This post is in regards to a tape that can sometimes be overlooked even by the most experienced of travelers, duct tape. This little wonder of a tape is can be used for anything, from making wallets to patching a hole in you luggage. Not to mention it is quite useful for pranking your fellow backpackers or duct taping their mouth shut when they won’t shut up after a long game of goon pong. In this article, I will cover a few things that this modern marvel is useful for when traveling and why it is an essential to your backpack must have list.
At home, we use duct tape for a variety of purposes, usually beyond what it was originally intended for, patching duct work. However, when you travel, things tend to break, need to be held down or suddenly begin to move when they shouldn’t, if you have ever had something break on you, duct tape is the answer.
Back in June before my travels even began, my laptop fell off my desk onto the concrete floor of the garage. Granted I didn’t think much of it at the time as a worthless piece of plastic fell off. I tossed the piece of plastic, checked the machine, everything worked and I didn’t think twice about it. However, 3 months later, the power connector that was on that side began to shake lose. I was too lazy to fix it but then one day, the whole thing broke off, there was no way to charge my laptop. So I opened the thing up, cut the connector out and spliced in the power adapter directly to the motherboard. Without my duct tape, this wouldn’t have been possible. I used it to re-insulate the wires and permanently attach the power adapter to my computer. It’s not the prettiest of sights but it works and that’s what matters to me.
Without the duct tape, I may have well have been screwed but luckily, I always keep a roll with me as should you. Besides fixing my laptop with it, my backpacking bag took an unfortunate side trip and when it returned to me, one of the seams came undone. Not good. I am not one for sewing, in fact I usually make matters worse by trying to sew things back together. I also knew that if I did nothing, it would get worse. Duct tape to the rescue, I patched the seam and the breakage has not spread since,
That’s one of the more common problems you will run into as a backpacker. No matter how much you spend on your backpack, not matter how good care you take care of it, something will eventually break and usually at the worst of times. Use duct tape to solve the issues whether it be a broken strap, a seam coming lose, a gaping hole or even a zipper that lost it’s pull cord. You can fix almost anything with duct tape. Not to mention if you need to attach something to your bag because you over packed, you can wrap the duct tape around the bag and the extra one and it will be secure. However, I do not recommend flying with your bag like this but only when traveling by foot or vehicle.
In addition, duct tape can make all kinds of nifty things, from wallets to bum packs. The possibilities are endless and if you are short on case and need something useful, use your trusty duct tape to make it. Use your imagination! A friend getting rowdy? Use that duct tape to tie him to the wall until he stops his rampage, he may thank you if you stopped him from destroying the local hostel.
In America, duct tape is dirt cheap so be sure to stock up one a roll or two before departing. It is also better quality, never settle for some cheap brand, always go with “Duck Tape”. You’ll thank yourself later. If you have an interesting story of how you used your duct tape while traveling, post it in the comment section, it’s always fun to hear the creativity when it comes to duct tape use!