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The Fulcrum and Block & Tackle

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The fulcrum technique, or the use of a set of pullies and rope have long been used in aiding in the reducing the weight in lifting or moving heavy objects.  Does anyone have or use these in their survival gear?

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I have used fulcrums for moving tree trunks out of roads in the past.

 

There is one use for a fulcrum to get you out of a potential survival situation and one that i have used many times in my travels. It is potentially dangerous so if you take this idea away please take extreme care.

 

In many parts of the world, home and abroad you may travel heavily rutted none metalled roads. It is easy to get caught in these ruts and have your vehicle bottom out. Once this happen it is very easy to lose traction from the wheels and then you are stuck fast. There a number of ways to get out of this situation but most are very time consuming, a lot of hard work and potentially very damaging to the vehicle.

 

One quick option is to build a stable platform under for the jack to sit on then jack the car up out of the rut. Once the wheels are out of the rut push the vehicle of the jack to one side. This is potentially dangerous because often people dont push hard enough and dont follow the push through and the vehicle will rock back towards the person with enough momentum to tip the vehicle that way into the person. It is safer to use a long pole to leaver/fulcrum the vehicle of the jack in the direction you want it to go

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To follow on from Losts thread "The Fulcrum" it got me thinking of pulley systems and how are used in the wilderness and how they can be adapted to a survival situation. Potentially a pulley system is a lot more useful than a fulcrum

 

I have used pulleys, both manufactured and self constructed, many times i the past for such things as hauling kit, river crossings and whilst working on vehicles.

 

Have any of you used pulleys in the wilderness or think of any uses in a survival situation.

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Guest HazeyWolf

Hi Adi; I don't have much to add to your general over-view of the uses of pulleys in the wilderness...A few months ago I had a week off which I spent in the foothills for the California Sierras... one of my goals was to spend some time practicing rope knotwork and  cordage fabrication... I'm terrible at both and was working at it in the late afternoon and evening, reading instructions from a book... I did have some limited success with an exhuasting tree climb with a double prussik sling and a carabiner - I found it very difficult (*the rope I was using was not ideal) and the knots tended to bind, forcing me to remove my gloves.  Bear Grylls demonstrated a similar technique recently on his 'Man vs. Wild - European Alps' show, and seemed to have a hard time with the technique as well...  I'm not much of a rock climber, but it was obvious to me that a mini prusik pulley might be a handy device for self rescue in rugged terrain  http://www.spadout.com/wiki/index.php/Self_Rescue .  I don't have any personal experience with them, but know that they are used by some arborists and SAR personnel. http://www.outdooridiots.com/features/200605/prusik/prusik_10.asp ,   http://www.mountainsurvival.com/pulleysystems.html

 

There are some really small, inexpensive pulleys like the petzl ultralight  - just needs a 'biner and you're set - http://canyoneeringusa.com/shop/view_product.php?product=PZ%20P00&PHPSESSID=3c6a060646e15fca39c64b0f4733b175 , or carabiners with an integrated pulley: http://www.bentgate.net/resiqubydmm.html.

 

I've had some basic light search and rescue training via our Community Emergency Response Team training - we trained with fulcrum levers and cribbing.  I'm hoping to take an more advanced CERT sponsered SAR course in the future;  Its conducted by our local fire department and covers addtional rescue methods which include securing and manuevering a medical patient with a Stokes litter and a some rope and pulley work, among other things... Its not as intense or involved as a professional SAR or Fire Rescue training course, but it should be fun.

 

As I've mentioned, I'm not an experienced climber - but certainly a mechanical prusik pulley and an ascender jumar could prove valuable for jugging yourself, your gear, or an injured person up or down a steep incline or across a traverse, provided you had the rope... Ah, and that's what takes it just over the top for me - it seems like too much stuff to haul around.  I do often have a couple carabiners and some 550 cord with me though.

 

A rigger's belt, a couple of large aluminum caribiners and some 550 paracord can provide a basic self-rescue and pulley system, though the 550 paracord is not meant for rapelling or weight support for climbing (the individual fibers may break, the cord can shrink and bind when wet, it stretches, etc.)...Still, it may work in an emergency. Better yet, you could (if desperate) rig a tyrolean traverse with a reliable load-bearing cross rope of 5mm tech cord - the tech cord is rated 5K lb test - its sturdy enough stuff, but  intended for a single emergency use, and not intended for a transverse (a thin line would is more likely to cut or abrade in field conditions -- and a rope under tension (like when you are hanging from it) can be cut easily from a sharp rock - it doesn't take much hard use to seriously weaken such rope). 

