Extension Cords?

1:16 a.m. on April 14, 2012 (EDT)
2,093 reviewer rep
295 forum posts

My bro-in-law is an experienced outdoorsman, Eagle Scout, the whole nine yards...

In his humble opinion as a contractor, he said the other day that people who hike with ropes are stupid. 

His assertion that if you really want something to be hung in a tree, or really want something tied tightly, then use an extension cord. 

You ever wonder that you can rarely get a rope stuck where you want it to stay, and that you always manage to get an extension cord caught on everything?

Hmmm. Maybe he has a point.

(isn't very ultralight though...)

8:40 a.m. on April 14, 2012 (EDT)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts


There are many extension cord sayings and jokes passed around on construction sites.

It seems that when you are in a hurry and you try to toss one end of an extension cord up to someone, or onto a balcony, or up through an elevator shaft it will inevitably come back down and sometimes drag another item with it so that you have two flying targets to duck from. Ideally you want it to get hung on something...but no, it doesn't when you need it to.

Or.....it will get hung up on something that no one can easily reach and this turns into it's own little side project to get it loose which requires an equal amount of time to explain why it is taking so long to get your work done. This is just Murphy's Law I guess, personal cord tossing skill & experience aside.

In the afternoons when you are ready to go home and it is time to roll your cords up you will find the whole thing has slowly wound itself around other peoples cords as well as everything in sight throughout the day like some kind on maniacal plastic vine of torture. Even if you are able to roll the cord up freely the tag end will always get hung up on anything even remotely close by.

Happens every time.

One old saying is that if you should have to jump out of an airplane take an extension cord with you because it will get hung up on something on the way down - thus stopping your fall.

On construction sites we do use extension cords as a rope to haul up or lower items, etc. Not for personal safety of course, but the extension cord serves many purposes on the job. Although rare, one is to wait until someone enters the Port-a-let and quickly wrap the cord around it (trapping the occupant) while you demand something in exchange for letting the poor soul out. This usually happens when the crew has decided that a particular individual is generally being a PITA.

For bear bagging, cords are way to heavy -  but I can totally appreciate your brother in laws perspective and humor.

Mike G.

11:38 a.m. on April 14, 2012 (EDT)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

the are no sockets out there, take a rope.

1:20 p.m. on April 14, 2012 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,245 forum posts


Actually I have used light electric cord a few times over the years. The copper wire inside the rubberized cover is very strong. Does'nt have to be a 1/2 inch diameter extesion cord. Try a 1/8th in one. And they do tie very well.

8:54 p.m. on April 14, 2012 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,979 forum posts

Electrical cords are heavier than rope.  Let you in-law carry these items if he is so determined.   I personally want a implement that doesn't catch on everything - only what I what it to catch on.


12:31 p.m. on April 15, 2012 (EDT)
134 reviewer rep
456 forum posts

Well Ed, I would have though that you of all people, Mr. Large Pack, would have a use for the good old extension cord.  I mean you don't want that little Honda generator running right next to your tent all night do you??  :D  Got to have something for the little frig and night light. 

Just joking, but they do make great clothing lines. :D


1:22 p.m. on April 15, 2012 (EDT)
5,642 reviewer rep
2,036 forum posts

are electrical extension cords more powerful when plugged in?  (doh).

actually, the strength to thickness (diameter) ratio for electrical extension cords is probably not even in the same league as lightweight accessory cord, and certain not any static or dynamic climbing rope.  for most non-weight bearing applications (hang a bag in a tree, clothesline, lashing stuff to your pack, guying out a tent under anything less than tropical storm-force winds, hanging a tarp), 2.75mm sterling accessory cord is more than you need. for something heavier, like hanging a hammock or guying out a tent in really bad winter conditions, 4 or 5 mm accessory cord is plenty strong (5mm accessory cord has a minimum breaking strength of over 1100 pounds, generally.  would you hang even half that weight on your typical electrical extension cord?).  

2:56 p.m. on April 15, 2012 (EDT)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

bright idea ?????

May 25, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: New to TrailSpace! Newer: Backcountry First Aid Preparedness
All forums: Older: 10. Newer: Best cold-weather snack?