String for tying things to PFD

For those of you who tie/tether things to your PFD (mirror, radio, etc.). What do kind of string do you use? I plan on somethings being attached with bungee (whistle, for instance). I imagine I need something that will hold a good knot and will not rot with water.

Any suggestions?

shoe lace

Eyeglass straps
They are kind of like a spaghetti thickness bungie. They have a lot of stretch so you can have a good length, but not have a lot of excess dangling around. They are also thin enough to snap if you get accidentally caught on something.

Try nylon

Static climbing line
Real thin, holds up great and comes in purty colors.

Very thin bungee . . .
You can get it at REI.

WE took some classes at ECCKF and the instructors used this, tied to loops inside their PFD pockets, from which hung whistle and other gear that should be worn on your person. It doesn’t get in the way b/c it’s shorter, but it can stretch when needed - plus you should be strong-enough to break it if you get tangled in it.

angell nailed it
angell nailed it perfictly with the last sentence.

Make sure you can tear it off the jacket when needed.

If I cant tear the string it gets tied to part of the jacket that can tear off and will not jeopardize the integrity of the jacket…pocket

Just kidding but avoid the usual string everywhere entanglement issue.

Use different colours and thicknesses if attaching more than one thing, makes it easier to identify and untangle. And you can use up some of those bits of tat in the bottom of your useful stuff box.

I’ve also had a lot of luck with self retractors from fishing and diving stores. Diving ones are generally bigger but will retract more weight good for VHF, fishing ones are plenty strong for a whistle. Some last better than others especially in salt water but you generally know within a week or two especially in salt water.

Thanks everyone! (eop)

Fabric stores have
a couple different sizes of really small bungie type material.

I use sizes approximately 1/32 or 1/16"(OD). Cut the length needed, put it through the loop of my whistle, knot the ends together and fasten it around the shoulder strap of my PFD.

Keep you PFD free of Junk
Whistles have an eye-ring attachment. Knifes have clip on attachments.

Keep your radio in a zippered pocket, signal mirror in a pocket.

You don’t want lanyards/bungees on gear if you are dumped in rough seas and trying to re-enter and roll or scramble back in your boat, cpvered in kelp. That kind of stuff gets in the way and catches…

Gadgetman syndrome is a clear sign of a wannabe paddler.

Tethers inside of pockets
As a modifier - the stuff that is zipped or clipped into my pockets (also includes a hand held compass, whistle and a laser flare) is tethered on a short line to the D-ring inside. I’ve been dumped pretty good in surf, and haven’t had anything pull out of a clipped or zipped pocket. But when I want to pull one of these things out to use them, it’s less likely I’ll lose them.

Let it be free!
of junk that is. I’m not real dogmatic about paddling procedures. Most of what I do on the water is a result of what I’ve seen or experienced. In this case, two events. One, I used to wear a police style whistle on a short lanyard on the zipper tab of my lifevest. The style with the barrel chamber and ball inside. I swamped in a big rapid and as soon as I hit the water that whistle filled with water and unzipped me like a bullet. The rapid was a bad’un and pulled the lifevest off faster than you can imagine. Ever try to recover in a big bad rapid with no lifevest? I can’t recommend it. Second was another person who had one on a longer lanyard. It hung up in some rocks and when the lanyard got taut, the current started turned her to face upstream then pushed her head under the water. Luckily it broke free after a few minutes but I thought I was going to witness a drowning right in front of my eyes.

Why take a chance on even a break-away lanyard? Do you want to gamble your life on it breaking away or maybe not?


I suggest not paddling through
rhodedendron thickets.

I agree
Minimize or eliminate things hanging outside the pockets as they can tangle you up.

If you must, use very short lengths of low strength cord. Yeah, that Spectra rope is cool, but it will rip your vest apart before it fails. Short lengths to minimize the risk of entanglement and low strength to keep if from holding you or ripping your vest apart.