How To Make a Backcountry Block and Tackle

Brains over Brawn
A backcountry block and tackle
By T. Edward Nickens Maybe you're all alone and need to lift an elk quarter off the ground. Or hoist a food bag beyond the reach of bears. Or hang a deer. Maybe you should know how to rig a backcountry block and tackle, using nothing more than rope or parachute cord and a couple of lightweight rock-climbing carabiners. (1) Find a tree with a strong, live branch at least 2 feet higher than you want to suspend the load. Throw a rope over the branch. Tie a loop in the rope about 5 feet from the standing end by making an overhand knot and pulling a short section of standing line through. Clip a carabiner to this loop.
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(2) Thread the running end through a second carabiner, then through the first. (3) Pull the end of the rope that goes over the branch until the first carabiner is near the branch. Tie this end of the rope to the tree trunk. (4) Clip the heavy object to the second carabiner. You may need to fasten a rope around the object. (5) Haul the load as high as required, using the tree as a block by passing the hauling end of the rope around the trunk. Pad it with a jacket or pack to lessen friction. Last, tie the hauling end of the rope around the tree.Field & Stream Online Editors