The Handyman’s Secret Weapon

“Spare the Duct Tape, Spoil the Job” – Red Green

As a teacher, I do a great variety of tasks every day and every year.  Planning events, maintaining communication with vested parties, teaching, grading, and supervising.  Occasionally, I get to participate in school events that are designed for the enjoyment of all.  Recently, we celebrated Spirit Week.  Every day of the week has a different theme.  Students and staff participate in these silly games.

My favorite day this year was Duct Tape day.  We had to do something with our clothing for duct tape day.  I chose to make a roman-esque soldier’s uniform.

Since I am a history teacher, I shared the history of duct tape with each of my classes.

  • Duct tape was invented in WWII to help keep bandages on the wounded or injured.  Soldiers began finding other uses for it too.
  • By the end of WWII it was being used to keep ammo boxes water tight.  This is when they named the tape “Duck tape” because it repelled water like a duck.
  • After the war, people realized that they could seal the air systems in their homes with the tape.  Companies began producing the tape in it’s well known silver color to blend with the ducting in homes.  The name slowly evolved into “Duct tape”.

Of course the versitile tape is a great tool in nearly all camping situations, it can be used to patch a tent or tarp, hold a table cloth onto a table, fix a problem with a teardrop trailer or tow vehicle.  I really wouldn’t leave home without it.

Perhaps the most creative use of duct tape I have seen recently comes from a family who made their own teardrop sized camping trailer out of the silver sticky substance.  Visit or click here to see a slideshow of the silver wonder.

As for me, I don’t plan to make a duct tape camper any time soon.  I do plan to keep several rolls handy just in case they are needed.  At least it is good to know that if the jPod gets swept off its chassis in a horrible automotive accident that I have another little trailer rolled up in the back of my tow vehicle.  All it takes is a bit of time.

Until next time, remember that duct tape is like “the Force”.  It has a light side and a dark side and it holds the Universe together.

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