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Thread: Treestand safety life line

  1. #1
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    Treestand safety life line

    I am a big fellow and do wear a Loggy bayou Transformer harness, but with my size, I often worry about what the heck I will do if I fall and end up hanging there. Could someone please tell me how to make a lifeline and rig it to "repel" down. I know some guys are doing this. If I could slow down 50% to the ground, I think that my chances would be better than dangling due to my size and lack of acrobatics

    pictures would be nice too



  2. #2
    Prusik knots work well. You can find them at arborist supply stores or build your own. Take about 16" of 1/2 or 3/8 line that is rated to support your weight. Tie knots in both ends then fold line in 1/2 holding both knots together tie an overhand knot and slide it to the single knots and snug tight. Run a good 1/2 inch line from the ground to a sturdy limb higher than your stand. Learn a bowline to attach to tree and pull the rope tight and attach to ground with a trailer house anchor or a tree step. Run this rope along the area you climb up. Now the loop you made will attach to this line by wrapping twice around the life line and dressing your knot. As you climb slide the prusik up every few steps. If you fall the knot will tighten and lock. To go down just grab the top of the knot and slide it down...Not hard but writing directions makes it sound difficult.

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much for that help. I think I can see what you are talking about in my head but i do have a couple questions.

    If I fall and my weight is on the knot, will I still be able to slide the knot down with my big butt hanging on it

    Also, I use climbers some and was wondering if you can just tie the long rope to the tree and let it hang loose to the ground without the mobile home anchor. This way I could use one rope for all my setups and pack it with my climber to whatever tree I go to


    Thanks again for your help---Tim

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by turkinator View Post
    ... If I fall and my weight is on the knot, will I still be able to slide the knot down with my big butt hanging on it ...
    Nope; the knot won't move if you're weight is on it. My solution is to carry two suspension relief straps with loops on each end, which fit easily in a pocket. Rather than connecting to the vest to act as a suspension relief, if it's possible to get a strap around the tree it can be pulled through a loop and the other loop used as a foot stirrup as the strap tightens to the tree. Do the same with the other strap and you can relieve pressure on the prusick knot and work your way up or down the tree. Not very elegant, since it would be floppy like a rope ladder, but it would work to get down.
    preserve wildlife .... use freezer bags

  5. #5
    If you can't figure out how to tie a Prussic, here is the easy way.

    http://www.summitstands.com/productd...aspx?id=329141

    Just read about these today and I think I'm going to get something like this or at least have my mountain rescue buddy teach me how to make the Prussic hitch.

    Here is a link that shows you how.

    http://www.animatedknots.com/prusik/index.php

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdmorten View Post
    Thats a cool little website

  7. #7
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    Just read an article bout this in D & DH magazine. Aparently summit has a tree stand descender for about $25 for this purpose.

  8. #8
    I just made 6 lifelines tonight. I got 3/8 polypro camo rope from lowes. 244# rated. nylon rope for prussic knot and 6 clips rated at 350#. Made all 6 for under $50. SO EASY A CAVEMAN COULD DO IT!!!! LOL
    08' Bowtech 82nd Airborne with all the goods! 331 fps @ 29" 65# 334 grain arrow.
    GOD, FAMILY AND THE OUTDOORS!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Deerslayer 28 View Post
    I just made 6 lifelines tonight. I got 3/8 polypro camo rope from lowes. 244# rated. nylon rope for prussic knot and 6 clips rated at 350#. Made all 6 for under $50. SO EASY A CAVEMAN COULD DO IT!!!! LOL
    You trust your life to rope rated for 244# to not snap when trying to stop your fall from a tree? You must not weigh as much as many of us old guys...lol! Seriously, though, there's a reason the ones you buy cost what they do, and surprisingly it's not profit margin, because they're not making much if any money off those systems...the rope used is high quality climbing rope which is the primary reason they cost what they do.
    preserve wildlife .... use freezer bags

  10. #10
    The key to the whole thing is to make your safety so that you can never fall below your stand, that keeps you from hanging there till someone finds you. You can't hang long before the lack of blood flow kills you.

