A History of Adherence
What we now call duct tape was first developed during WWII as a handy way to seal cases of ammunition (soldiers wanted a waterproof material that was strong, easy to slap on, and quick to tear off). It didn't take long for soldiers to experiment with uses of the new invention, which they nicknamed "duct" tape (both because it is waterproof, like a duck, and because it's made from duck cloth). Soldiers reportedly used it for vehicle and aircraft repair, as a temporary means to close wounds, and as a general all-around quick fix-it. After the war, the soldiers brought their love of duct tape from the battlefields to the home front.
In the 1950s, companies, including Johnson and Johnson, marketed duct tape as a way to seal metal heating and air conditioning ducts. They also changed the tape's color from army green to the now standard silvery gray (although funny enough, connecting ducts may be the one thing the wonder tape isn't actually much good for). The rebranding still stuck, as we now know the infamous fixative as "duct tape." In the decades since, duct tape has helped people get out of all sorts of tight spots, from fashion emergencies on the runway to saving the lives of the astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 who mended their failing carbon dioxide filters with it. Read on for more genius ways to tap into duct tape's potential!
Duct Tape to the Rescue
If it's good enough for wars and space travel, it's good enough for all sorts of hacks for your next camping trip. When times are rough, here are some ways duct tape may help get you out of the woods.
After a long day outside, there is nothing worse than getting to a campsite and realizing something is wrong with the night's cover. Here are some ways duct tape may be able to step in to help you get a good night's sleep.
- Mend a fabric tear: Tear off a piece of duct tape long enough to cover the rip in the tent. Adhere the tape on both the outside and inside of the tent. This should help kep water, dirt, and bugs out of your shelter.
- Fix a broken zipper: Rather than let the tent door flap in the wind and let in the chill, apply a strip of duct tape along the break in the zipper.
- Remedy a broken pole: If a pole snaps in half, put it back together by wrapping duct tape around the two parts. For a sturdier fix, tape a stick alongside the broken pole for reinforcement.
- Fashion guylines: Guylines protect tents from rough winds by increasing stability. If the air is howling and your tent isn't equipped with guylines (or they're too tangled to use), fashion some out of duct tape. Make the cord by twisting several lengths of duct tape together. Tie and/or stick the cord to the sides of the tent, and then tie the other ends to rocks or trees, keeping the guylines taught.
- Whip up an unplanned bivvy: No tent? No problem! With some duct tape and a couple of trash bags (which can also serve plenty of survival/camping purposes) you'll be able to build a tent in no time. First, run a cord (a duct tape one, if needed ~ see guyline instructions) between two trees, allowing enough space for you to fit in between. Tape two trash bags together and drape them over the cord. To hold the shelter in place, place rocks where the trash bag meets the ground to hold it in place.
For many, many more practical uses on your next camping trip see the full article, Stuck on Survival, on Fix.com!
About the Author:
Samantha Larson is a journalist from Seattle. She attended Stanford University, and has written for publications like National Geographic Daily News and RootsRated. In her free time she is a runner, rock climber, and SCUBA diver.