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15 Survival Uses for Duct Tape

The almighty duct tape.


It can fix, it can patch, it's waterproof and it should be in your hunting or fishing bag. Why? Here are 15 surprisingly practical reasons.

View the slide show to see them all.

1. Spear

Simply attach a fixed-blade knife with a few strips of tape to the end of a long, straight branch, and you've got yourself a weapon. Go get dinner.

2. Shelter

If void of rope or cord, you can get a roof over your head quickly. If an A-frame type shelter is desired, tape the sticks together, where you would normally tie rope. If need be, the roof can be made of duct tape, too - the stuff is extremely waterproof.

3. Fishing Pole Fix

Fishing pole broke in half? No worries. Just cut small strips of tape and wrap at the broken point until your heart is content, or at least until the pole feels sturdy again. It won't be as strong as before, but it will give you a few more crucial casts. In a pinch, you could turn a long stick into a fishing pole with some duct tape. Just make a line of twisted tape and attach it to one end. To the other, attach a sharpened, V-shaped rock or stick and some bait.

Read More: Custom Rod Building

4. Cordage

Cutting a long strip of tape in half, then rolling in your hand will make a good piece of cordage. This can be used for a wide range of fixes such as shelter building, a belt or used to make a fire bow.

5. Tent Repair

A hole in a tent can easily be remedied by attaching tape to the affected area. While it won't last eons, it will keep the water out of your tent until you get home. Taping the inside of the hole, as well as the outside, will increase durability.

6. Splint

Photo via Sportsman's Guide

If you get a leg injury, use duct tape to pad branches to make the splint, then wrap around the leg.

7. Bandage

Photo via Blowgun Forum

Use strips cut to desired size to affix sterile dressings if you get an open wound. It isn't recommended to place duct tape directly over an open wound, unless absolutely necessary to save your life. Placing tape over a sensitive area - on your hands, for instance - can help to prevent blisters, also.

Arrow Fletching

Photo via Survival Pack Supplies

Cutting four identical strips of tape resembling fletching and attaching them to a straight, smooth stick can serve to make an improvised arrow. Fasten a makeshift broadhead with thin strips of duct tape, as well.

9. Sling


If a broken arm leaves you incapacitated, you can support it by wrapping your arm securely to your chest. Folding a strip in half will conceal the adhesive side, leaving a smooth sliver for use.

10. Hydration Bladder Fix

If your hydration bladder is leaking, it's a quick fix with duct tape. Just apply a strip or two over the hole. Just ensure the hole is dried before applying.

11. Canoe Fix


Your canoe is leaking more than you would like, but it's okay because you have duct tape. If only a crack or small hole, a few layers of duct tape will give an A-plus patch job until you can make a more permanent fix.

12. Fire

Duct tape contains cotton material under its layers, making it a potential source for tinder. The tape will ignite and burn shortly, giving you enough time to catch a tinder bundle afire.

13. Paddle

Find a stick with a forked end and wrap duct tape around it until you have a solid bottom to paddle with. You won't make any speed records, but you'll have plenty of propulsion to glide you along. Ensure to make the seal as water tight as possible.

14. Clothing Repair

Torn sleeves, missing buttons or saggy pants can all be remedied with a little duct tape. Use the tape in the place of a needle and thread and reattach articles of clothing, if need be. Create a belt to hold your pants up by making cordage (No. 4) and tying the two ends together.

15. Signal

Classic duct tape's exterior is a shiny metallic color, but it now comes in a variety of bright colors, so use that to your advantage. Use it as a signaling device for potential search parties.

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15 Survival Uses for Duct Tape