Bronze's Expedition Log

Expedition Log


My water gourds being deemed too fragile and canteens deemed too bulky, I decided some form of waterskin as the most effective means of transporting liquid.  Thusly equipped I would be carrying only a few extra ounces of gear, and said gear would collapse or expand to take up exactly the amount of volume required to complete its assignment.

Lacking easy access to something approximating a bison bladder, or my own goatskin to utilize, I opted to fashion my skins from the bota bags commonly found at any sporting goods store.  Here are some photos of the process.


I began by threading some thick hemp twine through the loops around the perimeter to use as a cord.  Then I traced the bag’s outline on a grocery bag.  I had to measure the circumference of the bag when full in order to know how much extra room to leave on the sides of the outline.  Using the paper template, I cut up the rabbit pelts purchased at Sutter’s Fort, and stitched them together to form a outer lining to the waterskin.  The two ends of the hemp were joined with a fisherman’s hitch and the waterskin was complete.  I may whittle down a wine cork to act as a stopper as I find the plastic cap to the bota bag unattractive.

While easily explained in text, the task proved quite laborious in deed–principally due to the dense fur of the rabbit pelts.  I cannot cheerfully recommend the use of rabbit for the sewing projects of a novice (like me) for I found it exceedingly difficult to pull the thread without dragging along through the hole a large clump of dense fur.  It became necessary to trim the fur around the edges of the pelt to as short a length possible in order to avoid this.  On my second waterskin I prepared the pelts with such a trimmed edge, and it greatly reduced the amount of effort and time required.

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