duct tape

60 Ways (and Counting) You Can Use Duct Tape for Survival

“Duct tape is like the force: It has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together.”

– Carl Zwanzig
Duct tape is without a doubt one of the most useful things you can have in a post-SHTF scenario, when a lot of things will NOT be at readily available. There are many articles that have 10, 20 or even 30 uses for duct tape but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single article that had them all?

#1. Reseal open food packages

Most long-term food packaging is not designed to be resealed after it has been opened. All you need is a little bit of duct tape to reseal that package and prolong your food’s shelf-life.

#2. Make a rope

Yep, if you’re stuck in a burning house with only the window to jump out and escape, you can use duct tape to create a makeshift rope (and a strong one at that!). All you have to do is roll it up in a spiral and it should hold to get you down to the ground safely. It works similar to paracord (which has quite a few uses as well).

#3. Use it as a bandage

Duct tape has medical uses as well. One of then is to use it as a bandage. Place a sterile cloth over the wound (cotton, wool etc.) and secure with duct tape. If wound is bleeding, apply firm pressure by pulling the tape taut when you secure it.

#4. Make a spear

Say you’re out in the wilderness, near a river, and you’re starving. You have your shelter, you have water, but no food. What do you do?

Simply attach your hunting knife to a pole or long branch, secure it with duct tape and you’re ready to spear fish.

#5. Use it to start a fire

You can use pretty much anything to start a fire, eh? Well, duct tape is no exception, although it’s not miraculous, it can assist you in starting a fire.

What you need to do is cut a piece that’s a few inches long, fold it into a stick. You’re going to need some magnesium shavings as well to generate a spark. Once the spark has been generated with the help of the magnesium you can use the folded duct tape to start a flame and then start your fire (similar to how you would use a match).

Watch a neat little video right here that shows you step by step instructions:

#6. Prevent glass from shattering

Just apply duct tape in the shape of an X over any window or windshield and you’ll decrease its chances of breaking from high winds, such as those caused by a hurricane.

#7. Cover a hole in your shoe

If you’ve been walking for hours and now you have a hole in your shoe, simply put a small piece of cloth on the inside and then cover it with duct tape. DO this on the inside of the shoe.

#8. Salvage a trash can

If the trash can is damaged for whatever reason, use duct tape on both the inside and the outside to hold it together and prolong its usable life.

#9. Open a jar

This is a neat one. Cover part of the lid with DT, hold the jar tight with one hand and pull the tape in the other direction with the other hand.

colored duct tape

#10. Signal for help

Duct tape comes in a variety of colors, including camo and brighter colors such as red and bright green. If you are lost, simply spread the tape over a large surface to maximize your chances of being seen and rescued.

#11. Tape your glasses

OK, so you won’t make a fashion statement with duct tape holding your lenses together, but you’ll be able to see to survive. Hopefully you’ll be able to cut the tape in thin strips so it doesn’t hinder too much of your view.

#12. Fix a broken pipe

It’s not going to last forever, but it’s more than enough in an emergency. It’s actually more than a quick fix and you might be surprised to see it lasts longer than you think.

There are lots of other broken things you can fix, such as a fish tank, garden or washing machine hose, or a water bottle.

#13. Prevent scuff marks on wooden floors

Simply cover your office chairs’ little plastic wheels with duct tape. They won’t look that bad and your floor will be protected.

#14. Make improvised shoe laces

This is just one of the dozens of extra uses you get from your duct tape when you learn to use it as paracord. What you want to do in this case is to cut the tape in two equal parts lengthwise right down the middle. Roll or fold the edges so they aren’t sticky on the outside. This will make sure the resulting laces are thinner and will fit better through the holes.

#15. Hold shut the hood of the car

Pretty self-explanatory but if your hood latch breaks unexpectedly, use duct tape to hold it shut until you can get the latch repaired.

#16. Make animal snares

Heck, you can even catch annoying bugs with it, just as long as you place it in the right location.

#17.Reattach a car mirror

It can be the rear view mirror or even your external ones if one of them was pulled off in an accident.

#18. Remove lint on clothes

Take a length of duct tape and fold it back on itself with the sticky side out. Dab it several times on a rag to test it before applying on the piece of clothing you’re trying to clean. This is to make sure you don’t damage your clothes.

#19. Body waxing

This is definitely something you would do AFTER a disaster. It’s not an ideal method and would be painful. Right now, you should probably do it like everyone else.

#20. Provide extra support for ankles

Simply wrap it around both your ankles. Do it under your socks, not over them. The adhesive side should not be against your skin.

#21. Make handcuffs

It won’t be as effective as a real pair of handcuffs but it’s better than nothing.

