For some reason the amazingly useful zeppelin knot has been forgotten. Like many knots, it is stronger than a square knot, but it is unique in that it can always be untied easily, even after it has been loaded heavily. In other words, it will not “jam”. It is also easy to tie and easy to […]
Rigging a tarp or dining fly provides shelter from the wind and rain and shade from the sun. I often use a tarp rather than a tent because there’s plenty of room to spread out and they can be rigged in many different configurations. My favorite tarps are tundra tarps manufactured from lightweight, strong siliconized nylon by Cooke’s Custom Sewing . I use brightly […]
This fanciful chain reaction pioneering project was found at the Ropes and Poles Blog Rain falls during the night and runs down the trough into the billy-can, thereby upsetting the balance of the guillotine and bringing the razor-sharp knife into operation… A signaling device and an ‘ingratiator’ at one go? – not bad eh?.
Mike Malone asks; … we’ve been informed that, for safety reasons, Scouts are now not allowed to be on any handmade structure more than 3-4 feet off the ground. Is that the current rule? I checked the Guide to Safe Scouting and found two statements that may be applicable: An approved climbing helmet must be […]
Learn how to tie the First Class Scout Badge Knot over at the Boy Scout Trail website. Not a particularly useful knot nor extraordinarily decorative but one really ought to know how it is tied. Tie a simple overhand knot in the bight of rope. Leave the knot loose. Put the bight through the ring […]
The clearly illustrated directions author Gerald Finley ‘s book ‘Rope Works Plus’ explains tying and using knots, splices and lashings, making rope (with plans for a geared rope making machine) This sample page gives you a pretty good idea of the style and layout of the book. A very practical guide. Rope Works Plus on […]
Here’s a clear, easy to follow description of rope making using the spinning method in the form of a PDF file made by Troop 228. Surprisingly high-quality rope in a variety of sizes can be quickly and easily made with these simple tools and materials. These tools are not difficult to make nor are the […]
Those interested in advanced knotting and rope work do no better than these essential knot books; The Ashley Book of Knots Ashley’s is the standard work on knots, bar none. Any serious knot tyer will have a well worn copy in their library. Clifford W. Ashley describes the history, uses and construction of more than […]
Whether an athletic competition, ritual practice, or casual the tug-of-war tradition is many centuries old. The United States Tug of War Association web page features an interesting history of the sport, an official event in early Olympic Games. We are fortunate to own a 30 foot length of nylon rope that was once used on […]
Every year in the port of Naha, Okinawa Japan, the world’s largest rope is constructed of rice straw for the annual great tug-of-war, or O-tsunahiki. Over 600 feet long and six feet in diameter the rope is central to the main event of a 400 year old tradition at Naha, the world’s largest Tsunahiki festival. […]
A tarp creates an dry island of refuge if it is properly rigged; if not it becomes a flapping, dripping, water-catching pain. Here’s an idea from Cliff Jacobsen’s book Camping’s Top Secrets on rigging two tarps to create a chimney to keep a fire going in the rain. Here’s a view showing how the tarps […]
A nice setup for cooking at a long term camp the Chippewa Kitchen in this drawing is lashed out of eight foot poles about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Naturally you can scale the kitchen to available materials or conditions as you see fit. Note the pot drying rack and worktop. No sooner had I posted […]
Christopher Molloy has published an excellent online edition of ten out-of-print Bushcraft Books by Richard Harry Graves: The 10 Bushcraft Books’ are the seminal texts on bushcraft and this on-line edition (based on the first edition of the book set) has been released to share this unique source of knowledge. Originally written as wartime information for […]
The Ropes and Poles Blog features a friction lock table design that I am anxious to try: “Friction locks the whole table together. There is one rope stopping the entire thing from spreading out and falling apart, running across the table (from left to right,under the table top). No lashings are used at all in this construction.” I […]
I put this booklet together for our scouts when we were working on pioneering merit badge. Knots, lashings and methods that were absent from or poorly explained in the official merit badge book are included. The average merit badge book is rather dismal; hopefully this one is a little more engaging.
Towers are tired, bridges are boring, camp gadgets are colorless, tripods are trite. Here is something new in improbable pioneering design. Please send me pictures of your completed structure.