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Hi everyone!

I know the standard for packets in the LARP community is birdseed, cotton fabric, and a closure of some kind (string or rubber band). If done correctly, this gives a fairly reliable and soft packet that degrades in the environment.

If you are wondering "what's this guy talking about? What's a packet?" you can watch this:

I've been thinking about various technical problems and solutions with this setup.

Problem: If a packet gets wet, it usually can't be dried out enough to prevent mold setting in.
Solution: Make the filler material something which is slightly water resistant, and can be dried with heat and silica gel. Currently, I'm thinking of using biodegradable airsoft BBs. Does anyone have experience with this?

Problem: A packet's edges tend to fray over time, leading to the packet coming apart.
Solution: Stitch the edges of the packets using a serger to prevent fraying.

Problem: Rubber bands and string degrade over time and eventually snap.
Solution: None that I've come up with that doesn't involve massive labor cost (stitch closed) or something non-biodegradable.

Any other thoughts people have about packet construction? If anyone's experimented with these methods before, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!
using a swim suit fabric helps alot with the wet/mold along with the fraying edge issues.

as for rubber bands, no major fixes other than sewing shut.
Packets are not long term use items. They degrade and must be thrown out - it's a simple part of their lifecycle.

Personally, it's far more important to me that the packets we forget on site can naturally degrade without doing harm to wildlife and the environment than it is to be able to recover them. A wet packet is indeed headed for the compost bin. Oh well.

"Manufactured synthetic textiles include polyester, spandex, nylon, and rayon. Though these eventually break down, it may take between 20 to 200 years to fully biodegrade these textiles"
Do packets need to be of a specific size, shape, weight, or color?
They should fit snugly in a 35mm film canister.
I've played two games that allowed "airsoft bb packets" and they were terrible. The weight to size ratio made it so people pegged them to make them go straight, and we had several burst in the tavern area so now you have little plastic ball bearings all over the floor in a high foot traffic area. I highly recommend against them.
I do however applaud folks trying to solution stuff. Just trust me, it don't work so good.
We don't care what color they are. Bird seed and cloth are the suggested build and may become the standard (I'll talk with Matt). They should fit snugly in a 35mm film canister.
I will hopefully have some packet prototypes for people to try on the 14th.

EDIT:: I would also like to add that no fabric is actually safe, unless it's really, really, really old, and has been washed a bazillion times. Fabric has something called 'Stay' in it, which is pretty much a toxic, formaldehyde based chemical used to help the fibers retain shape and color. I honestly don't know of any fabric NOT treated in some way that wouldn't exactly be good for the environment/wildlife should they choose to eat it.

Just idle commentary from a former Fashion Design major.
Plain seamstress muslin has no stay in it.

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