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KrisS

Packing tool

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I can’t understand the benefit to the pack tool, such a small diameter it hurts more than using a wide pull up cord/ribbon. Even those seem fancy to me, for I grew up using gutted 550 cord. I’ve started using that again the last couple weeks.

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What kind of advice are you looking for?

Lots of people use what's called a "packboy" or "power tool", which is a metal rod thin enough to go through the grommets with a length of CYPRES loop cord (or similar) that acts as the pull up cord. 

Personally, I use a standard pull up cord, which has changed since I started jumping from 'normal' binding tape to a softer fabric sort of material, usually printed with company logos. 

Last summer I found a thing called a PUCA tool (Pull Up Cord Assist). It's a handle that the pull up cord wraps around and gives a comfortable handle to grip. I find it a lot easier on my hands than wrapping the pull up cord around them

Really old school is to use the gutted 550 cord, which is standard parachute cord with the center strings removed. Also old school is to use a shoe lace, but if you do that, make sure you remove the aglet. It is vulnerable to being stripped off and jamming the closing pin.

 

The only advice I would offer is:

1 - Try before you buy. Most jumpers I know would be willing to let you use a power tool or PUCA tool, as long as you used it when they didn't need it. As noted above, the power tool rod is pretty thin. I'm not a big fan of them for that reason. 

2 - Don't wear the power tool around your neck. The idea of wearing something around your throat that will kill you before it breaks is a really bad one. Lots of people do that, it's pretty stupid. Some wear them when jumping, which is really fucking stupid.

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On 10/23/2019 at 8:49 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

Lots of people use what's called a "packboy" or "power tool", which is a metal rod thin enough to go through the grommets with a length of CYPRES loop cord (or similar) that acts as the pull up cord. 

Are you saying to use a packboy (Sexist! ;)) to close the D-Bag? :o

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I can't see the benefit of the power tool compared to a normal closing cord.  I guess it might come in handy for removing broken rubber bands from your bag if you have recently cut your nails, but I just use the closing pin for that.

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On 10/24/2019 at 3:49 AM, wolfriverjoe said:

What kind of advice are you looking for?

Lots of people use what's called a "packboy" or "power tool", which is a metal rod thin enough to go through the grommets with a length of CYPRES loop cord (or similar) that acts as the pull up cord. 

Personally, I use a standard pull up cord, which has changed since I started jumping from 'normal' binding tape to a softer fabric sort of material, usually printed with company logos. 

Last summer I found a thing called a PUCA tool (Pull Up Cord Assist). It's a handle that the pull up cord wraps around and gives a comfortable handle to grip. I find it a lot easier on my hands than wrapping the pull up cord around them

Really old school is to use the gutted 550 cord, which is standard parachute cord with the center strings removed. Also old school is to use a shoe lace, but if you do that, make sure you remove the aglet. It is vulnerable to being stripped off and jamming the closing pin.

 

The only advice I would offer is:

1 - Try before you buy. Most jumpers I know would be willing to let you use a power tool or PUCA tool, as long as you used it when they didn't need it. As noted above, the power tool rod is pretty thin. I'm not a big fan of them for that reason. 

2 - Don't wear the power tool around your neck. The idea of wearing something around your throat that will kill you before it breaks is a really bad one. Lots of people do that, it's pretty stupid. Some wear them when jumping, which is really fucking stupid.

Thanks, I appreciate the advice and will take on board! 

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On 10/24/2019 at 1:44 AM, sundevil777 said:

I can’t understand the benefit to the pack tool, such a small diameter it hurts more than using a wide pull up cord/ribbon. Even those seem fancy to me, for I grew up using gutted 550 cord. I’ve started using that again the last couple weeks.

I guess you're holding it wrong then. Gripping the packing tool with 4 fingers hurts a LOT less than wrapping the pullup cord around your hand and pulling. Mainly because the stress on your hand is focused in the most outer spot where touches your hand, while the packing tool can distribute the force nicely across 4 fingers.

