30 Awesome Survival Uses Of Duct Tape

30 Awesome Survival Uses of Duct Tapeimage © Kimberly Renwick – fotolia.com

Duct tape is one of the most useful items imaginable and should be considered both a home essential and a bug-out-bag essential. The number of possible uses is practically infinite and it’s worth remembering that brightly colored tapes can be used as a warning as well as to hold things together. You can also fold or roll the tape to make a sturdy “handle” for various items. The usefulness goes on and on and is really only limited by your imagination.

There are various different types of duct tapes out there. One type that I am a huge fan of is what is called “gaffer’s tape” – which has a cloth back instead of plastic back. These are a staple of the movie and live entertainment industries and find innumerable uses. This stuff is easy-to-tear and the pro riggers keep a roll of it on a wire loop attached to their belt at all times. I keep a roll in my car as part of my in-car survival kit and won’t be without it.

I’ve found some good deals on duct tape on Amazon: Here’s a 60-yard roll of 2″ wide ProTapes Duct Tape. Here’s a 55 yard roll of 1″ Gaffer tape (high quality) and here’s a 30-yard x 2″ gaffer tape (professional grade) which is seriously amazing stuff.

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Ok, here are 30 awesome survival uses of duct tape:

Fix a tear in your tent

If you have to sleep outdoors, in a tent, you’re going to want to conserve heat any way you can. In which case, tears and/or a broken zipper are your worst enemies. Luckily, all you need is some duct tape to cover the holes inside and out, for double protection.

Fix your sleeping bag

A good rest is essential if you want to have the power and the focus to keep the battle for survival going. This means your sleeping bag needs to be in good shape. To keep it that way, you can seal tears and holes with duct tape and make sure you don’t lose the feathers in it.

Fix your water bottle

Wrap it all up in duct tape and you can forget about leaks. Every drop of water is crucial when you’re trying to survive, so any patch work will do.

Fix your clothing

Yes, duct tape can repair pretty much everything, even the clothes you’re wearing. If you’ve got a rip or tear in your shirt, your skin gets exposed to scratches, blisters, burns and freezing cold. To protect yourself from these accidents, cover the tear with duct tape on the inside and on the outside.

And since we’re on it, did you know that you can…

Add insulation to your clothes and shoes

This is one of the greatest things about duct tape. You can’t just fix things, but also prevent them. If you want to keep yourself warm in cold weather, patch you clothes with duct tape on the inside. This way, your body heat will be sealed inside your clothes. The same way goes with shoes. Stick some duct tape inside them (sticky side down) and you’ll stop losing heat through the soles.

Make emergency repairs on your car

It’s not ideal, but when you’ve got nothing else on hand, duct tape will do. It can temporarily repair leaking hoses, broken tail lights, and cracked windows.

Fix broken windows

No, that doesn’t apply only to your car window. If you’re at home and your windows cracked in the middle of a snowstorm or a hurricane, duct tape can fix the problem for a short while. It can’t work miracles, but it can keep you from freezing.

Make your own shelter

When you’ve got nowhere to sleep, you get creative. You’ll need some clothes, blankets, trash bags, carton boxes — or whatever else can keep you protected from wind and rain — and some duct tape.

Attach shelter elements

Just a few trash bags and some duct tape, and you have a survival shelter roof, or a sleeping bag cover, or a wind break, or…

Repair a broken tent pole or fishing pole

This is clearly an emergency solution and you’ll need a LOT of duct tape to make it work. But, after all, keeping your family warm and well fed for another day or night is important enough to try anything.

Make a hat

Sunstroke must be avoided at all costs, so the best thing to do is to make yourself a hat from whatever you’ve got on hand. Duct tape and some cardboard and you can make a hat that will reflect the heat and keep you protected.

Make a drinking cup

I don’t have any blueprints for making a drinking cup, but when you’ve got duct tape, you can make one with pretty much anything: paper, leaves, a carved piece of wood…

Fix your glasses

If you wear glasses and you happened to misplace them at some point, then you know how important they are. Especially when it comes to emergency situations, even one hour without your glasses can bring your chances of survival close to zero. So why risk it? If you break your glasses, fix them with some duct tape.

Reseal food packages

When it comes to survival, you can’t afford to lose any food at all. So if you’ve opened a package and haven’t eaten everything inside, you’ll need to keep the leftovers as fresh as possible. Use duct tape to seal up the package until the next meal.

Reinforce knots

If you have duct tape, you don’t need to make perfect knots. Just reinforce them with duct tape, but make sure you’ve got a knife or scissors to cut it when you want to untie the knot.

Start a fire

If you haven’t got anything else on hand, you can wad up a piece of duct tape and use it as a fire starter.

Mark a trail

You’re going to need colored duct tape for this, if you want it to be easier to find your way back. Stick pieces of it on trees, buildings or even down the road.

Hang perimeter or security lights

If you want people to know you’ve set camp there, make it clear by stringing a rope made of duct tape around it.

Catch pesky insects

This one works like magic. Just roll off a few strips of duct tape around the place you sleep or eat and those nasty insects will get stuck on it and leave you alone.

Make a reflective surface

This is great for signaling purposes, but it only works if the tape you use is reflective.

Wrap a sprained ankle

It’s not a pleasant feeling, wrapping your sprained ankle in duct tape, but it will give you the support you need until you get real medical help.

Make butterfly bandage strips

This is how you do it: cut two small strips of DT, then place a smaller strip across their centers to improvise a butterfly bandage strip.

Make a sling

I’d suggest you use a bandana or a shirt for this one, but if you don’t have any, then use duct tape. It will hold your arm or leg in place, but you’ll need to seek medical help asap.

Affix bandages

To make sure your bandages stay in place,stick a piece of duct tape on topof them, to keep them fixed.

Blister care

Cover the blister with a piece of cotton gauze or even a napkin, then fix it in place with duct tape. DO NOT touch the blister (or any wound, for that matter) with duct tape!

Protect yourself from insect bites

Wrap duct tape around your pant cuffs to seal them off from blood-sucking ticks when out hiking or camping.

Leave a note

You can write on a piece of duct tape with a Sharpie or you can make large-font letters from strips.

Fix a book

You can repair a book that’s falling apart by reinforce the binding with duct tape or sticking back the detached pages.

Fix a taillight

You should only use this method when there’s no other solution. If you’ve got a broken taillight, use brightly colored duct tape to hold the remaining pieces together.

Hide objects

You can use duct tape to hide keys or money. For example, you can tape an extra car key underneath your car or hide money around the house.

If you’ve got any other ideas, please share them in the comments section below. I can’t wait to read your experiences and opinions.

Here are some links to check out some duct tape deals on Amazon:
60-yard roll of 2″ wide ProTapes Duct Tape.
55 yard roll of 1″ Gaffer tape (high quality)
30-yard x 2″ gaffer tape (professional grade)

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One Response to 30 Awesome Survival Uses Of Duct Tape

  • Gaffers tape is the best and worth the cost... Used it for over 20 years when I worked as a broadcast engineer... Plus it doesn't leave a residue when pulled off!


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