The Arizona Box Hitch, an alternative to the Diamond

The Arizona Box Hitch, an alternative to the Diamond

Dear Horse Packers,

I still remember the old cowboy who showed me the double diamond years ago. He used to do pack horse races, not the ones in the arena of the local fair, but 100-mile races thru the wilderness. I wish i could watch him again how he threw the hitch so incredibly fast, and removed it at the same speed with the lashrope all coiled up at the end.

Over the years I met more people who used the single diamond than the double, and I listened to arguments about which one is better, similar to the arguments if the best truck is the Dodge or the Ford.

In this article I want to introduce the Arizona Box Hitch to you. It's a tight hitch, and really easy to do on your own. I started to use it exclusively when I am out on a solo trip.

I think it's beneficial to know at least a couple hitches, that can be used according to the type of your load.

If you are interested, I made a video for you to learn the AZ Box Hitch:

Pros and Cons of different pack hitches:

Single Diamond:

I am referring here to what is know as the "two man single diamond", although with a bit of practice it can be well done on your own. I prefer this hitch over what is called the "one man single diamond", which I am not a fan of.

Pros: The diamond on top holds a variety of top loads down very well. It works well for odd items like antlers or a chainsaw. It can made extremely tight, especially with 2 people.

Cons: It takes a bit of practice to master, especially on your own. If not done carefully, the rope on the front of the load might touch the horse and cause discomfort.

The reason why I don't like the "one man single" is because you have to twist the rope on top of the load, which can be challenging for normal size people or tall horses and often results in a lopsided diamond. Further it tends to cut into the horses neck.

Double Diamond:

Pros: It seems easier to remember than the single. It starts on one side, goes evenly around the horse. This allows you to easily re-tighten it, by following the flow of the rope. It seems easier to throw than the single ( although that can be debated).

Cons: It is not suitable for all top loads, like antlers or a chainsaw. The rope part that goes over the front and the back of the load need to be carefully placed to grab the topload well enough to hold it down.

AZ Box Hitch:

Pros: Easy to remember and to throw. It can be used on a variety of toploads. Easy to do on your own.

Cons: You have to be careful that the loops that go around the sideloads are placed high enough on the load, otherwise it might slip down and lose the grip on the topload. It might not work perfectly on a topload that is placed lengthwise, since the loop is mainly designed to grab loads that go crosswise over the horses back.

Hitches and knots are a great way to train our brain and can come in handy in many situatiuons in the outdoors.

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