Ski Straps

It’s nearly summer, so you’ve probably already packed away most of your ski gear. If you haven’t yet, you’re probably thinking about packing away all your ski gear, or you’re just lazy (no disrespect, I fall into that final category myself). Before you pack everything away, though, grab those rubbery ski straps and set them to the side. There are many ways you might find those guys to be pretty handy throughout the summer.

Gear Repairs

These ski straps (often called Voile Straps because of the popularity of Voile’s straps) are master repairers. In the winter, they can be major life savers while in the backcountry, holding gear together that should otherwise be in several different pieces. That reigns true throughout the summer, as well.

Take the image below as an example. The toe strap on those sandals has nearly ripped out, so they’re quite the floppy pair of shoes and their lifetime is limited. But I still like them and I want to use them until they die. With a simple ski strap, they’re back to working exactly how I need them to. Keeping some ski straps in your hiking bag would let you make fixes like this, and plenty of others, while out in the field.

Voile straps holding some sandals together (sorry for the socks and sandals look, I didn’t want to show off my feet).

Bike Packing

Bike packing is awesome, but those bike bags can get expensive. If you just need to strap a few items to your bike for whatever reason, a ski strap can easily get that done. In the below example, I’ve strapped my favorite rain coat to the fork of my gravel bike, but there are plenty of other ways to go about it. With two straps, you can create a homemade handlebar bag, or you could easily slap an extra water bottle to the fork. There really are few limits.

Rain coat strapped to a gravel bike with a ski strap.

Carry In-Carry Out

Carry in-carry out is a simple yet incredibly important concept for exploring the wilderness, and yet some people still just can’t get the concept through their head. Maybe it’s because they’re lazy, maybe it’s because they’re selfish, or maybe it’s because they’re grossed out by their waste.

RELATED: Booster Straps: What Are They And Are They Worth It?

Poop, for example, can turn into a real issue in some places. Here in Colorado, it seems like nobody wants to pick up their dog’s poop anymore. And in some places, carrying out your own human waste is incredibly necessary. Don’t just bag it up and toss it in your backpack, though. Bag it up, throw it in an old food storage container, and slap your ski strap around that bad boy. That’ll ensure that the container stays fully sealed and will contain the stick a lot better.

Food container with something inside, sealed shut with the help of a ski strap.

Jerry-Rigged Spikes

Picture this: you’re enjoying a beautiful hike, the ground is dry, things are perfect, when BOOM, snow in the path. Or mud. Or something generally slippery. Obviously proper spikes are going to be best in a situation like this, and I highly recommend getting a pair for any hiking trip, but a ski strap can add just a little bit of extra traction to the bottom of your shoe if necessary. Simply strap that guy around the middle of your foot, make sure the clip is facing down, and get on your way. KEEP IN MIND, this could very well break the strap, and it won’t provide infinite traction.

A ski strap can be placed on the bottom of hiking shoes for emergency traction.

Hair Tie

A snapped hair tie can ruin a day. Whether you’re hiking or just enjoying nature, suddenly having hair in your face sucks. Fortunately, a ski strap can easily replace those rubbery things, and they’re a lot less likely to break.

Now my hair is currently too short for a hair tie, but I’m occasionally in need of a headband to keep my hair away from my eyes. Would a proper headband work best in this situation? Probably. But a ski strap can easily wrap around my head to keep the hair away.

A ski strap acts as a headband, keeping hair away from my eyes (featuring my ugly mug).

SKIING!

What, just because it’s summer means we can’t ski anymore? Get out of here with that nasty thought. There’s always snow if you’re willing to go far enough. Here in Colorado, Saint Mary’s Glacier tends to provide year long skiing, you just need to hike for it. If there’s one thing a ski strap is good for, it’s keeping your skis together while you’re hiking, whether you’re using the a frame method or diagonal method.

Skis held together in an a frame with a ski strap.

Etcetera

The list is truly endless on ways to take advantage of your ski straps throughout the summer. They can play a role in first aid, camping, generally hanging things up, holding together a flower bouquet, and just so much more. I would love to hear the wildest ways people have taken advantage of their ski straps, whether in the summer or the winter.

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