death by nacrabiner or stupidity?
My nacrabiners almost killed me. Or was it my own stupidity and laziness? You decide. I will spend my evening adding Zing-it quick-release rip-cords to the nacrabiners that I recently made. Why? I went kayak camping on the mighty Susquehanna River last night, trusting the weather report that said the severe thunderstorm and windstorm and hail storm warning had passed, and that the evening and overnight would be clear and pleasant. My campsite island is in the middle of this mile-wide river. The evening looked nice, and I had just finished rigging up my tarp and hammock when the sky started to look funny and the breeze whispered to me that something big was brewing. It began to rain. Hard. My girlfriend called with a warning. The big one was coming. Severe lightning. Damaging winds. Hail. Funnel clouds. All this bad stuff moving quickly toward Harrisburg. I had just seconds to take down my tarp and hammock and throw the gear into the kayak and paddle back to shore. A calculated risk. Stay on the island, surrounded by enormous, tightly spaced trees in a lightning storm and windstorm, or get back to shore and to my car before the storm hit. Risk a half-mile paddle across the river with major lightning brewing? Hmm. I took the gamble and decided to take down my camp and get out fast. But wait. After already sitting in my hammock, which had its whoopies connected to the tree straps with my new, home made nacrabiners, the adjustable loop closures on the nacrabiners had cinched up tightly on the stopper knot, and they were soaked with rain. I fiddled and fiddled and fiddled and lost a lot of time releasing the first of the two nacrabiners. After spending too much time on the second, I took out my knife and cut my lovely little nacrabiner, threw my gear into the kayak, and paddled like a madman back to shore. Lightning was flashing. When I got to my car, the sky was purple-black and the cataclysm of the storm unleashed its fury. Whew. Close call. Should I have stayed on the island? Dunno. All I do know is that I lost precious time fiddling with my nacrabiners as that storm was bearing down on me. My ultralight, gram-weenie obsession with shaving weight from my gear could have cost me my life. Tonight I will add the little quick-release pulls that so many people have suggested. I had not done so when I made the nacrabiners because I didnít want to add the fractions of a gram of weight of the rip cords. Boy was that stupid.