My Dad was a lineman for Rural Electric Association in PA. he slipped on an ice covered rock once, on the way to the pole and stabbed the point into the other leg - hole was over an inch deep and 3/4" in dia. Other guys have "cut out" - thats when the wood gives way and the point comes out. Then all your weight suddenly goes on the other foot and if you're still setting it, down you go. They called it "burning the pole". The joke was they would then put their shirt on backwards to cover the splinters - the front would be gone. I would think the tree bark would limit the depth you could hook and be more difficult than a pole.
I have a set that I used alot for two deer seasons. I am 170 lbs and very fit, I run and lift every day. I say this just so that when I say they worked well for me, you understand where I am coming from. They were really nice for long hikes into remote areas. That is what I use them for now. I just love my loggy climber too much to use anything else now!
The other thing is that they chew up trees, and a trained eye can easily spot you "favorite" tree. It takes a while to learn how to climb safely, and spkies have their applications, but I would not recommend them to the majority of hunters. Climber is a much better idea. When I did use them, I always looked for a tree that had a limb about 15' up that I could spike up to, and then stand on. That made it easier to attach my stand.
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