How Is a Block and Tackle Rigged?

Rig a block and tackle using a combination of rope or cord lines and pulleys. These systems distribute weight across the pulleys and allow a person to lift much heavier loads than possible by hand. The traditional block and tackle uses rotating pulleys, but a sturdy pivot point, such as rock climbers' carabiners, can be substituted to make a portable system.

According to "Outdoor Life," rigging a block and tackle requires two lines: a suspension line and a lift line. These lines can be made out of any lightweight rope or cable. Tie two carabiners to the end of the suspension line, and toss or loop the line over a support beam or large central pulley. Securely attach the lift line to the weight you want to lift. Loop the lift line through the first hanging carabiner, attach it a second time to the weight, and then loop it through the second carabiner. Pull the suspension line tight, and tie it off; the two carabiners attached to the lift line should now be above your head. Pull on the end of the lift line to lift the weight.

This system is useful for campers and hikers who want to suspend supplies out of the reach of animals; however, workers in environments like machine shops and car repair garages may also find it useful.