Creating Canvas Gear Bags or Ditty Bags

An organized gear system is something that many outdoor enthusiasts likely strive for.  One step towards making progress in a multipurpose manner is to sew canvas bags to hold specific items. Many items can be held neatly in such bags from atatls and arrows to fire friction sets.  Cloth material for the bags can be purchased at common man sites like Walmart and Home Depot for common man prices.  Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven cotton fabric used for tents, tarps, backpacks and times when sturdiness is required. Try to find canvas labeled as duck cloth as the threads are more tightly woven, providing better waterproofing.  Scrap pieces or, should the need arise, the bag itself can be made into char cloth.  For the draw string you can use paracord and double it over to have some extra cordage at hand.

The process is simple, first cut a piece of cloth large enough for the items you have in mind.  In this example we’ll make a three foot tall bag large enough to carry a bow drill fire-friction set.  You will need a needle, thread and a piece of cloth 8” wide and six feet tall. (picture 1)

Picture 1

Begin to sew a back stitch or other preferred stich from the bottom upwards one side at a time until you have sewn both sides with 1” left unsewn and open at the top of the bag. (picture 2)

Picture 2

At this point you will fold over the top 1” flap around your paracord drawstring. (Picture 3)

Picture 3

You now begin to sew the drawstring into the bag leaving one side open so it can be tightened shut. (Picture 4)

Picture 4

Once the sewing is complete the bag should be turned inside out to hide and protect the stitching. (Picture 5)

Picture 5

Your bag is now ready for use. (Picture 6)

Picture 6

Check out Self Reliance Illustrated Magazine Issue # 9 for the full article.

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