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Teach me about climbing with sticks?

2377 Views 41 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  tddeangelo
Ok, so I got a Novix Echo.

Now I'm stick shopping.

There are places where I will be hunting that the trees look like a "telephone pole farm." Meaning, tall, bare(ish) trunks. I could lug my Summit climber in to those spots, I guess. That'd handle any height at which I care to sit.

For the Echo and sticks, I feel like I would be happy with a stick setup that I can use to get at least 15', with 18' being my ideal.

I've never used sticks, let alone an aider/swaider/etc.

Just looking for some ideas on what might do the job well for me... and how to use it to best effect.

I like the Tethrd Skeletor stick, but am open to ideas. I'd prefer to stay in the price range of the Skeletor if possible.

So...questions are:

-What's a decent mid-priced stick?


-How can I use that stick as safely as possible to reach to 15+ feet?

I do not want to set my stand higher than my top stick. I've seen youtube videos of guys doing that, and if it works for them, cool. I would prefer not to do that.
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I have a set of Tethrd Skeletor sticks and like them a lot. For a mid-priced stick set, they are well designed and fairly light. Coupled with a LW Assault stand, carry strap harness and small pack to hold necessities, the setup weighs about 22#....about the same as my previous Millennium M7 setup with the same sticks. In comparison, my Cougar Claw climber weighs 19#, but is a bit more bulky in size. I sweat a LOT less using the climber than I do installing sticks and a stand, so if the trees in the area are suitable, I opt for the climber.

Height achieved is relative to your physical height. A guy that is 5'6' is not going to get as high with 3 or 4 sticks as a guy 6'6" because their legs are plainly that much longer. I set my sticks about the distance from foot to at ground level the first one is set so the bottom stick is about the height of my knee. That way with hunting clothes on I can easily step up without straining for the next stick. Being 6' tall, I get to about 15' with four Skeletors or three LW full length sticks. That is why some add an "aider" to the bottom stick so they get a boost and start up higher for another couple feet. Another way is to carry a strap-on step to install above your highest stick to give you another 18-24" of height.
Gas Wood Metal Event Vehicle
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I watched the Youtube video from post #7 last night and am seriously contemplating the retractable cable aider on one of my Skeletor sticks. It would be for the first section on the tree at ground level. If I want to get a little higher, it can be simply accessed and seems to be a lot easier than the Amsteel rope splicing later in the video. If not, it ijust hangs down a few inches and adds a marginal amount of weight. Sounds like a good mid-March cold and windy day basement project.....after a quick trip to the local hardware.
I had a couple errands to "run" this morning.....if you want to see a photo of my Jeep it indeed "runs" and transports me places. Since I was going to be close to the local hardware store, I stopped by with a small parts list to try the retracting cable aider mod from the forementioned video on this same thread. They didn't have the precise bolts the DIY fellow used.....apparently those are often used for mounting flat screen TV's and they don't stock them. So I subbed a 1/4" flange bolt to see if it would work. The DIY guy suggested1 1/8", but I found 1 1/2" to work just fine with a lock nut on the outside edge. As noted previously, I opted for the cable instead of Amsteel because I only modded the bottom stick to give me another 20" of height if so desired. 1/8" vinyl coated cable is rated at 325#, which is a lot more than I weigh and again will just take me from the ground to the first Skeletor step for just a few seconds. At present it has just one dual stop, but I think I am going to add an extra single one on each end.....just because. So this is what it looks like.

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Brown Beige Textile Wood Rectangle

Later this afternoon, I was out getting lunch and running an errand with my wife and we stopped at a True Value hardware store. While she was looking for something, I went back to hardware and found the bolts shown in the video. They were called "furniture bolts" on the bin and didn't cost any more than the flange bolts I purchased earlier. When we got home, I swapped them out and there is definitely more surface area to keep the aider in place.
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The cable is vinyl wrapped, so it is padded from making a metalic sound on the sticks. Since I haven't tested it out in "real life" application, I cannot speak to that. But many saddle and mobile hunters are using cable aiders that are commercially available, so it is an accepted method of adding some height. The other option is to watch the video and invest in Amsteel.....which will undoubtedly be silent.....but a lot more work and expense.
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I'd think the only possible substantial noise is the clamp. Wouldn't some sort of covering...cloth tape, stealth strips, etc.... solve that issue?
I probably would......and I thought of that. However I want to use it a few times to make sure everything is very solid with the setup before I cover it up.....if you know what I mean.....
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