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Thread: How to make a wearable Throw Bag

  1. #1
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    Default How to make a wearable Throw Bag

    The continuing Throwbag manufacture-a-thon...

    There are times when a wearable throw bag is preferable to a carried one. Usually when you are working around swift water and you need both of your hands; portaging, lining, tracking, etc. When you need both of your hands and are concentrating on the a specific task a throw bag is just another annoyance but if you can clip it safely around your waist until the task is done at least you at least still have it close by when it all goes south for someone in your group. Normally I don't recommend extra loops and belts on a throw bag but the throw bag is no good if you don't have it with you. Imagine portaging your canoe around a waterfall and your partner slips and falls in above the falls, but you left the throw bags back with the gear.
    A wearable throw bag is no different than a regular throw bag except it has a belt strap on it. The fabric to use is a highly visible nylon Cordura.
    The first thing you need is fifty feet of 3/8 floating rescue rope. This will cost about $15 in Canada. You will also need a sewing machine, a measuring stick, some scissors, a couple grommets and setter, heavy nylon Cordura fabric, and some nylon strapping. Some other basic sewing supplies will make this project a bit easier too. I got a deal on my fabric; I got about 2 meters for under $5; enough to make 20 rescue bags. Nylon strapping is pennies a foot.
    Cut your fabric 15 by 18 inches and measure from the top 6 or so inches down and draw a line with a fabric pen or a sharpie marker. Then draw in a center line from the bottom to the line at the top. These are the center lines for attaching your nylon web strapping.
    Sew down the nylon belt and be sure it is long enough to go around you and maybe the fattest person you paddle with. For extra strength at the ends I sew in a "W". This is what is used for making western saddles at stress points where strength is needed. Leave an inch or so at the bottom so it is easy to sew the final fabric in down there. Also stop at the top line to allow for the top of the bag to gather properly.
    Sew in the extra security straps to keep the belt from ripping off and to give the whole bag extra strength. Stay back from the edges a half an inch so it is easier to sew the seam when you finish up the bag.
    Fold the bag inside out and sew up the side. Spend a few extra seconds going over the nylon strapping so it is good and secure. Trim off any extra strapping so it does not catch your rope and snag it during use, then melt the ends smooth with a lighter or candle.
    Sew in the end fabric. It should be a piece of round fabric with about a 5 inches in diameter. This is the only hard part. Be sure to put the outside of the fabric to the inside and sew slowly. You may want to pin the bottom into place to make this easier.
    So now you want to add the draw string. Turn your bag right side out and sew a small piece of nylon strapping about an inch down from the top and put your grommet in there. The nylon strapping will reinforce this area as it gets the most use. If you have a good hole punch you can use that but a hot metal spike will melt the hole pretty quick too. Turn the bag inside out again pull the two ends out your grommet hole and roll about an inch and a half hem. Keep the draw string away from the sewing machine needle up under the hem and sew the hem flat just under your grommet.
    A 3/8 inside diameter grommet goes into the bottom for the rope to come out of. You can reinforce this on the inside if you like. Pull the rope through and tie a bowline knot.

    All throw bags need a closed cell foam float and a washer to keep the foam in place. Put a hole in the center of your foam float and slide it down the rope into the bottom of the bag followed by the washer and seal it with a knot.
    Stuff the rope into the finished throw bag and adjust the belt to your size. Note the "W" stitching for strength.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  2. #2
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    Getting closer to the posh, upper class throw bag all the time!

  3. #3
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    That's the puppy.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  4. #4
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    I don't think I will ever get to the upper class throw bag. I don't make things pretty, just functional. I am all out of good rope anyway but if anyone wants a throw bag without rope in it let me know. There is lots of material left over.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  5. #5
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    Is it a quick release belt, or can the bag be taken of the belt quickly. In case you fall in and get snagged on it?

    G

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    Yes it is, and it is small enough you can just break it too. Sort of like the tie strap or buckle strap on a pair of chaps has to be weak enough to break away if it gets caught on a saddle horn in an unscheduled dismount.

    Also just buy pulling on the web strap it will come out of the male end of the buckle so you have three options in a panic.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  7. #7

    Default knots in handles

    Great throwbag..

