Is it Cordura or Kodra?

The rough fuzzy texture is what’s special about Cordura and Kodra material. They are very popular nowadays and are used for many high quality backpacks.

The abrasion resistance and the lightweight are the main strengths for Cordura and Kodra. Even though they’re not as puncture resistant as the heavy weight Oxford Weave Nylon nor waterproof as Nylon, the Cordura and Kodra are a strong choice for the tactical backpacks. As for the water resistant feature, we may find the Polyurethane coated Kodra and Cordura that are seen as waterproof.

Cordura is the brand name used for a series of fabrics that are quite common in many areas, from luggage, pants, military wear, and performance to backpacks.

Cordura fabrics are well known for their durability and ability to take abrasions, scuffs and tears. They were developed and registered by E.I. DuPont DE Nemours and Company in the ‘30s, but now are owned by Invista. Cordura fabrics are made with yarns or fibers from Invista and may include 100% synthetic fiber or in blends with various natural fibers or cotton. No product is displayed as Cordura until it Invista sees it and approves it.

Even though Kodra is no longer a registered trademark, it’s still a brand name used by various manufacturers. Back in the day it was manufactured by Kolon Industries Inc. and was used for the manufacturing of the White Mountain Backpacks.

The Nylon/ the rip-stop Nylon

We’re going to talk about cotton canvas a bit later, and we take a look right now at polyurethane coated Nylon fabrics as they are so popular at the moment. Back in the days, heat bonded Polyurethane coating was also used but it degraded sooner than expected. Nowadays, premium Nylon materials are cold bonded which gives higher resistance to delaminating and are double coated for even better wear resistance in backpacks.

Rip-stop Nylon is a common choice and it replaces the well-known Nylon. It’s not difficult to tell it apart from the regular Nylon as it presents a grid pattern of heavy threads sewn in the warp and weft of the fabric at some even close distances. The threads are heavy so the ripping in the pack is minimized, even if the pack is torn or punctured.

Regular Nylon is going to continue ripping when torn, even if the pressure is minor. Let’s not mention the risk for unraveling as well. And this isn’t something you’d want when in the outdoors, with no duct tape or thread to solve the problem. A torn Nylon backpack put under the pressure of a 44 lbs. load isn’t going to hold up very long.

A rip-stop design is going to give more protection so your backpack doesn’t fall apart in the middle of nowhere.

The best parts about the rip-stop nylon are that it’s rather lightweight and ready acceptance of waterproof.

When Rip-stop Nylon is used in lighter fabric weights, you may notice holes caused by the long time abrasion. Rip-stop Nylon is slowing winning the market in the US, whereas it’s far more accepted in Europe.

The Cotton Canvas

The first models of tactical backpacks were made with cotton canvas that was waterproofed with wax coating. Even though they were indeed waterproof, the backpacks were kind of heavyweight and the risk for abrasion was high, not to mention that they would rot if stored wet.

We still find on the market tactical backpacks made of canvas, but we talk about technologically advanced canvas materials that include synthetic materials, becoming stronger and better water resistant.

Truth be told, most backpacks made from cotton canvas aren’t waterproof on regular basics (except from some limited brands) and you’re going to find this type of material especially in the military. But even the military are currently replacing canvas backpacks with Kodra Nylon, Polyurethane coated Cordura Nylon or some other Nylon fabrics. As cotton canvas isn’t waterproof not has the ability to absorb water and moisture, it’s quite obvious why the first choice for the tactical backpacks isn’t cotton canvas.

Cotton canvas does hold its place as it’s low priced and so are the backpacks made from it. This doesn’t mean you can’t find high quality canvas fabrics though, but you’re going to have to pay the extra buck for the technologically advanced fabrics that not only are pricey, but also a bit heavier.

The Pack Cloth Polyester

The Polyester Pack Cloth presents a high resistance to UV degradation, which is a good thing. Polyester is cheaper than Nylon which is why textured polyester pack cloth that look a lot like Cordura are the economical option on the market. As for the Nylon, we’re still going to find it in the high-end area of the market.

Minimize the risk for delaminating of the Polyurethane Coating

For quite some time now the synthetic laminated backpack materials had the risk of delaminating of the Polyurethane Coating. The exposure of the Polyurethane Coating to direct sunlight for a long time , various natural causes,  the damaging chemical used for cleaning, exposure to swimming pool chlorine, storage for a long time in damp areas (cement floors) are the main causes for the delaminating. This is why you need to make sure that your backpack is 100% dry when you store it away and you want to rather hang it, for better air circulation around your backpack.

You don’t need to go over the top when taking care of your backpack made from synthetic materials with Polyurethane Coating. You need to keep the backpack clean and dry at all time and always make sure it’s like that when storing it away. Wet synthetic material may mildew which also means delaminating, leaks and bad smells. Once a backpack is delaminated and damaged from mildew, you may very well start looking for a new backpack.

