By Melinda Van Bossuyt
What do you do with a llama once you have made it to camp?
We prefer to camp where there is forage for the llama, such as a meadow nearby. We stake the llama out on a picket pin and rope. Depending on the situation, we may bring the llama closer into camp for the night.
You can make your own rope for staking out. You need these items.
- 20 feet of flat tubular nylon [I prefer this to flat nylon or other rope because it soft and doesn't cut or rub the legs. It is very strong.]
- 3 feet of bungy-type cord (3/8 or ½ inch)
- Clip with closed ring at one end and thumb operated clip at the other
- Caribiner (about 3 inches long) [You can use a hardware store type. Don't get the locking type.]
- Burn the ends of the nylon to melt the threads and prevent raveling.
- Fold over one end to make a loop 8 to 12 inches long.
- Sew on a sewing machine making multiple passes in an X and in a rectangle around the X.
- Run the other end of the nylon tubular rope through the clip ring making a loop about 3 to 4 inches long. Sew in the same fashion as the other end.
- Fold the bungy rope in half and tie an overhand knot with the two ends together. (Check out this website for how to tie an overhand knot. www.mistral.co.uk/42brghtn/knots/42ktthmb.html)
- Run the bungy loop through the nylon rope loop and loop it through itself to make a larkshead knot. (Check out this website for how to tie a lark's head knot. www.mistral.co.uk/42brghtn/knots/42ktlkhd.html )
- Clip the caribiner to the bungy loop.
Now your stake out rope is ready to use.
The Picket Pin
I prefer a picket pin with a closed D head at the top. Try clipping the caribiner around the neck of the picket pin rather than through the D head or any ring that might be attached to the D head. That way the rope can pivot around the neck of the picket pin and not get wound up around the picket pin. Clip the other end to your llama's halter or collar.
Special hints: To prevent the clever llama from unclipping his rope, put a small piece of duct tape on the clip to prevent it from sliding down.
Why the bungy? The bungy provides the give when the llama pulls to the end of the rope. This gives the llama an idea of his limits without breaking his neck. In extreme situations, the bungy will break free. Consider it a safety feature. The bungy needs to be replaced every year or two as it ages. I carry an extra bungy piece just in case. The tubular nylon seems to last forever.
Tubular nylon loop sewn with X and rectangle.