Ten Uses for ‘The Strap’
by Andy Dappen
How many outdoor products do you own that deliver ten or more practical field uses? Less than a handful I would wager.
Obviously, there’s duct tape. And, of course, there’s Seam Grip … and parachute cord. A Platypus water bottle qualifies (and is the subject for another article). Finally, there’s the star of this article: the tough and slightly stretchy Voile’ strap– so named because Voile’ makes it. If you don’t already carry a few of these versatile straps made of polyurethane and containing a hardened aluminum buckle, here are ten reasons you might consider adding a few 15-inch or 20-inch straps to the kit.
1) Attachment. Whether you’re attaching skis to ski racks or sleeping bags to frame packs, these straps are quick to lock down, strong, and highly adjustable. You can really reef on them for a super-tight bond, yet release them instantly when you’re ready to dissolve that bond.
2) Repair. Say the sole of your running shoe (or your boot) is flapping its mouth at you. No sweat, loop a strap around both the sole and the toe box of the boot. Now cinch it tight. There will be no more flapping. Once home, glue will fix the problem properly.
3) Splinting objects. Occasionally it happens: ‘Crack’ goes the paddle, or ‘Snap’ goes the ski pole. For a makeshift repair, cut a strong stick that will bridge the break and anchor the splint in place with one or two Voile’ straps on either side of the break.
4) Splinting body parts. Occasionally it happens: ‘Snap’ goes the leg or the arm. For this one, encircle the damaged limb with an Ensolite pad and secure the Ensolite in place with several Voile’ straps.
5) Ski grip. Backcountry skiers often use a Voile’ strap to pull the tips of skis carried on a pack into an A-frame configuration. When the skis come off your pack, wrap the freed-up strap around the throat of your pole about 15 inches below the pole’s handle. This forms a second grip on the pole when you want to choke up on its shaft (e.g., when you’re traversing a steep side hill).
6) First-Aid Assist. Hold gauze, bandages, or clothing around a gaping wound with Monsieur Strap – no tape needed. If the wound is a real gusher, you can also apply a lot of pressure through the strap as well.
7) Gaiters. Occasionally uphill hikes can land you in snow country without gaiters. Keep snow out of your boots by pulling the cuffs of your pants over the uppers of your boots and holding the cuffs in places with a Voile’ strap.
8) Skin Repair. Every backcountry skier has had it happen – his glue-on skins have lost their stick and will no longer adhere to ski bases. Duct tape is usually wrapped around ski and skin for this emergency, but a few Voile’ straps will secure the skin much faster and more securely.
9) Hanger. When camping you often need a way to hang a light inside a tent or suspend a water jug to a tree limb. The strap makes this easy.
10) Gifts. Every now and then you need a simple, inexpensive gift for that outdoor person who has everything. Even for the person who has everything, it’s hard to have too many Voile’ straps.