The Polyurethane Coating is going to soften and stick to itself if you’re storing your pack when it’s still damp (this is a chemical reaction known as hydrolysis). Long time exposure to moisture causes the coating peel away from the fabric, creating leakage.

Don’t get us wrong: all Polyurethane Coated Synthetic backpacks are going to wear out sooner or later and the material lamination is going to fail in the end. This doesn’t mean you can’t extend the lifespan of your backpack, taking care of it and storing it accordingly.



Let’s assume you find yourself in the situation of… losing your backpack and not only you need to build a shelter or build a rescue fire, but you also have to stay healthy and clean until someone comes to the rescue.

Joke aside, even though you may not see it, it’s important to keep your health while doing your best to survive. From keeping the insects at distance to cleaning yourself with whatever nature offers you, it’s important to know some tips when trying to survive in the outdoors.

Some distilled water

If there is no river or lake anywhere near you, getting clean water is a bit of a challenge. Water is essential for survival (we can only survive three days without water!) since our bodies are made of water (70%!) and we do need it to survive. Of course, we talk about fresh water and not any kind of water.

You may get a clear bag (if you have one) and tie it over some live leaves. As plants transpire all the time, they lose purified water and you may very well use it. If you need water in a couple of hours, this is a fast solution to rely on. Even though it doesn’t come in large amounts or very fast, you do get good, clean water.

The more bags you have, the bigger amount of water that you can gather. You may want to start doing it as you get to your site. By the time you’re done with building your shelter or lighting the fire, you already got some water in the bag.

Some natural insect repellant

Insects aren’t just annoying when in the woods, but they can become very dangerous too so you need to keep them far away from you.

The bloodsucking mosquitoes are incredibly annoying and there are some natural ways for you to keep them away from you.

You could make yourself unattractive to insects by cutting some onions or wild leeks, crushing them and rubbing them all over your body. You’re not going to smell that nice for a while (it’s not like you’re supposed to go on a date, anyways), but you’re going to keep the mosquitos 10 ft. away from you.

You can also burn some bushes close to you, as long as you’re very carefully by doing it. You should avoid inhaling that smoke too as it’s not healthy for you.

If none of these methods works, you can also spread mud on your exposed parts of your body so you get a bug repellent/mud/sun screen bath altogether.

Wilderness toilet paper anyone?

this is definitely not a topic for a date, but this doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it. Going to the bathroom in the wilderness isn’t fun at all.

You may get some infections in the anal region if you didn’t use the right plant or didn’t properly check the plant before using it.

Some even catch infections in the mouth and in open sores for not properly washing their hands.

This is why you need to plan ahead and check some proper ways for thorough sanitation when in the outdoors.

In many cases, a handful of grass may do, but you do need to properly wash it off with some clean water. Some good-sized leaves are going to work their tricks also.

No matter your method, make sure it’s not poison ivy or a leaf with natural predatory repelling irritants. Wash it thoroughly and meticulously.

If you’re near a river, it’s even better! You simple wash off for cleaning or use some smooth stones (don’t forget to rinse them off) instead.

It’s best to find the sources of your “toilet paper” before the moment is there.

Organic plates

We’re not talking about dining as in a restaurant when in the outdoors, but eating food in a nice and hygienic way.

You need to make sure that you’re eating out of something that is very clean as you don’t want to get some stomach bacteria and fight some food poisoning in the wilderness later on.

Everything that gets inside you may have an effect on your body so you need to be very careful when eating and what you’re eating from as well.

Obviously enough, you’re not going to have any plates on you, especially when you’re trying to survive. You may very well use some roasted orange peels instead, though.

Yes, they’re rather small and quite fragile, but they’re better than eating off the ground and…keeping your fingers crossed.

Creating your orange peel bowl isn’t difficult and you simply cut an orange in half, cleaning it out the insides properly. You continue by roasting the skin so that you give it enough firmness to hold your food.

If oranges aren’t an option, you may very well use some basswood or burdock leaves as plates.

Some organic flu medicine

As you’re wandering off in the wilderness, the risk for you to catch a flu is quite high. You may not have on you any medicine so you should get some help from Mother Nature.

The elderberry is a plants that  has been used for centuries as a natural solution against colds, sinus infections and flu. It cleans your body and blood cells of pathogens. You may confidently use the leaves, stems, berries and flowers too. You simply boil it and drink it in a cup or an orange skin (your “plate”) to minimize sweating.

There are some other herbal solutions for flu and ginger and boneset are very good examples on that. Staying healthy and flu-free is fundamental when you’re struggling to survive.

The conclusion

You may not see it, but you can’t really make it out there unless you have your health. and health does mean with no injuries, stings from insects, no flu symptoms nor stomach bugs. But, should you ever lose your health while trying to survive, look around for some natural remedies. Nature has its ways of helping us whenever in need.