Letter Re: A Technique for Crossing Barbed-Wire Fences

Mr. Rawles,
On foot crossing a barbed wire livestock fence that is stretched tight can be a problem. Stretching the fence with the hands makes a small space. Hanging gear and loose clothing seem to always find a barb to catch. The trick is to make a pair of fence stretcher/stabilizers. Any material can work but light weight metal is the best. The stretching sticks or bars only need to be strong enough to not bend in the middle while under tension. I recommend using two pieces of lightweight metal bar stock about 14 to 16 inches long. Notch each end. Place them between the wires to be opened. One in front of you and one in back [,about five feet apart.] You have a nice wide opening for you and anyone with you to navigate safely and quickly.
After crossing you remove them and place on or in a pack for re-use. No one can tell if you have crossed at that place.

If stealth is needed you can do the same on ground level by placing one end on the ground and the other on the lower wire.
You can then slide under the bottom wire and pull any gear through, remaining in the prone position.

Positioning of these is best accomplished wearing a pair of heavy leather gloves.

A stretcher bar is necessary on a six wire fence because the distance between the wires is considerably less than on a five wire fence.

Cordially, – JWC in Oklahoma