Duct Tape Trick

duct-tape-by-woodleywonderworksDuct tape can be one of an outdoor lover’s best friends. It was originally invented by a division of Johnson & Johnson for use during World War II when they needed a durable, waterproof fix-it all tape that was sticky enough to stay on no matter the circumstances. Since then, duct tape has become an indispensable tool with mythic powers (warts, anyone?).

But carrying a whole roll (or even a half roll) with you can be a pain when you’re trying to keep things light when camping or thru hiking. One tip we picked up recently is worth a try. To keep your duct tape with you without adding a cumbersome roll of tape to your gear, wrap around 30 feet of duct tape around a sharpened pencil or mechanical pencil. You can use the pencil to write while you’re camping or hiking, and you’ll also have as much duct tape as you’ll need for your trip. Be sure to wrap it around the pencil as flat as possible without bubbles on top of another layer of duct tape.

What can you use duct tape for while out in the woods? Tons of things:

  • Repairing tent tears
  • Patching up broken water bottles or bladders
  • Keeping pesky bandages secure
  • Make a duct tape rope
  • An arm sling
  • To repair a broken pack strap
  • Cover blisters
  • Repair glasses and sunglasses
  • Secure a windbreak
  • Make a spear with a knife and a stick
  • As a trail of blazes for rescue services to find you
  • Splint a broken tent pole (or leg!)
  • For extra insulation in your shoes

Give it a try next time you’re out on the trail, especially if you’re carrying a roll of the stuff and a pencil already. You might as well lighten your load as much as possible!

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