Essential kit item: Duct tape
There are a few essential items when setting off for a walking or cycling trip and duct tape is up there as one of the most useful. The sticky and durable tape is amazingly useful in all kinds of situations. There is even a book dedicated to using duct tape. Kristin Hostetter, author of Don’t Forget the Duct Tape: Tips and Tricks for Repairing Outdoor Gear, says: “Duct tape is the single most useful repair tool you can carry on a backpacking trip, bar none.”
21 great uses for duct tape
Repair a tear in your tent, waterproof jacket or down jacket. If you want to make your repair more permanent you can iron it on. This will seal the sticky backing to the fabric. If a zip breaks, try threading a thin strip of duct tape through the slider, then wrapping the tails with more duct-tape strips. All kinds of clothing tears can be repaired with a strip of duct tape. It even survives a handwash. If walking boot laces break, or your bike shoe fastener comes apart, tape your shoes together with duct tape. If laces are annoying you, tape over them. Tape a key, or anything that you don’t want to lose, to the inside of a bag, rucksack or pannier. If something is rubbing, say your rucksack waist belt, tape some fabric to each pad of the hip belt. Temporarily repair a boot if the sole comes off mid-walk. Then, when you come to repair it after the walk, first use glue and then hold the sole in place by wrapping the duct tape around the boot. Repair a tear in a tent groundsheet, a jacket or a rucksack with a strip or two of duct tape. Duct tape can be used to tape a sprained ankle if you don't have any athletic or kinesiology tape handy. Wrap it in the traditional figure-eight pattern right over your sock. When you feel a sore spot developing while walking, it’s time to apply a patch of duct tape, for example to your heel or toe. This will help to prevent a blister forming as the tape cuts down heat caused by friction. You could also put a strip of tape over a rough spot inside the boot or shoe. Make a temporary clothesline in a hotel room or at a camping site with duct tape. Tape the tops of shampoo bottles etc to prevent spills. Use duct tape to splint a broken tent pole or fishing pole by taping a stick to the broken area. Adjust a t-shirt in hot weather to become a vest top by taping up the sleeves. Wrap duct tape around a disposable plastic bottle to stop it cracking and leaking. Use duct tape to stop the ends of rope, laces and webbing from fraying. Create a makeshift spoon by getting clever with your duct tape. All it takes is a little imagination to fashion a spoon-shaped tool! Tape up loose cables on your bike. Repair phones, gadgets and devices with duct tape. And if you’re wondering how you might carry your duct tape with you, wrap a generous amount around the middle of a walking pole – and leave bulky roll at home. How have you put duct tape to good use? PS. The brand name is Duck Tape.