High Lines that work well enough so you can sleep soundly at night!

high line mules on highline

The purpose of High Lines is to restrain our animals in a safe and secure method with as little damage to the environment as possible. It takes a bit of learning to accomplish this to perfection, but once learned it makes traveling in the back-country with our mules and horses so much more enjoyable and leaves the landscape unscathed when we leave.

We normally pack in portable electric fences which we set up and allow our stock to freely graze in during daylight hours while in camp. During the night, however, we always high-line them so that we don't have to worry about them escaping from the electric fence during the night after a deer or bear goes thru the fence taking it down with them.

Here we describe two methods of putting up High Lines which we have found to work very well for us.

Construction methods:

A few common elements that are essential for all safe and secure high lines:

Trucker's Hitch High Line:

This highline utilizes the amazing TRUE "Trucker's Hitch", which is a knot that can be used for all sorts of purposes from tying down loads in the back of your truck... to using as a knot when pulling loads... to building a TIGHT high line. And when you are finished you can easily untie the knot with your bare hands as it never gets tight, but will hold tons of pressure without giving when tied correctly. The false trucker's hitch is used more often by young workers at lumber yards, etc. who have never been taught the proper way to tie this knot - and when it's used incorrectly it can be nearly impossible to get the resulting knot back out of your rope.

Tie one end of your highline rope as high as you can to a tree, using your lash cinch around the tree, or using a "tree saver". Run the rope to another tree and go around tree, as high as possible, then use the "High Line Hitch" as diagramed below. After tying hitch, pull the end of the rope as tight as you can and then end off with a quick release half hitch to hold it all in place.

Using the diagram below, start with #1 and finish with #2. Be sure to pull the "loop" fairly long, and then pull everthing tight so that the loop doesn't slip out. Pull the end of the rope until your high line is TIGHT, AND tie off with a simple quick release half hitch.

Truckers Hitch

Carabiner High Line:

For this high line system, use heavy duty mountain climbing carabiners, not the cheap imitations that you find in many stores, as they are not strong enough. You'll also be using "prussic loops" in this system, and can find the instructions on making them below. This is a very easy highline to tighten.

Carabiner highline
Carabiner highline steps 1 & 2 Carabiner highline step 3-4
Steps 1 & 2 Steps 3 & 4
Carabiner highline step 5 Carabiner highline step 6
Step 5 Step 6 - pull loose end of rope till line is TIGHT,
and then tie off.
(Caribiner high line pictures courtesy of Pete Kriger)

High Line Loops (Prussic Loops):

These loops are inexpensive to make and easy to use.
The trick is to use a rope that is a smaller diameter than your highline rope.
We recommend using a high quality climbing type rope to make sure this doesn't end up being the "weak link" in your system.

Making the loop itself:

To make the loop, start with a piece of rope about 2' long.
You can tie any type of a secure knot to make the loop, but the Double Overhand knot (as shown below)is a nice sleek way of tying this.

High Line Loop Construction highline loop construction

To Attach the High Line Loops to your High Line:

high line loop

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