Two days ago, I activated Parc national des Grands-Jardins (VE-0499)–a stunning national park here in the Charlevoix region of Québec, Canada.
As soon as we drove up to the activation site I had researched in advance, I surveyed the picnic area and mentally noted the best spot to deploy an end-fed half-wave using my trusty arborist throw line.
With the throw line’s assistance, I had an antenna deployed within a couple of minutes max.
It hit me then just how invaluable a tool the arborist throw line has become for the types of park and summit activations I do.
Pre-Throw Line Activations
During NPOTA (National Parks On The Air) in 2016, I wasn’t aware of arborist throw lines and had been using some high test monofilament fishing line attached to a weight.
The fishing line was strong enough to support my QRP antennas and I could typically reuse the same length of line for 2-3 activations. Eventually, the line stretches and weakens thus it must be cut off and discarded.
I’m a big Leave No Trace kind of guy, so am embarrassed to admit that during one activation, my fishing line snagged high up in a tree and left a bundle of broken monofilament in a spot where I could not retrieve it. This was deep in a forest and although I doubt anyone will ever see it, I know it’s there. It bugs me to this day and if I ever sort out a way to remove it, I certainly will.
This occurrence was one of the catalysts for purchasing my first arborist throw line kit.
That throw line kit absolutely revolutionized my antenna deployments by:
- increasing the speed deployment,
- increasing accuracy,
- allowing me to re-use the same line hundreds of times,
- and being orders of magnitude more reliable and stronger than fishing line.
It changed everything and I’ve never looked back.
Since that first throw line kit (which I’ve lent to a newly-minted active ham), I’ve built four more throw line kits.
Compact Weaver Throw Bag
In early 2021, I purchased a second throw line and 12oz weight (identical to my first) for backpacking along with this compact Weaver Leather throw line storage bag (affiliate links).
I was searching for a more SOTA-friendly/backpack-able solution than the arborist throw line cube.
I was very skeptical about how easily this bag would work in the field. One of the reasons my throw line storage cube works so well is because the opening is large allowing the line to deploy without tangling. Packing up is fast because the line can be flaked back into the cube in a matter of seconds. Continue reading The arborist throw line is an invaluable field radio kit tool