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13 ways duct tape can help you in emergency situations

Duct tape is a valuable product, especially when you are in an emergency situation. Find here 13 possibilities that will definitely help you.

from Martin Gebhardt | Survival | no comment yet | reading time 9 Min
Updated on 31 May 2023 9.910 views 100% found this guide helpful
13 ways duct tape can help you in emergency situations

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • Adhesive tape can be used in a variety of ways, for example as a fuel, especially in humid environments where it is difficult to ignite a fire.
  • It can be used to make makeshift sunglasses to prevent snow blindness.
  • Adhesive tape can be used to repair holes in equipment or clothing.
  • It can serve as a fly trap by being hung on branches or tent parts.
  • Adhesive tape can be used to protect and remove tick larvae.
  • It can be used to make makeshift ropes or lines.

Since 1896, when the so-called Cito Sport Adhesive Plaster – the first technical tape for sealing punctured tires – was introduced to the market, a lot has happened in the development of fabric tape.

By the time the well-known "Leukoplast" was developed in 1901, fabric tape had reached the status of an all-purpose weapon.

Fabric tape has since continued to evolve and adapt to the creativity of modern humans.

What was once considered to be misuse, is now completely normal. The inventors of fabric tape probably never dreamed of the countless purposes their invention would serve.

Of course, the prepping and survival community has also thought about what benefit they can get from this simple but ingenious tool.

I present you with the creative results in the following article.

How can duct tape help you in emergencies and what gadgets can you make from it?

1. Duct Tape as Fuel

While it may sound strange, why should you simply burn your valuable fabric tape that can serve so many purposes?

Because it works! Remember that you are currently in an emergency, and you need to quickly find a warm place to survive.

Duct tape helps you in particular when you are in a damp environment that makes it difficult to start a fire. Or you simply cannot find enough fuel to ignite the fire in the first place.

Duct tape helps you due to its particularly combustible materials that it is made of.

Take a bit of duct tape and form it into a clump, which you then ignite with a lighter or matches. You'll see that your campfire starts burning faster than you thought.

Read also

Making fire without a lighter or matches (18 possibilities) - Making fire without a lighter or matches? Learn now with my 18 ways how to ignite a fire even without a lighter or matches.

2. Sunglasses made of duct tape

If you are wondering why you should make sunglasses out of duct tape, consider which weather conditions could make survival in an emergency difficult for you.

In addition to a continuous supply of water and food, you should also be able to perceive your surroundings as accurately as possible.

For example, if you are in a very sunny area covered in snow, snow blindness can occur faster than you'd like.

If your perception in an emergency is so impaired, it's a significant safety risk.

duct tape sonnenbrille

The creation of such sunglasses is also absolutely uncomplicated.

Here are the steps:

  1. Measure the desired size of the sunglasses around your head to make sure they fit properly.
  2. Next, take twice the amount of tape needed for the appropriate size and tear it off the roll.
  3. Fold the torn or cut piece lengthwise so that the adhesive sides are together. You don't want the glue to stick to your skin.
  4. However, leave a small piece of the adhesive surface free so that you can attach/secure your makeshift sunglasses to your eye area properly.
  5. Now, cut two narrow slots in your homemade creation right where your eyes are. These should be big enough for you to see everything clearly despite the sun protection.

This style of sunglasses may seem strange, but it is based on the traditional sun protection of Arctic peoples that has stood the test of time for centuries.

Once you wear them yourself, you will quickly be convinced of their effectiveness. So don't be too critical and give it a try.

3. Fixing Holes with Duct Tape

It's a tragedy when you have survival gear like a tent or a sleeping bag, but they lose their functionality in an emergency.

If you're in a rainy weather period and your only protection from the wetness is your tent, it's a real drama when rain starts to seep in due to a leak.

