Thursday, October 01, 2015

Titan Paracord SurvivorCord Nalgene Bottle Wrap

I continued with tying with the SurvivorCord that Titan sent me, shown in yesterday's blog post, around my Nalgene bottle.

I tied alternating 3 lead 8 bight Turk's head knots, doubled, and a few coiled wraps between each with a 50 foot section of the cord that I started with.  I would have first wrapped the bottle with a bit of extreme tape if I had any, but the wrap does feel secure as it's currently tied, and offers a good grip for my fingers with the slightly raised knots and coiled grooves between them.

There was a lot of time spent continually untwisting the cord and pushing the slack of the outer sheath over the core strands down towards the working end, even though the knots are simple and chosen for not having a lot of  sharper angles to keep from kinking the cord up, which happened anyway with all the twists I had to deal with.  Even on a simple looking project like this one my hands did bug me a bit and I had to stop a few times with finger cramps, nothing to do when they lock up but say, 'Ow!' (think charlie horse in your hand), lol.

Although I like the feel and grip of this particular pattern, I'd suggest just doing a simple common whipping around a Nalgene or other type water bottle for faster deployment if the cord is needed when the zombie apocalypse starts, and you'll end up having fewer kinks in the copper strand, very thin piece that it is, as well as fewer twists/coiling in the fishing line too, when the you need to catch some crappie, bass, or catfish to fry up in a campfire for dinner.

You can stuff a lot of survival gear inside a sturdy protective paracord wrapped Nalgene water bottle, including fishing tackle, medication, multitool, sewing kit, magnifier, map, pen/notepad, pocket knife, flashlight, emergency blanket, whistle, bandana, first aid supplies, poncho/garbage bag, water purification tablets, lighter/flint rod, cell phone, spare batteries, etc., so forth, and so on, toss it in an edc backpack, glove box, hidden/buried supply/geocache spot, for yourself or fix one up for a gift to friends/family that like to 'Be Prepared'.

I did have a noticeable stretching of the outer sheath over the core strands, so much so that by the time I got to where I finished the bottle wrap, using a little over 41 of the 50 foot strand, there was a couple of feet more of outer sheath than core strands left in the trimmed scrap end, 6.5 feet of core inside 8.5 feet of kernmantle/outer sheath.

There were also a couple of sections in the Turk's head knots where there is more slack, like a bubble that develops when tightening the knots up, which can happen sometimes no matter the brand of paracord when the outer sheath is a bit loose around the core strands.  You can untie and try to work out the problem area or leave it like I did as a reminder that nothing's perfect, it happens, this one is mine, not made for someone else where I sometimes find myself tying/untying a project several times to get it just right, hehehe.

I do like the SurvivorCord with the extras inside for potential survival uses, but I'd stick with simpler bottle/knife/tool handle wraps/grips that do not get too complicated with lots of twists and bends which may affect the copper strand and fishing line elements inside.  At least one of the other reviews I've seen on the cord also mention how thin the copper strand is, which may need braiding up first to make it larger for making snares.  I was thinking of doing some Turk's head knots around some zipper pull sections or lanyards, but the copper strand is tiny(30 gauge) almost thread like, and I did try wrapping it around a crown sinnet like thread on a spool, but didn't care for the outcome on that. So, I may instead try using the waxed jute, which is slightly thicker, for something like that...

As mentioned, I may try some other things with the remaining cord that I have, maybe a quick deploy hatband, braided wallet/keychain lanyard and whatnot.  Hardcore survivalist, campers, backpackers, and others that have the know how/knowledge to use the extra components of the cord could certainly appreciate having it available even with the more than double cost compared to commercial paracord, but for regular outdoorsmen, hobbyist and crafters, the cheaper stuff will do, and you end up with more color options too.

The particular hank of SurvivorCord that I received had a bit of a cosmetic issue with one of the 32? some odd strands of the braided outer sheath being turned/twisted at an odd angle compared with the rest of the strands during production, so that it looks like there are random 'pulls' throughout the cord, but it's just the way the light catches those strands and not I think any problem with its strength/durability to affect performance.  The photo in the previous blog post of the hank of paracord straight out of the package and on the digital scale for weighing shows those strands which look like specks in the picture.  Doesn't bother me, but I know there are those out there that would complain, like a certain color of paracord they ordered doesn't exactly match their socks, so they'll take issue with it and send it back, lol...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Current work in progress...

Titan Paracord sent me a hank of their SurvivorCord to evaluate, and I've started tying with it to see how it works with some decorative and useful knot work projects that someone might do to for edc use.

This new 'patent pending' paracord has additional features/components compared to the flood of common commercial grade paracord typically found online and at hobby/craft/hardware/surplus stores nowadays.

In addition to seven three-strand internal nylon braids, it also has copper wire, fishing line, and waxed jute, along with a higher strength rating.

I'll  update as I work with it.

