12 Survival Uses for Duct Tape

by Erich

FoodInsurance.com just recently released a pretty cool infographic showing some interesting (some, like the helmet, are a bit ridiculous) survival uses for duct tape that I thought you’d be interested in checking out.

At the end of the graphic are some additional survival uses that I like to use it for. I’d love to hear some other uses that you’ve found so leave them in the comments below.

7 Additional Survival Uses for Duct Tape

Here are a few additional uses that I’ve found (and used) for duct tape.

  • Remove ticks from clothing: Anytime I’m hunting or walking in the woods I often find ticks crawling up my pants or shirt to find a warm, dark spot. I use duct tape to quickly grab them like improvised fly paper.
  • Improvised boot lacing: There was one time I needed a boot lace while out in the woods to make a bowdrill fire. The lace eventually broke so I was left without one. I used some duct tape to wrap around the boot ankle as “lacing” for a tight, supportive binding to get out of the wilds. *Note: I now use paracord in place of lacing for all my shoe wear. These don’t break when doing a bowdrill or other heavy-duty activity.
  • Survival arrow fletching: If you can’t find feathers, duct tape will make a very serviceable arrow fletching.
  • Water container repair: Duct tape does a great job at repairing small leaks in water bottles or bladders.
  • Cordage: Duct tape makes for excellent cordage in a survival situation. Either used wrapped around objects like stakes for building shelters or even twisted on itself to make actual rope.
  • Improvised water containers: Yes, you can even fold and piece duct tape together to make a very serviceable water container.
  • Container sealer: Duct tape makes a fantastic air/water tight seal for food storage containers or ammo cans.

What else do you use it for? Leave a comment below…

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Comment by Silas Longshot
2014-03-20 14:33:14

Tape your pants cuffs closed to keep out ticks and leaches if you’re wading in a swamp.
Duct tape makes nice hole patches in tents and tarps.
Getting a heel blister? Cover it with a bit of duct tape.
On your sprained ankle patch, make sure you leave your sock on, to protect your skin.
Broken wooden rifle stock? Wrap tightly with duct tape until repairs can be made permanent.
Duct tape can be used to work a small tarp into a backpack kind of bag, including the shoulder straps (two layers sticky sides together).

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2014-03-21 10:19:36

great list Silas. Thanks brother.

Comment by Armando del Portillo
2014-03-20 14:33:30

I’ve used duct tape for many years for taping branches together to make a pooper stool. I always hated having to squat against a tree and hope that I did not fall down.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2014-03-21 10:19:20

that’s great! I’ll have to try that one.

Comment by Larry
2014-03-20 15:23:25

duct tape can keep the wife quiet if you got lost for forgetting your compass, or not asking for directions. Sometimes you may have to duct tape the hands as well. Good luck.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2014-03-21 10:17:55


Comment by Gary
2014-03-20 16:35:50

Great article. I am afraid, though, that #10 would not work. You could make a great Sling like David actually used, but not a Sling Shot. A Sling Shot requires elasticity, whereas a Sling requires the rigidity of rope, vines, leather strips or strips of Duct Tape.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2014-03-21 10:16:51

That’s right Gary. There are a few items on their list that are a bit off…the helmet is another example.

Comment by Jiz Fubar
2014-03-20 20:03:33

I make my own bra and panties with it…

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2014-03-21 10:15:43

yup…duct tape can truly do it all…

Comment by duggy dugg
2014-03-20 20:36:18

holding things together while the glue dries

Comment by Martin
2014-03-20 23:44:22

+1 on the blister treatment. Duct tape has saved me when breaking in a new pair of snake boots on opening weekend of turkey season (not a great idea). Just be sure to put something over the blister to protect it from the sticky part of the tape.

Comment by Tom Holmes
2014-03-21 00:30:57

Can a shoe or sandal like if you loose a shoe in a river or something. Make a leash or tie down for your dog or dogs to keep close to you or the camp if you forgot a leash.

Comment by Tom Holmes
2014-03-21 00:36:47

Could also be used for pulling out cactus needles out of you hand or feet. I guess you could use it to wrap around the handle of a frying pan like a oven mit to keep from burning yourself from a hot handle?

Comment by Ruthie-o
2014-03-21 01:43:02

Number 6 won’t work. They’ve been doing it in Florida for years (like an old wives tale) and all the hurricane prep info says it doesn’t work. (I forget the “why” they state.)

It leaves a lot of adhesive on your windows and I’ve seen a lot of houses with the duct tape removed and the adhesive still showing to passers-by.

But it will patch a small hole in the window from a pebble thrown up from the lawn mower or a BB, and it can splint a crack in a window.

Comment by MCLMM
2014-03-21 02:17:28


I have no idea what to think of the “helmet” idea – maybe the article was meant to be a joke?

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2014-03-21 10:23:59

yeah, not too useful huh…

Comment by Carol
2014-03-21 09:55:43

I believe the reason for taping a window is the same one that breaking-and-entering criminals use it for–to control the shattering of the shards and retain the glass somewhat in place, even though broken.

Comment by Jim
2014-03-21 10:23:27

Duct tape burns very well and is a great fire starter.
I did use duct tape as a helmet once but could never get it off.

Comment by Bayou Cajun
2014-03-21 10:27:38

Wrap it around your Zippo. It keeps lighter fluid from evaporating and waterproofs it as well.

Comment by Jim Wagers
2014-03-22 07:42:48

Using tape w/ knife is a good idea. Taking it a step further, If we make the assumption that you have tape and a knife as part of an emergency kit or “Go Bag”, my plan is to have a couple of ready made spear heads to use instead of risking damage to my knife. These can be made from a variety of already hardened steels such as an old saw blade or lawn tools, trowel,etc. When finished, you’ll have a ready made blade that can be used for a spear or even double as a knife without risk of damaging your primary knife.

Comment by wannabemountainman
2014-03-22 13:26:12

Great article! With your permission, I would like to share this with my readers, at my above URL. I always use the entire source-code, keeping all link-backs intact, and giving credit to the author.

Comment by Beth
2014-03-22 22:42:05

I have used duct tape to hold bandages in place while working in a greasy commercial kitchen. It dosnt come off as fast, in a greasy or wet environment.
I also used it to hold a jagged cut together, so it would heal- the duct tape was not against the wound, I used bandage material against the actual wound, but the duct tape kept everything in place. It works for sprained ankles, taping broken fingers and toes, and wrapping cracked horns on goats and sheep, and can be used in splinting a broken leg on a goat or sheep. (Important if you want meat or milk)

Comment by Bob Bigelow
2014-03-23 17:57:59

For what it’s worth, WD-40 takes off duct tape residue in a flash. If the tape gets stuck to your skin, threatening to take off the hide at bandage change time, a few minutes with a cotton ball soaked in turpentine, and a little slow peeling, will dissolve the glue and release the tape. Turpentine is a mild antibiotic as well, so there’s no risk of infection, but you’ll smell like a freshly painted wall for a bit.

Comment by Jon McClure
2014-04-04 14:16:24

I never knew that! i wonder if it works on older stuff too (like if the residue is already dried)?

Comment by harold
2014-04-24 20:58:45

Removes warts just cover it for about 2 weeks and its gone,Temporary fan belt or a emergency radiator hose fix,My daughter made me wallet made out of duct-tape I carry it everyday.

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