    Here is an illustration for how to do it and how to tie a prusik knot.

    http://safetreehunt.com/FandS.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary K View Post
    You trust your life to rope rated for 244# to not snap when trying to stop your fall from a tree? You must not weigh as much as many of us old guys...lol! Seriously, though, there's a reason the ones you buy cost what they do, and surprisingly it's not profit margin, because they're not making much if any money off those systems...the rope used is high quality climbing rope which is the primary reason they cost what they do.
    You are correct in my book. I investigated the cost for good linemans rope vs buying them. Buying them is cheaper and you know you are getting a quality product.

    I had a $50 dollar gift certificate from work "safety bonus" plus about $40 worth of points from my Cabelas Visa card, so I ordered 3 more of the HSS lifelines yesterday. My total came to about $53. Heck of a deal for the piece of mind it gives me and the Mrs.

  12. #12
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    Hanging from a safety harness can kill you. Please read!

    I'm replying to this post this to let everyone know that the use of a fall arrest system can in itself be a cause of death, or serious injury, if it is deployed and you are suspended too long.
    When a person falls and is wearing a fall arrest system something called Orthostatic Intolerence or Harness Suspension Trauma can occur.
    A person suspended for as little as five minutes can die as a result of circulatory problems caused by the harness itself. OSHA has references to this on their web site and anyone who uses a harness should become familiar with this hazard. In no way is it suggested that anyone should not wear a harness or suspension system, but it is important that everyone know that once their fall is arrested they must be able to extricate themselves and not be left hanging allowing this condition to occur. Here is some info from the OSHA site:

    "Prolonged suspension from fall arrest systems can cause orthostatic intolerance, which, in turn, can result in serious physical injury, or potentially, death. Research indicates that suspension in a fall arrest device can result in unconsciousness, followed by death, in less than 30 minutes [4]. To reduce the risk associated with prolonged suspension in fall arrest systems, employers should implement plans to prevent prolonged suspension in fall protection devices. The plan should include procedures for: preventing prolonged suspension, identifying orthostatic intolerance signs and symptoms, and performing rescue and treatment as quickly as possible".

    Google "fall suspension trauma or orthostatic intolerence" for more info on this subject.

    I'm not trying to scare anyone or keep anyone from wearing a harness. Far from it. Fall arrest equipment prevents fall injuries and it serves a great purpose. Just be aware that once it stops your fall, the danger for serious injury or death is very real if you can't get out of the harness and back on your feet very quickly. There are some seat belt type harnesses available that will not let you fall more than a couple of inches if you slip. They're pricy but might be worth the cost depending on your particular circumstances. Be safe and be careful when you get in your stand and plan ahead.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary K View Post
    You trust your life to rope rated for 244# to not snap when trying to stop your fall from a tree? You must not weigh as much as many of us old guys...lol! Seriously, though, there's a reason the ones you buy cost what they do, and surprisingly it's not profit margin, because they're not making much if any money off those systems...the rope used is high quality climbing rope which is the primary reason they cost what they do.
    Actually they dont use high quality climbing rope....They use nylon rope because I called them and they told me. 244# rated can hold much more than that and how hard do you think you are going to be falling? DO YOU TRUST YOUR LIFE TO A TREESTAND RATED FOR 250#??? I DO!!!! Its extra security for me for a 1/3 of the cost. I weigh 195# and I will test one before I put it up the same as someone tests a new stand from 3 feet when they get it home. Oh one more thing, you actually think HSS isnt making money on them??? Dont get me wrong Hss is a great company and we all own a vest, but not making money on them??? cmon'
    08' Bowtech 82nd Airborne with all the goods! 331 fps @ 29" 65# 334 grain arrow.
    GOD, FAMILY AND THE OUTDOORS!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSecondBest View Post
    I'm replying to this post this to let everyone know that the use of a fall arrest system can in itself be a cause of death, or serious injury, if it is deployed and you are suspended too long.
    When a person falls and is wearing a fall arrest system something called Orthostatic Intolerence or Harness Suspension Trauma can occur.
    A person suspended for as little as five minutes can die as a result of circulatory problems caused by the harness itself. OSHA has references to this on their web site and anyone who uses a harness should become familiar with this hazard. In no way is it suggested that anyone should not wear a harness or suspension system, but it is important that everyone know that once their fall is arrested they must be able to extricate themselves and not be left hanging allowing this condition to occur. Here is some info from the OSHA site:

