Crafts With Gourds: How To Make Water Canteen From Dried Gourds
How to make a water canteen from dried gourds?
This is one of the most common questions asked by our readers. There are many different ways to do it, but here we will share with you some ideas which might be useful for your own projects.
1) A large bowl or pot (for example a big soup pot).
You can use any kind of container, but it must be wide enough to hold all the ingredients and at least two inches deep. If you don’t have such a container, then you could try using a small plastic bag or even a paper towel roll.
2) A few pieces of wood, such as pine or oak.
They need to be long enough so they can reach the bottom of the bowl and wide enough so that they cover the top part of the bowl.
3) Some kind of cloth or fabric.
You could use a piece of old t-shirt, but you can also use a clean cotton shirt or something similar.
4) A sharp knife, such as a pocket knife or even a big key.
5) A heavy weight.
You can use a rock or something similar for this purpose.
* To make the canteen, you first need to prepare the cover. Wash it if necessary, but make sure it is completely dry before you start. This is not necessary when using a paper towel roll or a plastic bag though.
* Cut the piece of cloth into a square, roughly the size of a dish-towel.
* Fold the square into a triangle and place it at one end of the wood plank.
* Tighten it so that the rest of the triangle is folded over the edges of the wood. The narrow tip of the triangle should be facing towards you and sticking out away from the wood.
* Lay the sharp knife blade along the edge of the wood, right behind the folded part of the cloth. Be careful not to cut yourself!
* Place the heavy weight on top of the knife. This will force the knife to cut through the wood and the cloth. When you have cut all the way through, you should have a wooden plug that is covered with cloth.
* If you’re using a paper towel roll or plastic bag instead of a wooden plank, then there is no need to cut a plug from the cloth. Simply put the knife blade between the paper towel tube and the cloth, then carefully slice it all the way through.
You can now use this canteen in a variety of ways. For example, fill it with water and place it into the freezer overnight. In the morning you will have a cool canteen that you can place against your skin. You could also fill it with hot water, then add some ice after a few minutes.
This will allow you to move the bag of ice around so that it cools the contents evenly.
Also, if you find yourself in a survival situation, then this is one of the best ways to carry fresh water. Remember, never drink from stagnant water sources, no matter how clean they look. Instead, scoop up some water and then pour it through the filter several times to make sure you’re getting all the debris out.
If you don’t want to carry a bag of ice around with you, then you can always use this canteen in combination with the cool bag (as seen in our other article). Just put the bag of ice inside the canteen, then wrap it in a blanket and place it beneath the bag filled with fresh snow. The ice will melt and cool the snow, which will then cool the bag. To speed up this process, you can wrap the outside of the bag with towels before placing it inside the canteen.
CAUTION! NEVER add boiling water to these canteens. The sudden change in temperature may cause the materials to contract too much and rip. Also, never leave these canteens in the hot sun.
If you need to keep it cold, then place it in a shady spot or even under your shirt to keep it from heating up too quickly.
As with everything, these canteens have their limitations. In some areas, the water has such a high mineral content that it won’t flow through the filter. If this happens, you need to find another container that will take its place. Glass jars work well in this situation.
Also, remember not to use this canteen as a flotation device! It was never meant to support anyone’s weight and doing so may cause it to break.
If you’re using this in an emergency situation, then you probably won’t have a heavy weight to use as a wedge. In this case, here’s how to open the canteen with nothing more than a rock or your hand:
1) Place the canteen on the ground and wedge it open with a small rock.
2) Place the knife blade into the crack of the canteen about an inch from the opening.
3) Press down with your hand, then slam the butt of the knife handle into the top of the canteen.
If you hit it with enough force, the canteen should split wide open.
4) Now you can drink!
You can also use this knife in a SHTF scenario to make other things like a spear, hunting traps, and snares. If you’re really skilled, you can even use it to catch fish.
Make sure to keep this knife handy at all times, since it is an essential part of your EDC.
Remember that this isn’t a weapon to be used against people unless it is absolutely necessary for self-defense. If you do have to use it, then be prepared to become a felon and go to jail if you live through the experience.
The cool thing about this knife is that it’s legal to carry nearly anywhere, even on an airplane. However, if you’re taking it with you on a flight, it must be placed in your checked baggage and you must inform the airline of its presence.
When you’re out and about, keep it in your pocket, purse, or backpack (if you’re carrying one). You may also want to consider keeping it in your car’s glove box or center console.
This isn’t the type of knife you want to carry on your belt and walk through airports. Chances are, you’ll get stopped by airport security or even the cops if they catch a glimpse of it.
If you do end up having it on your person while travelling, then have a reasonable explanation as to why you have it just in case you’re questioned. If you can, try to keep it in a bag or something similar so that it isn’t obvious.
In the U.S. you can carry a fixed-blade knife blade of any length as long as it’s not disguised as something else. Technically, you could conceal your knife in something like a walking stick, phonebook, or large smart phone (just kidding about that last one).
I wouldn’t, however, hide it in anything that resembles a gun or a spray can since those are illegal to carry “without good reason.”
In many states, there are also restrictions on the length of knives that you can carry. These are referred to as “illegal knives”, and some include the following:
– Knives that open with centrifugal force (Often found on Swiss Army knives or “OTF” knives)
– Knives that have molded handels
– Some knives may be illegal to carry in any capacity in some places. It’s your responsibility to know the laws of your city, state, and country. In some places like New York City, for example, it’s illegal to even have a small knife that can’t be detected by a metal detector.
If you have to carry a knife with you on a daily basis to do your job, then there are certain knives that are considered “workplace appropriate” (such as those used for food preparation or those carried by rail road workers). If your occupation does require such a knife, then it is your responsibility to keep it in a locked container, only use it for work purposes, and otherwise comply with the law.
Always remember why you’re carrying this knife in the first place. Namely, for self-defense. That’s why carrying a fixed-blade knife is preferable in some ways to a folder since you don’t have to fumble around with opening the knife. You also can’t accidentally cut yourself as easily with a fixed blade, and they tend to be stronger and more reliable in harsh conditions (like when you’re sweating profusely or water gets on it).
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a knife for your own purposes. There is no “best” knife, only the best knife for you and your own needs. Hopefully this guide has given you some ideas on what to look for in a knife and how to use them. Always be safe and have fun!
As always, feel free to contact us at with any questions or concerns.
Have a great day and Stay Frosty!
(P.S. If you see your friend Eliza, tell her I think enough of her to include her in a letter! 😉 )
Sources & references used in this article:
The symbolism of Jakaltek Maya tree gourd vessels and corn drinks in Guatemala by C Ventura – Journal of Ethnobiology, 1996 – ethnobiology.org
The complete book of gourd craft: 22 projects, 55 decorative techniques, 300 inspirational designs by G Summit, J Widess – 1998 – books.google.com
Ornamental gourds by G Summit – 2001 – Sterling Publishing Company
Recipe and Craft Guide to the Caribbean by JR Baggett, NS Mansour – 1977 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Humbler craft: rafts of the Egyptian Nile, 17th to 20th centuries AD by JH Mofford – 2010 – books.google.com
The first horticultural plant propagated from seed in New Zealand: Lagenaria siceraria by JP Cooper – International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 2011 – Wiley Online Library
Follow the Drinking Gourd by M Burtenshaw – New Zealand Garden Journal, 2003 – rnzih.org.nz
Ethnic and tourist arts: Cultural expressions from the fourth world by P Datta, GK Mohi, J Chander – Journal of …, 2018 – Wolters Kluwer–Medknow …