Got a hole in your Jacket? Look no Farther than the Cattail for Camping Repair

Have you ever been out in the backcountry and noticed a tear in your jacket? Or, have you arrived at your backcountry camp and noticed you have somehow torn your sleeping bag? Regardless of how you answered the questions, a tear in any item that is meant to keep you warm during cold weather camping will cause discomfort and in some situations even death. But…..Mother Nature does provide a simple solution and all you need is a fluffy cattail seed head.

Believe it or not, cattails have been used for many things, which include clothes, shelter, as a fire starter, and even shelter. The advantage of using the fluff to keep yourself warm is that it is easily harvested and even if it has been raining, the fluff inside the seed head in most situations will still be dry.

To begin the process, you will need to harvest the cattails. Now, keep in mind that cattails grow in a moist environment. In doing so, you will need to wear waterproof boots or create a bridge with a log over the bog area where the cattails are growing. Once you have done this, pick the cattail seed heads that are displaying the white fluff. Next, carry your collection of fluffy cattail seed heads to your campsite and begin to remove the fluff. Do not worry if you harvest too much, it can be used for other things.

After you have harvested a pile of cattail fluff, remove your jacket or spread out your sleeping bag. Begin to fill in the tear with the cattail fluff. When doing this process, make sure you overfill the space. Once the tear has been filled, lay down the item on a hard surface and tape shut with duck tape.

Now, what do you do with the extra cattail fluff?  Well, one of the things I have done many times is to create a cattail fluff pillow while at the campsite. My favorite way to do this is to start with a knit hat. When I go camping I always take an extra cap. You never know when you will need one and this simple camping staple can easily be turned into a fluffy pillow.

To make your own DIY camping pillow begins with gathering a few items. The first item is a knit cap. The second item is some string or vine from the wild. The last item is the cattail seed head fluff. Once you have all the items together, begin to harvest the cattail fluff from the seed head. Place this fluff in the hat and continue to fill until you reach the fullness that you desire. To keep everything inside the knit cap, tie the open end with string or vine.

Now you have a simple primitive camping pillow made from a knit hat and what Mother Nature supplies us for survival along with comfort.