This past week on the Gubba Homestead, the sun was shining, the breeze cool, and the air filled with the aroma of newly-sprung blossoms. I stepped outside onto the paver deck, plopped into a patio chair, and closed my eyes to revel in a bit of Heaven-on-Earth.
As I daydreamed about times of old, my Homestead Dog, Kintla, was raising a ruckus in the yard (as usual). As a puppy, she learned from her Karelian mother how to patrol a patch of property, so she protects the Homestead perimeter by pacing and sniffing for prey or potential danger. If something smells amiss, she alerts me with agitated barking. Sometimes it’s only a black, grass beetle; at other times, she sniffs out deer outside the fence. Whatever the case, she always lets me know.
On this particular sunny day, Kintla sensed something out of order near the Homestead. I watched as one second her face was glued to the ground and the next it was attentively held high and focused on the front yard. Kintla can’t see what’s over the fence but she can sense. She dashed to the fence barking. She knows her access to the front is through the house, so she raced to the back and scratched eagerly at the sliding door until she tore a gaping hole in the screen. I let her in and she ran to the front door.
That screen door is my barrier to the world, so I couldn’t cool my house in the mornings without hornets, ants, and spiders crawling in. Although Kintla would gobble them as they entered, I didn’t want them in at all. Rolling my eyes, I pondered my predicament. It seemed silly to buy a replacement door when I could DIY-fix this problem with a screen kit, but I didn’t have time for such a project, so I did the next best thing: I got out the duct tape.
Duct tape is extremely versatile: from starting fires to creating DIY cups, bowls, and shoes, it serves many purposes. In this case, I needed to seal my home. I tore a few slices from the roll and repaired the screen door rip. In such fashion, I addressed a risk to my living space. The duct tape decorating my screen door is a reminder of how useful it is and how important it is to keep a roll on hand for emergencies. I already have a DIY kit to replace the screen.
If you don’t have duct tape in your emergency supply room or your bug out bag, I’d suggest that you get some! You can easily order a pack from Amazon and have it delivered straight to your door.
Before you conclude that it’s goofy to keep duct tape for emergency situations, consider these 10 survival uses:
1. Fire Starter
Duct tape can be used with lint or cloth to kindle a fire. Keep matches with your duct tape in your house or car because you never know when an emergency will strike. Fire can provide heat and cook food.
2. Fix clothes
Absent a sewing kit, duct tape can patch clothing. From a hole in your shirt to a hole in your shoes, duct tape will literally have you covered. You can even create a pair of shoes out of duct tape.
3. Build a shelter
Duct tape can be used to assemble a temporary shelter with garbage bags and other items. It’s strong and can secure makeshift walls.
4. Pandemic seal
With the recent outbreak of Covid-19, who the heck knows what’s coming next. If the world spirals out of control, use duct tape to seal the corners in your home and limit the air-borne spread of a disease.
5. Fix eyeglasses
If you wear eyeglasses and a frame breaks, use duct tape to quickly repair it and keep your ability to see.
6. Fix your vehicle
Duct tape can seal leaks, holes in windows, or holes in the car exterior itself. Keep an extra roll in your vehicle.
7. Broken arm sling
If you don’t have access to immediate healthcare services, duct tape can be used to create a sling to support a broken arm.
8. DIY bandages
If you are out of bandages, use gauze as the pad and duct tape as the adhesive to the skin.
9. Window covering
Duct tape will block light entirely. If society completely breaks down, it might be important to block out your windows. If you have no plywood, duct tape is an alternative. If you block out windows, intruders cannot see into your home.
10. Kill bugs
If you are without bug spray or a bug repellent candle, use duct tape as flypaper. Hang it around your tent or home and bugs will stick to it.
There are many survival uses for duct tape. In my case, it served to temporarily secure my home. We never know when the next disaster or pandemic will strike, so take this opportunity to build up emergency supplies. Duct tape is in my emergency supply kit. Don’t find yourself looking back wishing you had just listened to Gubba and started preparing while you could—get some now!