    "Prolonged suspension from fall arrest systems can cause orthostatic intolerance, which, in turn, can result in serious physical injury, or potentially, death. Research indicates that suspension in a fall arrest device can result in unconsciousness, followed by death, in less than 30 minutes [4]. To reduce the risk associated with prolonged suspension in fall arrest systems, employers should implement plans to prevent prolonged suspension in fall protection devices. The plan should include procedures for: preventing prolonged suspension, identifying orthostatic intolerance signs and symptoms, and performing rescue and treatment as quickly as possible".

    Google "fall suspension trauma or orthostatic intolerence" for more info on this subject.

    I'm not trying to scare anyone or keep anyone from wearing a harness. Far from it. Fall arrest equipment prevents fall injuries and it serves a great purpose. Just be aware that once it stops your fall, the danger for serious injury or death is very real if you can't get out of the harness and back on your feet very quickly. There are some seat belt type harnesses available that will not let you fall more than a couple of inches if you slip. They're pricy but might be worth the cost depending on your particular circumstances. Be safe and be careful when you get in your stand and plan ahead.
    Get real!!!!!! You can die bungy jumping also but I'm not going to do it without the rope!!!!!
    08' Bowtech 82nd Airborne with all the goods! 331 fps @ 29" 65# 334 grain arrow.
    GOD, FAMILY AND THE OUTDOORS!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerslayer 28 View Post
    Get real!!!!!! You can die bungy jumping also but I'm not going to do it without the rope!!!!!
    Deerslayer 28: Unfortunately I am real. I've worked as a professional safety manager for several years and I know what I'm talking about. You should have made an attempt to read and understand my comments rather than come out with some knee jerk remark that was uncalled for. I am pointing out that if you are suspended too long you can suffer serious injury or death. The point is, you need to have a means of getting out of the harness and not just hang there suspended. You do what you want, it's your choice but don't respond in an idiotic manner to an intelligent post. People die every year in this country from being suspended with no contingency plan or means of getting back on their feet. It's fact, not fantasy. As I said, google it and understand what you're talking about. I do and you don't.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSecondBest View Post
    Deerslayer 28: Unfortunately I am real. I've worked as a professional safety manager for several years and I know what I'm talking about. You should have made an attempt to read and understand my comments rather than come out with some knee jerk remark that was uncalled for. I am pointing out that if you are suspended too long you can suffer serious injury or death. The point is, you need to have a means of getting out of the harness and not just hang there suspended. You do what you want, it's your choice but don't respond in an idiotic manner to an intelligent post. People die every year in this country from being suspended with no contingency plan or means of getting back on their feet. It's fact, not fantasy. As I said, google it and understand what you're talking about. I do and you don't.
    I'm not trying to be a jerk and I'm sorry about the comment, but if I fall from my stand I'm going to be right next to the tree and there is going to be either a tree step or ladder stick right next to me. Osha is talking about the same harness system. I'll give you that, but these people that are having fatal injury are working off the ground and hanging in mid air with nothing to grab hold of. Only thing I can think of that would be serious and you couldn't get back to your feet is if you fall from a climbing stand. I'm not trying to get a bunch of crap started but I feel most hunters that die are ones that dont wear a harness.
    Falls from treestands, usually by hunters not wearing a high quality safety harness is a major cause of serious hunting accidents and hunting fatalities. A large portion of those deaths or serious falls occurred while ascending or descending the tree. Often by hunters who normally where a harness but either don't bother to wear the harness or do not wear it because they don't know how to easily go up or down while safely attached to the tree or some other safety device.

    Causes of these sometimes deadly falls vary from loss of balance, to treestand failure, improper use of treestands or related safety devices and more.

