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How to Cord Wrap a Knife Handle
After returning from a skills event this past month, I have really come to appreciate the importance of cordage in a survival situation. Aside from a sharp knife, cordage is among the most important physical implements of survival. It can be used for a bow drill fire, lashing shelter poles, making snare traps, and a multitude of other critical functions that will keep you alive in the wilderness. If you are strictly studying the primitive way, the use of any modern implements, like nylon cord, defeats the experience of going natural. Having said that, modern cord does serve a wonderful purpose for the primitive survivalist. It allows you to ease your way into a skill and eventually increase the difficulty by taking away the modern nylon. To me that is the ultimate goal: to gradually discard everything that is modern. It is also worth mentioning that the primitive survivalist tends to excel when you give them even the simplest modern implement. This is because they have had to study and learn the physics of these skills on a much deeper level.
 

Modern "550" Parachute Cord
 
Primitive Cordage from Bark
 
Why Cord Wrap Your Knife?
  1. Enhances your grip on the handle (although some people find it too abrasive)
  2. Emergency reserve for a bowdrill, snare, etc.
  3. Dampens hand shock during heavy chopping

How to do it!
Start by wrapping several passes around your foot. In this picture, the short three foot end goes off to the left while the other hundred feet is in a pile on the right. You do NOT need to precut the cord. This method produces zero waste.

Starting the Wrap
It is important to start the wrap exactly as pictured. The short tail sticking out lies parallel with the knife and the long end wraps on TOP of the short piece. This creates a wrap that will not come undone because the tension of the cordage holds itself in place. Anchoring the cord to your foot allows you to pull with your hands and put however much or little force you prefer into the wrapping.

Keep it Going
Now just keep a consistent tension on the line as you rotate the knife. You will start to feel like you are touching your toes as you reel in closer to your foot. If this happens, just undo one of the many loops around your shoe. By the way, don't become a victim of natural selection here! You may want to sheath your knife for this project to avoid an accident.

Lock it Off
As you near completion of the wrapping, press down firmly with your thumb to secure the cordage and prevent it from loosening.

The Half Hitch
With your thumb securely in place, use your other hand to throw a half hitch over the end of the knife.

Cinch it Down
Now pull it tight and use your foot again to fully secure the knot into place. Notice how the knot if finished on the side of the handle and not the top or bottom.

Rotate into Place
Next simply pull the free end of the cord down to the bottom side of the handle. This will shift the knot to the underside of the knife while tightening it at the same time.

Trim and Burn
To finish just trim the end short and burn it with a lighter. Keep the flame on until the nylon is melting, then press your finger against it while nylon is still hot. This will smooth out any rugosities... don't burn your finger!

Trim and Burn
To finish just trim the end short and burn it with a lighter. Keep the flame on until the nylon is melting, then press your finger against it while nylon is still hot. This will smooth out any rough areas... don't burn your finger!

  Best always,
Paul Scheiter

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