20 Uses For Duct Tape On The Fly And In The Field

Duct tape is quite possibly the greatest thing ever invented. It’s the poor man’s handyman tool. It can fix just about anything (temporarily). So it makes sense in the military would find plenty of use for this magical sticky stuff.

Here are 20 hacks that could make military life a little bit easier.

1. Blisters Ruining Your Patrol?

When you first feel the symptoms of an impending blister (i.e., burning, friction, or irritation), apply duct tape over the irritated spot as smoothly as possible. If a blister has already developed though, protect it from the duct tape’s glue by placing a circle of paper or gauze directly over the blister, and then apply the duct tape on top. Voila: Pain be gone!

2. Cracked or Leaking Windows

Hum-v windshield not lookin’ too good? Wind blasting through a crack in the barracks’ window? Slap piece of the sticky stuff to seal the crack. It’l buy you enough time until you can get it actually fixed of course.

3. Knife Safety

Don’t have the sheath for your favorite K-Bar? A strip of duct tape folded over even the sharpest blade will render it safe for travel or storage.

Bonus Tip: Support the Troops with Duct Tape Ribbons

4. Make an Emergency Bandage

If you’re nowhere near a first-aid kit when someone gets hit, or you just cut yourself chopping some veggies, apply some sterile, absorbent fabric to the wound (a bandana or strip of t-shirt will do in a pinch) and then wrap duct tape around the gash (applying firm, but not constrictive, pressure) to hold the fabric in place.

5. Trap Bugs

No one wants flying insects buzzing around inside. If you’re looking to get a cardio workout out of your bug trapping, wrap a tennis racket in duct tape (sticky side out) and wave it around to trap the little critters.

6. Snack holder

Duct-tape a bowl to the top of a soda can and you have an instant snack platter for your vehicle’s cup holder.

7. Survive a Chemical Attack

With some plastic sheets and the magic tape, seal off any rooms or other areas you need hazard-free.

8. Real Boats

The MythBusters aren’t the only ones who can make a boat out of duct tape.

9. DIY Medicine Ball

Need one for a workout overseas? Punch a hole in an old basketball. Fill it with sand or, for less weight, wood pellets. Plug the hole — we suggest epoxy cement — and wrap with duct tape.

10. Tape a Sprained Ankle

Walking it off not an option? You can get by with a simple wrapping job.

11. Secure a Splint

Or if you do manage to make yourself a little sprint, hold it in place with a few strips of the adhesive miracle.

12. Memorial Day

Flak-proof barbecue apron anyone? Joe Wilson details how to fashion a fire-and splash-resistant barbecue apron in his book “Ductigami: The Art of the Tape.”

13. Christmas While Deployed

Found yourself an adequate tree, but no ornaments in your arsenal? Salvage what you can find around base and hang it on up with a little cut strip of duct tape. Who would have thought 5.56’s looked so pretty hanging from pine leaves?

14. Hem Pants

My buddy was once on leave for a family wedding and when he got home to change into his new suit, he realized he had never gotten his pants hemmed. A quick fold on the inside with a couple discreet pieces of tape saved the evening.

15. Patch Gear

From torn fatigues to ripped rucks, slap an iron to your duct-tape patches to heat up the glue for a better bond.

16. Waterproofing

A heavy-duty garbage bag and a roll of duct tape will keep just about anything dry.

17. Patch Helicopter Blades

You heard right! Your helicopter blades take a few rounds or getting eaten by desert sands? No problem, duct tape will get you flying again. Crew chiefs have even been known to use buckshot and duct tape to rebalance out-of-whack rotors in a pinch.

18. Make a Beer-Koozie

Keep your beverage cold with only a roll of duct tape!  l


19. Reduce Optics Glare

Tape over optics — from binoculars and sniper scopes to camera lenses — leaving a small slit in the middle to cut glare. Be sure to double it over so it doesn’t stick to the glass though.

20. Air Mattress Patch

Need we say more?