Outdoor Skills: Make Smartphone-Friendly Gloves

Photos by Luke Nilsson Face it: All but the most Luddite-minded of modern outdoorsmen carry a smartphone into the stand … Continued

Photos by Luke Nilsson

Face it: All but the most Luddite-minded of modern outdoorsmen carry a smartphone into the stand or blind. The rub, of course, is that using these devices is impossible with gloves. Sure, you can buy touchscreen-compatible gloves, outfitted with conductive fingertip dots. Or you can save $40 and take pride in being a postmodern mountain man by running a few stitches of material through the tips of your own mitts. All you need is a sewing needle and a couple of feet of conductive thread ($11 for 50 feet; sparkfun.com).

Step 1
Thread a needle with 18 inches of conductive thread. Double the thread, and tie an overhand knot in the end. Turn the glove inside out to start the stitching. (If your glove is too thick to turn inside out, trim the excess thread close to the knot. Start from the outside.)

Step 2

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Make four to five parallel stitches through the tip of the index finger, keeping the threads as close as possible. You want enough exposed thread to conduct the electricity from your skin, but not so much as to make the active touchscreen dot too large.

Step 3
Tie the conductive thread off by slipping the needle through the last two stitch loops, and trim the thread with a 3-inch tail on the inside of the glove. This will serve as a kind of antenna to help pick up electricity. Repeat the process on the thumb if desired.

Step 4
Turn the glove right side out and you are smartphone-​app ready. Now you can text your hunting buddies about the bruiser whitetail buck you saw from your treestand–you know, the one you could have shot had you not been so busy playing Fruit Ninja.