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French whipping my potty trowel
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
French whipping my potty trowel on 03/19/2006 18:05:28 MST Print View

Hehehe-- like that title?

Seriously, I'm working hard to tweak my pack load and I was at my favorite hiking supply Second Ascent in Seattle, and I came across the MSR Blizzard Snow Stakes. {{{{BOING}}}} and I remembered someone using a tent stake for a potty trowel and the MSR stake has the gut to actually do the job. It came to mind that not only can you dig with the tent stake in your hand, but you can also whack the thing with a rock to get the ground broken up-- after all, it is designed to be pounded into the ground.

Okay, so with that borrowed bit of pracitcality ($3.95 and 0.9oz.) I got the thing home and looked at ways to improve the grip. You can hook your thumb over the end, but it's still kind of slick so I tried a little duct tape (a manly thing to do). That was okay, but I remembered the macrame technique of French whipping from my Scouting and sailing days. French whipping is not a perversion, but rather a way of using line to wrap tool handles and the steering wheel on a boat. It is just a simple series of half-hitches around the area you want a grip. The knot formed by the half hitch shifts over with each successive layer, so the knots form a spiral as you go. Look good and makes a great non-slip grip. I guess you could use the line for an emergency repair too. I used some fine seine twine and I increased the weight by just 0.1oz. It sill leaves enough of the stake expsoed to be used as a tent stake too-- good for soft or sandy soil where a skinny stake might pull out.

All told, I end up with an extra tent stake, an emergency string supply and shave an ounce off my pack load (my trowel is 1.9 oz.)-- saves a little space in my pack too.

Moe Dog
(moedog56) - F
Re: French whipping my potty trowel on 10/13/2006 15:39:41 MDT Print View

Everytime I see this thread, the name just cracks me up. I'd have to vote this as the most eye-catching subject. Oh yeah, and the idea is pretty good, too.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: French whipping my potty trowel on 10/13/2006 19:44:14 MDT Print View

Sounds good Dale...I was over in Seattle last week and as I was heading out the door [5:30am] the spousal unit came out and informed me I couldn't go to second ascent, marmot, rei, or pro-mountain so I told her tonight I was going to work on my french whipping technique.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
Beat me Le Babe on 10/14/2006 05:57:18 MDT Print View

Great title !

Sorry I'm too lazy to read the actual post though !

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Beat me Le Babe on 10/16/2006 17:06:25 MDT Print View

Geez, it only took you guys SEVEN MONTHS to notice. The macrame technique is truely called French whipping and it is a really quick and dirty way of adding some grip to a tool handle, railing, etc. It is often seen on the steering wheels of sailboats. Carefully done, it really looks good. It would be a good technique to add a lower grip to the shaft of a trekking pole too. In a pinch, you could unlace it and have the string to use for emergencies.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Beat me Le Babe / French Whipping on 10/16/2006 19:03:57 MDT Print View

Is this really a code-word kinky camping /over 18 thread?

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
French Whipping for a firm grip on 10/16/2006 19:32:17 MDT Print View

It also can be used as a to get a real firm grip on the shaft... of
an ice axe.

Edited by pyeyo on 10/16/2006 19:33:48 MDT.

Linda Voll
(Mataharihiker) - F

Locale: NW Wisconsin
Re: French whipping my potty trowel on 11/16/2006 08:25:26 MST Print View

One can never have enough French whipping! Thank you for reminding me about that...

Michael Mangold
(mkmangold) - F
Leverage on 03/08/2007 22:51:14 MST Print View

Dale: I read your entry when it first came out but up until now haven't had anything interesting to say about it. I took a cue from the Native Americans and looped enough cordage over the top of the stake to sling over my forearm. Like their hide-scrapers, this provides extra leverage. This is what it looks like to start:

Looping a French Whip

I started out with 18 feet of cord and ended up cutting off 3 feet after French whipping it. So 15 feet should work well enough. Nice idea!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Leverage on 07/03/2007 13:56:23 MDT Print View

Good idea Miguel. I used much smaller diameter line-- the paracord would make a good grip and take just a few mintues to do the job. Remember it is a tent stake, so bashing is allowed-- very handy on hard ground.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
UH HUH! on 09/07/2007 14:55:54 MDT Print View

I've also been using an SMC snow stake for a potty trowel. Works great as a tent stake too if I find a corner in ground too soft for my MSR Groundhog stakes, which is very rarely.


Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
sick on 10/11/2007 19:55:24 MDT Print View

Sweet idea... and title.
I use a stick or rock (or ice axe or nut tool if I have them)

Michael Mangold
(mkmangold) - F
Bent potty trowel on 03/03/2008 18:30:01 MST Print View

Ok, since my last post (see pic above) I've had some serious rethinking to do. The "trowel" pictured above bent when, of all things, I laid my pack on it funny. So, I'm thinking either I've got to get a stronger stake or lighten my pack more...

Michael Mangold
(mkmangold) - F
And then....? on 03/27/2008 22:28:43 MDT Print View

Ok, everyone, any help?

Gerald Hutchinson
(BR360) - F
Same Item, Same result....Next idea? on 04/15/2008 18:12:33 MDT Print View

I had employed this idea with this same tent-stake for the last couple of years, but i bent mine making a leveraging digging motion as the tip got caught under a rock.

So I abandoned it, and now just use the end of my trekking poles, which I multi-use for camera-pod and tarp.

Elizabeth Rothman
(erothman2) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Trekking poles? on 04/15/2008 21:39:51 MDT Print View

You need to get 4 to 6 inches down, to the biologically active layer of the soil, to bury 'it' responsibly. Can you really do that with a trekking pole? Just curious......

Joe Johnstone
(entropy) - F
What about critters? on 05/15/2008 19:01:37 MDT Print View

"You need to get 4 to 6 inches down, to the biologically active layer of the soil, to bury 'it' responsibly. Can you really do that with a trekking pole? Just curious......"

Umm, what happens to all the critter crap on the top?

Elizabeth Rothman
(erothman2) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
critters? on 05/15/2008 19:14:51 MDT Print View

I assume what you are positing is the argument that we don't have to deal responsibly with our crap because the critters that actually belong in the woods just crap wherever they want. I am not going to argue the right or wrong of Leave No Trace practices, especially with such a simplistic argument as a starting point. But if we are in fact supporting the philosophy that we should leave no trace of our passing through, the guideline is, and I quote: "Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished."

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
French whipping my potty trowel on 06/02/2008 21:21:35 MDT Print View

Thanks Elizabeth. I am amused by the careful aim that wombats use here to crap on top of rocks in the middle of an otherwise clean path. But definitely am not amused when I see the human variety particularly with bits of toilet paper flying about.

Elizabeth Rothman
(erothman2) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
wombats on 06/02/2008 23:02:11 MDT Print View

We're getting mighty far afield of french whipping a potty trowel but hey it's not the destination, it's the journey, right? Those wombats might know a thing or two about the Leave No Trace guidelines, because as I learned them, in hot and dry places it's best to (go WAYYY off trail and) leave your doings on an exposed rock, the better to dry and scatter quickly, as those soils are not as biologically active as in damp and dank places such as my home turf, the Pacific Northwest of the US. I looked at wombats online, as I realized I wasn't quite sure about their family line. "Marsupials! and cute!" I thought, and then I read they're about a meter in length. "Wow!" I thought. "That's kind of big to be cute." And their scat, it says, is 'cubic'......!!!

But I digress from the digression.....