I never leave anything in the woods - I only hunt public land so everything goes in and out with me every time. When the season is over, my stands go in a storage closet, but during the season they're in the trunk of my car.
I leave everything - private ground and too much work to pull all 14 stands and sticks that ho with only to put them all back up in the same trees. I just check straps (and replace of need be) each year.
I have an Amacker Timb-R-Lock I bought in 1985 or 86. I'll bet it hasn't spent six months of its life under cover. Most of its life has been spent in just two or three trees. I reconditioned it this past spring with some fresh nuts and bolts and back out it went.
This year I took down all my hang ons and replaced all cables with chains using new grade 8 bolts and nuts. reading about falls caused by failed cables got me worried because I leave mine out. I inspected the straps made out of seat belt webbing material. They will fail when the stitching gives up the ghost. The sun and weather will deteriorate the stitching for sure, the belts should last longer.
Have you ever read the manufacturer's warnings? They want you to take them down and store them indoors after every use and replace straps every year or two. Lawsuit protection.
if you replace the belts go for seat belt webbing and polyester (not nylon) stitching. I use Tenex thread, and have an old treadle SINGER leather patcher sewing machine. The Tenex thread is super expensive but basically does not deteriorate, the belt will break from deterioration before the thread.
If you leave your stands out like I do, the cables should be replaced with chains and the straps replaced before the stitching gives out. Maybe add a heavy duty ratchet strap made with polyester thread once in awhile. Think of it as cheap insurance, after all it is way cheaper than a hospital bill!
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