The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 204: Duct Tape Canyon

Premier Date: June 19, 2013

This episode is a spiritual successor to Duct Tape Island. Adam and Jamie were stranded near Desolation Canyon, Utah with only duct tape, bubble wrap and a few survival essentials (i.e. food, water, and a knife). They had to cross the canyon and reach civilization using these limited resources. Along the way they found out if…

Bubble wrap can be used to make warm clothing.


The temperature at the desert wasteland was around 32 °F (0 °C). To survive, Adam and Jamie crafted ponchos and gloves from bubble wrap held together with duct tape. The bubble wrap was effective at insulating them from the cold.

It is possible to start a fire with a car battery.


Adam shorted out the car battery to create sparks and eventually ignite tinder. When the wire leads became too hot to hold, Adam wrapped them with duct tape for additional insulation.

Duct tape and bubble wrap can be used to make shelter.


Jamie made a low-hanging tent from duct tape and a mattress from bubble wrap, while Adam slept in the broken-down car with a bubble wrap blanket.

Duct tape can be used to improvise a device to help transport heavy supplies.


To pack up their supplies before their hike, Jame built a travois (a type of pull-behind sled) using sticks and tuck tape while Adam made a messenger bag out of duct tape.

A rope made from duct tape can be used to safely rappel into a canyon.


Adam made strands of rope by twisting together four pieces of duct tape, then he combined three such ropes into one stronger rope. Jamie made simple harnesses from duct tape and the pair used this equipment to descend 150 feet (46 m) into the cannon (while also wearing real climbing equipment as a backup).

Duct tape and bubble wrap can be used to make boats for floating down a river with rapids.


In a preliminary experiment, Adam was wrapped in a thick suit of bubble wrap and duct tape to see how he would fair in the river. He found that cold water quickly seeped in and he had difficulty maneuvering, making this method of getting down the river infeasible.

Next, Adam and Jamie built two separate crafts. The basic building blocks for each were sheets of bubble wrap tightly rolled into pontoons. Jamie made a large raft resembling a sofa and Adam made a long kayak. They each paddled their boats downstream and through a series of rapids, only struggling when they reached Class 5 whitewater.

After bypassing a waterfall on land, the MythBusters soon paddled out of the canyon and headed for civilization.