Five Ways to Use Duck Tape for Survival

June 11, 2015 by | Be the first to comment »

Duct tape has been utilized for many purposes since it first emerged during World War II. Permacell, a company operating under the umbrella of Johnson and Johnson, developed the tape after the American military requested a waterproof product suitable for executing repairs in the field. Soldiers arrived at the popular nickname “duck tape” because of its water resistant qualities were similar to that of a duck’s back.

These days duck tape can be found in most households and tool benches around the country. Over the years, people have used this miracle product as fly paper, to make wallets, to fix a ruptured vacuum hose and countless other uses.

This awesome adhesive can also be useful in survival scenarios. Here are five uses illustrating why you may want to bring a roll along for your next outing:

First aid

If you sustain a fairly deep cut during your outdoor adventure, duck tape makes a pretty good bandage. Just cut two small strip and use them to close the wound, then place a third, smaller strip over the middle portion of the first two strips. If it’s a broken leg or a sprained ankle you need to treat, you can use duck tape to craft a makeshift splint. Start with a pair of small yet strong pieces of wood and use the duck tape to keep the wooden splints snugly in place. Duck tape is handy for fastening a strip of cloth of a fork-shaped branch, which the injured individual may use as a crutch. It can be used as a tourniquet, as long as a piece of cloth is applied to the skin before applying the tape, and in a pinch, it could also serve as the makings for an arm sling.

The quicker fixer-upper

Thanks to duck tape, there’s no reason to let a leaky canoe or a tear in your tent ruin an otherwise perfect camping trip. If you notice a small hole in your canoe and you’re still have a ways to go before you reach your destination, find a spot to go to shore and break out the tape. Dry off the exterior of the canoe where the leak is located, and apply a couple of strips over the hole. Repeat this process on the interior side and it should be sufficient to keep you afloat, at least temporarily. A couple of pieces of duck tape can be a real life saver if your water bottle springs a leak in the midst of a lengthy hike – just dry the bottle off before applying the tape. Duck tape can also be used to fix a busted tent pole, cover a hole in the tent or to replace a poorly performing zipper.

Make your own necessities

Duck tape can serve as the glue that holds together a temporary shelter made with anything from tarps and trash bags to leaves and sticks, and it’s also the key to crafting a spear that could be used for hunting or even self-defense—just secure a knife to the end of a sturdy branch. If you need a hat to help keep you warm during the cold overnight hours or protect you from the rain, you can use duck tape to line a basic mesh-backed baseball cap with plastic, leaves or cloth. And of you gather up enough plastic, old newspapers, cloth or leaves, you can lay these materials out in the shape of a blanket and secure the materials with duck tape. Once both sides are covered in the adhesive, go around the edges and apply a strip of tape to help hold it all together.

Find your way, and help others find you

Duck tape can be a fantastic tool to help avoid getting lost while exploring a new trail, or so people in your hiking party will know where to find you. It can also be helpful in situations where a hiker is injured and emergency crews must locate them quickly. Wrap the tape around trees or branches along the way to mark a trail for yourself and your companions, or create arrows or short messages with the tape indicating a need for help (think SOS).

Preserve ammunition

Since duck tape was originally developed for military use, it stands to reason that it also creates a moisture resistant seal for ammunition boxes, which is critical when you plan to store it for the long term.

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

Was this info helpful? Share it with your friends!

Share Your Thoughts...

Leave a Reply: