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Rigging System » Tree Training & Staking
I use straps and carabiners to rig points on branches...
It's an extremely easy way to rig points on trees! It doesn't get any easier! Simply wrap a loop of strap (also known as a sling) around the branch you want to rig and clip the carabiner into it. It's a tool-less design. Also it makes a really nice thick flat comfortable surface for the limb or trunk to rest on. It's the least damaging system I've ever seen.
Then after I have a point set I run cord through the carabiners. I do about 3 to 5 folds of cord which makes a sort of pulley system without using an actual pulley. Pulley's can also be used to reduce friction even more which makes it easier to pull when applying tension to the cord. However, I typically find no pulley is needed and that adding pulley's just increases the cost of the rigging system. So, in most cases I just exclude the pulley all together. 3 to 5 folds of cord creates a pulling ratio. For example: 3 folds of cord creates roughly a 3:1 mechanical advantage which means I can apply roughly 3 times the amount of tension to the cord when I pull on it. 4 folds of cord would create a 4:1 mechanical advantage which would allow me to apply roughly 4 times the amount of tension to the cord when it's pulled on. 5 folds gives me a 5:1 mechanical advantage. Any more folds above 5 isn't really helpful though as the cord just tends to bind up on itself inside the carabiners.
I also tie a special kind of knot in the ends of the cord. The termination knot is a bowline knot which is the most popular knot used in rigging. The other knot is a type of prusik knot which is a type of knot that allows 1 piece of cord to grab on to another piece of cord while still allowing the cord to slide inside the knot. This makes it extremely easy to adjust the amount of tension under a load. I've tried lots of different prusik knots over the years and I find the Knut type of prusik works best 4 me.
This whole rigging system is completely tool-less. Once installed, at any time the user can just walk up and easily adjust the tension or remove the rigging and install it elsewhere. Other cabling solutions require wrenches to install the cable and once installed are very difficult to adjust and don't even give you very much adjustment length whereas with my rigging system the user has lots of room for adjustment. The distance between the 2 carabiners is the amount of room for adjustment that the 2 points can be pulled between. So, if you'd like LOTS of adjustment room then just keep adding more distance between the 2 points when you steak it into the ground. Then be sure to have a piece of cord 3 to 4 to 5 times long enough to go between the 2 points.
This system is also incredibly strong! The carabiners I use have an ABS rating of around 4K pounds. The camo straps shown in photos are rated at 900 pounds...
Stronger straps can be used that weigh in around 4K pounds...
The strength of the 4mm diameter cord when folded through the caribiners adds up each time the cord is folded. So on a 3:1 fold ratio the cord would hold roughly 3 times the amout it's rated for.
I've seen lots of rigging in trees and typically it involves some sort of steel cable or cylindrical shaped rope that runs through a hose to try and cushion the limb from the cylindrical shape of the rope or cable. Well, even though they're trying to use hose for a cushion this still ends up being a cylindrical shape touching against another cylindrical shape which typically puts a dent into the surface of the limb or trunk when a load is applied to the cable or rope. Over lots of time I've seen the cable or rope sink really deep into trees. While it's still possible for strap to sink into trees over time, I find it's a lot more difficult to sink in since there's the really wide 1 to 2 inch surface for the limb or trunk to rest on.