Duct tape was first created back during World War II, when the US military were in need of water proof tape that was durable, flexible and could be used to make repairs when the troops were in the field. The GIs decided to name it “Duck Tape” as it was waterproof just like a duck’s back.
For a survival kit, duct tape is a no brainer, it is small and light and therefore every easy to carry around, even if you are only taking a small bag with you. With so many uses, if you are out in the wilderness, then it is essential you take a roll of duct tape with you. There are so many ways it can be used:
1. Hold together ripped clothing
If you are out walking and an item of your clothing catches and rips, then you can easily seal the area back together using a small length of duct tape across the rip to hold it in place until you get back home.
2. Use it to fasten logs together to make a float
If you need to travel across a body of water, then your best option is to make a raft. By finding a selection of logs or tubes, lay them next to each other and use lengths of duct tape to hold them all together. This will help keep the shape of your raft and enable it to float.
3. Make a clothesline
When you are out in the wild it is easy to get caught out by a downpour of rain, or perhaps you have had to swim across a river to get to your camp. It’s never good to sit in wet clothes, so make a clothes line by twisting line of duct tape to form a rope. Then tie the ends around a couple of branches and hang your clothes over the duct tape to dry.
4. Wrap a sprained ankle
Spraining your ankle is a pretty bad situation if you need to be able to walk to get back to your car and to a doctor. The main thing a sprain needs is support, and wrapping it with duct tape will keep your ankle from moving and hurting as much as it is very strong. This will keep you in a better situation until you can see a doctor.
5. Cover a deep cut
When you cut yourself deeply, it is important to dress the wound properly. Once dressed, the main thing then is that it needs to stay dry. By covering your dressing in duct tape, you will keep the area waterproofed and keep the cut clean and dry.
If you are stuck in the wild overnight with no tent, then it is best to sleep as far off the ground as you possibly can to avoid an array of wildlife coming to visit you. Use long double sided strips and shorted strips to create a crossover effect until you have a hammock big enough to lie in.
7. Cover a blister
Duct tape can also be used to help protect a blister on any part of your foot or any cut or rawness that may be rubbing on your boots. Take a plaster sized piece of duct tape and apply it straight onto the area for instant protection.
8. Make emergency repairs
There are many pieces of kit that could possibly tear and rip while on a camping trip or adventure. Duct tape can be used to fix tears on tents, sleeping bags, bags, hammocks and backpacks, simply by cutting a slither of tape and binding the two edges of the rip together.
Water bottles can be a crucial pieces of kit if you are stuck somewhere without food. But after a lot of wear and tear they can crack and end up leaking out all your valuable liquid. Wrap your plastic bottles in duct tape to give them an extra layer of leak proof guarding.
10. Catch flies
When you are out in the woods or countryside, insects can be a nightmare, especially if the weather is warm and humid. Duct tape makes a fantastic fly paper as it is super sticky and strong.
If you are looking for more walking and hiking survival tips, then check out the rest of our guide…