On top of that, the round cord is much smoother to remove from the loop with the pin inserted, causing less wear on the loop in my experience. After 60 jumps my loop was good as new.

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And that's exactly why I suggested that the OP try different tools to find what works best for him.

My experience is the opposite. And yes, I tried gripping the pack tool different ways. Wrapping the pullup cord was more comfortable. For me.

And even the old binding tape pullup cords could be removed without tearing up the closing loop. It just takes a bit of effort and proper technique.

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2 hours ago, massis said:

I guess you're holding it wrong then. Gripping the packing tool with 4 fingers hurts a LOT less than wrapping the pullup cord around your hand and pulling. Mainly because the stress on your hand is focused in the most outer spot where touches your hand, while the packing tool can distribute the force nicely across 4 fingers.

On top of that, the round cord is much smoother to remove from the loop with the pin inserted, causing less wear on the loop in my experience. After 60 jumps my loop was good as new.

I was holding the pack tool as you describe, and I still say it is less comfortable than an ordinary pullup.

I can agree with you that the spectra cord will wear the closing loop less than a typical pullup used in the normal way, which means withdrawing the pullup when full tension is on the loop/pin. I withdraw my pullup while there is zero tension on the loop, because while the loop is pulled through with extra to spare, I hold my thumb on the loop against the grommet until I get the pullup removed.

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32 minutes ago, sundevil777 said:

I withdraw my pullup while there is zero tension on the loop, because while the loop is pulled through with extra to spare, I hold my thumb on the loop against the grommet until I get the pullup removed.

I'm going out on a limb here and say that if you can pull your loop so far through that you have enough spare to do that, your loop is WAY too long and will have far too little tension on it to be safe.

When I was in AFF they told us that if your hand didnt hurt after packing and you weren't nearly crying when closing the final flap, your loop is likely too loose. While I do now think that's a bit of an exaggeration, I do see the importance of having a tight loop, which means pulling it through the final grommet more than 1/2" is probably way to loose.

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2 hours ago, massis said:

I'm going out on a limb here and say that if you can pull your loop so far through that you have enough spare to do that, your loop is WAY too long and will have far too little tension on it to be safe.

When I was in AFF they told us that if your hand didnt hurt after packing and you weren't nearly crying when closing the final flap, your loop is likely too loose. While I do now think that's a bit of an exaggeration, I do see the importance of having a tight loop, which means pulling it through the final grommet more than 1/2" is probably way to loose.

I understand your comment about the loop being too long, but no need for concern. It doesn't need to be much past the final grommet for the technique to remove the pullup with zero tension to work.

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10 hours ago, massis said:

I'm going out on a limb here and say that if you can pull your loop so far through that you have enough spare to do that, your loop is WAY too long and will have far too little tension on it to be safe...

...I do see the importance of having a tight loop, which means pulling it through the final grommet more than 1/2" is probably way to loose.

 

8 hours ago, sundevil777 said:

I understand your comment about the loop being too long, but no need for concern. It doesn't need to be much past the final grommet for the technique to remove the pullup with zero tension to work.

I agree that if you can pull the end of the loop 1/2" past the grommet, then it needs to be tightened.

But you have to pull it a bit past the grommet to get the closing pin in, right? 

That little bit is enough to take the tension off the pullup cord, allowing it to be removed.

There's also the very simple technique of wrapping the pullup cord around the pin and getting it under the pin, not between the pin and the closing loop. 

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9 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

 

I agree that if you can pull the end of the loop 1/2" past the grommet, then it needs to be tightened.

But you have to pull it a bit past the grommet to get the closing pin in, right? 

That little bit is enough to take the tension off the pullup cord, allowing it to be removed.

There's also the very simple technique of wrapping the pullup cord around the pin and getting it under the pin, not between the pin and the closing loop. 

