Lashing down a heavy load can be frustrating. Sure, a bowline knot is pretty easy to make and undo—if you can remember how to make one. But even a bowline can be tough to make correctly when your hands are cold or when the rope is wet and slippery.
Before the cold weather comes along, then, you might want to get yourself a . Essentially, it's a big belt made from a strip of tough but flexible polyurethane with an additive to help it resist UV degradation. Just stretch it around whatever you're going to secure, whether that's a 50-ft extension cord or a ladder to the rack on your truck, then secure the strap by fastening it back through the stainless steel buckle. There's nothing to it. If you can buckle a belt, you can use one these things.
The product has advantages other than sheer simplicity. Its supple nature allows it to stretch uniformly over irregularly shaped surfaces, and it is soft enough that it won't cut into what you're bundling or securing. And it's strong. The manufacturer rates its working load at 70 lbs. and claims that the Titan Strap will remain flexible in extreme cold, down to -20 degrees F. It gets extra points for being made in the USA.
Pricing varies depending on size. A 14-in. TitanStrap costs $7.50, an 18-in. is $8, a 25-in. is $8.50. Most of the straps are brightly covered, but the original 25-in. model can come in black.
If none of those sizes suit your job, you can always daisy-chain one TitanStrap to another. And if your strap is too big, make multiple passes around the object and then buckle it. If you accumulate several straps and you want to keep them neatly coiled, just wrap them into an oval and secure them with–what else?–a Titan Strap.