Unclutterer discovers the dummy cord

In this brief post, Unclutterer describes a little elastic band, cord, and sticky piece that helps keep the lens cap of an SLR camera from disappearing.

In the Army, this rope or lanyard used for the technique of “physically securing loss-prone objects” is called a dummy cord.

In some units or places, notably Ranger School, it’s common to attach a motherlode of dummy cords to your gear. Basically, everything that is expensive, small, easy to lose, or important gets attached, meaning tied with a rope, to you or your gear. Skilled soldiers often use a D-ring or carabiner to collect dummy cords that are pre-tied with a useful knot, like an end-of-the-rope bowline (IIRC), that leaves a standard bight (that’s technical lingo for a loop) that stays in the rope.

Another way to think of a dummy cord or related system is like a key ring for your gear. I recall tying canteens to my LBE and the caps to the canteens. I bought my boys steel sports bottles with a carabiner so they could just attach to a backpack. (Nathan likes that they say “Nathan” on them.)

I find the comments on the original post amusing, saying that the author should just remember to put the lens cap in a pocket. Of course, if we all always remembered those things, or weren’t so tired we would talk to a yucca plant about our favorite foods, then simple habits would always suffice. And we would probably never need to-do lists or grocery lists or yellow lights on our gas gauges. But we’re all human and remembering lots of modestly important items is often not worth the effort. Am I off base? How big of a business is Getting Things Done? How big is that ecosystem?

Are there items that you dummy cord when you travel or on a regular basis?