#22. Attach an extra key onto something

It holds securely and is somewhat resistant to weather. Not really recommended if this is your front door key but taping a key in a hidden spot on the outside of your car is great if you ever get locked out of your car.

#23. Make a belt

Fold a length of duct tape in half and run it through your belt loops. Stick the two loose ends together at the front and there you have it!

#24. Apply duct tape on the soles of your feet…

…to avoid blisters when you have to walk long distances. Duct tape adhesive can be very sticky so use cautiously on skin.

#25. Make a CPR mask

Simply cut a piece of duct tape, fold it in half with the sticky side on the inside and cut a small hoel in the middle through which to pump the air.

#26. Keep tools together

There are numerous things you can hold together with duct tape to better organize, especially in your bug-out bag, where space is limited.

#27. Label your stockpile

Labeling your stockpile is useful for two reasons: to know what you have in each container and when you should rotate it to prevent spoilage. Use DT and label containers with the contents and the expiration date.

#28. Bind a book

If you bought a survival manual online and it’s in PDF format, wouldn’t it be nice if you could print it and put it in your BOB? Use duct tape to bind the sheets of paper together so you can do just that.

#29. Make a toy sword

Simply use it to stick together the two parts of the sword. It would be useful for kids to learn a little self-defense, particularly in a post-apocalyptic world where toys will be scarce and everyone is going to be bored.

#30. Insulate your shoes

Simply tape the inside of the shoe or boot so you have a protective layer that won’t let the heat escape.

#31. Remove warts

This one study1 that showed DT was more effective in removing warts than cryotherapy!

#32. Fix your swimming pool or water bed

It just works…

#33. Repair a radiator hose

You’re also going to need a plastic bag in addition to the duct tape to accomplish this repair.

#34. Fix a flat tire

When you don’t have a choice, using duct tape will do the trick until you get to a place where you can really fix this. Duct tape works temporarily on both cars and bicycles.

#35. Recover your keys from the sewers

Simply attach a small rock to one end of a length of duct tape and lower it into the sewer. Make sure the sticky side of the taped rock lands on your keys.

#36. Patch your fishing boat or canoe

Again, this just works. It’s a temporary fix but will get you by in an emergency situation.

#37. Use camo duct tape to stay hidden

If you need to fix your tent or anything else around camp. Use camo duct tape to avoid attracting unwanted attention. You can get some off Amazon right here.

#38. Mark your trail

Simply leave pieces of duct tape on the branches of the trees along your route to identify your way back in case you get lost.

#39. Remove thorns from skin

Apply DT to your skin where the thorn is embedded, then quickly pull it off in a swift motion.

#40. Color code your survival stockpile

As I stated before, there are duct tape rolls in every color imaginable. Heck, they even come in patterns!

#41. Fix your bike

If one of the spokes get broken, use duct tape to keep it in place so it can get you to your destination.

#42. Use it as a sling for a broken arm

#43. Patch split pants

#44. Make a drinking cup

#45. Supplement elbow and knee patches…

…for when you have to crawl.

#46. Secure things on your bicycle frame

#47. On the bottom of some boxes…

… to strengthen it and be able to carry heavier stuff in them.

#48. Make wallets, pouches and bags

#49. Fix a broken tail light on a vehicle

#50. Patch a leg splint

#51. Repair a moonbuggy

These astronauts did it in 1972. You don’t need to go to the moon, just have the buggy…

#52. Keep cords tucked away around the house

#53. Use it to make a sign holder

You will, of course, need a stick and a cardboard.

#54. To glue together plastic bags…

… which you can use to make improvised shelter or a makeshift raincoat.

#55. For writing things down

Of course, you will need a permanent marker.

#56. Scratch-proofing

#57. Make a blowgun

You will need a newspaper that you should roll into a cylinder and a paperclip taped with paper at one end for a dart.

#58. Protect your knife

Just fold it over the blade and take it with you!

#59. Childproof your house

Use DT to cover the electrical outlets and cover sharp corners.

#60. Hang lights around the house


References

1. https://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/cline/seminar/Duct%20Tape%20Can%20Get%20Rid%20of%20Warts.pdf

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About Dan F. Sullivan

My dad was military. My grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But I don’t like taking orders. I’m taking matters into my own hands so I’m not just preparing, I’m going to a friggin’ war to provide you the best of the best survival and preparedness content out there.

4 comments

  1. Ron here..I use duct tape for all kinds of things. It is part of my go kit bag for my amateur radio stuff. There is always a roll in my truck box too.

  2. loved this thank you for posting it

  3. Ralph O. St.Hill

    A must have to all DIY

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