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How many uses for duct tape can we count?

Duct tape Duct tape is the universal hiker’s do-all. The most obvious uses:

  1. Patching: tents, tarps, packs, etc.
  2. Preventing: Blisters. Tape your trouble spots.
  3. Splinting: Help immobilize a broken bone. (I shudder to think of how it would feel to peel it back off your skin, though.) Best to know how to immobilize a broken bone first, though.

Duct tape advice known to hikers the world over: wrap some around your hiking pole and you’ll always have a bit ready and won’t have to carry a big roll.

I know the rest of you have some duct tape tips: click on comments and add yours.

12 comments | Permalink | Tags: |
Tom posted at 9:19 pm August 25th, 2008

12 Responses to 'How many uses for duct tape can we count?'

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  1. Jason Alford says:

    I carry about 4 feet of duct tape around my water bottle. A couple of weeks ago I had to use it to immobilize my knee (I had damaged three ligaments and fractured my tibia after about a 10 foot fall). I too wasn’t too fond of the thought of peeling duct tape off my leg, so I wrapped a garbage bag around my leg first. That gave me enough support to hobble down the mountain and spared me the pain of ripping out leg hair.

    Story and pics here:


    Permalink | Posted August 26th, 2008, at 5:18 am
  2. UpNorthica says:

    Securing: When folded over lengthwise, duct tape does a fine job replacing broken backpack straps.

    Permalink | Posted August 26th, 2008, at 6:26 am
  3. Susan Alcorn says:

    The most recent use I’ve seen of duct tape, which a Pacific Crest Trail hiker said only proved that he tried to get too many miles out of his old hiking boots, was the tape wrapped around a shoe to keep the sole on.

    Just wondering, could you hang duct tape in strips to catch mosquitoes (like flypaper)? Now that would be cool!

    Permalink | Posted August 27th, 2008, at 9:20 am
  4. Sarah Kirkconnell says:

    Pants repair. 😉 Very klassy of course!

    Permalink | Posted August 27th, 2008, at 1:09 pm
  5. Dicentra says:

    Duct tape? I came up with 60 uses.


    Permalink | Posted August 27th, 2008, at 1:16 pm
  6. Mattress says:

    When using duct tape for medical purposes, you can often apply a piece outside in first (shiny side against the wound) then adhere it with additional strips. Pulling out leg hair is bearable, pulling new skin off a healing wound is not so fun.

    Permalink | Posted August 27th, 2008, at 2:12 pm
  7. scienceguy288 says:

    I’ve put it over blisters to stop the contact of the rubbing.

    Permalink | Posted August 27th, 2008, at 8:38 pm
  8. AdvntrGeez says:

    Add a couple inches to each side of your tent’s emergency pole repair sleeve, and if/when you need to use it you wil be more than greatful that you don’t go hunting for it!

    Permalink | Posted December 19th, 2008, at 9:06 am
  9. tim says:

    i wrap a bit around the shell out a pen (cut down a bit) and stick it in my first aide kit

    Permalink | Posted July 5th, 2009, at 12:19 pm
  10. Dicentra says:

    I fixed a hole in the mesh of my tent just a couple days ago with a piece of duct tape. No more sneaky mosquitoes!

    Permalink | Posted August 22nd, 2009, at 10:42 am
  11. Frank - Our Hiking Blog says:

    Ha ha, just found this article. Some great ideas here. On the link below is a pic of a pair of boots we saved with duct tape a couple of weeks back. They were 12 years old!


    Permalink | Posted November 28th, 2011, at 8:41 pm
  12. Blaise says:

    I think you could use duck tape a lot easier if you had two colors:
    Silver-if you are stranded then it will reflect light
    Camouflage-to not attract animals when you use it.
    You could use it if you are stranded since it reflects light, also making beds. Also you could make underwear/bras.

    Permalink | Posted December 31st, 2013, at 11:39 am

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