Sunday, March 13, 2011
Duct Tape--Strongest Force in the Universe
There was a time when I never, ever left the house without my MacGyver kit...duct tape, waxed twine, and my Swiss Army knife. There isn't much in life that can't be fixed with one of them. I would rather leave behind my underwear.
Now I also carry a extra heavy-duty contractor's trash bag and my mini-survival kit that fits in an empty Altoids tin (fishing hook, needle, thread, mirror, compass, matches, lint...) and a bottle of water. And heck, the spare underwear and socks, too. Why not?
I'm a strong believer in preparedness. Someone once asked me if I ever needed my emergency provisions. And the answer is no--not all of them at one time. But yes, I've used various items over time. And that's the point. There's no reason I have to have a major emergency to use my kit. If it helps me get through life easier, then that's the purpose of carrying the stuff.
Now that I have medical issues, I added a couple more things to cover those possibilities. Better to have what I need when I need it even if I carry it for months untouched. That's my philosophy.
Long before MacGyver came along, I had an emergency bag because I had four kids. When you cart a bunch of children around with you, you're naturally prepared. I had bandaids, first aid cream, wipes, water, spare clothing, and all sorts of other things including snacks and games. That's what makes life survivable when you have kids.
One thing I've always carried is duct tape. There's very little you can't fix with duct tape. It used to only come in that silvery alien ship color. Now you can buy it in every color in the rainbow and some that God in his wisdom didn't create--like fluorescent orange.
It tears easily so you don't have to have scissors, but once plastered on an item, it'll stick through drought, flood, blizzard and four kids. I've repaired everything from bicycles to fake leather to two pairs of glasses. I once slapped a strip on a cracked plastic drinking cup and used it for the rest of my vacation. Attaching bright orange tape to your luggage makes it surprisingly easy to locate in a jumbled pile of suitcases.
My co-workers used to laugh at me until they needed to borrow my duct tape. Then I was the smartest woman in the world. And you know, I noticed that they started carrying their own rolls of tape in a variety of colors. If we needed to, we could have repaired almost anything required in whatever color needed to match.
The last time we moved, we taped the lids on all my storage totes with duct tape. And I'm happy to report none of them popped open, though we did lose a couple of cardboard boxes. Just goes to show you, plastic and tape go farther than cardboard.
Next time you look in your bag or emergency kit, check it out. If you don't have duct tape get some. Remember, it's the strongest force in the universe.