    1. Virginia - 1999, 3 hunters killed in treestand accidents
    2. Mundy Township, Michigan - November 2002, Bill Goins, 32, killed in while ascending or descending his treestand.
    3. Ohio - 2002 at least two treestand related deaths.
    4. Florida - 2002 hunter killed while pulling loaded gun up to treestand.
    5. North Carolina - October 2003, hunter killed in fall from home made treestand. Later died from his injuries. Not wearing harness.
    6. Indiana - Sonny Michael, 45, fell after a 13-foot-high deer stand collapsed Nov 2003
    7. North Carolina - December 2003, victim fell from homemade treestand no rails. Not wearing harness.
    8. Pennsylvania - Wayne Baum, 76, fell when trying to get into treestand
    9. August 25, 2004
    10. Bladen County, North Carolina - October 2004, Matthew C. Saunders, Sr., 50, fell from treestand, found at base of his tree by hunting partner.
    11. Lawrence County, Mississippi - October 2004, Rudy Walker, 43, of Monticello, died after falling 16 feet from a tree while hunting. Walker was not wearing a harness.
    12. Jasper County, Mississippi - October 2004, Christopher Spradley, 22, died of injuries from a fall 25 feet from a tree while hunting. Spradley was not wearing a harness.
    13. Jackson County, Alabama - December 2004, Benjamin Lee Boyanton, 34 of Huntsville, was found at the foot of a tree.
    14. South Carolina - Gerald Holthaus, 62, shot himself in the leg while trying to climb down from a deer stand and bled to death
    15. Sundquist WMA, Tennessee - November 21, 2005. Jeff Shultz, 44 fell approximately 20 feet from his stand. Not wearing a Harness
    16. Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland - November 26 2005, Andre Strickland, 53. Strickland was descending from a tree when he fell and became entangled in his safety harness, police said. Cause of death as accidental hanging.
    17. Pike County township, Pennsylvania - December 1, 2005. Amier Perez, 63, was found next to his tree stand on state gamelands between Shohola Falls and Well Road.
    18. Alleghany County , North Carolina - December 2005. Robert Lee Caudill, 47, was killed when he lowered his gun from his treestand and it discharged and shot him in the leg.
    19. Delta National Forest Mississippi - December 10, 2005 John G. Sheridan, 21 fell 15 feet from his treestand and struck his head on the base of a tree. Not wearing a Harness
    20. Volusia County, Florida - Charles Maclean III died when he fell about 20 feet from his tree stand.
    21. Patoka Lake Reservoir, Indiana - Brian D. Beckman, 46, found hanging upside down with foot wedged in treestand.
    22. Presque Isle County, Michigan - Douglas Mitchell Krawczak, 25, was found dead Wednesday at the base of a tree Nov. 2006
    23. Kent County, Michigan - Warren Lee Snoeyink, 41, was killed when he fell about 25 feet from a tree. He was not wearing a harness.
    24. Monroe Township, Ohio - Albert Klotz, 67, fell from a tree stand and died.
    25. Woodruff, Wisconsin - Kenneth Kloes, 44, died of head injuries when he fell about 25 feet from a tree stand. Nov 2005
    26. Rock County, Wisconsin - Man, 35, hunting from a tree stand in when the stand, which was in poor condition, began to tilt. The man's shotgun went off and struck him in the upper right thigh, resulting in his death. 2004
    27. Madison County, Iowa - Scott Ferris, 41, likely suffocated when his treestand fell from beneath him, and he was left hanging with a chest type strap harness.
    28. Lafayette County, Arkansas - Ray E. Ulmer, 44, died after falling out of and hanging upside down for his treestand. November 12, 2007
    29. Indiana - Allen Loftis, 48, of South Haven, died in a 20' fall from his treestand.
    30.


    Maryland has had 111 tree-stand accidents reported to the state between 1990 and 1998, five were fatal.
    08' Bowtech 82nd Airborne with all the goods! 331 fps @ 29" 65# 334 grain arrow.
    GOD, FAMILY AND THE OUTDOORS!

  17. #17
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    From personal experience....

