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    30 Off-Grid Uses for Duct Tape

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    30 Off-Grid Uses for Duct Tape

    One of the most versatile and practical survival tools is that familiar roll of silver-colored tape. In fact, you should keep a roll in your home, car, and backpack at all times. But before we get into the many ways this product can help you in a pinch, let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Is it called duct tape or duck tape?

    The answer is, well, it’s both. The durable adhesive tape was initially backed with cotton duck cloth – hence the name “duck tape.” Today, the tape has many variations, colors, widths, grades, and designs, so the generic term “duct tape” usually is more accurate.

    Although the Oxford Dictionary reports that the term “duck tape” has been in use since 1899, Johnson & Johnson takes credit for developing the product during World War II for use by the U.S. military. To make things even more confusing, “Duck Tape” is now a commercial brand of duct tape.

    While its construction (and history) may vary, what doesn’t vary is the fact that duct tape is a strong, water-resistant, layered adhesive tape that you can tear by hand. And it has hundreds of uses – from art projects to home repairs and just about everything in between. In this article, we’ll offer some of the many ways off-grid homesteaders can use this handy tool .

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    1. Patch holes in rafts, canoes, and other watercraft.

    Duct tape’s water resistance makes it useful for repairing holes and punctures in items you use in and around the water.

    2. Create a restraining device.

    Did you see the recent news story about flight attendants who duct-taped an unruly passenger to his seat? We won’t get into the rights and wrongs of the story, but we did notice that the restraint appeared to be very effective.

    3. Mend clothing.

    You can use duct tape to create a hem or cuff or close a rip or tear in your clothing when you are in a bind.

    4. Fix rain gear.

    You can stop leaks in a rain poncho or rain jacket with a duct tape patch.

    5. Repair glasses.

    You may look like a nerd, but duct tape holds fast to fix broken earpieces, nose bridges, or loose lenses. You can tear it into the tiny-sized pieces you need to make the repairs.

    6. Fix a tent or tent pole.

    Duct tape’s tight adhesiveness makes it handy for repairing tears in the canvas or fixing broken tent poles.

    7. Patch a sleeping bag.

    You can prevent dirt, moisture, and pests from entering your sleeping bag through a rip or tear by patching the area with duct tape.

    8. Stop leaks in inflatables.

    Stop air from leaking from inflatable mattresses, pillows, and floats by sealing the leak with duct tape.

    9. Use as a band-aid.

    You can use a strip of duct tape to hold a bandage in place or cover a blister, insect bite, or wound in an emergency.

    10. Wrap an ankle or elbow.

    You can use duct tape to support an ankle, knee, or elbow in the same way you would use athletic tape. To prevent the tape from sticking to your skin, place the first layer with the sticky side out.

    11. Create a sling.

    Make a strap that can serve as a temporary arm sling to help stabilize and protect the injured area until you can get medical attention.

    12. Make a soft cast.

    You also can use duct tape to form a soft cast to protect and hold a broken bone until you can get to a clinic.

    13. Tie an emergency tourniquet.

    When looped tightly, duct tape can serve as an emergency tourniquet.

    14. Ban insects.

    You can seal openings in your socks and clothes from ticks and other biting insects with duct tape.

    15. Create a fly trap.

    Use the sticky side of duct tape to catch and hold flies in a DIY fly trap .

    16. Repair plastic containers.

    You can fix cracked plastic reusable food containers with duct tape. Missing a lid? You can cover and seal a plastic container with layers of duct tape too.

    17. Construct temporary shelter.

    Use duct tape to attach tarps, plastic bags, and other materials to build an emergency shelter.

    18. String lights.

    You can use strips of duct tape to form a rope that is useful for hanging outdoor lights.

    19. Make a clothesline.

    Similarly, you can use long strips of duct tape to create a rope on which you hang dry your laundry.

    20. Stop water bottle leaks.

    Stop leaks in a plastic water bottle or a water bladder with duct tape. (Make sure the container is completely dry before applying the tape.)

    21. Hold up your pants.

    You can use duct tape to create a temporary belt.

    22. Mark your trail.

    Affix strips of duct tape to trees and other places along your path to mark your way so that you can find your way back or others can find you.

    23. Create a waterproof case.

    You can keep paper maps and documents dry by covering them with overlapping cardboard and then sealing the outside with strips of duct tape. You can also use duct tape in the same way to create a protective case for your phone or tablet.

    24. Make an emergency blanket.

    Encase and cover leaves, newspapers, branches, or whatever you can find with layers of duct tape to make an insulating survival blanket.

    25. Hide a key.

    Use duct tape to secure a key under a car, awning, or other hiding places.

    26. Form arrow fletchers.

    Strips of duct tape can serve well as makeshift arrow fletchers.

    27. Make a knife sheath.

    Using the sticky side out for the first layers, you can create a protective sheath for your knife.

    28. Mold a cup.

    You can use the bottom portion of a plastic water bottle as a mold to create a drinking cup. No bottle? Another option is to layer the tape in a cup-like shape without using a mold.

    29. Seal windows and doors.

    To protect your indoor air from smoke and other contaminants in the air, try sealing doors and windows with duct tape.

    30. Repair your vehicle.

    You can use duct tape to secure a car bumper or side-view mirror or seal a cracked windshield or window until you can make more permanent repairs.

    And if you needed more proof of the astonishing usefulness of duct tape, here’s a bit of history. During a 1970 lunar mission, the astronauts aboard Apollo 13 averted certain disaster by using a combination of duct tape and other materials to clear carbon dioxide out of the command module.

    Astronaut James Lovell told history.com, “They (NASA engineers in Houston) worked out a system, and then they relayed it up to us word by word. Hose, duct tape, and an old sock and, my gosh, time was the one thing that kept us from dying.”

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