Every good prepper has duct tape (or “duck tape”) in their stashes, caches and bug-out bags. There are literally hundreds of uses for it (which we will discuss in a future post). What I never quite took into consideration is how many medical uses duct tape has in a survival situation. Some may seem more obvious than others, but unless you know what you’re doing, you may be doing it all wrong.
Lucky for us Dr. James Hubbard has published “Duct Tape 911” to help you better understand the many amazing medical things you can do to tape yourself together.
Dr. Hubbard tells us how duct tape is very versatile, strong, easy to tear, and easy to shape! With a plastic, waterproof outside, a cloth middle, and an inner rubber adhesive, it’s probably the all-around best tape to have in an emergency. A word of warning from the Doctor, though – those allergic to latex should avoid duct tape!
The book starts with “Tape Your Joints” – a section devoted to bracing ankles, knees, wrists, fingers and toes. He also covers a couple of options on how to make a sling with duct tape. You can either make a shirt sling where you support your arm with your shirt-tail, and tape that to your shirt, or make a sling completely out of tape. While I may have thought about the sling from tape, I may never have imagined wrapping your shirt-tail over your arm and taping it back to the shirt. It’s cool how the simple things are often the ones we overlook. Thanks to Dr. Hubbard’s book, I’ll remember this in time of need!
The next chapter is titled “Tape Your Skin” and discusses using duct tape for things like butterfly stitches, bandages, and blister protectors. James says in this section that doctors usually prefer tape-style strips on face cuts more than anything because the face has such a great bood supply that the cuts usually heal pretty fast. He says that in about 5-7 days, the wound has healed enough to remove the tape. He even talks about using tape to remove cactus spines – a good thing to remember if you’re in a desert area (which I know some of you are).
Section 3 is “Tape Your Eyes”. The doctor teaches us how to make eye patches and eye cups in case of eye damage. He also talks about pinhole glasses, which are a totally new concept to me (as I’ve never needed glasses until I recently got into my first set of readers). The concept is that you cover your eyes with duct tape like glasses leaving a few pin holes in the tape. Your brain forces your eyes to focus through the holes to see, and that improves nearsighted vision. It only works while you’re looking through the pinholes, though. James also shows you how to make sunglasses from duct tape and your regular glasses.
In the “Tape Your Clothes” section, we’re introduced to the ideas of waterproofing items of clothing (like shoes), and making clothing insect- and snake-resistant. The latter mainly is about keeping the creepy crawlies from climbing up your pants legs, though Dr. Hubbard does say that if you use enough layers of tape, you may actually deter a snake bite.
Lastly is “Tape Your Life”. Here, we learn about tourniquets, occlusive dressings and CPR mouth barriers – things to save your life or someone else’s. Tourniquets and CPR mouth barriers you probably already understand, but what’s an “occlusive dressing”? It’s basically just a dressing that is airtight and waterproof. Dr. Hubbard says an occlusive dressing can be a lifesaver if someone has a chest wound that’s deep enough that it’s entered the lung cavity. I shudder to think of this possibility, but if it happens, you know you can use tape to help.
“Duct Tape 911” is a great way to brush up on some standard first aid using duct tape, and actually teaches you some of the medical science behind a few things, as well.
James has also written “Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid” as well as a couple of eBooks you can find at his website — TheSurvivalDoctor.com.