Belt pouches are in my opinion a convenient and useful way to carry an essential wilderness survival kit during a hike.
What is the most suitable? I think It’s really a personal choice.
You can read reviews, you can find so many models, various materials, different concepts… If you like natural material and the ‘old ways’…perhaps you are looking for something traditional, something unique, so why don’t you create it yourself?
In my opinion there is a great, unrivaled satisfaction in the making, testing and customizing your own gear, this is also a way to explore the human history and improve your skills and… perhaps to find a new hobby!
Months ago I’ve written another post about this subject (read the article) inspired by late medieval purse pattern, now I would show you my new leather belt pouch and a tutorial on how make your own.
The aim of this new project is to use only natural material (leather, antler/wood, hemp twine or…tendons) avoiding steel buckles closure to give a primitive look to this pouch.
What you need?
- If you have to buy the leather, choose vegetable-tanned instead of chemical-tanned leather, so you’ll work something processed with an historical and artisanal technique that uses tannins, these are found naturally in some plants species.
- In a local store buy an hemp twine, not too large (1mm, max 2mm), because you’ll use it to sew your leather pieces.
*tip – rub it on beeswax to strengthens it.
- You need also two small pieces of antler (I use a roe deer antler that a friend of mine has found in the wood) or bone.
If you can’t find anywhere antler or bone you could make your closure with wood.
The working tools are quite similar to the previous tutorial (extra elements are for antler) :
- my paper model;
- a pen;
- a sharpen knife or a shoemaker knife or a cutter;
- large scissors;
- round hammer, mallet
- if you can’t find a fork (? read the previous article) use a leather awl to punch holes on the leather;
- a rotary punch;
- a metal saw;
- a drill;
- a metal file;
- sandpaper sheets in different grit;
- Download and print in 1:1 scale (A4) my paper model (PDF file – 4 pages) by clicking this link.
- With scissors cut out the paper shapes.
- Place the paper models over the rear of leather (the rough face) and with a pen re-draw the shapes.
- With a cutting tool, cut out the leather shapes.
- Follow step-by-step the assembly instruction in the image below, first punch holes and start sewing the rear of leather panels.
- Before turn it inside out, wet the leather with water (or denatured alcohol), don’t soak the leather.
- Turn the leather inside out and with an hammer give on the folding area few smacks. This help you to form the pouch.
Repeat this step also along the folding line of your pouch flap and the belt strap.
- If you can, cut 2 leather string from your leather and soak in water then fix the string with a screw and twist it.
When it’s dry you have your leather string.
- Use the rotary punch to make 14 holes (look arrows in the image below) for the leather string
- Use the rotary punch to make 4 holes in the front face of your pouch (this will be the lace closure) and other 2 on the flap.
- It’s time to work with antler! Secure the antler in the workbench and with the metal saw cut a small round piece and another cylindrical.
Work with the file and sandpaper to make these harmonious. With the drill make two holes on both pieces.
- The finished assembly should look like this.
If you want to give to your pouch a ‘used patina’ you could use a bit of olive oil. Rub the olive oil into the leather and expose it to the sun.
You have completed your work!
Now you have a multipurpose pouch use it for your kit, for your compact camera, your phone!
Ciao, Bye, Tschüß, またね！