All I Really Want for Christmas Are Some New Tiedowns


As I write this post (it is late August) retail outlets are already putting up their Christmas decorations. It will not be too much longer before all the shelves are stocked full of lights, plastic candy canes, ornaments, and artificial Christmas trees. It all has me wondering what I will find under the tree this year. Turns out that all I really want for Christmas are some new tiedowns.

Tiedowns, you ask? Absolutely. Let somebody else have a new cell phone or video game console. I’ll leave the hand tools to my next-door neighbor and the new clothes to the millennials down the street. If you need a gift idea for me, make it a tiedown. In fact, make it a cam strap if at all possible.

Tiedowns Come in Many Flavors

If you are the type of person who prefers variety in your gift-giving, take comfort in the fact that tiedowns come in many flavors. The granddaddy of them all is rope. You can buy rope made from hemp, nylon, polyester, and other materials. If rope isn’t your thing, here are a few other options:

  • Cam Straps – Cam straps are webbing straps kept secure with cam buckles. A cam buckle looks a little bit like a belt buckle. You thread the strap through the buckle while a metal plate with grip spikes digs in and holds it secure.
  • Ratchet Straps – Ratchet straps are similar to cam straps except that they rely on a ratchet rather than a cam buckle to hold the strap in place. Ratchets are great for heavy duty jobs requiring a lot of holding force.
  • Bungee Cords – Bungee cords are generally made with either rubber or multiple strands of wrapped nylon. They really aren’t the best choice for heavy loads, but they do a decent job with light loads around the house.

I will be honest and say that my preferred tiedown is the cam strap. I am also not shy about saying that my favorite brand of cam strap tie downs is Rollercam. I like Rollercam’s patented cam buckle with a rotating cam. Do with that as you will.

A Ton of Uses for Them

So why would I ask for tiedowns for Christmas? Because you can do so much with them. We normally think of tiedowns as securing items to trucks and trailers. That is their primary purpose. But it is not their only use.

Have you ever gone backpacking in the mountains for several days? When you are going out in the middle of nowhere, you need to take everything you need to survive on your back. Cam straps are ideal for securing your sleeping bag, tent, and cooking gear to your backpack.

I have used bungee cords to secure the tarps covering my winter wood pile. I have used a cam strap to keep the propane tank tightly affixed to the side of the gas grill. I have used ratchet straps to hold wooden planks together while the glue between them dried.

Use Your Imagination

If I wanted to, I could write thousands of words describing individual instances in which I used a tiedown for something other than securing cargo to a vehicle. Use your imagination. Tiedowns offer so many possibilities that you could occupy your mind for an entire day just trying to think of them all.

The annual holiday shopping season is going to start soon enough. If you need a gift idea for me, I recommend tiedowns. Any tiedown will do, though I prefer cam straps whenever possible. I think they are the most versatile and useful tiedown of all.

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