|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – October 2013
D is for Duct Tape
Think duct tape is only good for patch jobs and covering blisters? Think again. The adhesive-of-the-gods can save more than your tent fly. The only limit to its usefulness is your imagination. Here are seven ways duct tape can save your butt in an emergency.
FIGHT THE COLD
Affix the tape to your boot liner to reflect the heat from your feet back toward your body. Pro tip: Some snow-machine racers cover their faces in duct tape to protect their skin from the cold.
SPLINT A BROKEN ARM OR LEG
Create a splint by padding a branch with duct tape, stabilize a busted limb by wrapping it twice, or construct makeshift bandages.
BUILD A FIRE
No dry tinder? Thanks to its cotton innards, duct tape ignites when exposed to a flame. A small roll of it will burn for 20 to 30 seconds.
TWINE A ROPE
Double-back a strip of duct tape, sticking it to itself. Braid several of these together for added durability. In an emergency, use them to rappel a short cliff. (A three-strand rope held our 150-pound staffer.)
Tear a long strip of duct tape in half lengthwise and roll the strand in your hand to make cord. Use this as the string on your fire bow.
CRAFT A PADDLE
Wrap the end of a forked stick tightly with duct tape. Tip: Cover the fork with a dry bag to improve performance and keep water from seeping through the layers of duct tape and weakening them.
SIGNAL FOR RESCUE
Duct tape’s reflective exterior can alert searchers. Make something they can see from the air: Think big (10-plus feet) and angular.