The Beginner’s Guide to Building Your First Parachute
Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to [Blank], our recurring series where our experts provide everything you need to know about your new endeavor, regardless of what it is. Life is full of exciting opportunities, and while it’s fine to tackle a new adventure on your own, we here at Bunny Ears know that it’s better to have an experienced guide to help on your journey.
This week we’ll be taking you through:
The Beginner’s Guide to Building Your Own Parachute
Many of our bravest patriots and thousands of college kids with disposable income have flown through the air on parachutes for a variety of reasons. There are plenty of companies that offer skydiving classes and one-time skydiving excursions, but you’re a sophisticated Bunny Ears reader, which means you want to seize your own destiny and build your own parachute, which brings us to our first question:
Why Build Your Own Parachute?
Here’s you: a person who is tired of the every day doldrums of being on the ground who wants of float like a bird through the air where you belong, and also (and most importantly) you are crafty and original. You want to skydive and you want to stand out when you’re doing it. A generic parachute costs $8000, but “generic” isn’t in your vocabulary and “money” is not an issue. You are either independently wealthy or just otherwise “not really thinking about money right now,” but regardless, you are ready and able to build your own parachute and start your new adventure in the American, white skies.
Here is the most important thing you need to remember about a parachute (which is a thin and imperfect blanket of fabric that sometimes fails even in the best of circumstances): there is no wrong way to build a parachute.
What matters is making a parachute that speaks to you and reflects your personal tastes. Anyone can make a parachute; only one person can make your parachute, do you understand?
Gather pieces of fabric that you love. What you make your parachute out of is in many ways more important than why you want to jump out of a plane in the first place. I learned (later in my life than I’d like) what really brings me joy and I only used those materials when building my parachute, the thin piece of fabric (or whatever, have fun with it!) that separates me from an untimely yet completely unavoidable death of crashing into the earth. To that end, mine — not that you asked— is a mix of vucana wool (the color doesn’t matter) stitched up with some of those decor-only aprons from Anthropologie (only $45!!!), some patches of a quilt my Grandma made (love you, Grandma Fromme), lined with some of that silk that Utah scientists genetically engineered that goat to make instead of milk. Every inch of the fabric is sprinkled with Clary Sage-scented doTERRA essential oil and I usually keep one of those stupid salt-rock crystal things in my bag too. I don’t actually know if they work, but I’m not gonna be caught looking like an idiot if it turns out they do, so I carry them with me everywhere.
For the straps, I’d just suggest using Parachute Straps but flare ‘em out with some pins and patches that speak to you. This is about your journey.
Stitch all of your materials together and cut them into an 11×4 parachute-shaped peace tarp. Attach the Parachute Straps to the corners and fold it all up so it fits into a convenient and sturdy yet fashion-forward bag.
If you attach that pull-cord that they have in the YouTube videos about skydiving, it will theoretically activate your lovely and personalized parachute when you jump sensually out of your plane on your way to the ground and a New You.
Speaking of “New You,” I like to pack a bag of old, bad memories and just leave it on the plane. It’s a symbolic and also incredibly literal way to leave negative things behind. (Or I mean I would, but I’ve never been parachuting, too scary and I hate birds!)
Further I hypothetically also like to write messages on the top of my parachutes so that people above me can have something to read and get inspired by. Some of my messages have read “Brave, Sky-Thriving, #WeeeeeeeeToo, Tomorrow Starts Today, [and] Please Call Me, Jake Gyllenhaal [number redacted],” but you should feel encouraged to choose a message that speaks to you.
Once you’ve got your message, your materials, some straps and one of those parachute cords, you’re ready to go! Contact one of your friends who has a plane and take to the skies.