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TAPPING BACKPACK

Tina Hartell

Tapping trees is well underway on Bobo’s Mountain. We have to carry a lot of gear to be ready for any repair work on the tubing. Here’s a peek inside:

Clockwise from top:

1. Trusty backpack now filled with holes from drill bits and knives

2. Extra 5/16” tubing

3. 5/16” connectors to connect tubing together

4. Extra drop lines to replace any drops that are squirrel chewed or moldy (I usually cary 10-15 of these at a time)

5. One-handed tubing tool to put fittings and tube together

6. Red electrical tape to cover small holes in tubing

7. Knife

8. Felco snips (my favorite all-season tool)

9. Extra 5/16” drill bits

10. Saddle fittings for replacing any ones that are damaged

11. Tap hammer: held from a rope around my wrist

12. 5/16” polycarbonate taps: carried 25-30 at a time in my left pocket

13. Two-handed tubing tool for putting in new drop lines

14. SNACKS: critical and often containing chocolate or fancy nut butters

15. Makita drill: usually held from a sling around my shoulders

16. Extra drill batteries

Not pictured: water bottle, extra gloves

The pack’s weight usually exceeds 12 lbs, which isn’t too heavy unless you’ve fallen over backwards, downhill, on your snowshoes in 2’ of snow. Then the pack feels like it’s 30 lbs and the dead weight will prevent you from ever standing upright again.