Have you ever thought about all the gear that you use on a daily basis? Have you thought about the harness that you put on everyday or the biners that get beat up at the bottom of your gear bag? How about some of the stuff that is your “go to” gear that is surely getting used and, more than likely, slightly abused day-after-day? We want to give a huge shout out to all that under-appreciated gear that keeps holding tons of weight or makes your day easier without you ever giving it a second thought. Here’s to you, lowly, under-appreciated gear!
First on our list is something that surely doesn’t get enough respect or appreciation: rigging lines! I have watched rigging lines get beat on worse than any other gear that we use. Whether it’s a three strand rigging line that gets used all day in a natural crotch or a high strength rigging line that gets absolutely beat on while rigging down massive sections into a postage stamp backyard, these lines take a beating and keep holding everyday! A climber will definitely make sure their climb line doesn’t get dragged through the mud or sand, but when it comes to a rigging line getting any type of relaxation or rest, it isn’t happening! Mud, dirt, bark, wet grass, rain, or snow, these lines just keep going without a single thank you or good job! On a more serious note, be sure to read up about cycles to failure and when rigging lines should be replaced as well. But also be sure to give your rigging lines a little bit of respect. Give them a good wash every now and then and at least tell them thanks for holding that 1,000 lb log time and time again!
Second on our list of under-appreciated gear is the gear that is always right underneath us…our boots! Boots get stomped through mud and water all year long, as well as other nasty stuff like dog crap and fuel at the gas station. They also get beat to an absolute pulp within a year’s time by scraping them against bark or having the chainsaw rub on the back of the heal. And ya know what? They keep supporting your feet, which in turn keeps your back in check, which reduces fatigue, headaches, and other musculoskeletal problems! Boots also help keep our feet stuck to limbs when we are heading out to the tips to get that last piece of dead wood, as well as keep our feet from looking like talons that are wrapped around the limbs we stand on! The least we can do is pick up a boot dryer to keep them dry and prepare them for the next day of torture!
The third piece of gear on our list is our trusty, and at times, rusty handsaw. This toothed beast tears through limbs day in and day out with no back talk other than a famed Silky Scar. Our handsaws are carried up into the tree with us every day. They keep those little fuzzies out of our face and make our back cuts safer, but we use them until their teeth are almost gone and then just throw them away. It’s a rough life being a handsaw, but at least we can use something like a Silky that’s guaranteed to stay with us longer than most other handsaws, while also making some super smooth cuts on the trees we are taking care of!
And now for the fourth and final piece of under-appreciated gear on our list: accessory carabiners or tool holders! These awesome little carabiners are clipped to our sides all day long, getting jammed full of dirty rigging lines and other beat up and dirty rigging gear, as well as pruners, pole saws, or anything else that will fit though its gate. This is another piece of gear that gets forgotten about for a whole year and then you try out a new harness that doesn’t have one and all hell breaks loose because you don’t know where to put your extra gear! Do you tie your rigging line to your D ring? What about this pruner? Maybe throw it over your shoulder? It really would be nice to have a tool holder right about now!
Hopefully you had some fun reading about our favorite pieces of under-appreciated gear! If you have some other pieces that you think deserve some love, let us know about them in the comments below and be sure to pick up some of these unsung heroes from our website!