50 Survival Uses for Duct Tape

It’s often said if it can’t be fixed with Duct Tape and baling wire, it can’t be fixed!  There’s actually some truth to this, thanks to the wonder that is Duct Tape.

Duct Tape is one of those things that you can never have too much of.  Most of us know the unlimited ways to use it in everyday life, but we can take that knowledge one step further and think of uses for it in a survival situation.

Here are just some of the ways you can use duct tape when SHTF.

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First Aid

  1. Butterfly Bandages. Cut thin strips of Duct Tape, add a small piece sticky side to sticky side in the center and you have a makeshift butterfly bandage. It’s widely used as a bush bandage.
  2. First Aid Sling. By folding the Duct Tape lengthwise, you can use it to make a sling for arms or shoulder injuries.
  3. First Aid Tape. If you’ve run out of medical tape and need to affix gauze to a larger wound, you can use Duct Tape to secure it.
  4. Blister Relief. With a cotton ball and some Duct Tape, you can give those blisters a break from rubbing and getting worse. Make sure the cotton ball covers the entire blister and that the Duct Tape doesn’t touch it at all.
  5. With proper padding, a few good sticks or branches, and some Duct Tape, you can create a splint for anything from arms, to legs, and everything in between.
  6. Make a Crutch. Add some padding with Duct Tape to a V-shaped branch and you have a makeshift crutch.
  7. Remove a Splinter. Make sure the skin is dry, apply a small strip of Duct Tape to the area where the splinter is and quickly rip it off.
  8. Brace Broken Ribs. If you’ve got broken or cracked ribs, you still need to function. You can provide support with Duct Tape by wrapping your rib cage over a t-shirt.
  9. Put cloth over the bare skin then start wrapping Duct Tape tightly around the wound at least 3 times.

Clothing Repairs

  1. Make a Belt. Let’s face it, no matter how great your health is right now, in a long-term survival situation, we’re all going to lose weight. Eating different combined with physical labor that most aren’t used to doing on a daily basis has that effect.  So, when your pants start falling off, you can easily make a belt with Duct Tape to help them stay up.
  2. Clothes and shoes will wear out quickly in a long-term survival situation. Let’s face it, they’re just not made to last like they used to be.  Duct tape can repair holes in clothing and shoes until you have a chance to repair them with needle and thread. (We’ve been known to do this around here!)
  3. Patch a Sleeping Bag. If your sleeping bag has a hole in it, you’re going to lose the goods inside that make it comfortable. Patch it with Duct Tape and you’re good to go.
  4. Mending Rain Gear. Just like mending your clothing, you can use Duct Tape to mend your rain gear, so it keeps you dry.
  5. Emergency Blanket. Gather any material that can help insulate. Cloth, leaves, twigs, plastic, newspaper, pages from a book or magazines, all these things can be used alone or in combination with one another to make an emergency blanket. Lay out all the items in a blanket shape and cover with Duct Tape in long strips from top to bottom.  Then create an edge with long strips around all four edges.
  6. Take long strips of Duct Tape and fold them lengthwise sticky sides together. Use it to hang your clothes to dry.
  7. Extra Foot Warmth. Adding a strip of Duct Tape to the inside soles of your boots, shiny side up can help reflect your body warmth back at you.
  8. Keep the Snow Out. If you’re traveling in deep snow and don’t have snowshoes, you can use Duct Tape to close up the tops of your boots to keep the snow from going inside. You can also use Duct Tape to close up your sleeves where they meet your gloves.
  9. Keep Bugs Out. The same concept as above, taping up your boots with Duct Tape can help keep mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, and other pesky critters from getting to you for a snack.
  10. Hem your Pants. If you have pants that are too long, you can use Duct Tape to hem them. The best part, it’ll last through a few washes as well!
  11. Fix your Gloves. If you get a hole in your work gloves or even winter gloves for that matter, you can patch it quickly with Duct Tape until you can repair with needle and thread.
  12. Create Shoes. If you don’t have shoes, you can use cardboard and Duct Tape to give your feet some kind of protection.

