5 Best Uses for Duct Tape in a Crisis
By Frank Bates
Anyone who understands the value of multi-purpose items realizes how important duct tape is. In fact, most people would be hard pressed to come up with another item that can serve as many purposes as duct tape does.
Much more challenging than providing a comprehensive list of duct tape usages is narrowing that list down to the five best uses for this incredible tool in a crisis situation. Everyone’s top five list would be different, depending on a variety of factors including the weather, the type of clothing you have in your bug-out bag and the specific tools to which you have access.
For this particular top five list, I’m going to stick with the duct tape uses that just about anyone could take advantage of during an emergency situation. It’s very possible you’ve already used a couple of them, and maybe you’ve heard or thought about a couple others. Hopefully, there will be at least one for which you’ll find yourself saying, “I’ve never considered that.”
Duct Tape Origins
There are several different opinions regarding how and why duct tape was created, including one that says it was formed for the purpose of sealing air ducts. Some credit Johnson & Johnson for first developing this versatile item during the 1940s – in response to a U.S. military request – for the purpose of sealing boxes of ammunition in order to keep moisture out.
Regardless, duct tape quickly became popular. Since then it has taken on different forms, functions and colors, and can now be found in homes and supply kits, as well as among hunting, fishing and camping gear.
OK, now for my top five duct tape uses in a crisis:
Clothing – Following a disaster that causes you to bug out, you’re probably going to have to spend a significant amount of time in the outdoors. The weather will be a big factor here, but regardless of the temperature, you will need to be protected from the elements. Any number of clothing items – footwear, gloves and even visors – can wear out quickly, but you can layer and form duct tape to fashion temporary versions of one or more of them.
First-Aid – Even with hiking boots or walking shoes, you’re probably going to get blisters when you’re traveling on uneven terrain in the wilderness. Duct tape is an ideal tool for holding a cotton ball or sterile cloth over an infected area to help it heal faster. There is also a good chance that you will roll an ankle or sprain a wrist in the wild, so you need to have duct tape available for tightly wrapping it. You could even use duct tape to form a sling for an arm injury.
Patching – Repair work with duct tape can take a variety of forms. It’s often needed as a short-term fix for leaks in buckets, water bottles, boats, hoses and fan belts, as well as holes in sleeping bags and clothing items. Duct tape can be used to splint a broken or cracked tent pole or fishing pole, and can even be utilized to keep a loose window in place when applied in a crisscross pattern. Even if the window breaks, the tape could keep dangerous shards of glass from falling.
Cordage – Wet clothes are usually nothing more than an inconvenience, but in the wilderness they can be a death sentence. With duct tape, you can form a clothesline that will enable you to suspend those wet clothes over a fire, taking advantage of the wind and heat. Duct tape can serve additional cordage purposes when you twist and weave it into a strong and durable makeshift rope.
Insulation – Your hands and feet can get cold in the wild, even if you’re wearing boots and gloves. Insulate boots and gloves with duct tape, especially in areas where they may be ventilated or cracked, to keep your extremities warmer. Speaking of which, you can use duct tape directly on your skin to help prevent frostbite. Losing a little dead skin and hair is better than losing toes or fingers.
Frank Bates of 4Patriots LLC is the editor of the Patriot Alliance Messenger, as well as the content writer for blogs and articles at Patriot Headquarters. He is also the creator of Power4Patriots, a series of DIY solar videos and manuals; Food4Patriots, the supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage; Water4Patriots, featuring the Alexapure Pro tabletop water filtration system; SurvivalSeeds4Patriots, maker of the Liberty Seed Vault; Patriot Power Generator, a portable solar generator; and other products.