As a backpacker you tend to travel light and when unexpected things happen you usually have to improvise and do your best with what you’ve got. Well, one thing every backpacker should have is – duct tape. Here are 10 ways how to use it in your travels.
- When you’re out and about accidents can happen and you don’t always have a first aid kit with you, but you can improvise. Whether it’s a small or a big cut make sure you clean it first, then place a peace of toilet paper or gauze over it and then fixate it with duct tape.
- It may not be as good as the one you will get in a hospital but this kind of improvised splint will do the trick until you get to one. Use anything rigid to make a splint, sticks or boards, put one on the inside of the injured limb and the other one on the outside and tape it above and below the wound making sure you don’t over-tighten and cut of the circulation. If you don’t have any sticks or boards you can also use rolled up blanket or clothing, or even tape one injured body part to another as support.
- Isolation – to stay warm. Cover your clothes with it to keep out the cold, water and strong winds. Skiers frequently use duct tape to protect face from strong winds and frostbites.
- When walking all day blisters are bound to happen. You can prevent them easily – if you feel one coming on, simply put a piece of duct tape over it or if you tend to get blisters anyway just tape the critical area and start your journey.
- Traveling or not sometimes warts just appear. What you can do is spend a lot of money on chemicals and doctors or you can try duct tape. Just cover the wart with tape, remove it the after 6 days, and remove the wart with something rough like a pumice stone. If it’s still there, patch it up again and repeat the process until it’s gone.
- We all know how weather can be unpredictable sometimes – sunny one minute, monsoon the other. In this case you can use duct tape to wrap your shoes with it and keep your feet dry.
- While hiking on rugged terrain you can easily twist your ankle. In case you have low cut shoes you can protect your ankles with duct tape by wrapping it around your ankles, make sure you tie your shoes well first and start taping from the top of the shoe. This will also protect you from cuts, ticks and pebbles that keep getting in your shoe.
- Last thing you want is to end up with no passport and money in a foreign country, so you can use duct tape to secure them, tape them under the bed, table or anywhere else if you’re staying in an iffy hostel. You can even protect yourself from pickpockets by taping them to your body or if you travel a lot by train or bus you can tape your bag so the tape has to be removed to unzip the bag, which will divert some curious luggage handlers from rummaging your things.
- Yet another way to use duct tape is as flypaper, because those little pests can be very annoying while you’re trying to sleep. Hang some strips of tape outside your room to catch those uninvited bugs.
- Another useful thing to have is rope, but in case you don’t have one you can make it out of, you guessed it – duct tape. Create a string by folding the duct tapes vertically, connecting the sticky sides. You can use it on its own or you can strengthen it with more strings.
You don’t have to be Bear Grylls to make it on your own; sure he can make rafts out of anything, but nobody ever said you couldn’t do it either with duct tape. Just remember to bring it with you and find yourself another adventure.
Photo by: Carolyn Tiry