One of the sad truths about materials is that if they're strong, they're also probably heavy and cumbersome; if they're lightweight, they're also probably weak and breakable. That's what makes Braeön so cool: a single ribbon of the stuff can pull 2,000 pounds (900 kg), but an entire roll weighs less than a football.
Braeön (pronounced "brawn") is a paper-thin ribbon made of high-strength synthetic fibers combined with thermoplastic. Once you heat it — either with a lighter or in water heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) — it becomes flexible like putty. At that point, you can mold it into virtually anything, from a chain to a knife grip to a finger splint. All it needs is a few minutes to set, and it's good to go.
It's that combination of synthetic fibers and thermoplastic that makes Braeön so handy. Thermoplastic, by definition, becomes easier to mold when it's hot and maintains its shape when it's cooled. Fibers do the opposite — give them a pull, and they stretch very little. Combine the two, and you've got a material that molds easily to suit a purpose but won't give when stretched or tugged.
Power In A Small Package
So what can you do with this stuff? Braeön's kickstarter shows off a multitude of applications. Lost and hurt in the wilderness? Make a splint. Dog chewing on something he shouldn't? Use it to leash his collar to a tree, or sprinkle the tape with beef bouillon and make a dog bone. Handle of your knife, crossbow, ski poles, you-name-it wearing down? Form a custom grip.
But the most impressive feature of Braeön has to be strength. Mold it to link two pieces of chain together, and it can pull a car, tow a boat, or lift a 3,500 pound (1,600 kg) cement block. All that power in a lightweight roll of tape that fits in your backpack. It's definitely going on our camping list.
Using Braeön To Tow A Tree