Ever get an animal on the ground and want to get it cooled as quickly as possible? As you know, the faster you get your meat cooled the better. Hanging it is ideal, especially if it is warm out. Hanging meat in a breeze in shade is very effective for cooling your quarters quickly. So how do you construct a meat pole quickly that can hold all four quarters and your backstraps? It’s easier than it sounds.
The location of the pole is critical for keeping your meat cooled. If you’re going to leave it overnight, don’t hang it where morning sunlight can hit it from the east. I usually end up hanging it on the north side of major cover to keep light off it from all times of the day. Secondly, if you can build it right next to a creek, that is ideal. Cool air dropping down a ravine as well as cool air coming off the water are the closest you’ll get to having your meat air-conditioned. That being said, take a few minutes and pick your meat pole location wisely.
First, you need to find two solid trees about 8 ft apart that you can use as your vertical supports. Second, you need to cut to length a 10-15 ft pole, preferably a dead but sound lodgepole around 2” in diameter. Go at least 4” if you are using a green tree. Have your partner hold up the pole for you while you lash it up. You’ll need around 12-15 ft of paracord to do each lashing.
Start the lashing off with a clove hitch, followed by 3 “wraps” and 3 “fraps.” As you do your wraps, make sure you keep full tension on the rope at all times, which is essential for a nice, clean end product. Your wraps are what hold the meat pole to the tree and the fraps are what cinch it down to make it rock solid. The tighter you can get your lashing the better. For a detailed video on how to construct your own meat pole check out this video below.
For essential backcountry knots, check out my “Gettin’ Knotty” article in the 150th issue of Eastmans’ Hunting Journal.