Q: The survival kit my parents gave me came with a little sewing kit. What is that for?
— Connor, Franklin, Tennessee
A: Survival kits should include the Scout outdoor essentials, along with some gear to help you signal for help, protect you from the elements and make repairs. The sewing kit is for repairs.
When your tent or clothes rip, you can use a needle and thread to fix them. But your supplies are helpful only if you know how to use them.
Practice sewing on your merit badge sash or uniform. Insert thread through the eye of a needle and secure the long end of the thread with a knot. Place your patch where you want it. Use double-sided tape to keep it from moving while you sew.
Push the needle up through the sash or uniform and the patch, pulling the thread through to the knot. Push the needle down back through the fabric and the patch and pull it tightly. This is called a stitch. Repeat this motion all around the edges of the patch, keeping your stitches close together.
When you get to the end, don’t pull your last stitch tight. You’ll have a loop that you can pull your needle through a couple of times. Then, pull it tightly to secure the stitch. Cut off any excess thread.
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