Having simple skills and knowledge of how you use the fiber of a plan and turn it in to usable cordage is a invaluable skill to have. North America is full of plants to fashion together cord and it's easy. Plant fiber types are key to strength in cordage. Plants that typically grow in water, offer this type of strength, desert plants provide great strength too. Plants that make good nesting material are also ones that are excellent for cord, or fishing line.
In this posted video I show you how to quickly fashion a cord from a Texas plant that is commonly grown all over the State. Please watch and see how easy it was.
There is not a lot of deviation from experts between their opinions on the difference from animal and plant fibers for string, cord, nets and etc.
In a survival situation, where speed of self rescue is critical you may not have the time to go hunting for animals or search around for usable litter. You best bet will be to go straight to plants for fibers or cordage. (Remember Tarzan swung from vines, just pointing that out!)
Plant fibers like any other gain strength as you add more. With enough you can make it as long or thick as you need it to be to serve it's intended purpose. Survival is a time when time is not on your side. So having a basic knowledge of what uses a plant can offer is a critical part of being prepared. As our corporate motto goes:
Grasses are also a common fiber to use in any environment. Grass stems, dunegrass, reeds, sweetgrass offer strength and are abundant. Yucca, leaves of the agave, iris are a fiber source. You have seen Bear Grylls use the agave to sew together his clothing on an episode of Man vs Wild. He bit the tip pulling the sharp point that had fibers attached, then used it as needle and thread.
Yucca must be dried then grounded or pounded to separate the fibers, once done you can you finish by rubbing portions in your hands together. It's important to study the various techniques used for different plants.
It's also good advise to learn how to tie, twist or braid cordage. Take it one step further and learn knot tying. All methods are time consuming, but when in a survival situation, knowing what is available to you and what to do with it might save your life.
Common animal hides used for their fibers are catgut, sinew and rawhide. But unless you carried it in with you, your going to have to hunt and kill to get those fibers. Plus you will have to dry them and treat them.
Common plants and trees that offer fibers are common in the wild and easily identifiable. Roots, bark, whorled milkweed, branches, stems, cottonwood, cattail, spruce, hemp that comes for marijuana plant. (Avoid marijuana it' might be illegal - hemp is not once processed, avoid possession of leaves or buds and seeds)
Trees are a great source for cord fibers, use the tiny branches they have thinner softer bark. Remember inner bark on the spruce is edible raw, also tastes good cooked. Inner bark of cottonwood, elm, basswood, maple, desert willow, juniper, moosewood, aspen, willow, are common fibers for cordage.
Hope this bit of information helped out, please watch my video it's a simple demonstration. I was able to use the fiber immediately.
Anyone in the wilderness should apply the fundamentals of survival & the priorities of survival. They never change or go away, just the order that they are needed determined by climate, environmental considerations. Remember to communicate your location, dates and times of departure and return with several trusted people. The safe bet is check in and register your party at the Rangers office before you set out on your trek or adventure.
Please be safe and see you in the Wilderness!