Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Update: Little Creek necker

Ordinarily I don't cultivate a lot of crosstalk between KintlaLake Blog and its corresponding Facebook page, but today I'm going to make an exception. My previous post generated this comment:
"I would never carry 550 [para]cord wrapped around my neck. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen. ... It's an easy way to strangle yourself if it ever gets caught on something."
The reader makes an excellent point. What he didn't know (because I didn't explain it) is that I fused the ends of the paracord with a torch-type butane lighter (rather than tying a knot) specifically to avoid the unpleasant outcome he described.

It's possible to fuse a very strong joint, practically as stout as uncut cord, but that'd be a colossally bad idea for a neck lanyard. Done right, however -- and it takes practice -- a carefully fused joint holds fast under normal use but acts like a breakaway for safety's sake.

An alternative to fusing or knotting, of course, is a breakaway connector. This morning I ordered a handful of these inexpensive plastic gizmos, and in a future post I'll talk about installing them.

Now, having said all that, a neck lanyard isn't a wear-it-all-the-time proposition -- breakaway or no breakaway.

A hunter probably wouldn't don a necker, for example, until the hunt was done and it was time to field-dress his kill -- and then he'd slip the rig back into a pocket before packing out. I might wear my Little Creek around my neck in camp, but not while hiking or climbing.

And so on. It's simply a matter of being smart about it.