First, gather the materials. You'll need a galvanized washer, a thick rubber band, and approximately 17 feet of paracord.
Step 1: Now, begin tying the base knot. Fold the paracord in half and lay it on a flat surface.
Step 2: Measure the item you want to compress and ensure that the top loop is several inches longer than your item. Once you've measured (or eyeballed it) bring the paracord out to each side to create the clover-looking shape below.
Step 3: Make sure the paracord looks like the picture below.
Step 4: Bring the bottom section of paracord up and to the left.
Step 5: Take the left loop up over the other loops and to the right.
Step 6: Take the top loop down over the other loops.
Step 7: Take the loop on the right and pull it to the left. You'll go over the first section of paracord and under the second section. At this point, you'll notice that you're creating a basic weave.
Step 8: Pull the knot tight.
Step 9: Center the item you want to compress in the middle of the knot and then pull the loops around the item and through a galvanized washer.
Step 10: Wrap rubber band around paracord several times just above the washer as shown below.
Step 11: Compress!
Compress the item by pushing down on the item and the washer and by pulling up on the loops. Another way to compress your item is to take two of the loops that oppose each other on the stuff sack and pull outward. Next, repeat the process with the other two loops. For maximum compression, find a friend and have them help you pull the opposing loops. Once you have the amount of compression that you are happy with, tie the top off with an overhand knot.
Benefits of this compression "sack."
- It uses one long, continuous, piece of paracord. This single piece of paracord is easy to manage and can come in handy should you ever need it in a survival situation.
- This compression sack is extremely lightweight. It only weighs 2 ounces, which is extremely light.
- It's easy to take your item in and out of the compression sack. After you tie the knot the first time, you're all set. No tying and untying knots over and over each time you want to compress your item.
- It's inexpensive
- This compression sack offers a lot of vertical compression without any expansion width-wise
Do you use compression sacks for backpacking? Why or why not? Let us know what you think in a comment below.