120 Survival Uses For Duct Tape
In a SHTF scenario, you need to make do with what you can when supermarkets have closed and B&Q has already been raided. That can include making a shelter out of components you wouldn’t usually think of or wearing things the general population wouldn’t consider clothing.
One item that is extremely useful in both a normal and a disaster situation is duct tape. It’s strong, durable, and versatile – and very cheap too.
You should strive for these four characteristics in everything you use when SHTF, as they ensure longevity, and the versatility doesn’t take up valuable storage space, especially in your bug out bag.
Here’s our top 10 different ways the average UK prepper can use duct tape to their advantage, its incredible versatility is sure to meet your needs. After that we have many, many more other uses for this wonderful product.
1. As a water-resistant seal
Duct tape isn’t waterproof – but it is water resistant. That means it’s a good, temporary substitute until you find a more permanent solution to your issue. This can include things from sealing holes in your shelter to covering cracks in your water bottle.
A small rip in your tent fabric can quickly grow into a larger one and cause rain to leak in, but a couple inches of duct tape solves that. The same holds true for waterproof clothing, or a tarpaulin covering your shelter.
2. To bond different surfaces
If you’re desperate enough to need a big surface such as two tarps or two pieces of thin metal or cardboard, and don’t have one prepared, then you’re desperate enough to use two smaller adjoined pieces to create it. Except this isn’t desperation, it’s intuition – and it’s why you’ve survived as long as you have.
Use duct tape to form two pieces – such as plastic, wood or metal – together. Whatever the reason, it works as a strong enough temporary solution.
3. To repurpose glass
Glass can be incredibly useful in a SHTF scenario – and it partners perfectly with duct tape, which benefits it massively. From laying broken glass traps that require a base to creating blades and weapons, there’s an endless number of ways to use duct tape to your advantage here.
A shard of glass can easily slice through duct tape if it is in a single layer, but if you wrap the duct tape around the glass a few times then it won’t. Attach that shard of glass to the end of a stick or pole and you have a ready-made spear.
4. For sealing containers
In a disaster situation, there’s a number of essential containers you’ll require. For example, all temperature-sensitive food must be stored in its appropriate climate, and gaps in the container can cause the elements to get in and spoil everything.
Similarly, you may have a survival cache full of things you can’t live without. Once again – you simply can’t afford any risks when it comes to your necessities. Use duct tape to close gaps and bring the peace-of-mind you deserve, even if out in the rain or snow.
5. Repairing broken equipment
Duct tape is one of the most important materials you can use when it comes to repairing objects. Its versatility is one of its key selling points, and can be applied to almost anything you’re using.
Whether that’s a radio that needs its aerial reattached, or a rucksack that’s starting to fray, the uses of duct tape are as extremely broad.
As a prepper, you should have enough time to experiment – so see what works, and what doesn’t. The strength of this tape goes a long way, much further than you give it credit for.
6. To give your old shoes new life
Shoes are incredibly useful for both preppers bugging out and in. For survivors who’re bugging out, the benefits are clear. You don’t know how far, or how frequently, you’ll be traveling – and if holes appear, your footwear will rapidly come apart in a matter of months.
Wrap them in duct tape or simply seal the holes to increase their lifespan. For longevity, you can also use a more in-depth method that applies to most types of footwear.
7. To give yourself new shoes
You know how to repair your current pair, but you may also need to create a completely new pair of shoes from scratch if your old ones become unusable. Simply grab a piece of cardboard or foot sized piece of metal, place your foot on it, and wrap the tape round your foot until the tightness is right.
These are durable, water resistant and ready to take you on your adventures. However, they’re probably best used as a temporary measure only as with no cushioning your susceptible to blisters.
8. To make markings
Duct tape is one of the stickiest substances on earth – and you can use this to your advantage. Make markers by placing it on trees, walls, and even the floor so you can track your way to or from your chosen destination.
To avoid trackers, we recommend not using arrows, and designing a code only you’ll understand. As you mark your way, use one more piece of tape each time, and remember what you counted up to, or always point them in the opposite direction of travel to confuse those not in the know.
9. As plasters
Using duct tape to cover wounds is a great temporary method. In a post-SHTF world, injuries are much more dangerous as there isn’t the same healthcare, but you can compromise. Make sure to only use the tape to hold in a non-sticky material, like tissue, over the actual wound itself.
We’re sure you can imagine the pain ripping a wound with one of the world’s stickiest substances would feel like, so do everything you can to avoid this.
