Archery Talk Forum banner
1 - 20 of 439 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're talking tree stand harnesses, ladies and gentlemen.

We've been having a lively discussion over on the newbie forum (Click here to read all about it...) where a harness manufacturer is selling what I believe to be an expensive, over-engineered solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.

Guys, there is a better way that reduces weight, reduces cost and increases safety. And it comes out of a discipline that's been tried and tested in the harshest environments on Earth by thousands and thousands of people that use harnesses to stay alive all day long. That is, the mountaineering and climbing community.

So my comments are based largely on my background in rock and ice climbing in the mountains. M7Archer suggested I create a post on using climbing gear and techniques in our tree stands. So here goes!

******* LIGHTWEIGHT SUPER-EFFECTIVE TREE STAND HARNESS

Here's my tree stand harness - the same harness I use when rock and ice climbing. It's a Black Diamond Alpine Bod. It weighs 14 ounces and costs from $30 to $40.




Here's a locking carabiner...




Here's a "double length" nylon runner.




Here's a "daisy chain". You may wish to substitute a Metolius Personal Anchor System for this component. You clip in to the various loops to adjust how close you are to the anchor (or the tree in our case!). Clip into the last loop, put a twist in the daisy chain, and clip into any other loop to shorten the tether.




Here's how I rig for the trip up and down the tree. Clip the biner through the waist belt and leg harness loop.




Here's how I rig for the long wait in the treestand once I'm up and ready to hunt. Again, clip the biner through the waist belt and leg harness loop.



*******

OK, anyone have comments, questions, flames - whatever? :wink:

STL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,625 Posts
) where a harness manufacturer is selling what I believe to be an expensive, over-engineered solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.
Welcome to hunting.

"deer corn" $7+ per bag
I can get 1 tons of it by trailer for livestock feed for around $50
unless my math is totally screwed that less than $1 per 50lbs


Sent block, enough said

climbing harness, I use the one from work but I did give a bit more for it but wearing it 12+ hours is no problem

salt block for deer, $14+
salt block for livestock, $7+

You slap deer, turkey, ducks on any product and it seems people go stupid. The same people that will drive around to save a nickel per gallon for gas will happily pay double the price cause it comes in a camo package that you throw away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,997 Posts
I hope that you give much more detail on what you are doing.

I recently tried some recreational tree climbing with the double rope technique. The recreational tree climbing harness are designed for the climber to just sit in and hang in place. The tree climbing instructor said that rock and mountain climbing harnesses are not designed for the climber to just hang in. There is a possibility that the rock harness will limit the circulation in your legs.

I didn't like the comfort level of the tree climbing harness. The harness pressed on the bottom of my rib cage.

These tree climbers have a hammock called a tree boat which they use to sleep over night in the trees.

I am looking for an inexpensive tree saddle harness that is comfortable. There has to be something like the regular tree harness but with a spreader to keep the straps apart so that they don't push into your sides.
 

·
Back down to ground level
Joined
·
16,894 Posts
Will this harness,being hooked at hips, keep me upright in a head over heels fall? I would prefer that over the hss ultra light if it's just as safe in a fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
I have the rock climbing harness and have thought about using it, but the idea of slipping and whipping around face first into the tree spooked me. I am not sure how long you could just hang there, but I am sure that as long as you are not unconcious you would be moving to get back into the stand.
I do like being able to lean out and be attached to the tree also with a regular harness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I'm with the OP. I haven't used the HSS harness, but the harnesses that come with stands are a joke IMO. They are patterned after the harnesses used in the construction industry, which are A) somewhat idiot proof and B) require someone around to rescue you.

I have tried hanging from both a rock climbing harness and the harness that came with my stand, and there is no question in my mind which one I intend to use--it's the rock climbing harness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
what keeps you from falling out of it if you go out of your stand headfirst? no shoulder straps....seem like it would slide off your ankles and down you go head first.... .. no thanks, My Seat of the Pants harness is simple, safe and makes sense. You guys have fun with your half harness :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
fmb and 25ft,

Hit YouTube and check out some climbing videos. You'll see that we take WAY bigger and hairier falls than hunters slipping out of their stands. Many times a rock climber goes upside down, and no, the harness does not slip down or off. It's absolutely as "safe" as it can be.

And yes, we do have fun with our 14 ounce packable harnesses - thanks! They're so compact and lightweight that we don't require a huge pack just to drag a harness with.

