Beyond Paracord: 8 Other Cordage Types You Need to Know

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Beyond Paracord: 8 Other Cordage Types You Need to Know It’s no secret that 550 paracord is the most versatile cord you can include in your bug out bag. It should not be the only type of cordage that you consider, though. Many types or rope, cord, and wire exist for many different uses and are …

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Survival Gear Review: The Smart Bungee System

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smart_bungee_featured

smart_bungee_set_outIt’s extra sweet when you open a shiny wrapped present from under the Christmas tree and it is a super gear gadget any prepper could use.  It is even more special when that gift comes to you from your own daughter.  My daughter Allison got it right. The Smart Bungee System is a storable sack of various bungee cords with universal attachment ends to accept a host of connections for a wide variety of applications.  If you want or need to lash down boxes, equipment, gear, bags, or tools in the back of an SUV, pickup truck, ATV, or UTV then this is the perfect kit adaptable to many uses for securing stuff.  

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

The Smart Bungee kit comes with eight different cords in four different lengths, two each.  Included are 4-foot, 3-foot, 2-foot, and 1-foot lengths.  The bungee cord material itself is composed of a steel core for added strength, durability, and long lasting use.  The base rubber cords are weather resistant and wrapped in a material that is easy to grip and is long wearing.

The Bungee Cords

red_orange_couplings_bungeeThe ends of each cord are affixed with a universal connection point.  This is a red-orange colored coupling that allows the installation of the many connection devices included in the kit that are adaptable to a wide range of applications.  The variations of how the cords could be configured are nearly endless.  There are also connector sleeves that allow two cords to be connected together to make an even much longer cord to span wider/taller pieces of gear to strap down.  Again, the connection options are left up to the creativity of the user.

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All of the cords with their connection points accept the attachments in the same manner.  Simply insert the connection point component by pushing it into the receptacle.  Then just twist and turn the connector to lock it in place.  The twist and lock is secure and will not simply pop loose even under the stress of pulling the cords tight to strap something down.

Standard Attachment Points

bungee_hooksIn this kit are four of the most basic connection points.  These are standard “J” hook type attachments that affix to a selected cord length, then simply hook over a hook up point.  This could be the usual bungee cord or net attachment points found in the beds of many pickup trucks, but also inside the rear “trunk” area of an SUV auto or other hatch back type vehicle.  The racks on ATVs are also common tie down locations.  These hooks are made of a super strength ABS type polymer plastic.  The pieces are then sealed in a plastic coating to protect the part adding durability, strength and long use.  

Specialty Connections

The Smart Bungee System includes a number of connection points that I have not seen on conventional bungee cords before.  I mentioned the connector sleeves before of which there are four so cords can be linked together.  This is a nice, functional feature.

There are two “Y” connectors in the set so that cords can be configured in such a way to build a sort of spider net or cords reaching to four end points for wider items like prepper gear or supply boxes, crates, or such.   The “Y” ends could use two shorter cords then connect to a long cord over to the other “Y” point.  

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There are two connection points that have attached carabiner type snap on hooks.  These are standard functioning carabiners, but without a screw down lock.  These are not intended at all for climbing or climbing support.  They are just a quick connection as like the “J” hooks, but with a closed spring activated latch on a totally enclosed loop.  

bungee_system_connectorsFinally there are four connectors that are termed “loop connectors.”  These are made to be attached to a cord end first.  Then the other end of the cord can be looped around a hold point like on an ATV rack frame, a pipe, tree limb, or other point to either be an attachment point or to suspend something overhead as the cord is looped back through the connector hole loop and wedged into the cord gripper. You have to get creative with these connectors, as the more I work with them the more I discover new uses.  Once you loop the cord back through the connector hole, the cord then locks into the “vise” teeth in the loop.  I just call this the cord gripper.  

By now you’re thinking this is a lot of parts and pieces to keep track of.  For sure, but the whole Smart Bungee System fits into a nylon bag with a pull string that has a push button lock to cinch the string down to lock the bag closed.  All in all, this is a neat bungee cord system that is buildable into an infinite number of configurations.  These can be ordered via Amazon or likely many outdoor-camping supply outlets.  The set retails for about $30.00.  

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Different Types of Ropes and Their Survival Uses

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Different Types of Ropes and Their Survival Uses Rope is your best friend when it comes to surviving in the wild. Why? Because it can be used for practically anything. Unfortunately, not everyone is familiar with the different types of ropes that exist, as well as their benefits and what they can be used for. …

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5 Cordage for Your Bug-Out Bag

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5 Cordage Types for Your Bug-Out Bag

By Frank Bates

ua_cordage_imgWhen we talk about what belongs in your bug-out bag, we often focus on things such as food, water, clothing and first-aid items. But if we look at the essential tools that helped everyone from early humans to pioneers survive, it’s clear they also mastered the use of another important item – cordage.

