Basic Cordage Materials?

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by geowizard19, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. geowizard19

    geowizard19 Tracker

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    Hey all. I’ve been thinking about trying to make some cordage recently, as it’s a useful skill and just plain cool. I’d like to get some decent materials to try it out, but I’m in Pennsylvania, and I feel like there isn’t much that’s useful for corsage here. Does anyone have any tips on finding materials for a beginner like me?
     
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  2. halo2

    halo2 Scout

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    I'd look for milkweed, stinging nettle, evening primrose or basswood cambium and try those, then start reverse twisting everything that sits still long enough.
     
  3. actichy

    actichy Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've had good results with wood nettles, stinging nettles, basswood bark, and swamp milkweed. I've had mediocre results with Siberian elm and white mulberry inner bark.
     
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  4. VtBlackDog

    VtBlackDog Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Basswood! It doesn't take long to harvest a good amount
     
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  5. HannahT

    HannahT Firebug Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Do you have willow trees? I've heard the inner bark works, though I haven't tried it myself. And cedar roots.
     
  6. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Oh, Pennsylvania has some great sources for cordage. Basswood, stinging nettles, blackberry brambles just to name a few.
     
  7. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    a quick google search tells me that you should, in PA, have hemp dogbane, shown above. related to milkweed, it's my favorite cordage plant. if you look back at that first pic, the red stems is the biggest indicator for me, followed by the bean type pods you see in both pics. (taken from google) added bonus that i've heard it's rot resistant and traditionally used for fishing nets and lines for that reason.

    [​IMG]
    (also taken from the internet-just my favorite pic related to indian hemp)
     
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  8. NattyBo

    NattyBo Supporter Supporter

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    I have dogbane in my AO. I often find it at wooded edges of the corn and soy fields. I also have had alright success with the inner bark of tulip poplar.
     
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  9. Seahunter

    Seahunter Scout Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Cattails are another one to look at, although not as good as nettles in my opinion. In the spring the inner bark of blackberries makes good cordage.
     
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  10. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    I saw a video of a dude use toilet paper to make a weight bearing rope. :dblthumb:

    Cat tail, bullrush, cedar and cypress barks, the inner green layers (cambrium?) of some saplings, cat, dog hair, um....
     
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  11. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Lots of natural materials in PA, as mentioned already.

    I also second @Jim L. 's comment about toilet paper. If you are, having a hard time finding those natural materials, start practicing with manmade stuff like toilet paper, newspaper, tissue paper that's headed for recycling, random small pieces of cordage that you can make stronger by twisting or braiding.

    Check out https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/thre...rdage-lashings-improvised-cordage-etc.178759/ if you haven't already.
     
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  12. geowizard19

    geowizard19 Tracker

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    Wow, lots of good info in here! Thanks for all tips guys, I’ll have to try some of them out!
     
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  13. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've been looking for this stuff in north central PA for a while now and just can't find any. Need to keep looking.
     
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  14. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    is your specific area more woods or meadows? i've always found it more in meadowlands, sometimes creek side or if there's a clearing in some woods. honesty, my best areas to find it has been road side! that red color screams at me when i'm driving sometimes-and i've been known to stop and gather a few stalks.
     
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  15. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Mostly woods here. I actually may have found some on my property. I have to get a closer look.
     
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  16. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    If I remember correctly, you're down around Schuylkill Co. Dogbane and milkweed and stinging nettle are all at their peak right about now and are all over your area. There should be basswood as well.

    If you are looking for something to tide you over until you can find these, go to your local Halloween shop and pick up a cheap raffia hula skirt. That stuff is perfect for learning cordage making.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Raffia-H...=sem&msclkid=2422222b85fa172598c279851fdd921c
     
  17. geowizard19

    geowizard19 Tracker

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    Close, Carbon Co.! But I'll have to look around for some eventually. Sadly, being at a four-year university in the city doesn't allow much time for bushcraft.
     
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  18. woodsmanjohn

    woodsmanjohn Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Some great recommendations from the folks here. I'm not really sure what you have up your way. I use allot of what has been mentioned Dogbane is strong and one of my favorites. Milkweed is good to. I use yucca allot and on occasion Slippery Elm, Vines Etc. I have used a variety of flexible limbs as withys to tie things off. Try to look for material with allot of fibers when broken up. Other than plant material if you have access to some or hunt, sinew is extremely strong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  19. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Where're you going to school?
     
  20. geowizard19

    geowizard19 Tracker

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    Pitt. I really like it, but it certainly keeps me busy!
     
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  21. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Yeah. Not a lot of dogbane in The Towers.
     
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