The ideal tree climbing rope bag should be able to stow up to 50 meters of rope, have air vents to allow the rope to 'breath' when wet and shoulder straps to ensure easy portage to, and into, the tree. Stiff side walls able to stand up on their own for rope packing but also able to compress when required is another essential feature. Above all the rope bag must be rugged enough to stand up to the demands of tree work.
And, if you are climbing SRT the ideal bag should be able to withstand being dropped to the ground from 30 meters up (with rope included), multiple times a day.Finding such a bag has not been an easy task so Drew Bristow from DB Tree set about designing his own rope bag. Inspiration came via Pete Smith from New Zealand company, Access Gear who specialize in the manufacture of extremely rugged rope and carry-all bags for caving and canyoning - or for anyone playing and working in extreme outdoor environments.
One of Pete's special tricks is the use of a tough plastic mesh, stitched into his bags which allows water to drain (essential in caving and canyoning) and the rope to 'air. The vents also allow compressed air to escape when the bag is dropped, full of rope, to the ground.
The plastic mesh in the base of the DB Tree Crackajack bag forms an essential part of the bag. But its the attention to detail, from the extra loops for tying off, double layer PVC ripstop base and reinforced seams with extra webbing that make this the bag of choice for tree climbers.
Drew has tested a number of prototype bags over the last few months and has finally settled on the correct design. Pete has production underway and Treetools expect the first shipment of Crackajack rope bags in store, just after Easter weekend. Price to be confirmed.
Drew Bristow competing in the 2010 South Island Regional TCC