I Think I Ripped my Pants
By Joseph Parish
The title may sound like a tale from the popular kid’s show SpongeBob SquarePants however it has a certain ring of truth to it when it comes to survival. Surviving in the wild can be rough not only on the individual but also upon the persons clothing. Burrs on the woodland bushes are certain to snag the pants as are the overhanging branches getting caught on ones shirt. Add to that the amount of dirt that could be collected from a romp in the woods and the poor washing conditions and your clothing is certainly not going to last that long.
If you are in the wild for any kind of time at all you will surely need to mend your clothing and as such you well need the use of a sewing kit of some sort. As far as instructions well, it seems that for women they are taught from the time they can walk how to sew their own clothing both with a sewing machine and with the traditional needle and thread. Men on the other hand should have a certain amount of proficiency with the hand sewing especially if they had ever been in the military. I actually got pretty good with sewing up minor tears and holes in my uniform while under the employment of Uncle Sam.
I vividly recall how my mother would make much of her own clothing and occasionally make a shirt or two for my brother and I. In general it is not very cost effective today to make your own clothes however I do feel that they can still be repaired cheaper then to replace them.
The skill should be cultivated however as in any sort of long drawn out emergency situation you just may have to employ these techniques for your clothing. The first thing you would want to do is to have a good stock of sewing supplies. I admit that mine personal stash is minimal at the least. I have a small case with several needles and a small quantity of thread. When space allows I have all plans on expanding this. I do however have a small battery operated sewing machine for those really rough times. I have even given careful thought of obtaining one of those wooly dogs that you could shave and make something similar to cotton from but that is certainly only a distant thought.
No one would expect you to be a seamstress but even a man can learn the basics necessary to maintain any of their clothing in emergency conditions. Sewing by hand is not difficult and will get you by during those bad emergencies. Items that you may wish to keep in your emergency sewing kit include:
Different size needles
A good selection of thread
A measuring tape
A small package of pins
Safety needles to hold the material together until a repair can be made
I keep my kit in small clear, plastic pouches. This one will eventually become my Bug out Bag kit when I obtain a larger version.
As you can see the repair of your clothing is extremely important and if done correctly you will not find yourself saying “I think I ripped my Pants!”
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish