What Should Be Worn At All Times While Climbing A Tree Or In A Tree Stand?

If a climbing line is not available, a climbing belt will work fine. Make sure you are wearing a safety harness. When it comes to tree stand safety, a tree stands safety harness, alternatively referred to as a fall arrest device, is a must-have. And when climbing into or out of a tree stand, one should be always worn.

Many conservancies report a substantial percentage of hunters falling from tree stands per year. Although some falls happened because of other causes, many are caused by hunters who do not always wear their protective gear while climbing a tree or in a tree stand.

These accidents have a slew of consequences, including hunters suffering broken wrists, neck, back sprains, cuts, and bruises. Certain types could even be deadly! To combat tree-stand falls, tree-stand companies in the United States have made it a mandatory industry standard to include a full-body harness with each stand. This policy has been in effect since 2004, and nearly 90% of tree stands now include the appropriate protective gear. For users who require something other than the harness included with the tree stands, at least seven firms in the US manufacture after-market harness.

It is worth noting that the after-market harnesses are pretty much pocket friendly, with most of them retailing from 48 pounds to 157 pounds. It is always a good idea to think about your safety at all times while climbing a tree-stand. Wearing a full-body harness is a practical way to stay safe when you are using a tree-stand.  It prevents falling to the ground when ascending and descending from the tree stand. However, a harness can only prevent you from falling if you connect it correctly. Therefore, always make sure it is connected to the tree when getting into or out of the stand.

It should be noted that the aftermarket harnesses are quite inexpensive, with many of them selling from 48 to 157 pounds. It is always important to consider your protection when climbing a tree stand. Putting on a full-body harness is an effective way to ensure your safety while using a tree stand. It prevents you from falling from the tree stand when you ascend or descend. Notwithstanding, a harness will protect you from falling only if it is properly connected. As a result, always ensure that it is securely attached to the tree when entering or exiting the stand.

Full-Body Harness

You might have been wondering what a full-body harness is. Strictly speaking, it is a piece of equipment primarily used by hunters to guard against falls. 

In the event of a fall, the device distributes the impact over a wide area and ensures that the body stays suspended in an upright position. The following features are needed for a good full-body harness:

An Anchor (Tie Off Point)

For fall arrests, this is the lifeline that is used as a point of attachment. When mounting the anchor, you must adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. Always make sure you anchor it to a solid structure.

Body Harness

It is a piece of equipment that assists in reducing the likelihood of suffering body injuries during a fall. It is made up of a strap that runs between the shoulder and thighs. Additionally, it contains a D-ring and a snap hook.

Note: The D-ring should be bigger than the snap hook and properly fitted in the center of the upper back of a good body harness.

Connecting Device

This is a shock-absorbing or retractable support cord with connectors that attach a full-body harness to the anchor device. Carabiners, snap hooks, D-rings, and rope grabs are among the various connectors. 

Descent & Rescue

This is a device for raising and lowering an individual who has fallen from a tree stand and is being held by a harness. This mechanism should be used in every good harness because it aids in the rescue of the individual without the risk of a free fall. Note that this mechanism should be checked on a regular basis.

Steps Towards Tree Stand Safety 

Proceed Slowly 

Give yourself enough time! There is no reason to hurry. Climbing into and out of stands is a dangerous activity that should be undertaken cautiously. Always maintain three points of contact when climbing. When both feet are on the ladder, one hand should be on the ladder as well while the other reaches for a higher point. Whatever you do, never climb into or out of your stand with fewer than three points of contact. Always use the three-point rule in combination with a climbing line. If a climbing line is not available, a climbing belt will serve.

Wear a Safety Harness

When it comes to tree stand safety, a tree stand safety harness, also recognized as a fall arrest device, is highly required. A safety harness must be worn anytime you are climbing into or even out of a tree stand. The Muddy Crossover Combo Safety Harness is easy to adjust for a convenient fit and is strong enough to support 300 pounds. The Hunter Safety System HSS Tree stalker Safety Harness Vest is an excellent choice for those looking for a vest-style safety harness. Its slim, low profile design ensures comfortable fit and maximum mobility. This is particularly advantageous for archers when they are confronted with tricky shots. Never forget to obey the manufacturer’s directives when using any safety harness; you may have only one opportunity, so make the most of it! In reality, failure doing so could end in death if you fall from the tree stand. Shoulder straps slipping and blocking airways have been identified in some cases due to improper use. This is not a game to play with.

Pull-up Rope

A haul line is an indispensable tool for ensuring the safety of your tree stand. While your gun may come equipped with a sling, it is not safe to throw it on your back and begin climbing. Likewise, for backpacks. The best course of action is to secure your gear to a pull-up rope. Climb up to your stand using a safety harness and the three-point rule. Once you are safely secured in the stand and your harness is attached to the tree, you can use the haul line to pull your gear up. This solves the problem of gear sliding off your back as you ascend into the tree. Prior to descending, use the rope to lower your equipment.

Know Your Limits

Numerous accidents are avoidable. In their haste to reach the stand, some hunters might indeed climb too quickly, missing a foot peg. In extreme cold weather, your hands may not function properly – do not attempt to pull yourself up, especially if you are wearing gloves. Additionally, avoid leaning too far forward for the shot, as this may lead to the loss of balance. Additionally, spend time familiarizing yourself with your stand – be aware of potential obstacles as you move around. Recognize your limits and adhere to them.

Setting Stands

When erecting stands, use extra caution. As always, safety harnesses and climbing belts should be worn. For instance, when erecting a hang-on stand, both hands may be required to pull the stand up and secure it to the tree using a pull rope. By utilizing a climbing belt in the lineman’s configuration, you can work with your hands freely while you remain secured to the tree. If necessary, request for a friend assistance in erecting the stand; this will significantly make the whole process simpler and safer.

In conclusion, adhering to safety precautions while climbing a tree or in a tree stand is a surest way to minimize accidents caused by tree-stand falls. Before making a decision to use a tree-stand, keep in mind that your love ones would prefer to see you safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Safest Tree Stand?

Ladder stands are commonly the safest type of tree stand and provide a little more room for manoeuvring. Another factor contributing to their notoriety is their two-person stand layout. The disadvantage of leaving any type of stand in the forest is that other hunters might be using it while you are not around.

2. How Safe Are Climbing Tree Stands?

Is it Safe to Climb Tree Stands? Climbing tree stands are generally safe to use, despite the fact that standing on a small platform where everything and your life is dependent on a cable or bolt bonded around a tree does not seem to be very safe. You can easily climb up and protect yourself inside the stand.

3. Which Method Is Recommended For Climbing A Tree Stand?

Often use three points of contact with your arms and legs when climbing into or out of a tree stand. When you reach or exit a platform, keep a tight grip on the tree and don’t let go till you are sure the stand and steps are safe. Always put yourself in a spot where you can easily step down into your tree stand.

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