 

I think a rigger's belt or similar heavy duty nylon belt is a useful piece of kit for backpacking or any emergency gear; they're just utility belts - typically mil-spec and capable of supporting a lot of weight without danger of breaking (2k lbs) - they last and wear better than leather and a carabiner or clip attachment can be used to haul your carcass out of a bad spot, or provide a durable platform for belt gear. http://www.lapolicegear.com/cqbrebe.html

 

Another important field use of a pulley system that of a ratcheting pulley (a come-along) or a hoist to move vehicle, gear, or debris, horizontally or vertically. Ron Hood cover's such techniques in his Vehicle Survival video (- its informative and well done).  Mr. Hood suggests  a "hi-lift jack" as one of the best choices for an automotive jack, and demonstrates how it can also be used as a come-along styled hoist or as a ratcheting pulley system.  http://www.4x4now.com/bb0997.htm    In this regard, its very important to note how dangerous a broken cord, cable or rope can be when its highly tentioned!  Besides releasing whatever is being supported by it, a cable can whip wildly and do terrible damage - such accidents are important considerations.  Please note the wildsurvive thread on vehicle survival:  http://www.wildsurvive.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=72&/topic,603.0.html

 

Certainly in a long term outdoor situation, block and tackle would prove to have many more practicle uses than the few I've enountered or noted here... The topic brings to mind the engineering concept of the primary "simple machines" of history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_machine .  Beyond a simple pulley, a "block and tackle" set-up includes two or more pulleys, providing a significat (1/3) mechanical advantage when lifting or moving heavy objects - an improtant principle to cognicent of.

 

BTW, I've recently enjoyed veiwing Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "A Cook in the Wild" and "River Cottage Roadtrip" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cook-On-The-Wild-Side/dp/B000FTJ6VK)  after discovering them on uunet's alt.binaries.multimedia.cooking group. Did you ever see them, Adi? Pretty fun urban and suburban foraging in the UK...

 

Lastly - I really enjoyed the article on vehicle survival you posted in the November contest; fantastic job, as always...

 

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Hazey thanks for your detailed reply that was exactly the response i was hoping for.

 

You have made some interesting comments on self rescue that i have seen demonstrated in the past but had not considered whilst writing this thread, so thank you for that.

 

You are completely right about carrying rope and all the ansilary parts, you are not going to add it to your normal kit and the only time you are likely to carry a rope is if you are in the mountains climbing or if you have a specific task in hand. But, there could be room and a justification for a pulley kit in the back of a car and in Africa we indeed often carried a pulley system along with the wench as do many overland .

 

As for hauling i have used pulleys many times for hauling both kit and people up and down pitches within caves and this is a partically good environment for the use of pulley systems providing you fully protect the rope from abrasion. I have also had a lot of experience of using pulley systems in the construction or application of river crossings.

 

I used to have a small booklet that was issued to firemen during WW2 on how to use block and tackle and fulcrums in the task of rescue and Lost Thread reminded me of this. I am interested of hearing other ideas.

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Lost has joined these two threads together, which makes sense.

 

Simple machines optimizing mechanical advantage can be used in numerous ways to help use achieve our goals. Some of you must have some thoughts and ideas on this.

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hi!

i might add to this topic,,,

i have used pulleys and fulcrums many times over my life for many application,,

 

when i was  mountain rescue intructor, i use to rig highlines off the second highest bridge in the world..( my first life)...

 

now , with  the bush,, i use,, fulcrums and pulleys, for many applications as well as with some  of my " tricks" with my bush beds,,,,

 

i use to make "bows bush beds" and elevate them high in coniferous trees to shield there view from below and, hide the fact i was  even there...great for many anti tracking tricks,, not only for sight tricks, but for scenting tricks  too,,,,

 

i always say,, "just because you dont see them,,, dont think they are not there".....

 

the pulleys and fulcriums of course were handy for this purpose,,, to enter and leave this unit ,,, and,,,, "many more tricks" i have developed with in the bush,,,during my research and travelling,,,

 

there,,now you have another trick from my works that "no one else has''......................... :arigato: ,,,,, but, ,this forum now does...

 

so, i hope this answers one of your questions and,,,,  has adi  now ,,,thinking  of some more!!!  :thumbsup:

your welcome,,,,bow

 

 

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Yep Bow, you are definitely up there!  (Whether it be in the trees or on some mountain.  ;) )

 

 

BOW said,  "i always say,, "just because you dont see them,,, dont think they are not there"....."

 

 

I agree fully with this Bow.  Our eyes do not work just in a straight line.  Exercising the ability to see within 360 degrees is so wise Bow.

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“Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world”. Archimedes, 220 BC.

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Bow you are quite a creature but as you are aware if you can see you can be seen and i am sure the tree tops are not the place for the Canadian man of mystery :D A great idea though, to get those not aware :thumbup:

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hi adi,,,,

some notes on the last train of thought,,,that youd understand,, and it might add more to what i am trying to convey for "you" here..

placement is everything as is day light and darkness,,,,

timing is efverything,, ,,  ideas like tiredness and  the areas of slinging things when you should be at the "ready" are also ideas i use on  the unaware!

when they dream happy thoughts,,, the world around them might be a disaster!!

 

"he who walks backwards and trusts the shadows knows, the bush as well as  a small animal"

 

thought you might enjoy some of these "half' answers that i know you know the other halfs...

 

also, i understand that "seeing" can be seen,, however,, sometimes we dont see what is really there,, as we never have learnt what is to be seen...

bow :arigato:

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