Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lashings Make Your Shelter Secure

We often get questions on how to build safe and secure shelters.

Well, building a tee-pee, a lean-to or any substantial sheltering structure requires a few simple knots and lashings, rope or cordage (lots of it) and of course the wood or poles. Knots are used to make loops, to connect rope together or to join rope to other objects.

Lashings, however, are used to bind two poles that cross each other at 45 to 90 degree angles, which usually occur in larger shelters. The square lashing is considered one of the most secure methods to lash poles that are relatively the same size.

Below is a lashing how-to and suggestions for safe and secure effort:

Position the poles at 90 degrees angles to each other.

A clove hitch is generally tied on the vertical or load-bearing pole at the bottom to support the horizontal or cross piece.

The end or tail of the clove hitch is twisted around and then tucked under the running end to lock the hitch and finish the knot neatly.

Wrap the rope in a square fashion three times around the poles: over the cross pole, the top of the vertical pole, the other side of the cross pole and the bottom of the vertical pole. Three neat revolutions will provide a solid and strong connection. Crossed turns 'pinch' and may damage the rope.

Make a frapping turn by wrapping the rope over the top of the vertical pole to point the rope in the opposite direction.

Now wrap the rope 3 times in the same square fashion in the other direction.

End the lashing with a final clove hitch or two half hitches on the vertical pole.

If extra rope remains, finished end with a half hitch or two.

Once complete you are on your way to constructing a safe and secure structure.

Happy shelter building. --Jamey

No comments: