Tape can be a sticky topic – and we’re here to help you get unstuck! Growing up, the go-to tape was always Duct Tape – good ole strong reliable Duct Tape. And while Duct Tape still has a place in my repair kit, I’ve learned it’s not always the best tape for the job.
There’s a lot to think about before you step into the backcountry and it can be overwhelming to put together your whole pack the night before you head out. Next time you have some down time, pre-build your repair kit and consider adding these 7 tapes!
1. Tenacious Tape
This bad boy is made of variable materials for variable needs, so be sure to read the packaging before you buy! The Flex Patches are best for repairing materials made of nylon, vinyl, rubber, and plastics. The Silnylon Patches are best for nylon, polyester, fleece, vinyl, rubber, non-oiled leather, and GORE-TEX. Our preferred patch is the Silnylon Patch for quick fabric repairs in the field. Why wait to fix your nice down puffy until you get back home? Pull out your Tenacious Tape to prevent losing any more precious feathers!
2. Tyvek Tape
For those of you with a little bit of construction experience, this might seem like an odd choice, but for most of our guides here Tyvek tape is a must! Used in the frontcountry to seal weather barriers from air and water, this tape serves a similar function in the backcountry and is the best way to patch tears in your tent, since it sticks really well to silnylon. Be careful with it though, because if you don’t take it off within several days of your trip ending, it can become semi-permanent.
3. Duct Tape
Do I even really need to explain? Broken trekking-pole? Duct Tape. Broken tent pole? Duct tape. Cracked water bottle? Duct Tape. Getting blisters and forgot your blister kit? Duct Tape! Multi-Purpose and highly adhesive, before you head out on your next adventure, wrap a little around your trekking pole or water bottle for quick and easy access. Just consider that Duct Tape does leave a strong sticky residue that takes a lot of effort to get rid of.
4. Flex Tape
If you’re looking to do a quick repair on a leaky pipe, try Flex Tape! Our Maintenance Supervisor approves this tape for quick fixes – boasting that it can handle 60 psi! WOW! Not planning on needing to repair pipes in the near future? Don’t worry, we’ve found countless uses for this tape beyond home repair. It’s waterproof, airtight, and can stick to wet surfaces, so it’s perfect for quick backcountry fixes. It can fix a leaky packraft, seal tent seams, cover a hole in a rain boot, etc. It does leave a sticky residue, so if you want to take it off, you can use Goo Gone to remove the sticky gunk.
Prone to blisters? Put some Leukotape on blister prone areas before you begin hiking. It’s best to use this tape on dry skin to give it the chance to adhere. You can use it after you’ve been hiking for a while if you develop hot spots, but you’ll want to take the time to let your feet dry out. Putting the tape on sweaty feet means more of a chance that it will slip out of place. Leukotape contains natural rubber latex that has been known to cause minor allergic reactions.
6. KT Tape
Or Kinesiology Therapeutic tape, is extremely helpful for those who are recovering from an injury or are prone to joint pain. It is specifically designed to relieve muscle and joint pain, especially while still staying active! It works with your range of motion, without being restrictive and helps provide support in addition to relief.
7. Last, but certainly not least, Fly Tape!
Flypaper, Fly Ribbon, Fly Strip, this useful tape has many names. Made of paper and coated with an extremely sticky and fragrant substance, this tape is designed to trap flies or other insects. Is it actually useful in the backcountry, you might be wondering? The verdict is still out…but boy oh boy do we find it useful here in McCarthy! If you visit us and use one of our Out Houses, you’re guaranteed to find some Fly Tape hanging from the ceiling.
Do you have any other tapes that you find useful? Let us know!
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