Stormdrane x Mochibrand Drawstring Backpack Venom

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hiking staff paracord wrap

I used a single 20 foot length of olive drab paracord for this wrap on a hiking staff. I started with a simple 3 lead 4 bight Turk's Head knot, then did a series of half hitches, which forms a spiral as you make them(Chinese Staircase), and finished with another Turk's head. I may have to try this with one of my pool cues using smaller diameter cord.

A couple of years ago, a friend suggested I try using some knot work for motorcycle hand grips, a good idea that I just hadn't got around to trying. Something like this done with 'Type I' or 2mm cord might make a good hand grip for a bike.

One of my blog readers mentioned his walking/hiking staff had different knots tied on it(see comments) and that sounds like a good idea. So far I've just recently added one, but there's plenty of room to add more in the future.

I added another Turk's Head knot(6 Lead 5 Bight) using two passes with black reflective paracord from and one pass in between those with glow-in-the-dark cord from


Anonymous said...

Nice. I've been using the same half hitches and turks heads on my boat for years. Use it on the rails and on the steering wheel. Also use it on gaff handles and "priests" for knocking out big fish. No matter how it's used, it gives a good grip. Typically, for finer stuff (narrow diameter) I find that BRAIDED nylon mason's line works great. Don't use the twisted stuff.
Also, a site you might wish to incorporate into this blog is They have the best selection of clips and hardware of all kinds I've seen anywhere. Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Stormdrane. I love your ropework and your blog. This is another fine example. Question for ya, tho: how do you keep the line from sliding up and down the staff?

Great stuff! Thanks!

-- Jeff

Stormdrane said...

Thanks. The cord is tight enough to stay in place on the staff and the natural uneven features of the wood also help keep it in place. You could put something like grip tape around an object before tying the knots to make it even more secure if preferred.

tiedandtrue said...

wow! awesome stuff! thanks for posting it!

curious as to where in georgia you are...

Stormdrane said...

I'm just south of Atlanta.

cobra said...

that is a very good and I was thinking that I shoud use it on my racket on I a good on torcher.

Anonymous said...

I have a cane hiking staff my son gave me 15+ years ago when his scout troop created a bunch of them for a scout fair. What's interesting is that I have the identical turks head/french hitching/turks head pattern of knots on the top of the staff. Below that each of the "knuckles" of the cane has a different turks head knot for decoration. One of the turks head uses a cord you may be interested in. REI sells a cord known as Kelty Triptease Guyline. It is tough and it has a reflective core that makes the staff visible for a long distance when a flashlight or headlights hits it. I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with using this stuff.

Keep up the good work as I enjoy stopping by and learning about a knot I haven't bumped into before or a way to use a knot I'm familiar with but haven't used in the manner you've put it too.

Stormdrane said...

Thanks. I'll have to try the Kelty cord. I like the reflective tracers in line, but the only one I've used before is the 'commercial reflective' paracord from

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work. Do you leave the strings inside the cord when doing this or do you remove them?


Stormdrane said...

I left the inner strands intact.

Gary in AZ said...

I am currently painting a staff of my own, and when I saw your work I thought I might ask you a few questions since I am a novice (that's being generous) at decorative knot work.

1) What would make a "better" grip, a design like yours, or a Turks head that is approximately 8inches long when complete, and how much 550 cord would that take?

2) Once you get the handle wrap on, what do you recommend I use to keep it from unwrapping or slipping? Cyanoacrylate glue? I ask because my staff is a smooth 1.125 inch diameter painted surface, and won't have any surface features to prevent movement.

Stormdrane said...

The spiral(French hitching) seems to offer a 'better' grip to me, but a Turk's head grip would still offer a good grip too, so it really comes down to what you'd like and can tie.

I used about 20 ft of paracord for the 7 inch long wrap that I did on the walking staff, and it's about 1 inch diameter. So for your 1.5 inch diameter staff, a similar wrap would probably use at least 30+ feet worth of 550 cord. I'd work with a 50 ft length of paracord just to be on the safe side. It's always better to have too much cord, than find out you didn't use enough when you started.

To keep the wrap from moving, you could first wrap some grip tape, like is used on tennis racket handles or baseball bat grips, around the section that will be covered with the knot work.

I'd just use a few thin strips every couple of inches because the tape will actually make it hard to tighten up your knot work.

A little strategicasly placed super glue around the top and bottom of finished knot work may also help secure it in place.

Here's a link for some other walking staff knot work.

Ron Smith said...

I am using this same model for my hiking stick (thanks so much for the info!).
One problem for me: I have the top (first) turks head and the half hitch's "body", but how do I start the bottom (second) turks head. The instructions I found online for tying a turks head requires both ends of the cord to be "free" to tie in and out.
Thanks so much!

Stormdrane said...

@Ron Smith, The linked pdf of the turks head knot in the blog post shows one method of tying the knot using both ends of the cord. But, I think most folks tie the knots with the standing end secured(I use a rubber band to hold it in place) and just use the working end to make the knot. Another example link.

When you've finished the turks head knot, take the working end under the knot so that it comes out the other side, then you can tight up the knot and continue hitching or making other knots with the working end from there.


Just finished this wrap on my Pat Crawford Survival Staff with bright Rescue Orange 550. I have never wrapped anything or made anything other than a hooch out of 550, so I am pretty damn proud of myself. It turned out great thanks to your info. Thank you so much for being here and saving me the cost of having someone else do it.

Lane Martin said...

I did a basic whip for and handgrip on my scout stave, but I'm thinking about redoing it with the half hitches. How would you suggest securing the ends if you weren't adding a turk's head?

I'm new to the knotwork hobby and I've really enjoyed your posts. Got the single-strand star knot after only a couple of mis-starts.

War Eagle!

Stormdrane said...

@Lane, Without the turk's head knots on the start/finish of the hitching, I'd use a needle and thread and/or a strategic drop of super glue to secure those ends in place, so that they don't work loose.

Alternatively you might could loosely do the hitching, then tuck the start and finish strands back up under a few strands then back out of the hitching, go back and tighten it all up, trim/tuck the excess of those strands to finish. Hope that makes sense... ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out how old-tyme bowyers and smiths leather wrapped tangs and bows. I recognize the pineapple knots they used, but I don't know if they used epoxy or just soaked the leather in water and allowed it to shrink dry. Most tangs allow you to tack the leather start and finish under the cross and pommel, but a bowyer doesn't have that luxury.