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Author Topic: X'd tow poles or H frame?  (Read 3619 times)

Offline 300winmag

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X'd tow poles or H frame?
« on: November 24, 2016, 04:04:52 pm »
My first tow poles were "H" frame PVC filled with hardwood dowels. They worked pretty well except for sharper turns.

Then I tried X pole configuration with a large rubber O-ring at the crossing point. This was much better for turning and less prone to stress. Also it worked better on "side hill" traverses.

I'll never go back to H frame tow poles.

Comments?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 10:59:16 pm by 300winmag »

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 06:27:48 pm »
Ropes with a shock gord section to absorb the yanking at the start!

Offline ravinerat

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 10:01:52 pm »
Been a rope guy myself but I have a Military pulk that has fixed bars.

RR
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Offline mewolf1

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2016, 10:22:36 pm »
I used X poles til joining the ranks of rope users like toboggans have. I don't have a toboggan, so a Pulk is behind me.

Offline Coldfingers

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 08:33:14 am »
I have X'd fiberglass poles on my pulk. They seem to work well for me although I have no experience with the H shape design.

Offline kinguq

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2016, 09:41:21 am »
Another option is the single pole hitch. http://crust.outlookalaska.com/TimsSledTips/index.htm

In the past I have used H and X hitches, and generally found the X to handle better.

Obviously a rope hitch is better in some situations, but not in others. For example a rope hitch gives better flexibility for bushwacking, but is a real pain on downhill sections. I would really like a system that would give me the option of quickly switching between a rope and a solid hitch, but I haven't really figured that out yet.

Kinguq.

Offline 300winmag

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 02:17:08 pm »
Gents,

I'm wondering why some of you like rope tows for your toboggans/pulks. I have used a rope tow on a wooden toboggan we used for rescue in the early days of our Nordic patrol in Erie, PA but it was nearly "unworkable". When we designed our plastic Stokes litter for rescue we had hardwood dowel filled copper tubing and it was so much easier than rope to use for a manual haul.

Now that I'm in Nevada I haven't used my pulk due to the mountainous terrain but its X'd tow poles works so well for turning and downhills I can't imagine using ropes. I'm thinking that rope tows must be used mainly for flat to gently rolling terrain.

Eric B.

Offline Kaifus

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2016, 05:56:56 pm »
I couldn't imagine more of a nuisance than having poles between me and my sled. At a ski area with groomed slopes it would be different but for bush travel over unbroken ground I'd never consider it.  Across lakes or up and down portage trails I want the flexibility that rope gives. There is a limited amount of time that poles would be good for me but that's so minor compared it the total time manhauling.

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2016, 07:34:16 pm »
I couldn't imagine more of a nuisance than having poles between me and my sled. At a ski area with groomed slopes it would be different but for bush travel over unbroken ground I'd never consider it.  Across lakes or up and down portage trails I want the flexibility that rope gives. There is a limited amount of time that poles would be good for me but that's so minor compared it the total time manhauling.

Yup. what he said^^^...

As for down hill, if the trail is wide enough, you grab the ropes behind you and you slide the bulk in between you legs, and sit on the load and enjoy the ride!!
If the trail is too narrow or really steep or dangerous, I let the sled going in from of me and I hold on the the tow ropes and my stern rope as well so I'm in full control!

Offline Bioguide

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2016, 07:50:04 pm »
As for down hill, if the trail is wide enough, you grab the ropes behind you and you slide the bulk in between you legs, and sit on the load and enjoy the ride!!
If the trail is too narrow or really steep or dangerous, I let the sled going in from of me and I hold on the the tow ropes and my stern rope as well so I'm in full control!

Or... if the trails are steep, packed, and fast just let it rip: https://youtu.be/Sf7-8sa8UY0?t=26

Offline Moondog55

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 06:13:14 pm »
Can it be a pulk if it has a rope tow?
I would have said not because my understanding of the pulk is it is the controllability while skiing downhill that is the whole point

Offline rbinhood

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 07:29:45 pm »
I tried ropes, which worked ok, but found myself leaning into them, which was hard on my back. Went to crossed fiberglass poles clipped into a full body harness (tree stand fall protection) with hip attachments. This has worked the best for me.
"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."
Henry David  Thoreau

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 10:40:48 pm »
As for down hill, if the trail is wide enough, you grab the ropes behind you and you slide the bulk in between you legs, and sit on the load and enjoy the ride!!
If the trail is too narrow or really steep or dangerous, I let the sled going in from of me and I hold on the the tow ropes and my stern rope as well so I'm in full control!

Or... if the trails are steep, packed, and fast just let it rip: https://youtu.be/Sf7-8sa8UY0?t=26

That is what we do. Or we sit on the sled with skis on both side and go down, you can control your speed by snowplowing if the trail is wide enough.

Offline Dave Hadfield

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 08:35:19 am »
This is what we've evolved for travelling through the Shield forest of N. Ontario and Manitoba. It works great. The main pull is on your hips, and there is a strap that goes up and over your shoulders to stop it sliding down. These units are US Army surplus, quite old, but well designed. Tow-rings front and back, and side-latches for quick-disconnect.



The poles help with pulling somewhat, but they are great at finding a previously packed trail which is now hidden by fresh snow. When you want to find it because the walking and pulling is easier, but you can't see it -- then the poles make it much easier to detect.

However I did back-country Alpine trip once at Jasper, up to the Edith Cavell hut. The ski-out at the end of the trip was a disaster. For a steady downhill run, you need shafts. Otherwise the sled keeps trying to kill you. (Man, did I crash a lot...)

The towrope is best if it isn't rope at all, just 1/8" nylon cord. This stretches nicely as you pull, and soaks up the jerks. It's better than bungee. (I hate bungee.) (Almost always.)

Dave

Offline scoutergriz

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Re: X'd tow poles or H frame?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2018, 09:02:25 am »
for the dreaded downhill run I use 2 methods the first is for those trails with lots of short up and downs- I tie a bunch of knots in my tow line and run a longer line that I can pay out or pull in. On a downhill, you simply pay out enough rope that the knots go under the pulk or toboggan, adding friction. On the uphill, pull in the rope to lift the knots off the snow.
for big down hills, I switch to a drag line and lower it from behind.