Basic Lashing Techniques
In wilderness survival there are many instances that require the ability to connect two sticks, logs, or poles in a way that is strong and secure. Whether you are building a shelter,
making a camp chair, or constructing an elaborate trap... this technique is great to have in your knowledge base. In addition to the security this lashing provides, the method
for completing it is very efficient because it does not require you to guess how much cordage you need. As you may know, cordage is a precious resource in the wilderness and it should
be conserved at all costs. Enjoy!
Instructional Video In this detailed video I explain how the details of these basic lashing techniques and I provide step-by-step instructions on how to tie the knots.... Also check out some other details in the description below.
Start with Two Sticks
This technique works regardless of the size of the poles you are joining. The two poles can even be of drastically different thickness, although it makes for a nicer looking finished product if they are of the same diameter.
One option for lashing your sticks together is to use 550 Parachute Cord. While this is extremely strong stuff, I prefer to use it only in my emergency survival kits. This is because I like to take a more primitive approach
to the survival skills. Too many modern conveniences will make you dependent on them... and going primitive will greatly enhance your ability to use modern implements.
For this demo I will be using jute twine. This is my favorite because it is cheap, widely available, and closely mimics the properties of cordage that you would primitively construct from
bark, leaves, and other natural materials. Jute twine is also biodegradable... which is a positive thing because it will disappear in time if you leave it pieces of it behind, such as in the pole lashings of a shelter.
Lastly, it works amazingly well for tinder.
The Baton Stick
The baton stick is a crucial part of creating the cuts that will be necessary for this lashing. It should be a strong piece of wood that is wrist-thick and spans the length from your wrist to your arm pit.
It will be used to pound on the back of the knife.
Begin the X-Gouge
Begin making an X-Gouge by placing the blade of your knife across one of the poles at a 45 degree angle. Then pound on the back of the blade with your baton stick. This will create a deep cut that shears through
the grain of the wood. Then place another cut that is perpendicular to the first.
If done properly your knife will sink deep into the pole as pictured above.
The Completed X-Gouge
When the cuts are complete, chip out the notches with your knife. They should dislodge very easily and leave you with a clean looking set of grooves. Do this on both poles
in the spots where you want them to attach.
Now slip a clove hitch over the end of one pole and tighten it next to the X-Gouge. Be certain to leave a short tail because later it will be used to finish the lashing.
The Perpendicular Wrap
First interlock both sets of X-Gouges and then begin wrapping your cordage around the poles for three passes. The proper pattern will have the cordage being perpendicular to the wood at all times.
Pull as tight as you can on every pass.
The Center Wrap
Once you have made three passes, start wrapping the cordage through the middle as if going between the two poles. This action is tightening the cordage down on itself and cinching all
of your previous lashings together even tighter. Do this for three passes and stop at the tail that you made in the beginning. Tie the tail together with your working end, snip it, and you are done!
Ready for Action
Give your finished lashing a few torques and pulls... you will be amazed at how solidly it holds together! Congratulations... you now have another effective technique in your bag of tricks! Enjoy!
Best always, Paul Scheiter
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