    Just for your information in the UK the general consensus seems to be is that to have a knotted loop in the rope that is held by the thrower is asking for trouble.

    if you are holding the rope by the end you don't have much leverage

    if you need to let go because you are being pulled in then there is a greater chance of not being able to ditch it with tension on it

    if you do have to let it go, and the rope is trapped around the swimmer you are risking the end submarining the swimmer to the bottom if the loop catches between rocks or on a strainer.

    Also if you do need to tie a knot, this only takes seconds anyway.

    Hope this adds something to the debate.

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Question

    Has anyone tried attaching a throw bag to a belt with velcro or poppas/snaps? I thought it might make a system that can detach to leave a clean throw bag, but the connection might not be strong enough.
    And thou shalt have a paddle De 23:13

  9. #9
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    I have never seen a person tangled in a rope on dry land unless there was a dog or a horse involved so throwers loops have never been an issue here. But then I have only seen rope bags used to rescue the canoes of intoxicated users; the people themselves I just paddle out to. It may be an issue in Class IV & V stuff but that is not the domain of canoeists. All the big stuff around here is typically so far from rescue that it is portaged. There is no such thing as a "Play Spot" in the wilderness, and throw bags are simply a convenient way to meet the government 50 feet of rope rule. I do carry them on portages around most waterfalls though. Even so, I have never used one for a member of any of my groups. They make great clothes lines though.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  10. #10
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    Hi WhyAyeMan, You still offering the bags without the rope?
    Mobile Adventure Prospector 16

  11. #11
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    For the waist belt, you could try salvaging an old chest harness from a buoyancy aid. These are easily attached and have an effective quick-release.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterkm View Post
    Hi WhyAyeMan, You still offering the bags without the rope?
    No I used all the fabric on some dry bags.

    You could try this;
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ead.php?t=6576

    since you have the rope.

    Or since its winter I could give you my orange throw bag above for about 15 with shipping about 25.

    That is about break even for me on the materials used. I will not be using it until April anyway and in all honesty will probably never use it for its rightful purpose.It is just a safe way to carry rope.
    If you want me to take my rope out of the bag and send just that I can do it for the cost of a beer (when I visit in May).
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  13. #13
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    Default Wearable Throw Bags

    First the new layout and features are great. I liked Lloyds how to make a wearable throw bag & totally agree with his reasoning. Yak have the bullet bag thats on a belt but i have a Palm Zambezi belt & my throw line attached to it as its supposed to be. The problem is that ALL the instructers that i have encounted over the last 3 years in a kk say that anything around the waist is a trap hazard(even though some of them wear bum bags with first aid kits, snacks & stuff). I wondered if anyone has any thoughts,advice or experiences to share.

  14. #14
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    Main problem is trying to drag your wet arse back into the canoe 20 pounds heavier after filling your boots with water and then getting the bag snagged on the gunwale. Just don't wear the thing unless you are portaging. That is my motto.

    We have to carry rope as part of Canadian Law so a throw bag is just about the best way to do it. Still I only ever use it for z-drags and clothes lines.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  15. #15
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    Thanks Lloyd, so where do you keep youre throw bag when you are on the water?

  16. #16
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    In a back pack, looped to the yoke or just tossed in the canoe depending on conditions. Sometimes it gets carabinered to the rope loop at the back or front. No real science to it.

    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  17. #17
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    Arghhhhhhhhhhhh!

    Big loops on a thowbag

    This could be the start of another controversial thread

    Cheers

    Graeme
    SWWC the way forward

    Coaching for skills and performance

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    There is no such thing as a "Play Spot" in the wilderness.
    I Concur, Precisely.

    Sundown

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme @ YC View Post
    Arghhhhhhhhhhhh!

    Big loops on a thowbag

    This could be the start of another controversial thread

    Cheers

    Graeme
    They come in handy for hanging controversial people
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  20. #20
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    Just made some bags using you plans and they have turned out mint!!!! Thanks!!!! had to make them smaller as did not have much fabric but going to get some to make bigger ones
    thanks for the info !!!great blog
    Ps you may find them difficult to pack the first time but after 3 of 4 times get the rope wet and you are full on mint!!!

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