Subscriber Cari Brown from Airway Heights, Wash., wrote me a letter recently asking about how to attach a stampede string to a cowboy hat—without ruining it with too many holes. To get expert advice on the stampede string (a.k.a. hurricane strap, chin string, head holding tie down), I contacted Trent Johnson of Greeley Hat Works ( Below are three basic ways to attach a stampede string:

1. The Wrap Around

Insert an eyelet in the hat where the brim is closest to the crown. Then feed the string through and wrap around the hat to create the hat band/stampede sting combination. (Disadvantage: Cowboy hats are worn to protect you from the elements, and you just poked holes in your lid.)

2. The Cotter Pin

Using cotter pins, attached the stampede strap under the sweatband just in front of the ears.

(Disadvantage: Installed incorrectly, this method can break the stitches holing the sweatband in; and the cotter pins can pulled out.)

3. The Buck (Named after legendary horseman Buck Brannaman)

Punch two small holes into the base of the sweatband, then feed through a small, flat piece of leather to the desired length. When not in use, it can be tucked into the the crown of the hat. (Disadvantage: All function, no fashion.)

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