DIY Tin Cloth Hunting Pants

Tin Cloth: Highly repellent finished fabric, although stiff at first, softens with use, gaining character over the years. This finish can only be cleaned by wiping or brushing it off. It gives maximum protection against rain, wind, brush, and abrasion for hunting.

 “When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.” Exodus 2:3

This verse would make an incredible opening line for a stellar novel. Who would stop reading after that? A woman bore a son and hid him from authorities enforcing a law to murder all Hebrew male babies. What could she do? She was a slave, owned by the Egyptians. She couldn’t run with him, couldn’t die defending him- she had two other children to care for, and she couldn’t hide him anymore. Can I get an AMEN from all parents with crying infants? When a 3 month old is upset, he is not easily ignored.

Seeing that he was a “fine” child, she wanted to save him! No doubt she was praying fervently, begging God to do something. But at the same time, she knew all of the slaves were praying for deliverance from their oppression. Yet they were all still oppressed, day after day. So she decided to take a covered basket made of cattails, waterproof it with bitumen (natural black sticky stuff) and pitch (more blackish-brownish sticky stuff), and place her baby in it among the reeds near the riverbank. Little did she know that the baby she was praying to save would one day be her personal deliverer (Does anybody else have the Mary did you know? song in your head right now? Now you do.). That’s right; this baby was a type of the Christ that was to come. Just like Adam and just like Noah. From the very beginning of time, everything in the Bible glorifies Jesus.

Now baby-no-name didn’t float down the river dodging gators and boats like The Prince of Egypt depicts, although I love that movie; the reeds would have kept is tiny boat from moving and protected him from the elements a bit. The baby’s older sister was given an assignment to keep watch. I can relate to that. As a child, I was often put in charge of my little brother’s care. And when you are given an order/threat of “Whatever happens to him is going to happen to you 10 times worse . . .” believe me, a sister takes that seriously!

The daughter of Pharaoh went down to the river to bathe while her maids walked beside the river. But it was she that spotted the basket and commanded one of the maids to grab it for her. I don’t think the basket was placed there by accident. It is highly unlikely that royalty would be bathing in the same place as everyone else. Either the girl was ordered to put the baby there with the hope someone from the palace would take pity or his sister was one clever little girl! “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” she asked. By the way, that little girl had some kind of guts to speak to a princess of Egypt! But a girl with the best kind of reason to risk impertinence.

I just can’t get over the ironic providence from God in this story! The daughter of the man who passed the murder law actually saved the baby from death. And she unknowingly allowed the baby to be nursed and weaned by the baby’s own mother and paid for it! And she wanted this slave baby to be raised in the palace as her own royal son!

I think the fearful woman at the beginning of the story has definitely had her prayers answered. And when the baby was old enough, he joined the royal family and finally received his name. ‘She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”’

This little baby went into the water a slave and was drawn out of the water a free person with a new name and identity. The water that killed thousands of other infants, the water his mother was trying to keep from seeping into his basket, was the same water that baptized Moses as the future deliverer of the Israelites. 80 years later he would lead the people through the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, thus giving a whole different meaning to the term “waterproof”.

(For more on the parting of the Red Sea, refer to REPAIR.WHEELBARROW.TIRE post.)

Nate’s Tin Cloth Hunting Pants post on the Instructables website

Step 1) Get some pants.

I turned some double front Carhartt pants into oil skin upland game pants. These are Carhartt double front heavy duck pants. About $50 new.


Step 2) Make some goop.


Beeswax (the real stuff. Might require you to get out there and make a new friend.)

Boiled Linseed Oil

– Hot Plate

– Pan you don’t mind trashing (Goodwill $2)

Cheap paint brush

Roughly equal parts wax to oil but a little heavier on the oil. Makes it spread and penetrates better. Heat it up to just past melting but be careful, it will smoke easily. If it’s too cool it will harden faster than you can spread it.



Step 3) Spread it on.


Work in small sections. Get your seams well.

Step 4) Apply heat.




I’ve heard of some cats using hair dryers or torches. Have fun with that. I used this heat gun and it worked pretty slick. Hang on to the gun receipt. The first one didn’t like this much work.


Work your way around your article however seems best. Apply enough heat to melt the wax so it is absorbed into the material and a little beyond so it starts to boil back up just a bit; then move on.


Step 5) Get it all.

Don’t forget the sides and crotch. I did not go all the way inside the pockets. Apply more to areas that look streaked and reheat. The final product will come out feeling waxy and greasy (go figure), get out there and do some good bush whacking and it will work itself out. You can practice first by making the goop out of toilet bowl rings and linseed oil on an old canvas bag or sneakers.

*Side note* Any breathability your material might have had will be gone so be ready to get a little clammy, especially as they get broken in.


Now quit reading about it and go do it!





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