Using Natural Cordage

Several examples of natural cordage

One of the many survival resources that is abundantly available is cordage. You may call it rope, twine, thread, or even paracord but the fact is, you can find material to perform similar functions just about anywhere.

Cordage is mass produced based on a specification of the buyer’s needs. This can range from tying a boat to a dock to securing a stack of lumber on a truck bed. It can also be as simple as adding a button to a piece of gear or clothing.

I know it sounds far fetched but what if you did not have any available?

Think about all the various uses in which you would use thread, string, rope, twine, etc. and then think about what if you could not go to the store to buy any. What then?

Would you make it from plastic trash bags, empty plastic cola bottles, an old t-shirt, or strap of leather? While these are possible, let us review another, older or primitive method. Natural Cordage.

Trees and plants produce fibers which is one reason why your bowels erupt from eating too much greenery such as spinach or cabbage. In some plants, these fibers can be broken down to a useful state outside of having a healthy body.

For our example, we will be utilizing the Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) or tulip poplar, or sometimes just called the Poplar tree (Populus). As you can see by the technical identifier, it is not the same. We will also be using Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) as our plant.

Both flora have fibrous material that can be broken down, worked, and utilized as cordage. Ah, the catch…worked. No one said this was an easy thing.

For the tree, the outside bark will be removed to get to the inner layers, or inner bark. If the tree is dead but not rotten, the inner bark can be scraped off and on a good day simply pulled off and put to the side for processing.

As far as the plant is concerned, in this case, it is reversed. This time we are removing the inside and leaving the long fibers on the outside to use as cordage after processing.

With the tree or the plant, we will need to work again in order to bind the smaller threads or pieces together in order to have a successful tool such as cordage or rope. This can be accomplished by using a method called two ply twist or simply called a twist. While it takes a little bit of time to learn, it is a very effective and fairly quick method utilized to produce useful natural cordage.

In the video below, I am showing this method with dogbane. Keep in mind, you are not limited to either of the two listed above, as it can be accomplished with nettles, milkweed, hawthorn, or sage just to name a few.

The basis is simply to try something new. While we all hope we will have cordage until the end of time, sometimes it is fun to practice and sometimes it is preparation for what may never come.

Enjoy the video.

Until then,

Use your instincts to survive

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