Invented in 1942 by the Johnson and Johnson Company’s Permacel Division, duct tape was created to keep ammunition cases dry. It was hence called “duck tape” because of its waterproofing nature and the cotton duck material from which it was made. Soldiers found it versatile, and new homeowners after World War II used it for connecting heating and cooling ducts. This tape can do almost everything and is worth packing in your suitcase for a number of useful reasons.
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1. Mending Cuts and Sprains
Duct tape can be used to bandage wounds. On small cuts, clean the wound and use triple antibiotic cream. Then use a cotton ball or small tissue on the wound. Place duct tape over it. Duct tape can be used on deeper cuts, but medical treatment is still advised afterward. Duct tape can be made into a splint too.
2. Fixing Tears
Travel can wear on your luggage, and duct tape easily fixes up tears and punctures. Zippers can fail, and duct tape can help close your luggage in the event this happens. Duct tape can also be used to mend tears in clothing while traveling until the tears can be properly fixed.
Travelers with young children can forget to bring a multitude of baby-proofing devices, such as outlet covers, on trips. You can easily tape over hazardous outlets with duct tape or close off bathroom doors in hotel rooms to prevent little ones from entering. Duct tape can also pad the sharp corners of a bed or table.
If you forgot to pack an umbrella or rain boots, duct tape can save the day. Cover your shoes with duct tape to waterproof them when it’s wet outside. You can also create a makeshift rain poncho from duct tape in a pinch. (Granted, would someone really do this?)
5. Replacing a Wallet
If your wallet or purse breaks or becomes lost or stolen on your trip, you can easily create a temporary new one with duct tape. And since duct tape comes in many different colors and prints, your creation may even look fashionable.
6. Staying Warm
Dog sledders in Alaska use duct tape on exposed skin to stay warm in -30-degree weather. They also tape their goggles to their helmets for further protection. Duct tape can keep you warm in an emergency.
7. Fixing Airline Pillows
Airline pillows are frustrating. They don’t stay in their cases and they never stay in place. Duct tape can seal the pillow into its case, and then you can tape it to wherever you need it to stay. Taped to the wall or to the seat, the pillow is secure with duct tape. If you can acquire two pillows, you can make your own U-shaped travel pillow. Instead of getting this desperate get the trtl Travel Pillow, it’s amazing.
8. Securing Valuables
Hotel rooms are not always as secure as they could be. If you are traveling with lots of cash or an expensive laptop, you can duct-tape them underneath furniture in your hotel room to keep them hidden and out of reach. Duct tape can also be used to tape your wallet, passport, or other valuables to your body to avoid pickpockets. Granted, a money belt would be better.
9. Preventing Blisters
Traveling usually means lots of walking, which can lead to blisters. Put duct tape on areas of your feet that rub against your shoes. If you are prone to blisters, duct tape those places to prevent painful sores. Liquid band-aid and regular band-aids also work really well for this.
10. Removing Lint and Pet Hair
Duct tape is great for removing lint and pet hair from clothing. Just tape it to the article of clothing and pull it off. Since you’ll already have the duct tape packed for its myriad of other uses, you can leave the lint roller at home, giving you one less thing to carry on your trip. Or, if you have a little room I recommend a travel-size reusable lint roller.
Traveling with duct tape is not only incredibly useful but also a lot of fun! Whether you use it to mend an important piece of cloth, fashion an on-the-go mustache, or fix something broken in a pinch–you can always find at least one way to get creative with duct tape. Not to mention, it doesn’t take up much room in your bag.
So the next time you travel, make sure that duct tape gets its own little pocket in your suitcase–because you never know what awesome (or cheesy) DIY thing you might come up with. The possibilities with duck tape are endless! What have you used duck tape for when out and about? Let us know in the comments below and share some stories of how you put some of these DIY tips into practice! When packing for your next trip don’t forget your trusty sidekick: DUCT TAPE!
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