Hiking - Gear/Equipment

Uses of Duct Tape While Camping: Tips to Follow for Survival (with Infographics)

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The simple and insignificant the roll of grey strip looks boring, but the uses of duct tape while camping is much more than that. For beginners, it may just look like a simple tape used to seal up something (some might even ask what is duct tape?), while the avid hikers use some ingenious ways to make it useful for even the most difficult of conditions.

While setting out for conquering a mountain or a challenging trail, we all include in our backpack a duct tape, not sure about the uses for duct tapes but still, because everyone packs these little tools while hiking. However, accidents and disasters don’t wait for anyone and in such situations being unfamiliar with an important camping tool will lead to serious consequences.

So, isn’t it better to utilize what you have and use it in a creative way just like Cheryl Stayed did in the movie Wild?

In an uncharted terrain, there is hardly any chance that you will get any external help from anyone or have any high-end gear or tool to solve any problem. Thus, it's best to know and understand the uses of duct tape while camping!

Repairing, sealing, healing, covering, fixing – the little duct tapes can come in handy in every aspect. Let’s get started.

15 Primary Uses of Duct Tape while Camping: Get Creative!

Let’s just check out what are the things to do with duct tapes. There are numerous ways in which you can use this little thing into a survival gear; after all, it’s all about creativity! But before getting creative, you need to know the basic and most popular ways to utilize this hiking tool.

1. Repairing a Rip

A tear in your tent, a crack on your camping chair, a ripped sleeping bag –nothing is impossible to fix up with a duct tape. Just tear off a strip, press it firmly on the slash and your problem is solved. These are some of the most common occurrences while you are camping, and camping duct tapes are always handy.

Livingit Tip:
Tear off two strips of equal size. Place one inside the tent and the other over it on the outside.

In this way, both the sticky parts are touching and the slash of the tent is completely sealed. While removing it, put a few drops of baby oil around to clean off the residues. This is one of the most common uses of duct tape while camping.

while Camping repairing a rip
Repairing a Rip


2. Don’t let the tent fly away

Is your tent placed at a windy spot and is on the verge of blowing in the gushing wind? A tent repair tape can even act as a windbreaker. Take a few sturdy trash bags; tie them up with a duct tape and hang them up on the side of your shelter. Your windbreaker is prepared; now take a few tapes and tie this windbreaker with the tent poles to add more sturdiness to your shelter.

Placing the windbreaker strategically in front of your tent is a great way to keep yourself from gushing wind.

3. Stay warm

Keeping the cold out while staying inside the tent is one of the best uses for duct tapes. No matter how reinforced the camp windows are, it is better to paste duct tapes around the seams of the windows so that chilly wind does not get a way to enter inside. This is a great way to spend the freezing nights tucked inside blankets while the chill stays outside.

4. Keep the tent door sealed

Does your tent let chilly air inside through the malfunctioning zipper? Do you find it hard to sleep as the tent door keeps on flapping in wind? A duct tape for camping will help you keep the door closed and give you a perfect night of sound sleep without any flapping sound or freezing air.

If the zipper is not catching right, that it is not aligned, there is no need to seal up the whole zipper. You can just align the zipper with the duct tape so that when you pull up the zip, it gets aligned and stick properly.

Seal the window - duct tape uses
Seal the window

5. Need a rope?

One of the most important things for mountaineers, rock climbers and hikers is a rope –be it for climbing or for tying up anything or just to hang up your belongings inside the tent.

But what to do when you are short of rope?

You can make one with a duct tape! 

A tent repair tape, as mentioned above can be a substitute. Just roll it up if you are using it for bearing non-heavy loads. For extra load bearing purposes, coil up more tapes and join them together to add thickness. All you need to use is a long strip of tape and your purpose is served.

A tent repair tape
A tent repair tape

6. Leave your mark on unfamiliar trail

While traversing through unexplored and challenging territory that has enough possibility to make you forget your path while returning, it is better to tie duct tapes around the trees you pass in regular interval.

You can also tie two trees that are close to each other, together with a tape. In this way, it will be easier to identify your route while returning.

Make sure you strip them off while passing, as the hiking etiquettes say “leave to trace”

Read about the 7 Leave No Trace Principles: Stop Littering, Start Ethical Hiking

mark your way with duct tapes
Mark your way with duct tapes

7. Seal up food to prevent contamination

One of the most important uses of duct tape while camping is to seal up your cooked food or food packages while you leave your tent for hiking or at the day’s end, go to bed. There are insects and curious animals that are always in quest of food and can be attracted with the smell of scents and food crumbs.

Duct tapes can be used to seal up the packages so that no smell is emanated. Moreover, while carrying food in containers or for liquid food, sealing up the packages or containers with a strip of tape helps in preventing leakage.

The question may arise, is duct tape waterproof?

Yes, it is and that is why it is so helpful for storing food.  

Check out Camping Food Storage: Tips to Prevent Good Food from Going Bad

Seal food packet with duct tape
Seal the packets to keep the food fresh

8. Leaky water bottle

If your water bottles are leaking, the probability is that they might flood the inside of your backpack or drench your clothes.

Duct tape is waterproof as we mentioned above, so why not put a strip on the crack or around the cap?

To be on the safe side, put a few strips around the old patch.

Duct tape is waterproof
Duct tape is waterproof 

9. Twisted Ankle? Ouch!

Physical injuries are common while hiking in challenging terrains. Ankle sprains, twisted ankles are common and in severe cas, a hospital is not accessible. A crepe bandage might not be handy at times and is not so helpful in serious injuries too.

A survival duct tape if tied properly around the ankle, can act as a plaster and will provide you stability.