Or the soft down sleeping bag loses numerous feathers because you unfortunately got caught on a sharp stone or stick with it.

gewebeklebeband zelt plane reparieren

Patch emerging holes quickly and effectively with duct tape. Without a lot of time or complicated procedures, you'll be dry again, and your sleeping bag will keep its soft, warming content.

Even if you're traveling in a vehicle, and you discover a small leak in the tire that could possibly be your undoing, duct tape can help.

Cover the leak with a thick enough layer of tape. This will stabilize the tire at least until you reach your desired destination, hopefully.

4. Create a fly trap from duct tape

Depending on where you are in what season, flies, and mosquitoes can not only be an annoying factor, but a real plague.

Here again, duct tape can be a little help in getting rid of the fly problem.

Take a few pieces of tape and hang them on the surrounding branches or parts of your tent.

The pesky mosquitoes and flies will get stuck there and can no longer bother you or transmit diseases through bites.

camping tipp mueckenschutz

5. Remove tick larvae safely

First, you should know that you should not use duct tape to remove a tick that has already burrowed deeply into your skin.

For that, you should still use a tick tweezer, forceps, or other suitable tool. However, you can use the tape to avoid a particularly tricky "landmine".

zecken wie du dich schuetzt und diese entfernst

Ticks lay their eggs (up to 4,000 of them, by the way) in a suitable spot that you probably won't even notice. If you're unlucky enough to step on one of these breeding grounds or even lie down on it, the larvae will often swarm out within a short period of time and start using you as a climbing park.

To avoid being overwhelmed by this army of small pests, you can also use adhesive tape by taking a piece of it and repeatedly pressing the adhesive surface onto the affected area, so that the little creatures stick to it. Be particularly thorough and don't let any of the little pests escape.

With some tick species, even the larvae carry diseases, so react quickly and deliberately, but don't panic.

Read also

Ticks: How to protect yourself and remove them - As a Bushcrafter, you will have to deal with ticks. In this article, you will learn how to protect yourself from ticks and what to do if you have already been bitten.

6. Make a rope or leash out of duct tape

In survival situations, a rope or leash will be a great help to you.

Whether you want to attach something to it, build your shelter with it, or make a clothesline, a strong and secure rope gives you many options.

But even if you don't have a proper rope or leash at hand, there are solutions.

seile aus duct tape

If you twist one or more strips of duct tape together, you can create a kind of rope that can be relatively strong and resistant.

Naturally, the strength of the homemade rope also depends on the amount of tape you use, so check beforehand whether the benefit of your makeshift rope justifies the consumption of the duct tape.

Read also

7 common items that you can turn into ropes - You can turn various materials into useful ropes under all circumstances. Let's take a closer look at 7 such materials that are suitable for ropes.

7. Provisional feathers for arrows made of tape

One of the most popular weapons that is often made in survival situations is the classic bow.

Equipped with sharp arrows, it is excellent for hunting or defense. To ensure that the appropriate arrows follow a stable flight path, they usually have a few feathers at the end. This serves to balance and aim accurately.

However, you might not have the opportunity to find suitable feathers for your arrows quickly.

But don't worry: Duct tape is also fantastic for this project. If you do it right, the duct tape can completely replace the feathers and provide the stability the arrow needs.

For this, cut two pieces of adhesive tape, preferably of the same size, and press them together at the back end of the arrow, where the feathers would normally sit. Cut the two pieces a little to create the typical "feather shape" that you should know from normal arrows.

bogen und pfeil bauen

8. Wound care and first aid

Similar to a plaster, you can use duct tape to treat particularly cuts in an emergency.

To make this work, you should first stop the bleeding and clean the wound. After all, the aim is to close an open wound, and it would be extremely unfavorable if infectious germs were present or if bleeding prevented closure.

Cut as many pieces as you require for the size of your wound. The strips should be about 1.5 cm wide so that you can apply them to the wound to hold it together or close it. Place the pieces along the wound so that the structure resembles a seam.

wunde mit duct tape gewebeklebeband behandeln 1

If you have closed a wound with duct tape, make sure not to remove it right away.

