Submitted by Eric Daniel

100 mph tape, a.k.a. duct tape in the civilian world, is the military’s best-kept battlefield secret. There is nothing 100mph tape can’t fix. I’ve repaired rucksacks with it, hummer doors, radio antennas, patched holes in my poncho and gortex jacket with it, used it to keep my shoes on my feet and CS gas out of my pants, and more often than not nowadays, used it as a cost effective form of moleskin to ward of blisters. You should never find yourself abroad without a roll of 100mph tape in your pocket. Never.

This having been said, not all tape is created equal. Experience (failure in other words) has taught me that certain brands are better than others. The most effective I’ve found has been the OD green tape Nashua Tape produced by Covalence Adhesives. This particular brand is quite tacky, even in cold weather, tears easily with the fingers, and "irons" very well (when using 100mph tape to seal a fabric tear, I get the best results by taping over the tear and then using an iron to heat and soften the glue. When the heated tape cools, it will have formed a relatively permanent patch on the fabric (the most recent patch on my gortex is almost 5 years old.)

Buy this duct tape

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam Maloney November 16, 2006 at 3:50 am

Funny enough, we once used the same tape to temporarily adhere a leading edge slat to a Navy Jet.

One day I was flying a dive-bombing practice mission in an S-3A Viking over a desert range in Southern California when the right leading-edge slat ripped off the aircraft. Luckily, one of the range control workers found the length metal slat sticking in a cactus.

The slat was too long to fit in the cockpit and too expensive to leave behind. So, the mechanic we brought with us taped the slat to the leading edge (because most of the connectors were destroyed). During takeoff, at approximately 100 MPH, the tape released but the slat stayed in place long enough to get home and land safely.

True story.

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Tommy November 18, 2006 at 8:48 am

With a roll of tape and a heavy duty garbage bag we would waterproof our radios to the point of being submersible (briefly) with flaps so you could still use the knobs etc. Even used strips to patch a radiator hose well enough to drive 15 miles to a truck stop in El Paso. Love the Duck, But dont love the duck.

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Tommy November 18, 2006 at 4:48 am

With a roll of tape and a heavy duty garbage bag we would waterproof our radios to the point of being submersible (briefly) with flaps so you could still use the knobs etc. Even used strips to patch a radiator hose well enough to drive 15 miles to a truck stop in El Paso. Love the Duck, But dont love the duck.

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Tim November 18, 2006 at 2:23 pm

We were in the Iraqi desert in '91. The crew chief told me we were grounded due to the tail rotor blades splitting. It was getting towards night fall and the maintentance crew couldn't get to us to repair the blades. I took my 100 mph tape and taped the blades affected and flew on back to home base. What you can do when needed.

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victor m.ortega November 21, 2006 at 2:14 am

Every day is an open book for learn. Thankyou for all information.

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steven wilgus December 14, 2006 at 3:46 pm

I flew more than one airplane repaired with duct tape – as a member of DMAT [disaster medical assistance team] i NEVER go into the hurricane/earthquake/disaster scene without d-tape and fiberglass tape. even when working in Iraq as a firefighter I had it. great stuff – as important as toilet paper.

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Dan December 16, 2006 at 9:52 am

As a mechanic who has deployed numerous times over the last 14 years, I can tell you two things you should never deploy without: 100 mph tape and a multi-tool. Both have saved me on more than one occasion. DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!

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wes December 24, 2006 at 8:17 am

the best I've come across is "Gorilla" brand. carried at Wal-Mart. it's black, thicker than standard and you'd better like where you put it because something's gotta give to get it loose. even patched a hole in a guy's side w/ it. good stuff.

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Jay June 14, 2007 at 10:27 am

During the Viet Nam Conflict, we had one of our F-8 Crusaders fly from Yankee Station off North Viet Nam to Cubi Point in the P.I. for maintenance with the UHF radio coax cable taped to the side of the plane. Found out it had been that way for over a week of combat sorties.

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flflythemig29 November 13, 2007 at 6:55 pm

If it is moving and it is not supposed to you apply duct tape. If it is not moving and it is supposed to you apply WD-40. Nuff said.

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J December 6, 2007 at 2:03 am

AF called it 200 mph tape frequently. Guessing that the army got some of its equipment with the speed tape already in place. Then again there was that one time there was a box of steaks that was marked rejected by the NAVY that were quite tasty on Airman Appreciation day. Guess we all get hand me downs.

You would be surprised at what duct tape will fix even if you use it to fix everything else.

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J December 6, 2007 at 2:03 am

AF called it 200 mph tape frequently. Guessing that the army got some of its equipment with the speed tape already in place. Then again there was that one time there was a box of steaks that was marked rejected by the NAVY that were quite tasty on Airman Appreciation day. Guess we all get hand me downs.

You would be surprised at what duct tape will fix even if you use it to fix everything else.

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J December 5, 2007 at 10:03 pm

AF called it 200 mph tape frequently. Guessing that the army got some of its equipment with the speed tape already in place. Then again there was that one time there was a box of steaks that was marked rejected by the NAVY that were quite tasty on Airman Appreciation day. Guess we all get hand me downs.

You would be surprised at what duct tape will fix even if you use it to fix everything else.

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John Clark December 16, 2007 at 6:21 pm

When first exposed to this miraculous invention we were using it to tape axle detectors down to the road. After a week it became part of the bitumen. Finding it useful for all sorts of other things I enquired as to why it was called 100mph tape thinking that it was because it could withstand vehicles driving over it at 100 mph.

The answer I got from my boss Nah thats how fast the bloody stuff disappears!

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tim June 14, 2008 at 4:13 am

i know that tape as "rape tape" makes more sense then 100mph :)

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PDFfileGuy January 17, 2014 at 12:09 am

Only makes sense to you mate…..

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Non-rapist August 10, 2008 at 7:24 am

That's ****ed up.

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Jay November 10, 2008 at 7:21 pm

You can fix damn near anything with a "multi-tool", 100 mph tape and 550 cord. Example: My track broke down in the middle of the street. The nut and bolt that held the throttle linkage together stripped off and disappeared into the oily muck of the track's hull. Quick fix: tie the linkage together with 550 cord and we were on are way!

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BRASS September 18, 2012 at 9:17 am

So many names for the same thing. I only knew it by Ordnance Tape until I retired. In the days of iron bombs over NVN we used it to tape arming wires to bombs preventing them from pulling out prematurely due to turbulence in flight and causing early arming prior to release. On occasion it was used for combat expedient temporary repairs for all manner of things. The stuff we used was a woven fabric like material, Olive Drab, sticky as can be and could be torn lengthwise or across easily if started properly. The common commercial varieties called every name from duct tape to Duck Tape are no where near as sticky or useful as the military tape, at least back then.

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