One of the things about hiking in Oregon’s rugged areas is that sometimes you can find yourself far away from civilization and resources. If you are in the middle of the wilderness, and let’s say your hiking boot suffers a “manufacturing meltdown” – the boot separates from the sole – what would you do? It’s a long way to hop back to the trailhead. And going barefoot might not be a comfortable option either, given the rocky terrain. What to do now?

Enter in your best friend in the wilderness: duct tape. This every day product doesn’t deserve its lowly reputation, because when you need the stuff, it can be a lifesaver. Here’s a tip: If you don’t have any hiking poles, get some. They help stabilize you when hiking on uneven terrain and can help cushion the shock on your knees when heading uphill or downhill. But these poles can be handy carrying caddies as well. Take some duct tape and carefully start winding it over itself (like a spool) on a spot on the upper part of the poles (don’t tape over any joints of the poles). A good thickness to have is about ¼ ” – that should be plenty of tape to take care of practically any emergency need – from fixing gear to putting together a temporary splint. Got a hole in your tent that’s letting mosquitoes in? Duct tape. Did your hydration bag spring a leak? Duct tape. Sunglasses break? Duct tape. Yes, it’s not pretty but it can do the job and at least patch things up to keep you on your way!

Stay tuned for Dawn’s hiking blogs, coming soon!

For more information on hiking in Oregon, please visit our Outdoor Recreation section.

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