DIY ranger bands – the ultimate prepping rubber band


The wife’s bike got a flat tire this week so I saw it as another opportunity to make some more ranger bands. What is a ranger band? It’s a great prepping fastener along the lines with duct tape, super glue, and paracord. Pretty much it is a piece of bicycle inner tube cut into a strong and durable rubber band that can be used to secure gear together. 

Now for a bunch of uses from random people on the internet:

Many people attach ranger bands to the sheaths of their knives so that they can attach additional gear to them like a ferro rod.


Although I’ve never tried it before, they are supposedly flammable and are a source of tinder. Here is someone using ranger bands to strap a flash light to a rifle, and another picture of more gear strapped to a knife sheath.


You can use ranger bands to add some more grip to something like a knife or flashlight too when placed around the handle.


I’ve used ranger bands in all sorts of cases from adding some additional rubber bump protection on some gear so it doesn’t get scratched, securing multiple items together, or using as a strong rubber band to hold containers shut.

The diameter of the inner tube you use will determine the diameter of your ranger band. I tend to use the 1.75″ diameter bands the most but there are all sorts of sizes such as 1/2″, 1″, 1.75″, 2.50″ all the way up to motorcycle tubes.

When cutting your inner tube, vary the width of each band and don’t cut them all the same size. Make some super thin, some the width of your finger (my most commonly used) but also make some 1″, 2″, 3″ or even 4″ wide bands that can be slid over various things. And don’t cut up the entire tube in one sitting, leave about 1/4 of the tube left over so if you have a specific need case you can cut to the length you want. For example, see that last picture of the ranger band knife handle? You could cut a piece of tube the length of the handle and have one solid piece instead of three separate pieces like that guy did, if you want.


I’ve turned popped tubes into ranger bands from bikes we have had, but also have gone to a local bike shop and they had a trash can full of used tubes and I could pick whatever size I wanted. 

I tend to like the cheaper tubes better for ranger bands that can be stretched out more than the really thick puncture proof tubes.

Not bad for a free prep where a standard 26″ bike tube will give you a whole sandwich baggie full of bands. Or you can buy 48 bands from Walmart for $18.

Does anyone else make or use these? What use cases can you see yourself using them in?


  • Comments (4)

    • 4

      Good morning Robert,

      Haven’t used any ranger bands before; just read about using tube for making a slingshot.

      One case I can think of for me to use inner tube would be with that quarter leftover of the tube for a couple of wraps around a fiberglass pike pole in case too slippery to firmly hold even at the already prepared paracord wrap-around gripping sections.

      • 2

        Top of the mornin to ya Bob!

        Making a slingshot with inner tubes would be an interesting project. I’m curious now if it’s possible or if there isn’t enough elasticity to be pulled back far enough.

        I can see the inner tube being a great handle for your pike pole. For long 6″+ pieces you may have to split your grip into smaller pieces. I think it might be very difficult to slide a 10″ piece of tight fitting rubber down a pole so maybe splitting that up into smaller more manageable pieces.

        Also, another thing to consider is that the inner tube rubber is naturally bent into a circle shape. If you slide a 1/4 inner tube that is a quarter of a circle down a straight pole, one side will be super tight and the opposite side might have some excess material. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I think you will find out quickly if attempting it. 

        If I ever have to wrap something long, I might try lubricating the inner tube with something like oil or baby powder to help slide it onto the piece better.

      • 3

        Good afternoon Robert,

        Ref making a slingshot; I read that long ago and can guess that inner tubes nowadays could be manufactured of different materials. 

        Ref a pike pole grip; I’d take a portion of that leftover quarter and cut a strip about the width of 2 paracords.Would then diagonally wrap it around a grip section of pole and hold in place with paracord.

      • 1

        oh nice! That sounds like it would work out well as a grip.