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Adventure Medical Kits S.O.L. Duct Tape

Adventure Medical Kits Duct Tape

A Blister Prevention Staple

I’ve tried many different forms of blister prevention and blister bandaging over the years, but the best by far, remains good old duct tape. Once you put it on, it doesn’t come off like band-aids or other types of medical tape. Adventure Medical Kits must agree with my assessment because they sell tiny rolls of the duct tape, 50 inches long, which have been a part of my homemade first aid and gear repair kit for years.

When I feel a hot spot forming on my feet, I tear off a piece of duct tape and tape it on the affected area to reduce the friction that causes blisters. If a blister has already formed but not broken, I’ll do the same thing. If the blister has already popped and is looking raw and ugly, I might rub in some anti-bacteria ointment before taping it over with duct tape. It’s not elegant, but it really does the job.

Packing Duct Tape

It’s common to see other long distance hikers with duct tape rolled around their trekking polls or water bottles. My friend Hikezilla and I were talking about this the other day and he commented that this was a bad idea. He claims that when you expose duct tape to sun and the elements it breaks down and loses it adhesiveness. I think it’s a good point to consider.

Personally, I’ve tried putting duct tape on my hiking poles and find that it changes the amount of effort required to swing them forward in a way that I don’t like. Instead I just pack a tiny roll of duct tape in my Murphy bag for when I need it. A single roll of 50″ duct tape weighs just 0.6 oz.

Survive Outdoors Longer

What does S.O.L. stand for? Survive Outdoors Longer. Yea, right!

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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  1. Good point about rolling duct tape around hiking poles. Yes, duct tape does deteriorate and the adhesive does go off when exposed to the elements for some time.

    Duct tape can be rolled around a number of objects such as a pencil, pen, old credit card and the like.

    I always pack a few yards of duct tape, not for blisters, but for repairs. I used it once in conjunction with a couple of cable ties to secure the sole of my boot that had come away for the rest of the boot. I hiked 30 miles with the repair holding up.

  2. I must admit I'm put off at the notion of buying the Adv Med tape pre-packaged like that. It only takes seconds to spool some tape off a larger roll at home, and is probably cheaper.

    I've kept duct tape on my trekking poles, just below the handles, for years. It has seen plenty of rain, shine, grit, and grime. The only time I've needed to use some, it was just fine.

  3. I can understand that point of view. I use them for convenience.

  4. One proviso about duct tape. Frequently it has latex in it which is a problem for all the folks with latex allergies. I have looked around on-line for information about SOL's duct tape and haven't been able to figure out if they have latex in their product. Since they have latex gloves in some of their other kits, my guess is they may use duct tape with latex. Anyone know?

  5. I never had any luck getting duct tape to stick to my skin. It just rolled off and got all over my socks. Leukotape is my new anti-blister, anti-abrasion solution – it'll stay on my foot for days, even on the ball of the foot where it gets a lot of friction.

  6. Sam – those prepackaged mini duct tape spools are probably geared targeted to weekend warriors.

  7. It is said that duct tape will cure warts too. Didn't work for me but I had some stubborn ones.

  8. I'm just reiterating new old backpckr's comment about the allergies. It's not just the latex that is sometimes in the adhesive, and if you're allergic to it, finding out when you are well away from help is not exactly fun. We were warned about this in wilderness first aid.

    I'm not allergic and find duct tape much better than almost anything else for blisters and hot spots.

  9. Good point about the latex rob – you don't want to find out when you're in the middle of nowhere.

  10. Duct tape is the probably single most important item I carry when guiding in the winter. Blisters, damaged bindings, broken poles, emergency ski stretchers all cemented with the wonderful silver tape! Having a few metres of it wrapped around my ski poles makes it easy and quick to tear off and use, especially in driving snow and a biting wind. Never had a problem with it deteriorating and any effect on pole swing can be mitigated by wrapping it around the pole just under the handles (where it also acts as a grip when choking up).

  11. You can even make emergency glacier glasses out of it by wrapping it around your balaclava and cutting a narrow slit out over your eyes. Wrapping it around your hair is not recommended though.

    Seriously, I'm repacking my gear repair kit right now and the contents include an extra shoe lace, duct tape, and a locking safety pin (which I've used in the past to hold together a disintegrating backpack)

  12. The future of human relies on adhesive technology. Three things I've learned about duct tape.

    1. It's an old joke in Building Science—duct tape works on everything but ducts. Heat and time destroy the adhesive. So never rely on it for permanent repairs.

    2. For best results, particularly on skin, prime/clean the substrate with alcohol. This is yet another reason to use non-denatured ethanol for cooking fuel. It doubles as a disinfectant and medically safe cleaning solvent.

    3. Regarding the human sensory response to inertia, I was intrigued by your comment about duct tape storage on trekking poles.

    Yes, we are exquisitely perceptive to tiny changes of mass in movement. For example, stair tread variations of 1/8 inch in rise are completely unacceptable as a safety hazard.

    Recently I completed the 20 month process of a tooth implant. For over a year, I've been missing one of my front teeth. The temporary appliance gagged me, so I have mostly kept my mouth closed. Just this week, the new tooth was screwed into my skull.

    It weights only a few grams despite the embedded gold bolt. Still when I rose out of the dentist chair, I could sense the newly added mass as my head moved. This sensitivity disappeared overnight.

    I think you would lose the perception of added mass to your trekking pole just as quickly. All the same, I'll keep mine spooled around a repair kit down in the bottom of my pack.

  13. Great Post and Great Article by author.

    Infact very good information

    on Adventure Medical Kits sol tape.

    but sometime flip side may be if

    expose duct tape to sun , it breaks down..


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