We know that duct tape is very handy for all sorts of repairs and improvised solutions, as well as decoration. In fact, it's so versatile and well-known that an enterprising company has trademarked a corrupted version of the term, Duck Tape, and sells it under that name. [For those not familiar with it, duct tape is a very sticky, water-resistant adhesive tape with a fabric "matrix" in the tape, which gives it additional strength and allows very little stretch.]
When you are going out on a field or doing an improvised repair job, it's always a good idea to bring some duct tape with you—as the astronauts of Apollo 13 found out.
But I was thinking: what else do I routinely bring when faced with an improvised, unexpected, or unusual repair challenge? Sure, I take tools such as various pliers, screwdrivers (standard and Phillips, or "-" and "+", as someone once called them), or even better, a screwdriver handle with many different bits, plus a knife, a hammer, and an adjustable wrench—but a repair takes more than just the tools, in most cases.
My "take it with me" list includes duct tape, of course, but also:
•Small and large paper clips
•Heat-shrink tubing, both thin-wall and thick-wall, and from skinny (1/8 inch) to large (1-inch or more); I also like the kind that has internal heat-sensitive glue: when you shrink it, the glue melts to form a water-tight seal, and adds rigidity as well
•A handful of nylon tie wraps, medium length, plus a longer, wider one I picked up at a trade show
•Metal hose clamps, small and medium (you can chain these in series for a longer clamp)
•Medium wire, #14 AWG
•Some small screws, nuts, and washers, of various lengths
What indispensable items do you bring in your emergency "just in case" kit, for those hard-to-plan repairs? ?