Some product description from thier Amazon page listing:
  • COPPER WIRE - Light and dependable plastic-coated 30 AWG copper wire is perfect for animal snares.
  • FISHING LINE - Includes a single transparent, 25 lb test, high strength mono-filament fishing line.
  • GUARANTEED QUALITY - Superior Performance. Satisfaction Guaranteed. U.S. Veteran-Owned Business.
  • PATENT PENDING - Exclusive design adds 3 survival strands to Titan's trusted Military 550 Paracord.
  • WAXED JUTE - Waterproof twisted fiber strands are designed to quickly start fires in an emergency.
Some other folks have also tried out the SurvivorCord, and there are reviews available. Here are a couple, one on a survival blog and another on YouTube.

And a couple of comparison photos of the weight difference, one of the first things I noticed when I held the hank of Titan cord, on my digital scale, between a 100 foot hank of the SurvivorCord (only available in a bronze color currently, a black and brown combination) coming in at 11.8 ounces with the velcro strap, and a 100 foot hank of Paracord Planet commercial type 550 paracord at 7.8 ounces still in the adhesive label wrap. 

Serious backpackers, that track the weight of gear in grams, or folks that load up their pockets with lots of edc gear may take note of the weight, but I don't think a lanyard or half a hank of spare cord carried in a backpack is much of an issue for most...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

LED Lantern & SAK knot work...

I'm still gradually using up the spool of orange tether cord that County Comm sent me a couple of years back, sparingly, choosing occasional projects to use it on, like this 7 lead 6 bight doubled Turk's head knot, tied around the switch/battery cap of a UCO Clarus LED collapsible lantern/flashlight.
I thought I'd use some gutted orange paracord for the knot work at first, but the small size of the cap didn't really have enough room, so the 3/32" tether cord worked out alright, with the bights just barely coming up over the edge of the cap, but still letting the lantern collapse down for flashlight mode.


A simple paracord wrist loop with extended two-strand Matthew Walker knot, is ring hitched onto the Victorinox Waiter Swiss Army Knife (SAK), with a gaucho knot over a wooden lanyard bead (1.4mm cord). 


I bought a few of the used TSA confiscated Swiss Army Knives last year, to add a bit of knot work to each and give them to my pa to hand out to some of the volunteers at the church food pantry/homeless ministry that may not have an edc pocket knife.


A friend sent me a knot book that's been on my wish list for a long time, 'Introduction to Turk's-Head Knots' by Tom Hall, and a couple of paracord lanyards that he tied for me.  Thanks, Gary!

And after posting the pic of the book Gary sent me, the JigProShop sent me 'Turk's-Head Workbook' by Tom Hall, a companion book to the first volume.  Thanks, Russell! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vertical Crown Knot Cross

William "Mr Bill" Johnson recently uploaded a video tutorial to YouTube showing how to tie a paracord cross using the 'Vertical Crown Knot'.

He provides good instruction that's easy to follow on tying a cross with this method.  I gave it a try with some 1.4mm cord, to make the smaller version shown, trimming the ends and melting them in place with my wood burning tool to finish.  This one is for my pa to put on an edc keyring or wear with his dog tags.

Although not necessary, I may add a light coat of brush on krazy glue to stiffen the cross up a bit, as it is flexible as tied.

With the thinner diameter cord, I probably only used two feet or so in the finished cross, with just a short attachment loop instead of necklace length.  I'd started with four 18" strands which was overkill, so the leftover strands will get tied into some simple zipper pulls to give away...

Monday, August 03, 2015

Nitecore Tube LED Flashlight Wrap

I added a gaucho knot to my Nitecore Tube LED keychain micro usb rechargeable flashlight, using some Atwood Rope Micro Cord.  The knot started as a 5 lead 4 bight Turk's head, expanded to a 7 lead 6 bight knot, then the gaucho pattern was worked in.

It's a firm round version of their 1.18mm micro cord, instead of the usual flat soft version they most likely will send out if someone's looking for the same I used here.

Atwood has different manufacturing plants and evidently, I'm guessing, one produced this version instead of what all the other colors/camo choices that the 1.18mm micro cords look and feel like, which is unfortunate because I like this one better, except for it being a bit 'shiny'.   

This is a smaller version of the 1/16" Atwood utility cord that ended up being used with the VENOM mochi by Stormdrane, limited editions of the Mochibrand mochibags drawstring backpacks.

The cord I bought came directly from Atwood, so don't expect to get this particular version of the micro cord if you order from them.  From experience, they'll just say they don't know what you're talking about, even if comparison photos of the cord on the spools are sent to them, showing the same labels but slightly different cord, lol.

The Tube makes for a nice edc (everyday carry) keychain light, running up to 48 hours on low, or one hour on high, and you can use the variable adjust for something in-between with the light output as needed.  

For some reason Nitecore doesn't provide a micro usb charging cable(charge from your computer), so you have to obtain your own (lots of cell phones use 'em), or get one bundled with the light like some are offered on amazon. ;)