As duct tape is water resistant, and strong, it’ll serve you well in the short term, but make sure to replace it – like you would with any normal plaster – as it can get infected or dirty.
10. To restrain someone
Here’s one you probably don’t want to think about – but preppers, by the very definition of the word, should be ready for anything. This is one of the more extreme things you may have to do when SHTF, but it is by no means impossible.
If you’re doing it because you have to, rather than want to, then duct tape also won’t harm your captive by itself – but it will hold them in place. Wrap the tape tightly around wrists or ankles to secure them.
What’s more, this special type of tape is extremely tough and very hard to chew or cut through.
That’s not all, folks! Take a look at 110 more uses for duct tape in survival situations:
11. Repair a boat – strong enough to cope with salt and fresh water
12. Build a canoe – use a few rolls to create a kayak or canoe shell
13. Fix tent poles – wrap it around a couple of times for added strength
14. Snow ski fix – add a splint across it then bind together
15. Patch air mattress – provided it’s not the flocked side it will work well
16. Waterproof clothes – don’t let it rip any further, stick some duct tape over it
17. Sunglasses – for sun or snow, fold it back on itself then cut holes out
18. Wrap ankle – for an injured and weak ankle, try wrapping with tape
19. Hide keys – stick a key under the duct tape and place it wherever you want
20. On your hems – fold duct tape on your pant hemline to stop tearing
21. Map or phone case – wrap the item with the back of tape for a pouch
22. Build shelter – stick plastic sheeting and sticks together for strength
23. Fan – keep cool with a duct tape hand fan during warmer weather
24. Seal rooms – cover window vents, doors, letterboxes in case of chemical attack
25. Fix water bottles – a simple piece of tape makes a bottle last much longer
26. Make a belt – fold a long strip back on itself for a makeshift belt
27. Plate – create plates to eat from with duct tape strips stuck together in a square
28. Waterproof shoes – wrap tape all over your shoes or boots to keep water out
29. Fix car – patch a ripped roof, hold glass together, repair a bust hose
30. Seal a bucket – small holes in buckets can be fixed with a strip of tape
31. Rain gutters – tape up the places where rain gutters leak for water collection
32. Send a sign – write on the tape and stick it somewhere obvious
33. Help signal – use reflective tape to make a large silver signal board
34. Bandages – create a butterfly bandage from tape, or hold dressing in place
35. Sling – a makeshift sling can be created in seconds with duct tape
36. Splint – wrap a piece of wood or metal to the limb and secure with tape
37. Crutch – help someone to walk with a suitable branch with padded tape on top
38. Bowls – create a quick bowl by bending the duct tape back on itself
39. Spear – strap some glass or a knife to the end of a pole or stick
40. Cordage – roll the tape into a strip to be used as rope or cord
41. Hat – create yourself a hat to reflect the sun’s heat from your head
42. Clothesline – a long strip folded over will be a super clothes line for drying
43. Lighting – keep tealights in place, or strap lights to the wall for lighting
44. Window blocking – don’t let light escape through windows to stay incognito
45. Bugs – hang some cut strips around and it will be just like flypaper
46. Organisation – tape similar items together like tinder box and ferro rod
47. Bug out vehicle – if you’ve run out of space, tape things to the roof of the car
48. Paddle – a makeshift paddle can be made with sticks and tape stuck together
49. Arrows – create fletches for your arrows with doubled up tape
50. Glasses – fix regular or sunglasses on the arms with some tape
51. Blisters – first put some gauze over it then hold in place
52. Tent – don’t let drafts in due to a dodgy zipper, tape it up
53. Fishing pole – if your rod has snapped, make a splint and wrap with tape
54. Roof tiles – wrap blocks of wood to replace tiles or shingles on a roof
55. Window repair – remove the main piece of glass and criss-cross the pane
56. Bug screen – keep pesky mosquitos out by repairing tears in the screen or net
57. Insulate boots – place some tape silver side up on your soles to reflect heat
58. Pants and boots – tape your pants to your boots at the ankle to keep bugs out
59. Camouflage – stick twigs, branches, moss and leaves to yourself for disguise
60. Trap – layers of duct tape at entranceways will prevent bugs from passing over
61. Splinters – get the splinter some way out, then use duct tape to pull the rest
62. Rib cage – brace your ribs if they’re broken by wrapping your torso in tape
63. Warts – cover a wart for days with tape, then soak and grind down to remove it
64. Pipes – prevent water and gas leaks with a simple piece of tape over the pipe
65. Ammo – keep ammunition like shotgun shells moisture free