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Repairs

  1. Repair a water bottle or hydration bladder. Not the first thing you think of when you think of duct tape, but if you make sure the surface is good and dry before you apply a strip of duct tape to it, it will hold well. Most duct tape won’t hold on anything wet, so the key here is making sure it’s dry first.
  2. Repair glasses. If you’re like me and you depend on glasses to be able to function, you can easily repair them with Duct Tape should they get broken.  Sure, you’ll look a little nerdy, but it’s better than not being able to see at all!
  3. Emergency Vehicle Repairs. Duct Tape is great for quickly mending hoses, keeping windows up, or securing plastic over windows that have been broken.
  4. Repair Tent and Fishing Poles. If your tent pole is busted, you can hold it together with Duct Tape. Likewise, for your fishing pole.
  5. Temporary Roof Repairs. If you’ve lost a shingle, you can use Duct Tape to cover a piece of wood to replace it with. The Duct Tape keeps it waterproof.
  6. Temporary Siding Repairs. If you have a hole in vinyl siding, you can patch it with Duct Tape to keep the bugs and water from penetrating.
  7. Fix a Broken Window. If you have a broken window in your cabin or home, you can use Duct Tape to tape it up.  This keeps the air from flowing in or out.
  8. Repair a Trash Can. Trash cans have many uses in survival situations aside from just trash.  Think rainwater collection.  You can repair a broken trash can with Duct Tape.  Make sure the repair site is clean, dry and warm to ensure the Duct Tape sticks well.
  9. Repair your BOB Strap. If you have broken a strap on your bug out bag, you can repair or even replace it with Duct Tape.
  10. Patch a leaky canoe. This isn’t something you want to use long term or in very deep waters, but it’s been done before to get a person to shore. Again, most Duct Tape won’t stick to anything that’s wet, so make sure the surface is good and dry before applying.  The Duct Tape will stick better if you make sure the area is clean and warm as well.  Also, you want to apply the Duct Tape to the inside of the canoe, not the outside.

Tools

  1. Arrow Fletching. If you already have a pack of Boarheads, you can use Duct Tape to create the fletching. What is fletching you may ask? It’s the fin-shaped stabilization on the back end of your arrow, traditionally feathers are used here.
  2. Make cordage. Twisting several lengths of Duct Tape into a cord or rope if you’re in a pinch.
  3. You can write a note or use it to shape out letters to communicate with others.
  4. If someone in your group starts acting in a way that could be a danger to themselves or others, you can use Duct Tape to tape their hands together or tape them together around a tree until they’ve calmed down. Likewise, you can do the same for anyone you come across that may wish you harm.
  5. Protect Your Ammo. Seal your ammo boxes with Duct Tape to prevent moisture from getting inside.
  6. If you’re using tarps, or God forbid, trash bags, you can use Duct Tape to keep it all together.
  7. Create a Spear. Use Duct Tape to tape your knife to a branch and you have a spear.  Don’t knock it, if you’re in a long-term survival situation, you can use it to hunt with if you have nothing else.
  8. Trail Marking. Duct Tape comes in a variety of colors. This makes it great for marking a trail.  In a long-term survival situation, you may find an excellent game trail and you’ll want to mark it to make sure you can find it again.  Marking a trail is also great if you’ve got kids with you.  It is a great way to make sure they can find their way back to base.  However, keep in mind that any trail that is marked is easy for others to see as well.  So only do this if you’re A) in an area where there are no other people, or B) comfortable with others finding your trail as well.

Misc.

  1. Keep your Shelter Closed. Broken zippers can be held with Duct Tape. If you’re using a tarp, you can tape it closed as well.  Closed shelters keep critters and bugs out!
  2. Make a Drinking Cup. If you’re patient, or desperate, you can make a cup with Duct Tape, or at least something that resembles a cup and will hold water.
  3. Bug Tape. If you hang Duct Tape in high areas where flies, mosquitoes or other flying insects are, they will stick to the tape and help reduce the number in the air.
  4. Sealing Food Packages. Once you’ve opened a package of food you’ll need to reseal it if you don’t use it all in one sitting. Resealing keeps it fresh, keeps the bugs out, and prevents it from getting wet.
  5. Signal for Rescue. If you have a roll of brightly colored Duct Tape, you can use it to signal for help or rescue.
  6. Hide in Plain Sight. If you have a trash bag and some foliage, you can create a makeshift disguise and hold it all together with Duct Tape.
  7. Black Out Windows. Cover your windows with dark trash bags and secure with Duct Tape.  In a SHTF situation, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself by being the only house in the neighborhood with lights on.
  8. Seal Your Home. In the event of a nuclear or biological attack, you can seal your home with Duct Tape to reduce your exposure.
  9. Insulate Your Shelter. With some trash bags or other plastic, you can use Duct Tape to secure it to your shelter to help create some insulation.
  10. Hang Lights. Using Duct Tape, you can secure your flashlight to the top of your shelter.
  11. Make a Strap. If you need to secure something and don’t have any bungee cords, you can use Duct Tape.

Is there anything else you can think of that isn’t on this list?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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