Why a safety pin? It is nice to have a large selection of special gear for travelers these days: lightweight, durable, multipurpose gear that helps reduce bulk in your bag. However, often there is no need for the extra expense. With a bit of creativity, you can turn everyday items into a whole box of tools.

The standard safety pin — patented in 1849 by American mechanic Walter Hunt — is one of my favorite gadgets. Here are five uses for it that you might not have thought of:

Button-up

Regardless of whether your jeans have lost their button or you’re trying to keep one of those fashionable wrap-around cardigans shut on a windy day, keeping a safety pin in your bag, can save the day.

Keep order

Earrings, pearls, buttons (which themselves can keep ear studs in order), hair accessories, more safety pins… If it’s got a hole, you can string it on a safety pin to easily find it in your bag. No need to carry extra pouches or plastic bags — which are BTW illegal in some countries.

Attach

Sometimes, in traveling, you don't need fancy gear - everyday items can be a lifesaver. Learn about 5 things a safety pin can do for the smart traveler.After collecting all the things I want to keep in order with my safety pins I like to attach them to the inside of one of my backpack pockets or my toiletry bag, so it truly can’t get lost; I pin it to the inside, so I don’t accidentally get stuck on the pin and pull it out.

But outside the backpack, the safety-pin can also serve to attach things: hold to ends of ribbon together to form a sling, pin your socks to the washing line if you find yourself without pegs or on a stormy day, pin the corners of your blanket to stop it from getting all muddled up.

Needle it*

Some people claim, they can pick locks with a safety-pin. I don’t know about that. But anytime you need to punch a hole, remove a splinter when you find yourself in need of a fishing hook, desperately want to get that bit of meat out of your teeth or clean your nails* — your trusty safety pin is there to help.

Delectrify it (girl issues…)

Safety pins are made of metal, which means they can conduct electricity and thereby reduce static. Think that pesky skirts-and-tights-stick-together-and-all-the shoving-the-skirt-back-down-only-makes-things-worse situation. Try pinning a safety pin to your knickers or the skirt (best on a hidden seam).

So, there you go: five uses of the safety-pin you might not have thought of before. Next time you pack your bags make sure you include a few of those universal little helpers.

*Safety or not, it’s a still pin — a pointy thing with the potential to hurt you seriously — so, always use your brains and exercise great extra care when using a safety-pin to pick your teeth, fingers or what have you. You might even want to consider disinfecting it before and after use.

Do you have anything to add? Any thoughts on what you just read? Let me know!

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