66. Tree bed – find trees close together and weave around to create a platform
67. Welding – create a simple glove for welding by wrapping a normal one in duct tape
68. Rucksack – make a new strap if your rucksack handles break
69. Bicycle – repair a bicycle seat with some duct tape strapped over it
70. Hinges – create a new hinge for a box with strips of duct tape
71. Curtains -hang a pair of curtains or fabric over a window by simply sticking it
72. Books – if you have a survival book that’s falling apart, create a new spine for it
73. Firetube – create a tube with the tape and use it to fan embers precisely
74. Straw – rolled into a tube you can use it as a straw alternative for drinking
75. Fire – duct tape will burn slowly and keep a flame for a long time to transfer fire
76. Open jars – stubborn jars can be opened with the help of some duct tape on the lid
77. Shoe laces – roll these very thin, sticky side on the inside, to strap shoes and boots
78. Vehicle – keep the bonnet or boot shut if the latch has broken
79. Snares – rolled thin it is durable and can be used as a snare
80. Flat tyre – a temporary fix to get you where you’re going
81. Picking things up – reach a key dropped in a drain with duct tape on the end of a stick
82. Camouflage – pick up some camouflage duct tape for staying concealed
83. Colour coding -buy multiple colours of duct tape and colour code your inventory
84. Knee patches – don’t ruin your trousers, place tape over the knees when digging
85. Boxes – apply to the bottom of cardboard boxes for a much sturdier box
86. Cords – keep wires neat and tidy with a wrap of duct tape
87. Plastic bags – can be stuck together in strips to make a raincoat or poncho
88. Childproofing – cover lose wires or plug sockets to protect children
89. Blowgun – wrap around a tube of paper for an effective blowgun
90. Watertight – make any item instantly waterproof, think match boxes and tinder
91. Flood protection – seal all around your doors and letterboxes for flood defences
92. Patch carpets – prevent trips and slips with worn out thread-bare carpets
93. Hide ammo – simply strap the box with duct tape and stick it under a table
94. Prevent blisters – wrap some tape around pressure points on the hands or feet
95. Tourniquet – stop bloodflow to wounds by twisting tape tight with a stick
96. Eye patch – prevent further damage to an eye by patching it up
97. Sleep mask – get a good night’s rest with a simple sleeping mask
98. Cactus – easily pull out pesky cactus needles or thorns with tape
99. Stretcher – two long and strong branches plus duct tape makes a good stretcher
100. Animal proof – dangle your food in the air from branches with tape to stop animals eating it
101. Dog lead – keep your dog where you want it with a readymade duct tape dog lead
102. Duck – pluck a duck in minutes with the help of duct tape strips
103. Sheath – create a sheath to hold your knife in to stop it ripping clothes
104. Boots – double the tape up and stick the soles back onto your shoes
105. Quarantine – create a makeshift quarantine room with duct tape and plastic sheets
106. Headlamp – strap a flashlight to your cap for hands-free operation at night
107. Hurricane – prevent windows from shattering during a storm by placing an X over them
108. Tracking – avoid being tracked by your shoe prints by wrapping tape around them
109. Sharp edges – don’t get cut with sharp or rusted metal, cover it with tape
110. Candle – burning for a long time, a small roll of tape makes an effective candle
111. Snake – don’t get bit, wrap your shin down to the ankle with layers of duct tape
112. Cuts – stick two sides of a cut back together with duct tape to help it heal
113. Quilt – tape the edges of two pieces of material for a pocket then stuff with insulation
114. River crossing – cross shallow rivers with a pair of thigh high duct tape wellington boots to stay dry
115. Hammock – create your very own hammock to stay above the ground with duct tape
116. Hair removal – to remove hair from your body, especially if follicles are infected
117. Marking – leave strips of duct tape on trees or hanging from branches to mark your way
118. Logs – wrap logs together to make a device that can float on water to cross streams
119. Cast – create a cast for a broken arm to help it set properly, insulate with clothes first
120. Knife – if your knife has a broken handle, wrap it a few times with duct tape for stability
As made evident, there’s a huge number of uses for duct tape. It can be applied to almost every aspect of your life as a survivor, from travelling to transporting goods and even handling your enemies.
Stock up while you can, as it’s very cheap and available from just about everywhere including Wilko, Tesco and Asda.
As something that works well with a huge number of other materials, it should probably be considered one of your key essentials, something to always be found in your survival cache.