    I advocate wearing a harness. A family friend, whom I have known since I was about 12 years old, died as a result of falling out of a tree stand two years ago. He was not wearing a harness. Unfortunately, he wasn't found for two days after he fell. He didn't tell anyone where he was hunting and wasn't wearing a harness. He was 72 years old. I doubt he could have extricated himself had he been wearing a harness and as I said, he was hunting alone and no one knew where he was. You need to think of these things before you go out and hunt.

    Wear a harness.

    Have a means of getting out of the harness if you fall.

    Let someone know where you are in case something happens.

    Be safe, not a statistic.

  18. #18
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    Each person needs to have a plan for recovery if he should get in trouble.

    We each need to know our physical limitations too. If you are strong enough to lift your body weight, you should be able to extricate yourself easily if you have climbing sticks or foot posts in the tree.

    I would think you should also keep a sharp knife within easy reach in case you need to cut yourself out of a tangle or out of your safety harness should you get into trouble with that.

    I like the idea of the life-line that attaches above the treestand and to the base of the tree, then you can attach your safety harness to it via a prusik knot and easily run it up as you climb, but it requires free-climbing the first time to attach the life-line above your treestand. http://www.summitstands.com/productd...aspx?id=329141

    Now as one gets older, and perhaps less physically fit, perhaps it is time to switch to a ladder stand or something that you are either less likely to fall from - even if you must compromise either on cost or flexibility of stand location.

    Really, once you die, no more hunting for you - game over.

    As long as I am wearing a safety harness that is securely attached to the tree, and if I have climbing sticks attached to the tree, I can get myself back on them. However, if I fall without being attached to the tree, I'm going to fall 20 feet to a very hard landing, and most likely, game over. The lesson to learn from most of those examples above is: wear a safety harness and keep it attached to the tree. And be very careful with loaded guns.

    Ray

  19. #19
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    How harnesses kill you

    First off, WEAR A HARNESS.

    My point here is to explain HOW the harness kills you, so you can understand/avoid it.

    Real simply, the pressure of the leg straps stops blood from returning to the heart. Your heart keeps pumping blood to your legs and the straps trap it there.

    Your legs can hold 60% or your body's blood. In just a few minutes of hanging, you will pass out and then die.

    Wear a harness. It can prevent you from getting hurt, paralyzed, killed, etc.

    But just make sure you can recover from a fall ASAP. Hanging there for 45 minutes until your buddy arrives will not work.
    .
    OK, so my comment didn't add any significant wisdom to this discussion. But it DID up my post count, and pretty soon I will be regarded as a wise, experienced expert based on that alone.

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Please read! It could save your life.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregG View Post
    Great article. It covers it all. I hope this message gets out to all hunters who use a stand and wear a harness.

  22. #22
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    That Rescue One CDS (Controlled Descent System) $249.99 is very cool idea.

    However, in his example, there are no steps or climbing sticks on the tree he could grab onto. Instead, he tries to get back up in the stand, which is difficult - especially for a heavier or less agile hunter.

    After the fall, I'd just turn my self around so I'm facing the tree, then get to my climbing sticks and climb back up to my stand. No need to hang by the harness for long periods of time.

    This product seems ideal for those who use a climber that they could fall out of.

    Ray

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by turkinator View Post
    Thanks so much for that help. I think I can see what you are talking about in my head but i do have a couple questions.

    If I fall and my weight is on the knot, will I still be able to slide the knot down with my big butt hanging on it

    Also, I use climbers some and was wondering if you can just tie the long rope to the tree and let it hang loose to the ground without the mobile home anchor. This way I could use one rope for all my setups and pack it with my climber to whatever tree I go to


    Thanks again for your help---Tim
    If you are worried about this the easiest way to solve this problem is to have two prusik knots on your line. The first one that you connect to can be a small loop for your clip on. The next one needs to be at least about 3 feet long so you can push it below you down to your foot. Keep it at about waist level and you will then be able to get at it if you do fall. Pull it to where you can get one foot in it then stand up in it. This is exactly what they are used for by climbers.

    I can make any custom size prusik that you need. Even if you already have a system. PM me or email me if you have any questions.....I know this stuff.
    Email: safetreehunt@yahoo.com Twitter & Facebook:safetreehunt

    One last bit of advice: Never fall out of a tree!!

    Find out more on how to Hunt Safe and download your free instructions on the climber systems, PM or email me.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Deerslayer 28 View Post
    Actually they dont use high quality climbing rope....They use nylon rope because I called them and they told me. 244# rated can hold much more than that and how hard do you think you are going to be falling? DO YOU TRUST YOUR LIFE TO A TREESTAND RATED FOR 250#??? I DO!!!! Its extra security for me for a 1/3 of the cost. I weigh 195# and I will test one before I put it up the same as someone tests a new stand from 3 feet when they get it home. Oh one more thing, you actually think HSS isnt making money on them??? Dont get me wrong Hss is a great company and we all own a vest, but not making money on them??? cmon'
    High Quality climbing rope is really what you ought to be using. Most Hardware store rope should never be used for this.

    My line is called Assault Line made by Bluewater Ropes. It's 11mm kermantle and its the same line the search and rescue folks use. I have had some lines hanging in trees on my property for 6 years now. I always check them and they are still fine...tho I don't recommend it, I think I'm a little lazy, my bad.
    Email: safetreehunt@yahoo.com Twitter & Facebook:safetreehunt

    One last bit of advice: Never fall out of a tree!!

    Find out more on how to Hunt Safe and download your free instructions on the climber systems, PM or email me.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Deerslayer 28 View Post
    Actually they dont use high quality climbing rope....They use nylon rope because I called them and they told me. 244# rated can hold much more than that and how hard do you think you are going to be falling? DO YOU TRUST YOUR LIFE TO A TREESTAND RATED FOR 250#??? I DO!!!! Its extra security for me for a 1/3 of the cost. I weigh 195# and I will test one before I put it up the same as someone tests a new stand from 3 feet when they get it home. Oh one more thing, you actually think HSS isnt making money on them??? Dont get me wrong Hss is a great company and we all own a vest, but not making money on them??? cmon'
    Deerslayer, please understand I'm not trying to pick a fight here... just trying to explain where your assumptions may cause you harm. Do I trust myself to a 250# rated treestand? No, that's why I wear a harness. I also don't jump up and down on my stand... the force I'd apply to the stand if I jump would be far more than the force (weight) of me merely standing on it. A rope rated for 244# may be able to support my weight if I merely hung from it, but add the significant increase in force due to falling and I can easily imagine exceeding the breaking strength of that rope. There are many online impact force calculators you can plug numbers into and see for yourself what the affect of fall distance, mass, and stopping distance have on impact force.

    Consider a fishing analogy... if I grab my 4 lb test fishing line with my hand and lift a hooked 2 lb bass out of the water, the line can lift the fish just fine until it starts jumping around, then suddenly the force of the fish bouncing on the line causes it to snap. A hunter bouncing on the end of a safety line vs merely hanging from it creates two completely different amounts of force on the rope.

    You say you're going to test your safety line. Are you going to hang statically from it, or do you plan to jump from a few feet up and see if it effectively arrests your downward motion? The two are not the same.

    As for HSS making money, of course they are, but I doubt it's very much. You can buy cheap 11mm static line from REI for 78 cents a foot, or about $23 for 30 feet. Then you also need to buy some quality 7mm line for the prusick knot (a couple bucks), and a carabiner (about $8 for a screw gate biner) to have a comparable setup to compare price with the HSS. I bought an HSS safety line for $30. Granted, HSS is making money off the resale of the rope, just as REI makes money off selling rope sections for more than they pay for it in bulk, and there's a small time investment in assembling a prusick knot and snapping a carabiner to it, but if you have the material in bulk there's virtually no production cost in making a safety line, so merely a couple dollars markup can cover it and pull a profit. If the effort involved to save $5 is worth it, fine. Reality is if I bought similar components myself it would cost more than the HSS line I bought already assembled. If you're making your systems for significantly less than $30 each you're probably not using components that are as robust as the HSS line; that's your choice to do, but you also get what you pay for. That HSS sells safety lines for as cheap as they do I find impressive... although for them it's probably more a marketing tool to also get people to buy the very expensive safety vests, which most certainly have a significant profit margin.
    preserve wildlife .... use freezer bags

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