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Mountain Critter
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There are so many wilderness sources for cordage material, and it is a tremendously useful thing to be able to produce, in a survival situation. Let's get a discussion going about our favorite types of cordage, how we make them, and their uses. Please post photos if you have them.

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I'll start out:


In July I found and gathered a bunch of mountain goat hair and wool on some of the high ridges around here, and recently began making cordage out of some of it: (the first two were not taken with a digital camera, so the quality is not as good)




Here is one of the goats, a young one; you can see a strand of wool stuck to its horn on the left.





The pile of wool I collected one day on a ridge at 13,000’ elevation. There was quite a bit of lichen and dirt in the wool, which had to be cleaned out. Some of the strands I found stuck to boulders where the goats had rubbed as they passed, but much of it was in an area of small, gravel-like rock where it was obvious the goats had spent a good bit of time lying and rolling around to remove the old wool.





Here you can see the difference between the coarse outer hair, and the finer wool





Starting out......





Almost done...





Finished coil of goat-hair cordage.

The goat wool is very warm and would make a great winter cap or headband, but this cordage is very strong and somewhat stretchy, since the wool fibers were pretty long, so it has a multitude of potential uses.
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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Here in the south it is Caesar Weed. It was imported specifically to be a cordage crop and now is a naturalized weed. It can grow to 8 feet which gives one some nice long material to work with.
 

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That is so cool that you used the hair. You know, I must be dense because I would have never thought of that.

Out here nettles are probably the most used natural cordage material. I've also made it from milkweed and dog bane, and even tried it with the feral hemp that grows in our fencelines. None of these are strong enough to work a bow drill though for more than one try, if you're lucky to get that. FOr bow drills most people who demand to go totally primitive use either leather or sinew.

I did make a good one out of inner basswood bark once but we don't have a lot of basswood out in the woods. In towns it is a popular tree but it doesn't grow in the wild that much.

I saw cordage made from cattail leaves but I've never done it.

I do grow and process linen or flax (depending on the year) to make thread out of but it wouldn't be very strong cordage.

Tury
 

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Unlocked and loaded
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Its not from the raw state,

but you can braid bailing twine that ranches throw away all the time and make a real strong rope. I use a lot of things people throw away. Just my nature.:thumb:

Keep your senses sharp and your weapons clean and loaded.
 

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Mountain Critter
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
but you can braid bailing twine that ranches throw away all the time and make a real strong rope. I use a lot of things people throw away. Just my nature.:thumb:

Keep your senses sharp and your weapons clean and loaded.
Great idea! Bailing twine is all over the place out here.

Nothing says your raw material has to be in its natural state. Plastic grocery bags, torn into strips and corded or braided make a very stout rope, also. In this day and age, you are likely to find some discarded manmade items in all but the remotest of locations, so there is likely to be something along these lines available to you, even in a real survival situation.

Bill Moreland (a fugitive who came to be known as "The Ridgerunner," evading capture and living for many years without direct contact with other people in the Idaho wilderness) pulled down telephone lines and used the wire to snare deer........it's all about being able to improvise.
 
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