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Baggage Identification With Duct Tape : A Simple Solution

Web: www.twitter.com/flyingwithfish — E-Mail: fish@flyingwithfish.com

12/08/2008 – Baggage Identification With Duct Tape : A Simple Solution

Over the past two years I have received countless e-mails asking me various solutions for labeling baggage so it is easily identifiable. I have written on the topic many times, each time detailing various ways. These topics range from how I colour code my bags to be easily spotted, to making sure my name and contact info is clearly found inside and outside of the bags.

Overall the quick and easy visual identification of my bags is carried out by the simple use of brightly coloured duct tape.

Duct tape, as everyone knows, has thousands of uses. Duct tape is used to fix heating ducts (its original purpose) to NASA’s use of duct tape to keep astronauts alive on Apollo 13 (it was used to help modify the carbon dioxide filters….and again on Apollo 17 to repair a damaged fender on a lunar rover on the moon).

If duct tape can keep astronauts alive why overlook it as a simple solution to baggage identification? I generally use one colour tape on my bags so I can quickly spot my bags and to keep them all uniform. The colour I have chosen is “Flamingo Pink.”

Duct tape will adhere to almost any surface and remain in place until removed, which makes it ideal for bags that will go from hot on the ramp to frozen in the baggage hold, to pouring rain waiting for your rental car.

My bags get wrapped with 1.88in (4.77cm) tape on the top and side handles, then additional tape on the front, back and remaining untaped side. By placing florescent coloured tape on all four sides of my bag not only can I identify my bag quickly, but also airport and baggage thieves are deterred from approaching my bag.

As I have also discussed many times in the past airport thieves want an easy target and a piece of luggage wrapped clearly in multiple places in extremely bright (and in some cases bordering on obnoxious) tape is not a bag they want to try and blend into the crowd with.

While I also use coloured electrical tape and gaffers tape on my equipment and personal items, my bags are primarily taped in duct tape. In the United States the easiest tape to find (in my experience) is Duck brand duct tape, however for ease of purchase when buying ‘matching’ duct tape, vinyl tape, electrical tape and gaffers tape I have not found any place that equals the quality and selection offered by TapeBrothers.com

Below is a photo of three rolls of duct tape I have on my shelf for labeling various pieces of travel gear. These three rolls of ‘Duck Tape’ are coloured Blaze Orange, Island Lime and Funky Flamingo (which is on my bags).

Happy Flying!

–Click Image To Enlarge–
a group of rolls of duct tape


  1. The ubiquitous “somebody” did a study a few years back and found that the one thing NOT to use duct tape on is……ducts, doesn’t work very well. I’ve used it to keep a boot sole on in the Alps though – worked great (got me to the nearest boot store anyway)

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