A few months ago I came across an interesting product called Sugru, a silicon based putty that air cures, and knew immediately that I wanted to play with some. The problem was I didn’t think I had any real uses for it, so I decided to make a list on my desktop and every time I came across a possible use for Sugru I scribbled it down. If I could find a reasonable amount of jobs that couldn’t be solved as well with other material’s then I’d get some to try.
As you may have guessed the list is now long and the Sugru has arrived so here’s my first use of it; On my approaching tour (3 days to go!) I’ll be cycling from Switzerland back to the UK with a couple of friends from Uni and I’ll be just taking a Bivy (the MSR AC Bivy) and a tarp for shelter. I have borrowed from a friend two collapsible tent poles to support my tarp, for when there are no trees or other supports, but there isn’t a simple way to hook my tarp to the ends of the poles.
My tarp has loops of fabric as attachment points and these go straight over my poles and slide down them to the floor, I need something to keep them secured at the top of the poles and this is where Sugru comes in. By the way the soapy water is to shape the Sugru so that it’s smooth; Sugru won’t stick to anything covered with soapy water so dip your fingers in first and you’ll be able to glide your hands over the surface to remove texture, if that’s what you want.
The idea is to make a shape like a trident that allows the fabric to be hooked over the central fork whilst the two side forks then stop the loop from sliding down to the floor. It must be robust, durable, waterproof, UV proof and temperature resistant and Sugru is, in fact, all of these things.
My pack of Sugru contains 12x5g sachets of the material in various colours and to get a nice camouflaged green colour I took a look at the Sugu guru colour mixing guide and sort of followed that – I say sort of because they show ratios like 60% + 40% which would create some wasted Sugru; much better to use 66% + 33% as then I can fully use three packs without any left overs. So with two orange and one green I made a pretty good match for my dark green tarp and began forming it into my cactus, trident thingy.
Here’s what I think I know about Sugru: Sugru air cures at room temperature and a mass of a couple of sachets (10-ish grams worth) should be pretty solid within 24hs, the less surface area it has exposed to the air the longer it will take to set. It sticks to almost anything and is temperature resistant from -60°C to + 180°C. I think has great potential for cycle-touring and outdoors situations. It can be used to repair, improve or create kit and it’s great fun to experiment with.
I’ll be updating this post when I return to include other ways I plan to use Sugru and I should also have some gritty field testing results and insights as I’m putting my faith in sugru to stand up against the elements and dutifully support my tarp for two weeks. Fingers crossed!
Oh, and; the word Sugru is inspired from the Irish word for ‘play’, pretty cool, no?