June 28, 2019

During the 75 years of its existence, duct tape has become a staple product for “fix-it-yourselfers” from every walk of life.

It can mend, bind, patch, repair, and replace many of the items we would need in a survival situation – and you don’t need specialized tools to use it.

  • Make Sunglasses: Simply measure around your head (where a blindfold would go), peel off a strip of duct tape twice as long, and fold it in half lengthwise so the sticky side meets. Leave a small bit of adhesive exposed at the end to fasten the goggles together. Set the tape against a hard surface, cut two narrow slits (which restrict damaging UV light) for your eye holes and you’re done.
  • Light it up: Need something to help you start a fire in wet weather? A crumpled ball of duct tape will burn for a minute or two when lit with an open flame.
  • Take the bite out of ticks: Just peel off a strip and press it repeatedly to remove tiny ticks.
  • Fletch an arrow: In the absence of large feathers, duct tape can make a quick and effective arrow fletching. Press matching pieces of duct tape on each side of the notch end of your arrow. Stick them together and trim to the desired shape.
  • Wrangle some rope: Twisting duct tape into rope will give you a surprisingly strong cord. Military grade tape has a 40-pound breaking strength while the strength of less expensive tapes is in the 20-pound range. 
  • Close your cuts: Make your own butterfly bandage strips by cutting small rectangular pieces of duct tape. Add a small bit of tape in the center (sticky side to sticky side) to keep the tape from sticking to the wound.
  • Make pouches and bags: Make a foraging bag to carry your meal back to camp or a water bucket to dip into the creek. When stuck together completely, duct tape holds water out or in, as needed.
  • Curb your enthusiasm: If someone is acting up during a survival emergency, you can duct tape his hands together around a tree to present him from becoming a danger to himself or others. For best results, don’t leave the tape flat. Crumple any open sections so they are less likely to tear.
  • Blaze a trail: Tear off little pieces of duct tape and stick them to trees, rocks, signs or structures so you can easily find your way back or lead others to follow your footsteps.
  • Duct tape shoes: While admittedly slippery, socks wrapped in a generous spiraling layer of duct tape can act as makeshift boots. And bare feet wrapped in this miracle product can tackle tough terrain better than bare feet alone.