish to eat or use as bait for a larger fish.
  • Use pantyhose to secure bait while fishing. Place bait in the pantyhose and secure it to a tree or anything sturdy in order to keep from losing bait while fishing.
  • Use pantyhose as a pouch or bag to carry things.
  • Use pantyhose instead of twine or bungee cords to fasten or bind things together.
  • You can use pantyhose as a belt to keep your pants hiked up.
  • In first aid, you can use pantyhose as a tourniquet or to hold and/or secure a bandage or hot and cold pack.
  • Use pantyhose as a first-round filter to strain any collected water. The water will still need to be treated or boiled, but this first line of defense will help to clear the water of any large particles.
  • Use pantyhose to prevent blisters. I saw a lot of comments in one of my previous articles about using pantyhose to keep your feet blister-free, and I just wanted to highlight it again here. Cut the feet off of a pair of pantyhose at the ankles and wear them under your socks. They will help cut down on the friction between your shoe and your foot, thus reducing the risk of blisters.

Pantyhose look terrible on men… plain and simple. But they were never designed for us. The great thing about them, though, is that they are extremely stretchy. Most of them have a sizing guide, so you can take a guess at the size you should buy.

I’m not saying that pantyhose should be worn on a regular basis. But in a survival situation, the benefits of having those in your pack outweigh any blow that your pride may take when purchasing them. And if you really can’t break down and buy a pair of them for yourself,  I’ve actually seen a few places that sell them in camouflage for the really manly man.

If you have the extra cash, you can always buy Under Armour. But you can get 10 pairs of pantyhose for the cost of one pair of Under Armour. I would rather save my money for something else.

These are just a few examples of what a little ingenuity can bring you in a survival situation. Can you think of a few more that I may have missed?

Personal Liberty

Joe Marshall

A little about 'Above Average' Joe. I am the managing editor for I am just an average guy with a passion for learning. Survival Life is more than just one man. It is a growing and living community of individuals; all with the desire to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what this world throws at us. For more articles like this please subscribe to my biweekly newsletter or feel free to follow me on Facebook.

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  • Devasahayam

    And there are men who wear pantyhose (aka “stockings”) on regular basis — lifeguards at Aussie beaches (usually a Queen-size below and Extra-King above with hole cut for head) — as this has proven to be best protection against Chironex fleckeri stings.

  • Stuart Shepherd

    Sounds kind of kinky, but you seem like a regular guy and what works works (especially outdoors). Hadn’t thought of the practical utility and efficiency. Can you get a female to buy them in the store for you, though?

  • joe momma

    the most important first aid one is to recover from a blister…..

  • dan

    good enough for Joe Namath and the NFL..
    .plus they make you feel really pretty :)

  • Bob

    A friend said. “My Aunt buys the calf high hose by the case. She loads one up with ground coffee and ties the top off. Take coffee can full of them camping. Fill a camp fire coffee pot with water and toss in one of the pre-packaged units an boil……easiest, best ground free cowboy coffee ever!”

    • Margaret Manzi

      Great idea.

  • Mith Radates

    Long-distance motorcycle riders have used them for years to keep warmer in winter riding. They really work.

  • Margaret Manzi

    Wow. Had no idea this poor excuse for a garment, which I’ve always hated due to their flimsiness, would be so useful. I have a little more respect for them now. Maybe I’ll pick some up for the men in my family.

  • FreedomFighter

    “Wear pantyhose under your shorts or pants to protect against chiggers, ticks and other biting insects.”

    In my area, blackberry’s just started ripening, the wild onion (very small ones) are ready for picking and some wild grains have matured to the point of harvest (by hand just to add to some recipes). The biting insects are ferocious and hungry, on my first trip I dressed for the woods and sprayed some stuff on my boots and bottom of my pants and went on out to get blackberries and onions (this was about 2 weeks ago). The blackberries were not ready but I did harvest a load of spring onions and some grain and stepped into a nest of chiggers while in the brush, also ended up removing over 30 ticks both small and large from my body, some in really private places, the biting fly’s were extremely nasty too.

    My one leg is still a red and raw mess from the chiggers, and I still have welts from were some of the ticks got me, that was using repellent too. I ordered facial netting and the best repellent I could find and now duct tape my boot and pant legs, wear a netting on my head, gloves with duct tape at the wrists and spray generously. I still pull ticks off.

    I will be adding some panty hose to the deal, once you have had a tick bite you on the do-dads it only makes sense to protect yourself as best as possible, if you have had this happen you know what I mean.

    Thanks for the great idea, I will be out getting some more blackberries today for homemade wine and jelly.

    Laus DeoSemper FI

    • ONTIME

      Well you still have the memory of all those tasty wild plants you managed to harvest… will all work out in the end…

      • FreedomFighter

        Get this book:

        The Forager’s Harvest
        A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing
        by Samuel Thayer

        Great way to get started, also suggest you take a foragers class at the local park

        Laus DeoSemper FI

    • independent thinker

      Get Permethrin spray to use on your clothes. That is what I use and I have brushed many a dead tick off my pants legs. You can order the spray that is supposed to last through repeated washings but I just use what I can find in the household insecticide department of my local big box store.


    Many of the football players used them to stay warm while playing winter games and I have used the silk long johns for years because they are comfortable to the point you don’t even notice them, they dry fast, easy to wash and are pretty tough.

  • Smitty

    Knee hi’s also work well as filters at end of washing machine draining hose. Help to keep lint from clogging drains. Rubber bands secure them in place. Saves on plumbing problems.

  • Rosario

    My husband works in the bush, hunts and fishes but he doesn’t find any need to pack woman’s pantyhose. During bug season I have not found on those days when I wear pantyhose I have no more protection from bug bites then if I went bare legged. We both agree if you guys want to wear pantyhose just go for it no body will ask for a reason why your packing them.. acept maybe the wife. Oh I did try pantyhose to fix my a broken engine fan belt and that didn’t work either, but then again I am not a mechanic. Guys if you feel odd shopping for woman’s pantyhose there are many online web sites that you can order men’s or unisex pantyhose. I just typed “men’s pantyhose” into my search engine and the page filled with sites.

  • JimH

    If your wife finds your mistresses panty hose in your car, tell her it’s for your bug out bag.
    If she’s wise to you, the bag may be needed sooner than you think.

  • Doctor Mom

    Pantyhose are also wonderful for hanging onions and garlic in cool, dry place for long term storage. Also carried pair in Grab Bag when living aboard small boat for 2 years…in case of shipwreck/sinking, trail behind life boat to collect plankton (yuck) to avoid starvation when adrift at sea.

  • Gimmesumadat Whatyougot

    My guess, is that you guys have been eying your gals pantyhose for some time! Just afraid she might catch you trying them on. Now, under the heading of preparedness, you can legitimately claim them as your own.

    Might go well with that sun-dress hanging in the closet too!

  • $9913635

    Heck! No wonder women live longer! Getting me some pantyhose to even things up.

    And why do they give men flowers after winning at the Oly? You would think they would give them a big crescent wrench or something.