STL

P.S. I just shot a nice 8 pointer tonight while tied in short with my 14 oz. harness. SWEEEEEET!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
985 Posts
STL,
It's been 15+ years (pre marriage and kids) since I used my climbing harness.... I haven't thought about my experience doing that stuff until recently. I always felt that the climbing gear was better suited for tree stand work too, but never needed to worry about it in ground blinds. Alas, my harness seems to have become too small for me. I briefly considered having another waist belt stitched over the existing one to give me the extra length needed (I have access to a commercial\heavy duty sewing machine, as well as having friends that have a commercial awning business. Getting the sewing done isn't really an issue, but the proper webbing material might be. Obviously, I would prefer new instead of modified. Are you aware of any manufacturers that produce a harness that would fit my fat-assed 42" waist and be rated for ~280#? Yeah I know I need to drop some weight and if I could get down to 245# or so I would probably fit into my old harness at ~38" waist... I see that Petzel has a basic harness that goes up to almost 40", but the better harnesses max out at about 38".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Total newbie to rock climbing with a couble of questions that otheres my also have. Do you have any pics with you connected to the tree in the two different configurations and how you connect the locking carabiner to your harness? Can a rope and prussic be substituted for the nylon runner and dasiy chain? How does this work when you are facing away from the tree? Where does the daisy chain run, around your side? Also, your harness looks a lot different from the Black Diamond Vario Speed Harness. Can you explain the advantages/disadvantages of each?

Thanks,
jmak
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
fmb and 25ft,

Hit YouTube and check out some climbing videos. You'll see that we take WAY bigger and hairier falls than hunters slipping out of their stands. Many times a rock climber goes upside down, and no, the harness does not slip down or off. It's absolutely as "safe" as it can be.

And yes, we do have fun with our 14 ounce packable harnesses - thanks! They're so compact and lightweight that we don't require a huge pack just to drag a harness with.

STL

P.S. I just shot a nice 8 pointer tonight while tied in short with my 14 oz. harness. SWEEEEEET!
good for you, have fun with it. Just curious tho, which harness are you looking at that takes "a huge pack to drag a harness with"? :lol:

Personally I prefer the straps over my shoulders, but to each his own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Stl,
Any chance of a pic of this system hooked to your actual harness? Just a little confused on that part. Thanks for posting some very useful info. Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
Hey JimP

I have been part of the thread over in the new user posts.
I have been hinting from a trophyline tree saddle for a few years. I also taught myself to climb drt for light pack in afternoon hunts and morning where I can leave the rope in the tree as it is a bugger to throw a rope in the dark. when I climb I install a rope bridge from dloop to d loop and use this to tie into the rope. I use an anchor knot on my biner and blakes hitch. Once at hunting height and have my steps or plarform installed I switch of this sytem to my linemans belt and then to a tether with a prussic. great mobility in the tree. Check same could be done with the harness that STL is talking about.

Guys STL has some really great info to share and he is talking about tried and true systems....

You can not flip over in the the harness as you should be anchord at he belly button area and tied in short so if you fall you will settle into an upright seated position and be close enough to get back toy your stand. If you carry a length of webbing with you that you could loop around the tree choker style I believe it is called a girth hitch?? and create a foot loop in it you could walk down the tree by stepping into the loop taking the weight off of your harness and lowing you tether and sitting back into the harness then lower your foot loop. It will be somewhat slow but atleast you can get down the same day and without injury or death....never cut yourself free once you realize that you can not get down....you chances are just as great of injury from the fall....

Hey STL----congrats on that 8 point!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
how are you connected when sitting in the stand? with the attachment point in the front where does your tether strap go? Is it loose and laying over your legs? Can't quite picture how you are in the stand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
fmb,

Hmmm... Let's see.

*****

1) Here's the most compact full body harness.




2) Here's my climbing harness.



****

Everyone knows where #1 came from - it's the standard model that's issued with most new treestands these days. It's about as minimal as you can get, and still have a full body harness with the long tether up the back. That's as compact as it can get, because the more elaborate models have built-in vests, seat-belt buckles and other unnecessary junk. So #1 is a best-case scenario.

#2 is a simple climbing harness set up as I've been recommending.

So, do we want to sacrifice our entire fanny pack to an unnecessary full body harness, or sacrifice 1/4 of it to a more minimal climbing harness which is all we really need in the first place?

To use your words - to each his own. If you want to haul a super-expensive pile of unnecessary webbing around the woods - knock yourself out!

STL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
NP, but I spent 30 bucks on my SoP harness, I put it on at the truck and take it off when I get back to the truck so I hardly notice it. No pack space wasted, but as I said, to each his own, its good to know the options I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,717 Posts
STL you might as well save your breath,,for some reason these guys love their nut crushers .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
I have taken many falls with a rock climbing harness while rock climbing and have never ended upside down. Couple of times to mess with a belay partner on an inside climb I would invert, but it was more trouble than it was worth to get there. The rock climbing harness cinches above your hips and uses them to keep the harness from going anywhere. Really only downside I see is you will be spun back to swing facefirst into the tree after the fall. Then again you tie off rope should be such the once you fall off the stand you only go a few inches and self rescue is nothing more rolling/sitting back onto your platform.
 
1 - 20 of 439 Posts
Top