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It can get frustrating carrying soft items like blankets or clothes to a camp ground. I designed this super easy to make strap to carry blankets; however, it can also be used to carry other items like bundled wood which makes it incredibly useful!!
The Design is super simple and does not require many tools or materials. I used two colors to make this, but you could of course use one if you prefer. I am using this for camping so I made sure to choose darker color paracord to ensure that it will not show how dirty it will get after extended use.
10' - Red Paracord
7' - Black Paracord
Lighter or candle
Cup of water (I like to use this to cool the ends of the cord after I melt them)
Knife with serrated edge
Pen tube (used to slide on the cord to create a locking mechinism)
Wire hangar (for added support in the handle)
Measure tape (not required, but will help to be precise)
12" File folder (used to measure paracord)
Wire cutters (to cut hangar pieces)
I designed this handle to be super simple. It only requires 2 different types of knots and can be made with 17' of paracord and household items!
Step 1: Prepping the materials
1. Measure the cord - I like to use a file folder to measure out the length. The standard size is 1' which allows you to easily measure out the appropriate length for your project. You will need 2 strands; 1 - 10' length for the strap; and 1 - 7' length for the handle.
2. Cut 2 - 7" pieces from the wire hanger and mark the middle (aprox 3.5"). This will be used to add some support to the handle which will keep the cord separated while carrying your equipment. The hangar method is only going to give enough support for around 10 pounds, so if you are planning to make this to carry something heavier I recommend using something stronger for support; I used an aluminum tent steak for my wood carrier.
After you cut the wire, mark the center point. Since I used 7" lengths, I marked them at 3.5 with my knife.
3. Cut 2 equal lengths of tube from the pen casing. I recommend using lengths that are around 1 1/2 ".
4. Melt the ends of the pen casing to give them a smooth feel so that it will not wear away at the cord. When melting the tube you want to make sure that you have a cup of water handy to dip the plastic in to cool it down after it has taken form.Be careful because if you melt too much you melt to much you will not be able to pull the cord through the center.
Step 2: Step 1: Laying out the strap
A. Lay the long cord out in an S-shape with equal lengths on the loops and open ends. This design is built to be able to adjust after the handle is built, but can be difficult to pull the cable through, so the more symmetric you make it at this step the easier it will be later on.
B. After the cord is lay'd out you want to cross one of the open ends over the middle so both of your loops are on one side (horizontally) and the open ends are on the same side (horizontally).
Step 3: Step 2: Creating your salmon bar knot handle
The Salmon Bar Knot is the fist of the two knots that you will be using and is super simple. I like to start on the loop only (2 strands of cord) before I incorporate the 3rd open end strand to give some directional separation from the two strands.
The following steps correspond in sequence with the pictures which should be pretty self explanatory. The important thing to remember when working the salmon knot is that if the knot is sticking up on the left side, then you will take the opposing cord under the sequence; this should make sense as you work the knot.
Step 4: Step 3: Creating a draw string around the loop
In order to secure the locking mechanism you need to be able to adjust the size of the loop on the loop ends. To keep it simple I just used a couple salmon bar knots that will create tension, but still allow it to slide. Since I am just using this for a lightweight compression strap, the blanket pushing on the cable will do most of our work.
If you want to make one of these for something heavier, I recommend using a more robust knot like a sliding monkey fist knot or putting extra salmon bar knots to create more tension.
Step 5: Step 4: Finishing the locking mechanism on the open ended cords
Thats it, you are finished! I hope that this instructable was both useful and easy to read. I would appreciate any feedback that you have to give on either the design or the instruction!