If the problem still persists, it is time to make a splint. Lets us prescribe you how to make duct tape stuff with a few sticks. Anchor your leg with a few sticks and tie them with a few rolls of duct tapes around.

Livingit Tip:
Remember to use some padding too so that the uneven sticks does not cause harm to your skin.

A survival duct tape can act as a plaster
A survival duct tape can act as a plaster

10. Cover a wound

If you fall victim to a blister or bruise while hiking and there are still miles to reach your destination, you cannot continue with the exposed bruise as it might catch an infection or get in contact with dirt, rainfall, snowfall or any natural disaster. One of the many survival uses for duct tapes is to cover the affected area with it preventing any further pain or infection.

Livingit Tip:
Don’t put the duct tape directly on the wound as while removing it will hurt like hell and deteriorate the wound.

Put cotton or gauge on the bruise and then tie the tape around. Remove and change the tape at regular interval to let that wound breathe.  

Cover with duct tape to prevent infection.
Cover with duct tape to prevent infection

11. Cover your eyes

While hiking in rain, wind, heavy snow or scorching sun, it is mandatory to cover your eyes from those natural hazards. Simply put a fly tape around the aviators or goggles to prevent them from breaking and letting water, air, and sunlight entering directly into your eyes.

It is also handy when your spectacles or goggles have snapped off.

You can also use duct tape to make a pair with thin slits!

cover your eyes with duct tape

12. Insect Trapping

This might sound ridiculous but trapping flies and other hovering insects around the tent is one of the quirky uses for duct tape.

If you are camping in a jungle or by the waterfront, you are most likely to attract lots of mosquitoes, flies and other insects that are attracted by the colour of the tent, the smell of the food or the camping lamp –either way, they are hell lot of irritating. Hang up a few strips of fly tape at the entrance of the camp, near the food or place with the sticky part above.

Now see for yourself!

Insect Trapping with Duct Tape
Insect Trapping with Duct Tape

13. Utilize for Fishing

If you are a fishing enthusiast and have forgotten to bring the spear fishing pole at home, not to worry. Here you will know how to make duct tape stuff for fishing using simple and handy tools.

Find a long stick (easily available around your camping space) and tie a camping knife with it tightly so that you don’t lose the knife while fishing. Your strong and steady spear fishing pole is ready.

Read about Camp Knife: An Essential Survival Gear for Campers

Utilize Duct Tape for Fishing
Make a spearfishing pole!

14. Fix up broken Poles

What are the things to do with duct tape if your tent pole or hiking pole has been broken?

Of course, you cannot let them be to fix up after you return. To make the best use of these items while you are on the trip, tie duct tapes around them to hold them steady for the days to come. As we mentioned earlier in case of a twisted ankle, you can make duct tape stuff with sticks.

Tie a few sticks with tapes around the broken pole and give them sturdiness.

Fix up broken Poles with duct tapes
Fix up broken Poles

15. Keep the Camping items in place

One of the many duct tape uses is to keep the table clothes, dish clothes, wipers and clothes that you wear at their appropriate place. While drying up your clothes out on a wire, tie their ends with a duct tape to the wire so that they don’t fly away in the heavy wind.  If you put your table outside the tent, tape the sides of the tablecloth with the table corners to keep it fixed.

After all, who would like it when the table cloth is blown away mid-meal?

Check out Cool Things to Bring Camping for Complete Fun

Additional 15 Uses of Duct Tape worth Mentioning

There are a few other uses of duct tape while camping, which are worth mentioning too.

All you need to do is to use your brain and quirky hacks will be presented in front of you in no time -

  1. If you have a tear in your fabric, just place some strips of duct tape and you are ready to use it in the next days to come. It also adds some fashion in your outfit too!
  2. If your pants are a little too long for you and you have a tendency to trip over, hem the pants up with a couple of strips. Wrap the bottom with duct tapes to keep away bugs.
  3. In the middle of the trail, if the straps of the shoe start to rip off or the sole comes off, tie duct tapes to hold the shoe together to endure the rest of the trail.
  4. Seal up any tears or leaks in plastic, leather or metal. There are duct tape uses for almost everything!
  5. Fix up books, magazines, papers, maps, even firearms (if you plan on hunting during the trip).
  6. Remove thorns, ticks and leeches with a simple pat and yank with a tape
  7. Create a Tourniquet with a stick and duct tapes to constrict blood circulation.
  8. Make a sleep mask (put gauge on eyes and paste a strip around)     
  9. Make fire starter with duct tape and a charcloth
  10. Create a sling to hold up something.
  11. Waterproof gears or shoes
  12. Tape a flashlight to go hands-free
  13. Soften sharp edges
  14. Create padding for knees and elbows
  15. Keep off frostbite by pasting around sensitive areas

With great mind comes great creativity! Use your creativity in mending up tools or gears while you are camping.

Also, read about Must Have Camping Gear - Camp Like a Pro With These Items

You can even create new things that might come handy while you are on an uncharted land.  A small tool but with numerous uses, you should pack a few duct tape rolls inside your backpack.

After all, who knows when things change? Being self-reliant never hurts.

How to Use Duct Tape for Footwear - Infographic

How to Use Duct Tape for Footwear - Infographic

How to Use Duct Tape for Forgotten items - Infographic

How to Use Duct Tape for Forgotten items - Infographic

How to Use Duct Tape for First Aid - Infographic

How to Use Duct Tape for First Aid - Infographic

How to Use Duct Tape for Shelter - Infographic

How to Use Duct Tape for Shelter - Infographic

From preserving food to keep away insects, from medical help to add up some fashion, from fixing up tools to creating new ones – a camping duct tape is a versatile tool.

Use it in whatever way you think is convenient.

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