The answer: Not necessarily. I used to be a leash lover and have come to the conclusion that they are not the ideal choice for the beginner.
Let me clarify a couple things.
I have used a retractable cord in the past and it did work. However, when the tail is long enough to attach to a pole or even the wall (or even the opposite pole) it can become difficult to get the cord in the right position to be used. As my wife said, “it just doesn’t feel right”.
I now use the tail to attach to an anchor (which I found out is called an “elevator”) on tree branch and to use either the short tail or the long tail (the one attached to the carabiner) to swing a long rope that is about 3 or 4 feet long in a breeze. It makes for a surprisingly pleasant experience.
The longer a rope is, the more effective a retractable cord is. The longer the cord, the greater the difficulty (and the longer the rope). I don’t remember a situation when I did need to use a retractable cord; but I do know it may be useful to go to the trouble of trying to get the cord to stay attached to something sturdy, such as a rock or tree limb.
Some people just take advantage of the fact that they can hang their cords off of a branch but still feel comfortable hanging it over their head. This is why a retractable cord is recommended for longer hauls.
Is a retractable leash too long for me to use?
The answer: Yes, unfortunately. If you are 5′-10″ (175-230cm) tall and want a leash that can be used for rope, you are most definitely better off using the shorter retractable cords.
In fact, a single length is enough for most people, as can be seen in the picture below. Note that there is no “loop” to tie the leash onto. If you want one, you will have to invest in rope to tie it onto something else, which is always going to be more work than you’d like, but that is something you also need to be prepared for (and probably will do on future trips).
A longer strand like in the picture is very useful for climbers who have to climb over rocks, which is something they will have to be concerned with every time they head out for a run.
For all but a couple
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