The Voodoo (A Tensioning Hitch) By Marcel Rodriquez

Written By: Lance Piatt

Thank you Rigging Lab Academy for this article…

Tasty Tools and Sweet Tricks – By Marcel Rodriguez

Every so often I encounter a tip, trick or tool that makes me wonder how I got along prior to learning of its existence. In this series of articles, I will share a few of the tricks and tools that I have found most useful.

The Voodoo

I first heard of the voodoo a few years ago when some of my teammates attended a session put on by a couple of members of the Cache County (Utah) Search and Rescue team. In the session, they introduced a quick tensioning system they referred to as the “Voodoo Hitch”. They went on to demonstrate one of the simplest, fastest, and most useful tensioning systems I had seen. As you will soon see, the Voodoo is easy to construct, but hard to explain (thus the name). We spent the better part of the next year playing with it, testing it, and finding new places to incorporate it. When I finally got a chance to work with the crew that had originally presented it to us, I was a full convert.

While probably no big news to Rich Carlson and his merry band of canyoneers, who regularly use the voodoo, I have found very limited knowledge of the technique in the technical rescue arena. When I have shared it during classes, it always results in a “Wait, what?….Ohhhhhh” moment.

The voodoo (also known as the transport hitch) can be constructed several ways depending on available gear, knot preference and application. The basic components are (refer to the diagram below):

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