I know that technique but found - in my limited experience - that even then the loop wears faster. However I never considered using the pin to pull the loop out a bit to reduce the tensions, which I assume now sundevil was talking about.
I originally imagined him pulling the loop out far enough so that you can place a finger on it to keep the tension of the outer end and remove the pullup cord and then insert the pin, which made very little sense :-)

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1 hour ago, massis said:

I know that technique but found - in my limited experience - that even then the loop wears faster. However I never considered using the pin to pull the loop out a bit to reduce the tensions, which I assume now sundevil was talking about.
I originally imagined him pulling the loop out far enough so that you can place a finger on it to keep the tension of the outer end and remove the pullup cord and then insert the pin, which made very little sense :-)

You are correct, while I'm holding down on the loop with my thumb, the pin can be taken out and reinserted (there is no reason to want to do that), and of course the pullup cord can be removed with no wear on the loop.

I do not "use the pin to pull the loop out a bit...", I just use the pullup cord to get the loop out far enough to allow the pullup to be removed without any friction.

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2 hours ago, sundevil777 said:

You are correct, while I'm holding down on the loop with my thumb, the pin can be taken out and reinserted (there is no reason to want to do that), and of course the pullup cord can be removed with no wear on the loop.

I do not "use the pin to pull the loop out a bit...", I just use the pullup cord to get the loop out far enough to allow the pullup to be removed without any friction.

then I revert to my original statement: there's no way i could pull out my loop far enough to easily hold it down with enough to spare so I could take out the pin and put it back in. I need to hold a fair bit of tension on the pullup cord (or packing tool) in order to have enough loop available to get the pin through...

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30 minutes ago, massis said:

then I revert to my original statement: there's no way i could pull out my loop far enough to easily hold it down with enough to spare so I could take out the pin and put it back in. I need to hold a fair bit of tension on the pullup cord (or packing tool) in order to have enough loop available to get the pin through...

This makes me wonder which brands of rigs each of you have. I found that there is a big difference in how tension for the closing loop works, depending on where the bottom of the loop is attached. Most rigs have it on the bottom flap, I believe, while others have it on the top wall of the packing tray. In the first case all the tension comes only from the tension the flaps themselves exert (which comes from the pressure of the bag against the walls of the packing tray.) In that case the loop is quite short and there isn't much range between way too tight and way too loose.
In the second case, the closing loop also goes around part of the deployment bag and some of the pressure comes directly from the bag pushing against the loop. The closing loop is much longer in this case, and there is some range of length that exerts sufficient pressure.
My rig is of the second kind, and I have only occasional experience in packing the other kind, but it seems to me that could be part of the difference you seem to describe (the other part could be how much strength you have in your thumb! xD )

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1 hour ago, massis said:

then I revert to my original statement: there's no way i could pull out my loop far enough to easily hold it down with enough to spare so I could take out the pin and put it back in. I need to hold a fair bit of tension on the pullup cord (or packing tool) in order to have enough loop available to get the pin through...

It might be easier than it seems, if you haven't actually tried.

Unnecessarily high closing loop tension is common.

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2 hours ago, massis said:

then I revert to my original statement: there's no way i could pull out my loop far enough to easily hold it down with enough to spare so I could take out the pin and put it back in. I need to hold a fair bit of tension on the pullup cord (or packing tool) in order to have enough loop available to get the pin through...

Try pinching the end of the closing loop (with the rig open) and see how much room you need to put the pin in. It's not much. 

What Sundevil is suggesting is pulling the loop out as far as it will go, which is enough room to insert the pin (Captain Obvious, at your service). While it is out that extra (and it's only a little bit extra), you then hold your thumb on the loop where it crosses the grommet. Because the grommet is a hard surface, it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to hold it in place.

 

That slack allows the pullup cord to be removed without a lot of drag across the closing loop.

This is one of those things that is rather hard to understand when described (either verbally or written), but when demonstrated makes one go "Oh, duh. That is so obvious". 

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On 10/29/2019 at 1:37 PM, sundevil777 said:

It might be easier than it seems, if you haven't actually tried.

Unnecessarily high closing loop tension is common.

a six second video would be amazing!!! :) 

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