While it is hard to imagine how a simple roll of gray tape could be so mighty, duct tape is famous for its uncanny ability to fix just about anything. If you’re planning some quality time outside – where you may be far from the conveniences of modern life – having the necessary supplies for self-reliance is a must. Throw some duct tape in your pack and you’ll be prepared for everything from clothing repairs to first aid solutions and fire starters, with a catchall survival tool for whatever sticky situations may arise.
A History of AdherenceWhat we now call duct tape was first developed during WWII as a handy way to seal cases of ammunition (soldiers wanted a waterproof material that was strong, easy to slap on, and quick to tear off). It didn’t take long for soldiers to experiment with uses of the new invention, which they nicknamed “duck” tape (both because it is waterproof, like a duck, and because it’s made from duck cloth). Soldiers reportedly used it for vehicle and aircraft repair, as a temporary means to close wounds, and as a general all-around quick fix-it. After the war, the soldiers brought their love of duck tape from the battlefields to the home front.
In the 1950s, companies, including Johnson & Johnson, marketed duck tape as a way to seal metal heating and air conditioning ducts. They also changed the tape’s color from army green to the now standard silvery gray (although, funnily enough, connecting ducts may be the one thing the wonder tape isn’t actually much good for). The rebranding still stuck, as we now know the famous fixative as “duct tape.” In the decades since, duct tape has helped people get out of all sorts of tight spots, from fashion emergencies on the runway to saving the lives of the astronauts aboard Apollo 13 who mended their failing carbon dioxide filters with it. Read on for more genius ways to tap into duct tape’s potential.
Duct Tape to the RescueIf it’s good enough for wars and space travel, it’s good enough for all sorts of hacks for your next camping trip. When times are rough, here are some ways duct tape may help get you out of the woods.
After a long day outside, there is nothing worse than getting to a campsite and realizing something is wrong with the night’s cover. Here are some ways duct tape may be able to step in to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Solid footwear is one of the most important pieces of equipment for a quality camping trip. But if treads fail or your feet are in need when out in the elements, here are several ways duct tape can step in.
Just as the WWII soldiers discovered, duct tape is a great addition to a medical kit.
Note: The following is not a substitute for basic wilderness first aid. Please brush up on your skills with a class before a big trip, and be sure to bring more than just duct tape in your first aid kit.
Did you leave an oh-so-important item at home? Duct tape can be molded into all sorts of basic necessities.
The Rest of the Roll
This list should give you plenty of ideas for duct tape survival, but there are many more ways to salvage your outdoor adventure with this wonder tool. Throw a roll or two into your pack, or wrap several layers around a water bottle or trekking poles for later use, and you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to unstick yourself from all sorts of binds.