Monday, June 6, 2016

From DTG: Great exploration of Not-Tents and Knots

Shelter: Why Tents Suck – Pt II – Siting & Effective Knots

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times.  Knots are just not being taught enough much less practiced.

I will completely resign myself to the fact that I not have done a measly fraction of the bushcraft training that DTG has, but I can speak with at least a modicum of authority when I agree that tents do suck.  When you look at what you get in features vs. the weight and lack of visibility it is not much of a contest. 

I purchased a Snugpak Ionosphere years ago but have yet to have the opportunity desire to open it.  I certainly could have spent the $100+ more frugally.  I am much more in favor of the ingenious poncho tent set up from the Alpha Disaster Contingencies site.  It is a little more sophisticated than stringing the poncho/tarp between two trees, and more low profile (if that is your thing). 

One more thing I would like to echo from DTG's work:  The Pro-Knot Cards really are the bees knees.  Waterproof and virtually weightless, it gives you a very rudimentary description of how the knot is tied.  This will not be difficult assuming you have practiced ahead of time.  And you are practicing, right?


DTG said...

Matt - thanks for the kind words and you're exactly right about knots! I posted an update on the price: I found it for less than $5, making it a no brainer for anyone who needs a good reference to learn up to 17 knots!

Here's the link:


Dutchman6 said...

I just read your take on the Stoic aspect and how it is out duty to teach the younger generations what right looks like.

Far too often we condemn when we should be looking for solutions.

Thank you for that reminder.


skybill said...

Hi Matt,
Funny thing you should mention that...about knots!! I recall when I was a little kid before I learned how to read and write...I still could understand "pictures!!!" I found my brother and my cousins' "old" "Boy Scout Manuals" and would thumb thru them noting the pictures!! 'Lots of pictures of "Knots!!" ...The "Bowline," the "square or reef knot," the "sheep shank," among others and the "Bowline on a bight!! 'Thing about it was....I learned those as I said,"before I could Read!!" From the "Basics," to the "Trendy!!" There are a couple a' dozen, if that, that I constantly use!! I also learned a bunch from my dad, a Merchant Mariner Chief Engineer of an Ocean Going Ship!! (He like his Father before him) "and" from my stint in the US NAVY!!
Over the years I came to be amazed at the amount of people I encountered that "Couldn't tie their own shoe laces!!!!" I guess Thank God for "Flip-Flops." "Penny Loafers" and "Velcro ties on sport-sneakers!!"
So there you have it for starters!...I could go on.....
Got Gunz.....OUTLAW!!!!!,

Anonymous said...

I agree with your take on the Alpha Rubicon poncho set up, pretty slick way to go and multi-purposes with what you likely carry anyway.

Anonymous said...

Knots are important when you need to do something and have only ropes, to do it. I've rigged alot for other folks who had given up completely. There is almost always a way to get things done!

Rhodes said...

Frankly I learned all my woodcraft from the scouts oh so many years ago.
The Pioneering badge was a real life skill builder, like life saving it was one those I was most proud to accomplish.
Really miss those days.

Fidel said...

Get a couple of pieces of rope (slightly heavier than paracord, and ideally different color) and use this:

Practice knots until you can do them without thinking about it....and keep practicing. It's all muscle memory.

I am not a fan of people who don't commit basic information to memory, and want to rely on a book or card or app to figure simple things out. What if you don't have your book, or card, or app, or the time to find them or use them?

DTG said...

@Fidel...the cards are a teaching tool and a reference, inexpensive and a very good one to boot. They're great to have during those times of 'nothing to do' sitting around outside the home or to use as a focal point when having small group (family included) bushcraft training. Animatedknots is a fine tool, but it also has its limitations. My take FWIW? If you have time to go to animated knots and watch a repetitive video on the knot in question, you have time to take a bit of cordage and read/practice. Especially if it's used as a lag time filler during outdoor training sessions. Hopefully, you got something more out of the article than just a chance to criticize a great little teaching tool.

Thanks, though, for reading it.

grey said...

the problem is that twice snakes have crawled over people sleeping on the ground in my experience.

Once a bug crawled into an ear while sleeping on the ground.

woke up once with a mostly closed eye from a bug bite while sleeping on the ground.

Poncho shelters are great and light and all that but there are some drawbacks.

High winds for one. Bad or really any mosquitoes another. As well as other insects.

Fidel said...

@DTG - I think we are in complete agreement: My issue is in taking cards to the field and planning on relying on reading them there when you need a knot.