Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rope, wire and ductape

One thing I realized over the years is that the more gear you have, it doesn’t mean you’re better prepared. This is in some way similar to backpacking. When I see people on the road with these huge backpacks I tend to doubt about how much experience they have. Truth is, unless you’re climbing some of the most important mountains in the world or some other extreme trip, you dont need that much stuff. Its common knowledge that the more you backpack, the more you start leaving gear behind rather than adding to the stuff you carry.
But there’s a few items that are so functional that you’d be clever to have some with you always. Rope, wire and ductape are such items.
Improvising a shoulder strap and handle, patching mosquito net holes, I even used ductape recently to make a knife sheath (knife sheath on the way :-)  )
Improvised Duct Tape knife Sheath

Wire is another terrific product. From temporarily fixing a loose car’s exhaust, making a hook, fixing the grills mechanism, its just so convenient to have a small roll of wire around.
Rope, specially good one like paracord can have countless uses.
Recently I found this new stuff, at least new to me, this is Technora cord. Its .008“ thick and tolerates 450lbs .
 Technora Ultra Composite Survival Cord Rope (50', 450lbs Breaking Strength)
Technora Ultra Composite Survival Cord Rope (50', 450lbs Breaking Strength)
I dont think this replaces the practicality of 550 paracord. With Paracord you have 7 individual strands on the inside and I find that to be very practical.
None the less this cord is incredibly strong for its thickness. I first saw technora rope in the City of Arts and Science in Valencia, Spain. A technora rope on exposition there could hold the weight of 4 persons. That thing was 6mm thick and breaks at 4400lbs. Pretty impressive. Again, still holding onto the good old 550 paracord, but I’ll write about about this cord once I try it out.
As for ductape, hands down Gorilla Tape is the best tape I’ve come across. If anyone tried something better please comment on it.
Gorilla Tape 1.88-Inch by 35-Yard Tape Roll
Gorilla Tape 1.88-Inch by 35-Yard Tape Roll
As for wire, ordinary wire, not too thin, not too thick is what has been working best for me for most situations over the years.
Take care folks!



Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never seen that cordage before. I thought it was either duck decoy line, or kevlar thread, but the description in link does not seem to indicate it is. Cool - thanks for the mention.

FerFAL said...

You're welcome, I always buy before posting because you guys always buy up everything cool and then I have to wait forever until they restock. This time I already ordered it, maybe should have bought two. :-p

Anonymous said...

10 feet of gorilla tape 1" wide or wider and a minimum of 30 feet of para-cord are good, but I'd want to carry more if I can. Tie Wraps, about 20 to repair the pack or add to it, or 100+ if you intend to build a strong shelter. Those Swedish folding hand saws are light weight, compact and very effective.

The hammock which is king in the jungle and second only to a parange or machete. I've been learning how to build will bamboo as well as the jungle is my next stop. One can travel very light and carry netting as well. In cold weather use a 20" wide closed foam pad in the hammock to keep your backside warm. With clothes on, I was toasty in the hammock at 15F with the foam pad and wool blanket. The other neat thing about hammocks is one can string it up and sleep in otherwise impossible places, such as steep or swampy terrain and leave little evidence. Choose a tough tarp that is at least 10.5' x 10.5' for good coverage in heavy rain and have enough space for cooking. My custom made 9x12 tarp is heavy, 4.5 pounds, 1000 denier Cordura nylon, with stitched on loops, but it should last outdoors and in the sun and take a beating for a year or more with confidence. In the times ahead, having durable yet heavy basic gear is worth the weight penalty. Instead of having a light weight tent that will rot in the sun or tear, take a heavier canvas or tough nylon tarp that will last and last. Both keep the rain off. Wind however is another matter. a

Darryll Anderson said...

...for your car kit, i always have a very large hose clamp. good for fixing broken suspension or maybe the swingarm on a motorcycle.

Matt said...

I keep a roll of "tie" wire in my truck. It is found with the cment/masonry products and used for tieing cement forms together. It is cheap, and tough. Easy enough to cut with a multi-tool. I use it for repairs on most anything, building fence gates etc.

I also keep a roll of florist wire in my pack. It is green, only costs a few bucks and is light weight.

B said...

should be 0.08" not 0.008"

i'll be buying some for my bOB soon, I think.