At some point, cord is going to be essential for your survival in the zombie-infested world of tomorrow; whether you need a fishing line, a bowstring or a shoelace, you’ll be glad you had the foresight to learn how to make your own.
Finding Suitable Materials
Cord can be made from any strong, flexible plant or animal fibres depending on what is available to you.
- Bark from trees such as oak or ash can be peeled off in long strips with a knife. The inner layer of the bark, once dried, will be more flexible and less likely to break when being prepared or in use.
- Some grasses can be used to make a basic cord; choose grasses or stems which are tough without being brittle.
- Both sinew and rawhide can be made into durable cord if cleaned and treated properly before use.
- Hair from animals or even people can be used to make exceptionally strong cord and (unlike sinew or rawhide) can be regularly ‘harvested’ from the same animal.
If you are using plant fibres, you will need to separate out the fibres; roll the material back and forth against a flat surface until you have a ‘bunch’ of individual threads to work with.
If you are using animal sinew, you will need to cut it from the animal carefully so that none of the fibres are damaged. You should allow the sinew to dry and then beat them with a heavy object (a mallet if you have one) until the fibres separate and then put the fibres into hard water. If you chew sinew strands just before you start to make your cord, the fibres will bind together more strongly when you are finished, making the result even stronger.
When your basic fibre bunch is ready, hold one end of the bunch firmly and roll the fibres against a flat surface in one direction to create a basic cord. Then, bend the cord in the middle and wrap the two ends around each other to create a twisted rope-like effect. This rope can then be wrapped around another of a similar size to create a thicker, stronger ropes as required. Bear in mind that the more you twist your fibres, the stronger the resulting cordage will be. When you are finished, tie a simple knot in the end to keep the strands together.
Cord can either be used on it’s own or made into something else; by knotting, knitting or weaving cordage of different thicknesses, you can potentially make a huge selection of essential equipment including nets and baskets.
Keep a length of the finished cord in your pocket and when you next need a make-shift tourniquet or a zombie-slowing trip-wire you’ll be well prepared.