“What-if?”, the worrisome words, arrive in the conscious spinning topics in our mind, from safety and financial security to loved ones and pet health. Asking, “What can I do?” leads to a proactive decision to invest time in the ultimate insurance policy—valuable life skills comprising security, shelter, food, water, and medical care! In any emergency, from extreme weather to a personal disaster, you have the power to take charge of your fate by making plans and taking action!
During World War II, a mother of two naval officers penned a letter to President Roosevelt. Vesta Stoudt wrote, “We can’t let them down by giving them a box of cartridges that takes a minute or two to open, enabling the enemy to take lives that might be saved had the box been taped with strong tape that can be opened in a split second. Please, Mr. President, do something about this at once; not tomorrow or soon, but now.”
Within two weeks, the hand drawing of the proposal passed from military officials to a company which specialized in medical supplies—Johnson & Johnson. The meshed and waterproof polyethylene plastic cloth provided the rubber-based adhesive that we have come to know as duct tape! Over the generations, its uses have well exceeded the inventors’ dreams!
Oh, and the many uses!
- Foot Warmer: If needing an extra layer of protection, apply the tape on the inside of your shoes. While keeping out moisture, feet remain warm!
- Sealing Tears: One strip of duct tape can patch up holes in plastic materials, such as tents or ponchos, rubber boots, or bags. Additionally, it solves leaks in rain gutters or pipes.
- Repair Broken Glasses: A tiny sliver can offer a temporary solution to this problem, whether it’s the bridge or at the hinges.
- An Adequate Hem: The strong adhesion can secure the temporary placement from denim to corduroy.
- Vehicle Repair: Duct tape may not receive the award for attractiveness; yet, it is sturdy enough to hold a bumper, window, or side mirror in place!
- Mark the Destination: Small pieces taped on tree branches, spaced fairly close together, can lead an uncertain camper or hiker to his or her home base.
- Leave a Message: The tape adheres to almost all flat surfaces due to its waterproof capabilities. Try spelling out a word using thin strips, such as creating an arrow or spelling S.O.S.
- First-Aid Solutions: Duct tape has the capability of rescuing another person with quick action. With a few feet of tape, you can make a temporary sling or splint for a broken arm, remove splinters, treat a sprained ankle or wrist, hold band-aids in place, or create a rope by twisting it until it becomes a surprisingly strong cord.
- Warts, not a Wives’ Tale: Medical centers recommend applying duct tape to a wart for six days, then soaking it in water; next, rub with a pumice stone. For 85% of a study group, the wart disappeared, creating a more effective treatment than freezing.
- Pet Hair Remover: An effective method to remove excess lint or pet hair. Wrap a strip around a roller or four fingers and press upon any material covered in unwanted hair.
- Protect Tree Limbs: Farmers and growers use duct tape to fix broken branches and stems,
- Flypaper: Cut a long strip and hang it near your campsite, outdoor table, or outdoor chair. Within a short period, you’ll start trapping flies and mosquitoes.
- Hide Valuables: On the underside of a table or cabinet, keys, credit cards, billfolds or money and other valuables can be concealed with one piece of duct tape.
- Separate a Room: If planning to sand a room, use a plastic sheet and strips of duct tape to contain dust particles.
What Parts are Flammable?
The label says, “heat resistant”; that is, below 140 degrees, duct tape will not reach a burning or melting point even in the height of summer; however, under extreme cases or emergencies, for example, a fire exceeding 200 degrees, the adhesive and mesh will burn while the rubber loses its structure and melts. Thus, although other materials are better choices, duct tape can be a viable tool to start a fire.
Place a roll of duct tape in your vehicle, house or tool shed, and consider keeping a few extras on hand for unexpected emergencies! If you understand all its multiple uses, duct tape is the solution adhesive, saving time and money!
Next Month: Choosing the Right Knife