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Discussion Starter #1
I've got the climbers mastered but I need help with a hang on model.
I've got one on order and I need advice on climbing up and into it.
I'm going to be using screw in steps...I know...but I really can't afford climbing sticks right now.

I went out today and screwed the steps in and climbed about 15ft. When I got up there it dawned on me that I do not have a clue as to how to get in the stand(which I still don't have).

Do I hang my steps like: (#=stand)

- -
#
- -
- -
- -

or like this:

- -
---- #
- -
- -
- -

Thanks.
 

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try this, the 2 steps at the top will make it easier to hang the stand.



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Discussion Starter #3
Fxxx said:
try this, the 2 steps at the top will make it easier to hang the stand.



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I'll try that.
Aren't you supposed to hang the steps above the stand so you step *down* into it?
 

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This is how I do it. Alot of guys like to do the two step up top approach for ease of hanging. Other guys like to position the stand lower than the last step so they are stepping down onto the stand platform. I prefer to keep it above even with my top step, seems most comfortable to hang for me that way (i.e. knee and leg aren't caught slamming under the platform and I don't have to position the stand around the other side of the tree so have to make a GIANT step over to get in it.)

Lots of ways to hang them, but I'd HIGHLY recommend practicing at GROUND LEVEL first until you are 100% confident in hanging them above ground level. And when you do actually go up in a tree, ALWAYS USE A SAFETY BELT!!!

I can't stress those two points enough!

Also worth noting, I see alot of guys climb and hang the stand on their RIGHT once they get up there. This makes it VERY hard to attach the cable/rope/strap since it is on the OTHER SIDE of the tree. I ALWAYS climb so that I can hang my stand on my LEFT side. This way the cable/rope/strap goes around the tree and comes right back in front of me for attachment. It will all be right in front of your eyes then, which is especially useful when hanging stands in the dark!

I know some stands allow you to detach/attach either side (i.e. Gorillas), so this is in respect to those that are BOUND on the RIGHT side of the stand and attach to the LEFT side of the stand (when the stand is facing forward).


Anyway, here is my diagram and key:

Step == _

Tree == ...

Stand == X


...
..._ (extra step up high to hold onto while getting in/out)
...
X..._ (stand about level or slightly higher than last step)
...
_...
...
..._
...
_...
...
..._
...
_...
...
..._
...
_...
...
..._
...
_...
...
..._
...


Always wear a safety belt of some kind, and don't hang a stand without one! I've been 2 miles in the woods and left my belt back in my jeep at times...I'll walk all the way back to get it because I can't and won't even try to hang a stand securely without it!

Good luck man, and BE CAREFUL! Safety First ALWAYS!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So....are you hanging the stand

like this:

(Step) Stand)

Step tree step

step tree step


what I mean is...is the stand hanging on the same side you're climbing or to one side or the other?
 

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I second BowhunterNJ's idea of having a step (or two) above your stand for handholds when getting in and out of the stand. Stepping in/out of the stand is the most dangerous time in the process and having steps for handholds at that point allows you to stay much steadier and keep a 3 point connection to the tree. I place my last foot step dead even (or real close to that) with the stand platform. I'll never step up to the platform. To me this is dangerous.
 

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I put my stand right in line with my steps. Just as you see it in the diagram.

My treestand always sits on the left side of the tree, approximately 180 degrees from the last step on the right side of the tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK that's what I thought...just making sure. :)

So now...if your stand is hanging to the left how do you step onto it?
Step left foot off of the treestep...around...and onto the stand,then bring right foot over to the stand?

((BTW,Of course I'll practice at ground level when it arrives))
 

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Yep, exactly.

Here is my sequence:

1) climb to the top of the steps
2) grab onto the top (support handle in/out) step
3) swing my left foot onto the stand
4) holding onto the top (support handle in/out) step, I swing my right foot over to the stand.

At the end of the sequence I am standing on the treestand platform and facing the tree. At that point, I immediately throw my safety harness tether (usually kept right in my leg cargo pocket) around the tree well above my head and connect my safety harness to it and secure my carabiner.

The one thing I haven't figured out how to do is to climb effectively with a safety belt, and more so perform the above sequence while attached to the tree.

When setting up a stand, I'll usually connect up and put in a step...disconnect, climb up on that step, then connect up again and repeat the process. I usually put all my steps in and once I get to stand height, I go back down to ground level to get my stand. I use a pull up rope with a dog leash clip to connect to the stand, then climb back up the steps to stand height, connect up with the safety belt and pull up the stand with the pull up rope in order to set it up. I find this much safer than carrying the stand on my back or the like while climbing.

The best way to set the stand "tightly" is to push the chain/rope/strap around and cinch it as much as possible. Lift the stand to the same height as the backend of the chain,rope/strap and re-cinch it. This is the smallest diameter (i.e. stand level with chain), so it will be the tightest/most secure fit on the tree.

Once I set the stand, I always give it a good seating with my elbow/tripcep area. I like to pound it down a little bit to seat it as much as possible before getting on it.

Anyway, the only safety device that allows you to remain connected from the time you leave the ground until you come back down to it is those climbing ropes that start up at your stand and go all the way down to ground level. You attach your carabiner and safety harness to a prusiki, which is attached to the rope. As you climb, you move the prusik knot up (where your safety harness/belt is attached to.) That is definitely the safest/best approach IMO to climbing a stand safely.


You'll get the hang of things and find the best way for you to hang a stand once you start practicing. Everyone has their own way of doing it, just remember to take your time, check your equipment regularly, and be 100% sure your stand is setup securely before stepping into it. (i.e. chain/rope/strap is secured properly)


Let me know if you have any more Qs, and definitely try all of this at ground level first...then maybe with 2 or 3 steps in the tree. Once confident there, move higher.
 

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Let me offer a few recommendations that may help someone come home safely from tree stand hunting. I have been around aerial climbing work in my occupation most of my working life, and have seen way to many folks hurt over the years that could have been prevented:
Firstly, everything that follows presumes you have carefully inspected your chosen equipment and personally know it looks excellent in condition, and all equipment has been pre-tested at or near ground level.

When using screw in steps, strap on steps, or separate step style sticks and ladder rails, it is very important not to exceed your leg's step length capability. Let me explain. When you reach your foot up to the step, you must be able to step "down" onto the step. If the step distance is too high for you, you won't be able to step "down" onto the step. If the step height is too great, even though your foot may reach the step...your leg and foot will create a horizontal pushing force against the step as you attempt to mount it, and can cause the step to pivot away from your foot and can result in a slipped step. On a climbing stick type device, lateral torque may spin the stick also resulting in a slipped step. This situation is significantly compounded if your feet are wet or muddy.

When ascending, you have a set leg and a climbing leg. Your set leg should have the knee locked and away from the tree, since your weight is committed to this step, both hands must be secure. As you shift your weight onto the climbing leg, both hands must remain secure. You will want to lock your knee out as you complete steping "down" on this step. Not locking your knees each time and allowing them to stay bent puts tremendous strain on your knee and related muscleature, inducing premature fatigue. While ascending, watch where you are climbing to, not where you are climbing from. You might be amazed at how many people get hurt watching their feet while ascending.

When descending, watch where you are descending to, not where you are coming from. Lock your knee on your descending leg before it makes contact with the step, and ease your weight on to the step, do not drop your weight on to the step(your body weights applied force to the step is significantly increased if you "drop" your weight onto that step). Feel your succesful weight transfer before releasing your descending hand. Sounds simple perhaps, but again you might be surprised at how many get hurt doing the opposite.

When placing screw in or strap on steps on a tree, the direction of penetration must always point at the center of the tree, and the vertical shank should be flush against the tree without any gap, and in perfect vertical alignmnet(not aligned to the tree trunk unless it also happens to be perfectly vertical). Stepping on a step that is not vertically aligned will cause it to have rotation towards vertical and can result in a slipped step. This situation will be compounded if your feet are wet or muddy.

Never place steps on the low side of the tree(this applies to your stand as well). Vertical or high side only. Climbing the low side will have you fighting your natural gravitational force and your middle to lower body will be trying to pivot away from the tree. Climbing the high side gives you natural gravitational force advantage.

I hope these recommendations will be of help to you in having a successful hunting experience. Good hunting to you...
 

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Scott:

Those are some excellent tips. Things I definitely do each time, but is like second nature to me now...well worth mentioning for new and experienced hunters!
 

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After re-reading some of the posts, a couple things come to mind:

Use a lineman's style set up with your safety harness when placing those ladder style sticks, screw-in steps, or belt on steps. When placing that linemans style belt or rope around the tree, have the leg/foot which is on the starting side of the belt pass higher with your knee bent towards the tree, and the leg/foot on the recieving side lower with knee locked out away from the tree. Visually look at the positive connect of the strap hook to the body belt. Never do it by feel. When removing the strap, you want to be in the same position you were in when strapped on. Don't scrimp and try to get by with only one safety strap...it takes two. One for the lineman arrangement and one to place when you get to the top so that you aren't at risk switching the strap to a tethered fall arrest position. Be sure you use a 3 point climbing technique(1 foot & 2 hands or 2 feet and 1 hand on the steps or rungs firmly at all times). 2 point climbing (sometimes called speed clibing) is a sure fire way to find out it can happen to you! End of sermon, Amen. Good hunting to all...
 
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