4' of hitch cord to set up your Hitch Hiker. These 9mm cords work with a wide variety of ropes, but many 8mm and 10mm cords are available on our prusik cords page.
This sewn tether is a durable, compact tether which fastens to the oval carabiner and a chest harness or shoulder strap to help tend the Hitch Hiker 2 in SRT climbing.
New! Updated to the Hitch Hiker 2, with a more compact design.
The Hitch Hiker 2 incorporates a steel friction device with your hitch cord to produce a great device for hybrid tree climbing systems. The Hitch Hiker 2 advances smoothly and engages instantly when weighted, with easy slack tending, and may be used in double or single rope systems.
The dog bone where the hitch cord runs through slides up behind your hitch when you advance, taking the weight off your cord and tending your hitch. When you weight the Hitch Hiker 2, the dog bone and carabiner are pressed into the rope for additional friction. The pressure of the dog bone and carabiner on the rope takes some of the pressure of your body weight off the hitch, allowing you to climb on your Friction Hitch in SRT.
The body of the Hitch Hiker 2 is steel, and it should be used with steel carabiners for maximum wear life and safety. The weight of the Hitch Hiker 2 is directly on your rope rather than you.
The Hitch Hiker 2 is sold with a steel carabiner and 4' of 9mm Sterling RIT cord. You can get extra hitch hitch cord to experiment with different configurations. 8mm hitch cords will work best on 11mm (7/16") ropes, while 10mm hitch cord is suited for 12-13mm (1/2") ropes. 9mm hitch cords such as 9mm Rit or epiCORD can be made to work well for a wide range of rope diameters.
Q. What do you think is the best climbing rope to use with the Hitch Hiker 2?
Rated: Excellent Review by: JB Holdway
“The Hitch Hiker 2 system from Paul Cox of Ropetek is a rope work postioning tool. The Hitch Hiker 2 rides below your hitch. It is very smooth and you get the benefits of a hitch based system. It is one of the few (if only) working systems that functions equally well for DdRT and SRT. The HH2 performs almost exactly like the original Hitch Hiker. So, all the reviews of the original still apply. Plus, it is a smaller and more refined ... a very nice piece of kit.”
The reviews below were written for the original version of the Hitch Hiker
Rated: Excellent Review by: Rich Jamison
“If you are looking for one hitch setup to do everything, look no farther. The Hitch Hiker works great for ascending, descending, lanyards, SRT and DdRt you name it! Very smooth and precise. I am currently using Velocity 7/16, and climb mostly SRT with a base anchor.
”My old setup was a rope wrench that worked okay most of the time, but would sometimes get in my way. Everything the wrench would do, the Hitch Hiker 2 does better. The HH is more compact, responsive and reliable. One thing to watch out for is the HH getting hot on long descents, just like any other descender. The RopeTek Hitch Hiker is the best hybrid device I have ever used! ”
Rated: Excellent Review by: Nick Bonner
“The best thing the Hitch Hiker has going for it is that it is just so versatile. Being able to seamlessly transition from SRT to DRT with the same cord/hitch setup is unbelievable. Learning SRT couldn't be easier with the Hitch Hiker. You can set up DRT and choke the line in the tree to try some SRT (simply lanyard in and run a biner or a bowline up to a suitable TIP). Or start with a base tie and SRT and if you decide you want the familiar DRT a ground worker easily disconnects the base tie and sends up the end of the line, you clip in and you are back in DRT. I totally understand all the reluctance to try SRT, but with the Hitch Hiker making the change; and still having the option to use all of your current skills, tricks and tools makes it practical from a production point of view.
“The whole unit is compact and familiar, using it is like tending with a normal pulley/eye-to-eye climbing setup. Rated and tested its a bomber piece of life support, they break test at over 10k lb! The dog-bone holding the hitch is great. Not having to rely on eye-to-eye cords presents benefits twofold. First its cheaper and easier to replace. Second being able to set the stopper knots lets you fine-tune the exact length of your climbing hitch. Personally I really like HRC with the Hitch Hiker. The thin diameter, tapered and taped, slides right through the dog bone and the reliable grabbiness is perfect.
