If All Else Fails, A Hillbilly Winch Prevails!

There was recently an episode of the TV show, Hillbilly Blood where the two men, Eugene and Spencer, featured on the show used a tree as a makeshift winch. The basic concept of the tree powered winch is that the weight of a falling tree can create enough energy to move a heavy or stuck item when a cable is attached towards the top of the falling tree and the item to be moved.

There are many potential situations where a makeshift solution can be the only option. If there were ever to be a catastrophic event such as an EMP, if a task needs to be accomplished without making an equipment purchase, or even if you do not have the equipment, the hillbilly tree winch could be your solution! The basic concept of the hillbilly winch can be seen in the illustration below:


The video below shows a brief synopsis of Spencer and Eugene actually using the hillbilly winch to recover a Willys Jeep from a deep rut in the ground. Notice the use of cable as the line for the winch and the fact that an old tire is used as a connection buffer between the Jeep’s bumper and the winch line.

If you are interested in learning more about hillbilly know-how, check out Land Of The Sky Wilderness  School (Spencer Bolejack’s Website) or Trapper Jack Survival (Eugene Runkis’ YouTube Channel).

Hillbilly Blood airs every Saturday on Destination America at 10PM EST/9PM CST.

5 responses to “If All Else Fails, A Hillbilly Winch Prevails!”

  1. II would hate to destry a beautiful tree because I was too cheap
    to purchase a winch or even a come-along to go along with the many feet of cable I would have to be carrying to ruin the tree.

    • Steve,

      I don’t disagree with you. Cutting down a tree solely for the purpose of using it as an improvised machine would be a last resort. With that being said, if times are tough, whatever solution is available should be utilized. This idea is something that I will add to my “bag of tricks” if I ever need it. Knowledge is power, especially during tough times. Thanks for your comment.


  2. Frankly speaking, a tree is a renewable resource. If it doesn’t have some type of historical significance or is a rare species, cutting down a tree to serve a purpose is why it’s there. I don’t cut down trees indiscriminately, mind you, but in a circumstance where I needed desperately to free my vehicle or else perish from exposure, I wouldn’t give the tree a second thought.

  3. Great idea, this will definitely come in handy. Steve, keep in mind, trees are something they have plenty of, this isn’t a park or a one acre wooded yard.

  4. They could cut the tree up a nd pack it in the bed of their truck after thry get the jeep out . Thr weight of the logs would help them with traction and when they get home they will have firewood use your heads you yankee city folk

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