No, a ranger band is not a group of park service employees with musical instruments. A ranger band is simply an old bicycle tire that has been cut into strips. You can cut the strips at various lengths depending on what you’re using them for, whether that be three inches of tubing or maybe just a sliver to use in place of a regular rubber band.
Why not just use a regular rubber band?
Rubber bands aren’t actually made of rubber, they’re made of latex. Over time they can become gooey or brittle and then they break. Since ranger bands are made of old bicycle tires, which are made of butyl rubber, they can last an incredibly long time.
What can you use a ranger band for?
Pretty much anything you can use a rubber band for. Here are a few things to give you an idea:
- Fire starter. Ranger bands burn for at least 30 seconds, giving you ample time to get a fire started.
- A place to store tinder. I add them to paracord bracelets around the buckle to store a piece of Quick Tinder. Not only can you use the tinder to start a fire, but now you also have a ranger band to give you more time to get that fire going.
- Put it around a knife sheath to store things, like: a small LED light, FireSteel, a lighter, matches, whatever. Anything small enough to jam in there.
- Attach a light to a gun.
- Pistol grip.
- Add grip to a fixed blade knife.
- Add grip to an axe.
- Backpack strap ties. I roll up the excess material from the straps and wrap it up nicely inside a ranger band. Not only does it keep the straps from dangling everywhere, but it gives me plenty of extra fire starter.
- Use a thin strip to wrap around an Altoids “survival” tin. Not only will it keep the tin closed without worry, but it gives you some extra fire starter.
- Use some to organize/store medical gear.
- Make a slingshot.
- Make a tourniquet.
- Compass protector/sleeve.
- Strap gear together.
- Use it to silence your dog tags.
The list goes on and on. And the nice thing is that inner tubes come in all sorts of different sizes, so you can probably find one to fit your need.