Coffee with Andy- Ratchet

Good Morning!!!!

Wow more of you than I thought …..Well this is great. Welcome to the first of what I hope becomes a never ending weekly gathering around a good ol cup of coffee.  So, this is kind of a work in progress and I not only think, I know, that the format will be always evolving; since what I had envisioned has only lasted 44 words now. 

So, I had started to write on a safe topic to kick off “Coffee with Andy” with just to test the water so to speak. “The weather”, since NW Montana broke every known record in rainfall this October for this part of the world, 4.86” if you are keeping track.  But then, by accident, I stumbled into a discussion on Facebook that became a debate….Which then led to talks around Trailhead Supply’s coffee pot and on and on and on…. Because we all know packers are always right!!!!

The questions was asked……..Who out there packs using ratchet straps?  Immediately I leaned back in my chair and said “What???????”  Why would you…how would you even do that?  I hadn’t even looked or considered the whole safety side of this thought process. There would be no quick release knot.  All I could picture is some guy losing his teeth as he tries to wrestle the ratcheting mechanism to release everything during a wreck. And boom!!!...hoof…teeth…hand over mouth….while mumbling adult adjectives.   I’m starring at the monitor trying to just get a visual in my mind…..Now don’t get me wrong I love to look at packing pictures floating through my facebook news feed.  I enlarge them and study them just to see what folks are hauling, where they are headed and how they are securing the loads to their pack saddle. But the only place I’ve ever seen a ratchet strap used before other than on a flatbed trailer is on my friend John’s top pack, which I don’t understand and probably never will.….He just won’t conform to tradition and use rope.  See I’m a decker guy we like rope. So, when one starts in with tying a load on with ratchet straps I don’t get it…. at all!!! I basket hitch almost everything the rope goes around and then under. Not feasible with a ratchet strap.  Even if you barrel hitch I could see if you had 2 ratchet straps maybe but then again, why???  Then I actually found a picture of this online, someone was hauling lumber, using 2 ratchet straps but still, why?   I was then sent a picture after a discussion with friends, and a ratchet strap was used to secure five gallon jugs to a metal rack hanging on a sawbuck…..Note, I took interest in this since I have the same metal racks.  I liked that idea… a lot!!!   Even though I’m a traditionalist and use rope for many different reasons I’m always looking for something faster and easier……which I really haven’t found yet.  Except for maybe a short ratchet strap on a metal rack.  

Remember an uneducated guy and a donkey settled the west.  There are folks out there making this whole packing thing seem difficult…Only to sell more books or videos…..   If it works for you, do it.  If you and your stock can keep safe, use it.  If it helps you get out on the trail more, I’m all for it.  Until next week………..

See you on the trail.


Cancer affects us all, we are either fighting it, surviving it, or lost a loved one to it.  Trailhead Supply is wrapping up our annual Breast cancer T-shirt sale all proceeds are donated to our local Cancer Support Community. There are only a few days left to help someone in need and get a great looking Trailhead Supply – Breast Cancer T- shirt in the process.  Thanks you in advance for your support. Get your shirt here.

Comment on this post (2 comments)

  • Jason Ridlon says...


    Maybe if a ratchet strap works so well for many maybe a good wrap of pallet/plastic wrap would work. Would hold load and keep it dry? And with rain fall records being set in the west a good plastic wrap might just work well? I will stick with my Trail Supply Manite tarps till you give it a try.


    November 10, 2016

  • Kathy Young says...

    Good morning Andy, I’ve got my coffee. And, yep, I remember now….. that is how we secured the salt blocks to the racks when we were hauling them out to cattle. AND we did have one “spectacular” unload.

    November 09, 2016

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