Learning how to use bungee cords
Bungee cords, also known as shock cords or occy straps, are stretchable cords made of one or more elastic strands forming a core, usually covered in a woven cotton, polypropylene or nylon sheath. They often have metal or plastic hooks on either end and can be used for a wide variety of purposes, like holding things together or securing loads to trailers, ute trays, or roof racks.
Once you are familiar with how bungee cords work, you can start applying the following steps on how to use them around the house, camping, or while transporting cargo.
Steps on how to use bungee cords
1. Identify the purpose and select the right cord:
Decide what you’re using the bungee cord for. This will determine how you go about the next steps.
Bungee cords come in various lengths and thicknesses. Choose a cord that is the appropriate length, strength and durability for your task. The cord should be slightly shorter than the distance you need to cover to ensure it’s stretched and holds items securely.
2. Inspect the cord:
Before using, always inspect the bungee cord for any signs of wear, damage, or fraying. If it looks compromised, don’t use it.
3. Anchor one end:
Start by hooking or attaching one end of the bungee cord to a secure anchor point. Ensure the hook is securely attached and won’t slip off by gently beginning to apply force.
4. Stretch and secure:
Once one end is secure, you can stretch the bungee cord across or around the item you’re securing. Ensure it’s tight but not overstretched. Hook or attach the other end of the bungee cord to another secure anchor point.
5. Check Tension:
Once both ends are secured, double-check the tension. The cord should be tight and secure, but not overly strained.
For larger or less uniformly shaped items, you might need to use multiple bungee cords. Ensure they’re evenly spaced and share the load equally.
When you’re ready to remove the bungee cord, carefully unhook one end while ensuring the other end remains anchored. This minimises the risk of the cord snapping back.
If the bungee cord is under high tension, exercise extra caution and consider wearing protective eyewear.
Store your bungee cords in a cool, dry place. It’s best to hang them up or coil them loosely rather than leave them stretched out. This helps prolong their lifespan and ensure they remain effective.
How to use bungee cords safely
Bungee cords are versatile and incredibly handy tools. While they’re typically safe and easy to use, it’s important to understand how to use them safely to prevent injuries and accidents.
Safety precautions when using bungee cords
If you’ve learned how bungee cords work, you’ll be familiar with the fact that the strength of bungee cords comes from the energy they store when stretched. If bungee cords are released unexpectedly, or if they snap, they will release this stored energy quickly and rebound back with the potential to cause serious injuries.
Because of this, users must practice caution while the cord is stretched and:
- Closely inspect bungee cords before use for any signs of damage like frays
- Stand clear of the potential rebound path
- Wear safety gear, like gloves or eye protection
- Avoid use if the hook is damaged or the cord is frayed
- Avoid over-stretching the cord or using it for heavy loads as typically bungee cords aren’t load-rated
If you’re using a bungee cord with hooks, ensure they’re securely hooked and won’t accidentally unhook. Some bungee cords come with safety closures over the hooks or carabineers— use these if available and appropriate for the task.
Extra tips for using bungee cords
Once you’re familiar with how to use bungee cords safely, you can begin exploring some more ways to use them. For example:
- Double up for extra strength: If you feel a single bungee cord isn’t providing enough tension, you can twist it or double it up to increase its strength and hold.
- Daisy chain for length: If you need a longer cord, you can daisy chain multiple bungee cords together. This is especially handy with Spider Tarp’s carabiner/hook design.
- Looping technique: For items with no clear attachment point, loop the bungee cord around the object, then hook the bungee back onto itself.
- Tarp securing: Use bungee cords to secure tarps over items that need protection from rain or sun, such as covering a trailer with a tarp. Attach the bungee cord to the tarp’s grommets or D-rings for a tight fit.
- Protect surfaces and the cords: If you’re worried about your bungee cords damaging goods, or sharp edges damaging the bungee cords, you can add padding, like a towel, between the two.
Choosing bungee cords to use
When choosing bungee cords, you’ll want to consider the purpose and application they’ll be used for. Whether it’s for securing loads to a vehicle, or other purposes, choose bungee cords that are up to the task. You should consider:
- Safety features: It’s crucial to prioritise safety. Consider bungee cords that have safety features built into their design to minimize risks.
- Material and durability: Look for cords made from high-quality, durable materials that can withstand wear and tear and offer good elasticity.
- Adjustability: Depending on your needs, adjustable bungee cords might be more suitable as they allow for customization of length and tension.
- Hook design and strength: Ensure the hooks are designed to securely attach without slipping off. They should be robust and capable of handling the weight and tension of the load.
- Ease of use: The cords should be user-friendly, allowing you to secure and release them with ease.
- UV and weather resistance: If you’re going to use the cords outdoors, they should be resistant to the damaging effects of sunlight and adverse weather conditions.
- Versatility: consider cords that can be adapted for various uses, especially if you have diverse needs.
Making it easy to use with Spider-cords™
With an emphasis on safety and functionality, and features like safe grip finger holes, and durability through the tough abrasion-resistant nylon braid and premium latex core, Spider-cord™ provides both longevity and performance.
The strong non-scratch, patented Spider-Lock™ hooks ensure ease of use and adaptability, allowing the bungee cord to be easily and quickly adjusted to the perfect length and tension while attached. Whether you’re securing a load on a weekend adventure or require a versatile tool for everyday tasks, Spider Tarp’s bungee cords fitted with either hooks at either end or hook and carabiner offer you a great choice.