Wait a few days to ensure that the wound has healed. If you remove the tape too early, there is a risk that the wound will reopen with the removal of the fabric tape. Be cautious in handling this.

If you want to delve deeper into the subject and are interested in how wound care with duct tape works step by step, then you should read this article directly: How to treat a wound in an emergency with duct tape? (

9. Restraining and fixing

Duct tape can also help you in dealing with people who may be hostile towards you.

While no one wants it, conflicts often occur in emergencies and can escalate accordingly. At times, it may be necessary to restrain someone to protect yourself or your family from harm.

You can use duct tape to restrain someone's hands or feet.

You can wrap the duct tape around their limbs or fix the offender to an object such as a tree or piece of furniture, whatever is available at the time.

Remember that in the event of an emergency, this measure may constitute deprivation of liberty, and you should only carry out this action in absolute necessity, when your life or the lives of those around you are threatened.

10. Provisional clothing repair

You are likely to be more dependent on your clothing during an emergency than at any other time.

What you wear can determine whether you survive a cold period in the wilderness, fight through a tick-infested area, or almost burn to death in a hot environment.

You understand then that your clothing should always be functional and intact, unless you decide independently to perhaps adjust certain articles of clothing.

Perhaps you want other people to find you and describe the way to you. Or maybe you want the opposite and confuse your followers with false information. The possibilities are diverse.

pfeil aufmalen mit kohle

12. Fix Your Shoes!

What applied to clothing and equipment in the previous section applies even more to your shoes.

If you are on your feet all day, and they carry you through any terrain, you should definitely provide adequate protection. This includes protected and functional shoes.

You would rather not experience what it feels like to wade through damp terrain with perforated or generally leaky shoes while your feet get colder and more saturated with moisture.

What sounds unpleasant can even become dangerous over time. Accordingly, you should ensure that your shoes always remain tight and waterproof.

gewebeklebeband schuhe sohle reparieren

So if your soles say goodbye to your shoes, you can at least delay their demise with a little duct tape.

The same goes for leaky spots or holes. Depending on how leaky your footwear is at the respective location, you may need tape for both the inside and outside.

13. Create a Sturdy Bag or Bowl

In principle, your creativity knows no bounds if you want to make a useful bag out of duct tape.

You can make a carrying bag for supplies or a waterproof bag, among other things.

If you would like to transport water in it, the adhesive surfaces should naturally stick together and not necessarily come into contact with the water. However, if you press the adhesive surfaces strongly together, the bag should be watertight and tear-resistant.

Wasser transportieren Schuessel Gewebeklebeband

Another form of the bag or the case is the makeshift knife sheath, which you can also make from duct tape.

You should, of course, pay attention to a sufficiently thick layer of tape so that you don't cut yourself. However, if you handle it carefully, you also have a reliable carrying case for your tools.

If desired, you can then attach this to your belt, which proves to be a popular option thanks to the strong and stable adhesive surface.

Conclusion: Duct tape can do much more than you might think, if you're creative

You can see that with duct tape (which you can buy on Amazon here), you can solve more problems in emergencies than you might have expected.

You only set your limits with your creative horizon

As you may have noticed, the versatile uses of duct tape fit perfectly with the necessary attitude of a survivalist or prepper.

When it really comes down to survival, it comes down to our creativity. As you know, we don't have claws, large teeth, night vision, or a sense of smell as good as our four-legged friends, the dogs.

However, over the millennia, humans have been able to prevail, survive and establish civilizations. All of this is due to our creativity.

Hopefully, this article has helped you realize how little is actually needed to achieve versatile effects.

So, maybe you too can bring new ideas into the world on how duct tape can be used.

Think about it, always be prepared and above all, be creative – because creativity is one of the primary qualities a survivalist should possess.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide

Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

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Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!