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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    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.

  2. #2
    Aardvark's Avatar
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    "Boy was that stupid" not neccesarily.... all kinds of things have happened to me (experienced mud camper for 40 years) since I have begun in the hammock, I don't treat these as dumb things, I treat them as real world learning experiences. Someone has a tag line in their dignature on here that says "Thomas Edison didn't consider himself failing to make light bulbs 500 times, he just learned 500 ways not to make them". Anything you walk (or paddle) away from is a lesson you won't forget.

    Sometime when the swelling and pain goes away, I'll explain my signature "Ooops, I forgot the taper"!
    .... the Aardvark (earth pig)... a rather unremarkable creature whose sole claim to fame is that it is the first animal listed in the dictionary.
    Rob

  3. #3
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aardvark View Post
    "Boy was that stupid" not neccesarily.... all kinds of things have happened to me (experienced mud camper for 40 years) since I have begun in the hammock, I don't treat these as dumb things, I treat them as real world learning experiences. Someone has a tag line in their signature on here that says "Thomas Edison didn't consider himself failing to make light bulbs 500 times, he just learned 500 ways not to make them". Anything you walk (or paddle) away from is a lesson you won't forget.

    Sometime when the swelling and pain goes away, I'll explain my signature "Ooops, I forgot the taper"!
    Nicely put.

  4. #4
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Somehow I've missed the quick release pull suggestion. Can you show or describe it or point me to the thread?

  5. #5
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    If I was in hurry my knife would have been out very quickly.
    After all it's just a little piece of string.

  6. #6
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMJM View Post
    Somehow I've missed the quick release pull suggestion. Can you show or describe it or point me to the thread?
    There is a picture and a short description in this thread.

    Here are some pictures of soft shackles with quick releases:



  7. #7
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Here is a pretty good tutorial that I found explaining how to make a soft shackle and put a quick release on it. They call it a leash, but it is the same thing. I hope it helps.


  8. #8
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorapido View Post
    ...because I didn’t want to add the fractions of a gram of weight .... Boy was that stupid.
    I think those two concepts often go hand-in-hand, yes. Shaving off fraction of a gram often (always?) sacrifices an element of safety. We all have to balance pack weight against comfort and safety. Very hard to tell when it becomes "stupid," though. Glad you are safe and sound all the same! Good story/warning. Thanks for sharing.

    Rain Man

    .
    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
    .

  9. #9
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raiffnuke View Post
    Here is a pretty good tutorial that I found explaining how to make a soft shackle and put a quick release on it. They call it a leash, but it is the same thing. I hope it helps.
    Thanks for such a spot on quick repsonse. Now the Nacrabiners I have suddenly don't look as good as they used to but I see new ones in the future.

  10. #10
    JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Glad it worked out. I'll have to look at the QR. Never heard of it either.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
    Follow me @idratherbhiking

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