A Most Useful Tool on the Job Site
As we have discussed in many previous blog posts, a throw line is one of the most useful tools that you can have on a job site. It can reduce the amount of climbing you need to do, give you a safe tie-in point from the ground, and can also be used to set all your rigging points from the ground; that is if you know how to use it! There are many ways to use a throw line, and some of the techniques are a bit more advanced than others. Today we’ll focus on one technique, double bagging, and hopefully it will help make a day climbing way easier for you!
Personally, I have four throw line cubes, each with full throw line setups. That means 180’ of throw line, two eight ounce bags and one sixteen ounce bag. This keeps me pretty well set because if I happen to get one…or three of my throw lines stuck in a tree, I’ll always have an extra on-hand. I always keep two of the cubes in my gear bag and store the other two in the truck. Two cubes take up minimal space in my bag and having two cubes available at all times helps me when I need to double bag a tree.
A Great Way to Isolate an Exact Limb
Double bagging is a technique that helps you isolate the exact limb you want with the help of two throw lines and, you guessed it, two bags. I have found that many people have a hard time hitting the exact limb that they are aiming for and, understandably, this tends to be frustrating. When people become frustrated, they lose focus and they become discouraged. One of the best tricks for getting past the frustration is double bagging.
Instead of trying to throw into that perfect position on the first throw, why not throw over the tree or at least over that spot you are aiming for. Now that your throw line is relatively close to what you were aiming for, I recommend then trying to get one side of the throw line close to the base of the tree. This might involve pulling it up and over some limbs, but the closer to the base of the tree the better. You can now take another throw line and attach it to your first throw line (the side closest to the base) with an XSRE carabiner, or even girth hitch both bags together. I recommend using at least one 16 ounce throw bag for this, and preferably two.
Ideal for Thick Canopies
Now that everything is connected, you can start pulling the double bag up into the tree. As you get close to the limb you are aiming for, you can swing the double bag back and forth by pulling on the opposite end. This can help you swing it over your ideal tie-in point. Once you do get it over the limb, you can lower the double bag back down to the ground. Keep a close eye on which end is which when you are about to pull one of the throw lines. This technique is great in spread out trees or trees with thick canopies.
Do keep in mind that you need to pay attention to which line is which when double bagging! It really will ruin your morning if you take all the time to double bag the perfect tie-in point and then you accidentally pull your throw line out of that exact tie-in point! I would also recommend pulling the throw line that isn’t through your tie-in point out of the tree before pulling your access line into the tree. This will help keep your climb line from getting tangled up in your extra throw line and it will make everything a bit neater on the ground!
Hopefully this helps you get an idea of how useful double bagging can be on the job. If you have any other tricks with your throw line, we would love to read about them in the comments below!