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Everyone is familiar with the common joke that duct tape can fix just about any situation. While this tends to be the case, especially when speed and ease of a repair are in question, keeping a roll of duct tape at the ready can become vital in emergency situations. This handy resource should be a staple in any survival kit or bug out bag, since the applications for duct tape can be your key to survival.

  • 1. First aid

duct tape makes an ideal adhesive over cloth or gauze to create a make-shift band-aid. While this is applicable for smaller wounds, it can also be practical for larger gashes where constant pressure needs to be applied. Binding the wound with duct tape can become its own tourniquet, although the tape can also be used create pressure above the wound in order to slow the flow of bleeding.

  • 2. Emergency care

broken bones and sprains can also be stabilized with a combination of duct tape and sticks or strong pieces of wood that will hold the injured limb straight. Creating a simple splint with duct tape can allow people who are hurt to regain mobility, and can also prevent further damage to the injured area.

  • 3. Hands free carrying

there can be situations where carrying rations through harsh terrain may also mean abandoning resources. Some innovative survivalists will actually use duct tape to bind food kits and other supplies to their body, essentially forming a full body pack for better efficiency.

  • 4. Water containers

the thickness and waterproof outer coat of duct tape also make it good for creating bowl style containers for water and even holding food. Using a rock as a form, people can wrap half way up the stone to generate the initial form. After removing the rock, it is necessary to set a reverse layer of duct tape against the inside of the bowl, and to roll the edges in order to provide better waterproofing.

  • 5. Creating shelters

whether a person is trying to secure a tarp or layer saplings for shelter, duct tape can help to secure the initial foundation of the structure, but can also be used to reinforce against high winds and rain.

  • 6. Patches

of course, duct tape was initially designed to patch duct work, but its adhesive and flexible qualities also make it ideal for sealing holes on anything from clothing and knapsacks to car engine hoses and leaky boats.

  • 7. Rope and binding

simply twisting a length of duct tape into a cord can form a basic twine for tying together supplies, or even suspending long-term food storage above the ground to avoid animal predation. These cords can be further bound together to form a strong rope, which can aid in climbing and construction.

  • 8. Protection

while strips of duct tape that are hung around the shelter can be effective as fly strips for spiders, mosquitoes, and other insects, putting a perimeter of tape on the ground, with the sticky side up, can also deter four legged threats.

  • 9. Personal sun and rain protection

many people forget that the effects of the elements can become detrimental over time. Fashioning a wide brim hat out of duct tape can provide shade during the daytime and warmth at night, but can also act as a rain hood in inclement weather.

  • 10. Warmth

wrapping duct tape round the body and over the clothes can provide extra insulation, but can also keep dampness and moisture away from the skin. Since the duct tape is sealing in the natural body heat and keeping out water, it can aid in surviving exposure.

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