These people used cordage for everything from hunting to fishing to sailing. They wove nets and ropes from plant material, even using animal fibers such as sinew or catgut for making bows and arrows. Making cordage is essential to survival.

In the context of modern survival strategies, cordage is a blanket term that includes everything from nylon string to hauling rope. While you’ll find cordage on most bug-out bag lists, I want to discuss the specific types you’ll need and situations where it will come in handy. Here’s a brief rundown of five essential types you should consider including in your bug-out bag.

Rope

You’ll want to have a length of rope in your bug-out bag for dragging heavy items like game back to your campsite. Yes, rope is bulky, but you can easily fit a decent length (say 50 feet) in the bottom of your pack, or even strap it to the outside.

While plain old braided rope is cheaper, climbing rope is more durable. In addition to hauling stuff, you can use it for navigating steep terrain or hoisting up a food bag at night to keep it away from critters.

P-Cord

Parachute cord (a.k.a. Paracord or P-Cord) is lightweight but very strong. Look for military-grade P-cord with 550-pound test strength. A decent-sized spool of 50 feet or so only costs a few bucks, and will easily fit in your pack.

You can use it for any number of tasks, from binding logs to making a splint to lashing a tarp to a tree. P-cord is so strong when braided together, it’s even been used to pull vehicles out of ditches and snow banks.

Nylon Thread

You’ll want at least a spool or two of nylon string as part of your mobile survival kit. It’s cheap, and can be used in a wide variety of situations. For one, you can use it to mend your clothes (just remember to also pack a few sewing needles). Beyond the obvious, however, nylon thread also has several other key uses.

They include binding shelter rafters together, making animal snares and fishing lines, or bundling firewood and kindling. In an emergency, you could even put together a kite to help rescuers find you by using some string, duct tape and a bit of brightly colored rain poncho or tarp. Fishing line or monofilament provides added durability if you want to spend a few extra dollars.

Metal Wire

In some cases, metal wire is preferable over nylon string, such as tying up meat to roast over a fire. We’re talking about steel baling wire or floral wire here, not the copper stuff used for electrical wiring that’s insulated with plastic.

Thin metal wire is also useful for making trip wires, small game snares or even small repairs. You don’t need a huge length here, only a couple dozen feet or so.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is an all-purpose material that can be used as cordage, even if it isn’t technically cordage. For example, you can use duct tape to make a sling, handcuff bad guys or string up lights. Duct tape has about a zillion other survival uses, of course, but that’s a whole different discussion. The best part is you don’t have to pack an entire bulky roll of it – you can just wrap it around your water bottle and tear off a bit when you need it.

Even if you don’t need or know how to use all of these items, they can be useful for bartering or helping you strike up a partnership with others attempting to survive. You never know just what you might need in a bug-out situation, but you can be sure that having a variety of cordage types will make your life easier.

Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.

The post 5 Cordage for Your Bug-Out Bag appeared first on American Preppers Network.

The Plastic Bottle Cutter – The Smart Way to Recycle Plastic Bottles

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The Plastic Bottle Cutter – The Smart Way to Recycle Plastic Bottles You like to recycle, and sometimes you need rope. These two things seem unrelated, don’t they? They do seem that way, at first, but really, they’re not. With the Plastic Bottle Cutter, you can recycle your plastic bottles and forego that trip to …

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How To Make Off-Grid ‘Survival Rope’ Using Nothing But Grass

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How To Make Off-Grid ‘Survival Cord’ Using Only Grass

Image source: YouTube screen grab.

Spartacus was famous for crafting ropes from trees and weeds to save his men and lead then from slavery. Thankfully, we don’t have to make rope for such extreme times, but it’s a good skill to master just in case.

Just about any long-stemmed plant material can be pounded into a fiber to make rope, but some plants are better than others.

There are three steps to making rope:

1. Collecting the cordage material.

You want to find plants and materials that are fibrous and tough. There are five potential materials for cordage from plants:

  • Long grass.
  • Tree bark from ash, box elder, basswood, elm, walnut, cherry, cedar, aspen, willow, cottonwood, hickory or oak.
  • Woody stalks from plants like dogbane, stinging nettle, velvet leaf, milkweed, fireweed and evening primrose.
  • Leaves from yucca, cattail or fern.
  • Roots from spruce, juniper, tamarack, cedar and pine.

Dogbane is often the plant of choice. It’s a member of the hemp family and is easy to work. The easiest way to do this is to break a plant or tree stalk and see if it is resistant to an easy break. If the fiber is tough and resilient, you have the potential for good cordage.

