Knotwork Containers

Knotwork Containers

For years, I have struggled with the problem of carrying objects using rope. Every time I take an object – say a cooler without handles – and strap it down , the weave starts to come loose from jostling as soon as I’m on the trail and the “package” begins its escape. This happens regardless of the shape – Jerry cans, 20 lb. propane cylinders, an oversized sleeping bag that doesn’t fit in my pack – they all free themselves eventually. But no more. While thumbing through an old craft book from 1975, I came across an article called Macramé Made Easy, alongside articles on pottery, stain glass work and chamois clothing. You probably remember Macramé from those old owls that people hung in their basements dangerously close to the wood stove. Or that collection of hanging plant baskets with the really fibrous brown jute. Macramé is a form of textile crafting using knotwork rather than weaving or knitting. And it is really simple. You just learned macramé. It was that easy. Oh, there are lots of techniques using different types of knots, but in essence, it’s just a series of knots. With this technique alone, you could easily fashion gill nets (by tying a series of reverse larkshead knots to a length of line), fish traps (using sapling hoops instead of a solid container),  and even a whole woven haversack- using 550 paracord and #36 bankline. In essence, you could make a whole fish net with this technique alone. Applications In the outdoors, macramé is perfect for creating woven containers for carrying large jugs of water, a 5-gallon bucket or any bulky awkward objects – add handles for a two-person carry. Attach your...
Should You Store Food?

Should You Store Food?

Is food storage right for you? When I first was introduced to the survival and preparedness movement, I was inundated with photos of people with food and water setups for the global apocalypse including canned goods, MRE’s, food pails, cases and cases of water. They had to have sunk thousands of dollars into rotating shelf operations. And the phrase “eat what you store, store what you eat” has gotten really old. While food is important, it is your 5th survival priority in the event of an emergency survival situation. And what is more, you could go weeks without a single drop of food. So should you store food at all? The Benefits In a 72 hour emergency, it is nice to be able to eat. Eating is a common daily activity and the process of preparing, cooking and then eating food is something that can bring a sense of normalcy to our lives – along with the social aspect of eating. Food gives you a calorie boost to be consumed when you are busy doing other activities, like chopping firewood and building shelters. In cold environments, warm rich foods supercharge your metabolism, warding off the cold. And in the event of an evacuation, a storehouse of calories will keep you moving, even with that 50 lb. backpack full of gear you plan to hike around with. Storing food is a form of food security. It is insurance that you will be fed when it gets rough out there – whether we are talking about a snow storm, a riot or the end of the world. If you have stored...