The Lost Art of Lashing

the lost art of lashing

“Stable and strong – you can almost make anything with lashing.”

Illustrated manual at makeprojects.


Phillips, Decker and Canadian Pack Saddles

Phillips, Decker and Canadian Pack Saddles

Reader BG Hearns writes: “While your link to the 1916 pack manual is of historical interest, what you ought to know is that low-tech packing has advanced considerably over that publication and anyone who wishes to pack with animals should know that there are much superior options available today. The manual describes a very difficult to use piece of equipment that is so easy to get wrong that only a few experts could ever use it properly.

What your readers ought to know is that in 1924, the US army adopted the Phillips Pack Saddle which was much simpler and easier to use. Other advances in pack saddles since then are the Decker style (more) and the Canadian saddle pack, neither of which require complex knots, both of which incorporate simple, effective new design ideas, and both of which could be easily made in a small shop. Perfect for low-tech affictionados.”

Thanks for the note, BG. I have added some more links to your comment.

High-Tech Knotting: the Diamond Hitch

High-Tech Knotting the Diamond Hitch

The “Diamond Hitch” is one of the most high-tech knots ever created. It was used to tie loads to pack animals. Many versions existed, not only for different types of loads but also for different types of terrain.

In rough country, where there was a frequent trouble with pack animals falling with their load, packers tied the Diamond Hitch so that the final knot was on top of the animal’s back where it could be easily reached and loosened with the animal down.

There was also a distinction between the one man and the two man Diamond Hitch. The one man version was employed by only one packer and required that he made two trips around the animal in tying it.

Detailed and illustrated instructions for tying the high-tech knot can be found in the 1916 “Manual of pack transportation“.

Update: Phillips, Decker and Canadian Pack saddles.