2. Tempering or preparing the material.

Unless you’re using grass, he materials needs to be “worked.” This can involve twisting, pounding on a rock or stripping into pieces. Sometimes, the material needs to be soaked in water. The idea is to shred the fibers of the plant into strands that are easy to work and twist. Pounding with a small rock on a larger rock is the most common method, but twisting can also work with fibrous plants like dogbane and milkweed. Any pounding should be done with a rounded rock so that sharp edges don’t cut the material.

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You can also roll the plant material between your hands, on your pant leg or twist it and stretch it.

3. Braiding and splicing.

This is where it all happens. What you’re going to be doing is a basic braiding process of overlapping three or more strands of plant fiber. You’ll need to add in additional pieces as you go to splice in new fibers. Sometimes you can actually tie small knots to make a better connection from splice to splice. (Watch the videos below.)

The Basic Wrap

Hold the ends of the fibers and roll the whole bundle against your pants leg in one direction. By making repeated strokes along the entire length, you should be able to twist the fibers into a strand of makeshift cordage that’s many times the strength of the original strands of material.

Reverse Wrapping

Start by twisting the fiber bundle in the middle until it kinks; then hold the kink between the thumb and index finger of one hand. With the fingers of the second hand, twist the bottom strand toward you and wrap it once around the other. Now, hold this wrap with the first hand, twist the new bottom strand toward you and wrap it around the other. Continue the process along the entire length.

Below are videos that show how this step looks, one with grass and the other with bark.

Story continues below videos

 

Splicing

Twist and kink the bundle so that one end is twice as long as the other. (This will eliminate the chance of producing parallel splices that would seriously weaken the cordage.) Then, using the reverse technique, wrap to within an inch or two of the short end. Next, separate the fibers of the short end with your fingers (so they spread out like a broom). Now, attach a second bundle of equal thickness by spreading and fitting its fiber ends into those of the first bundle. Continue twisting and wrapping as before, taking care not to pull the strands apart. When you come to the end of the original long strand, add a third piece — and so on.

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After you’ve finished a length of cordage you can then take additional corded lengths and repeat the process to give your rope additional strength. If you are using your cordage to tie together logs or other types of connections like joints, you’ll want to wet the cordage first to make it more flexible.

You can combine different materials from various plants and trees. This could help with splicing and the overall strength of your finished rope.

In spite of your best efforts, you probably really shouldn’t depend on homemade cordage to sustain any human weight. It may seem indestructible, but the splices can suddenly slip and you don’t want be hanging over a cliff when that happens.

This type of cordage is intended mostly for lashing and binding other materials such as supports for a lean-to, logs for a makeshift raft, or other temporary structures. Cordage can last about a year, but like any other plant-based material it will eventually deteriorate with time.

Have you ever made cord? Share advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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10 Comfort items you’ll wish you had!

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10 Comfort items you’ll wish you had!

10 Comfort items you'll wish you had!The following 10 items are not just a wise idea to think about for that emergency kit but also for that weekend camping trip or that visit to the relatives for a weekend. Can you count the number of times when upon reaching you destination you realized what it was you had forgotten? Maybe you will see that item in this list or other items in this list you may want to add to yours.

While not exactly edible, having these ten comfort items will make everyday life more comfortable, whatever your emergency, wherever you are.

  1. Deodorant/anti-perspirant. Picture this. You’ve been in your bunker for three weeks. Sponge baths are a rare treat. Then you remember your stash of Secret anti-perspirant. Ahhhh….. instant morale booster, especially if shared.
  2. Feminine products. Aunt Flo doesn’t stop her visits for something as trivial as a nuclear war. A six month’s stash, especially o.b. brand, won’t take up much room, and will greatly improve your quality of life.
  3. Small items for entertainment. Choose multi-use toys and games. Playing cards or Play-Dough, for example. Include a lengthy, multi-chapter book for yourself but family-friendly enough to serve as a read-aloud.
  4. Bar soap. In a pinch it can be used for shampoo and even laundry.
  5. Zip-Locs of all sizes. These can’t be beat for everything from a tooth for the Tooth Fairy to containing nuclear waste, aka dirty diapers.
  6. Rope for a clothesline and clothes pins. Air-dried laundry smells and feels so clean and crisp. It may become your preferred method of drying, even after the electricity comes on, and of course there’s the added benefit of being oh-so-Green!
  7. A pack of never-before-opened underwear for each family member. Enough said.
  8. Battery-powered CD player & CDs. There’s just something about beautiful music for defusing tension and calming nerves.
  9. Tylenol PM. Seriously. Do you really want to be 100% conscious wrapped up in your silver emergency blanket, huddled in the back seat of your mini-van?
  10. Toilet paper. But you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you??

Preparing for natural disasters, nuclear war, or a complete societal breakdown, doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of humor. In fact, your sense of humor should be #1 on this list! Don’t ever hunker down in your bunker without your comfort items!

Original article on comfort items posted on APN

The post 10 Comfort items you’ll wish you had! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.