“On short ascents no tending tether is necessary, simply pulling the device up while standing on the foot ascender works great. Using a lanyard over the shoulder connected to either the bridge ring or to the Oxan reliably tends the device up. The other option is using a short, 7-8”, eye-to-eye (I made mine of 5mm cord and used black electrical tape to form the eyes and stiffen it) If you clip either end to the OXAN on either side of the HH it makes a handle that when clipped to a chest harness or like tends the HH with ZERO sitback.
“I mentioned this before but I absolutely cant wait to utilize a second Hitch Hiker as my primary lanyard adjuster. The versatility this promises will be unmatched by any other option I can think of.
“I have been using the HH every day for every climb for a couple of months now, pruning and removals. I think that it is a perfectly crafted device, it fit in with existing techniques and opened up a whole new world of options. I believe someday all climbers in the know will have one of these, whether they prefer SRT or DRT.
“It is also worth noting that the Hitch Hiker is the only device available that allows both the ascent and descent of a fixed, WEIGHTED, line. The applications for this go far beyond the scope of tree work but a few areas it could be applied are: Rescue, Alpinism, Rock Climbing, Class 3 & 4 terrain, Glacier travel, all sorts of exciting stuff!”
Review by: Jamz Luce
“Every once in a while along comes a new arborist tool you gotta have. I have had the opportunity to use the Hitch Hiker for a few weeks. SRT access and working the tree on SRT have been game changers in tree work for many of us. I have used my Unicender and a Rope Wrench 2+ years. The Uni allowed new ways to work in trees. The Rope Wrench took that to a whole new level with its predictable smooth handling. The Hitch Hiker is a big step forward with many advantages over the Wrench.
With the Hitch Hiker, the mechanical friction is added below the friction cord making the whole setup more compact. The design is simple and solid. The release is smooth and the grab on the line secure. The hitch is easy to tend even when the line is only lightly loaded. This is a big advantage over the Wrench. The Hitchhiker works sweet when working a 3:1 off the single line. Working the Wrench you must take it out of the system to work on the dynamic 3:1.
I used HR for the friction hitch tied in a VT with 4 wraps on top with 3 crosses. This is on more wrap than I use on a DRT. The design of Hitchhiker makes breaking the friction hitch super easy and smooth. It doesn't seem to jam tight. The HH must be held in place to ascend efficiently. Same idea as using a Croll or Rope Wrench. The difference is you need to hold the place where it attaches to the saddle in place not the HH itself. When you get it dialed it is super smooth on ascent yet super secure to hold you when needed. Works great in long ascents with frog style systems plus gives you a great way to work or descend. Another nice application is to use it when you choke off a single line on a spar pole . Helps with work positioning and provides a second tie in that can be used to descend.
The Hitchhiker is more expensive than a Rope Wrench, but you don't need to add any parts to use it, and it comes with a hitch cord and biner. The carabineer is an integral part of the design that attaches to the climber, works as the fairlead and adds to the mechanical friction below the hitch. The construction of the unit is bomber. The unit I used had a finned base for dissipating heat of descent. The friction hitch cord length is easy to adjust due to the way it attaches to the top bar of unit. It worked smoothly on a variety of lines from 10 mm to 13 mm.
SRT tools are evolving fast these days. For now the Hitchhiker is a great choice.”
|Min rope size||:||7/16” (11.5mm)|
|Max rope size||:||1/2” (13mm)|
|Tensile strength||:||9,000 lb (40 kN)|
|Prusik slips at||:||1,150 lb|
|Dimensions||:||4 18” x 2 1/8” x 7/8”|
|Weighs (Hitch Hiker 2 only)||:||9.6oz (275 g)|
|Weighs (with Carabiner & Cord)||:||1.2 lb (545 g)|
The Hitch Hiker 2 should only be used with appropriate prusik cords for the rope on which it is to be installed.
The Hitch Hiker 2 should be used with steel carabiners to prevent dangerous wear from the steel body of the Hitch Hiker 2 on an aluminium carabiner.
The Hitch Hiker 2 is only as good as the knot you tie. All knots should be properly dressed, set, and tested.
Sufficient tail must be left beyond the stopper knot at the dog bone on the Hitch Hiker 2.