Best option for climbing

Titan_Bow

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Dec 10, 2015
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Broomfield, CO
I’ve been hunting primarily from the ground the last several years, mainly because my favorite whitetail spot is out on the Nebraska prairie. There are however times where a tree stand works better. I’ve got a few hang on stands and typically have been using screw in steps. That however is a pain in the a$$.
What’s everyone’s opinion on the best method for climbing? Sticks, strap on steps, anything else I may not be thinking about? Where I hunt, climbing stand is not really an option as there are really no trees out here straight and clean for a climber.


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ddavis_1313

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Oct 25, 2012
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I’ve run climbing sticks and I’ve run the one stick. They both have their pros and cons.

The single one stick is awesome on weight savings when covering ground. It’s literally an 18” stick with a 3 step nylon aider. Takes a little getting used to but is a great option. Works best on slick trees bc you have to be tethered off to move it and have to use a combo of tether and lineman’s belt if moving tether around tree limbs. It’s mainly for saddle hunters.

If weight isn’t a big issue and you’re not burning miles looking for deer sign, it’s super hard to beat hawk helium’s. I have a set of 32” sticks. I run a single step aider on the bottom step and just space accordingly going up. All you need is a harness with a lineman’s belt. I can fly up a tree running those and get 20’ up. Straight, crooked, leaning, won’t matter. I ditch the straps they come with and the plastic versa buttons. Bought aftermarket metal versa buttons and about 50’ of Amsteel rope to cut to length for each step. I wrap the amsteel around the tree, loop it under the versa button and back around to a half hitch. It ain’t moving. Period. They will kick out on you if you don’t set them tight or if it’s on a tree with hard slick bark. On your standard hardwood they set tight.

Hopefully that helps out some.


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rcrfc

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Sep 4, 2017
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IA
So far I’m liking the Amsteel daisey chain ropes purchased from an Etsy vender. Better than the cam buckles I used for years on the LW sticks


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ffiivvee

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Jan 31, 2021
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I'm personally a One Stick guy. I like it more than multiple sticks as,FOR ME PERSONALLY, I find that there's too much fiddle factor managing the climb with multiple sticks hanging off of you. I also like the space savings of one stick vs multiple (except for shikars. You could get like 47 of those in a waterbottle pocket haha)


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Vrybusy

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Oct 14, 2017
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Pennsylvania
Climbing sticks and amsteel daisy chains as mentioned above. You have a lot of options with that type of set up.
 

ResearchinStuff

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the jrb climbing method seems to be the best system for climbing, and basically sets you up for saddle hunting with no additional equipment. Very safe, quiet, and versatile.
 

Btaylor

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the jrb climbing method seems to be the best system for climbing, and basically sets you up for saddle hunting with no additional equipment. Very safe, quiet, and versatile.
I am moving to the jrb cinch method this year in place of 1 sticking. 2 tether climbing is another good light weight option for the mobile hunter that wants to keep the system as light as possible.
 

Macintosh

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After trying most of the above methods enough to be more than proficient with them I've come back to sticks for my hang-and hunt setup. I find them to be the fastest, easiest, least-fiddly, and involve the least movement and futzing around while hanging them, especially for anyone who won't practice and use it a lot. I would personally say some of the more fringe climbing methods have advantages but overall are problems looking for their solution, as many work well but require practice, are not intuitive, and I would say are inappropriate for someone who doesnt have a lot of rope-work experience already or hasnt used a mobile setup enough to have a specific reason to move away from one of the well-established methods of climbing a tree. However, enough people seem to prefer climbing methods that I dont care for, so I think its a good bet that you'll have to just try something and see how it works for you. There are a gajillion youtube videos of people showing how to effficiently use every method of climbing under the sun--watch a few videos of climbing methods you are considering and pick one that seems like what you are looking for (in the dark, in the cold, etc), and run with it.
 

Btaylor

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After trying most of the above methods enough to be more than proficient with them I've come back to sticks for my hang-and hunt setup. I find them to be the fastest, easiest, least-fiddly, and involve the least movement and futzing around while hanging them, especially for anyone who won't practice and use it a lot. I would personally say some of the more fringe climbing methods have advantages but overall are problems looking for their solution, as many work well but require practice, are not intuitive, and I would say are inappropriate for someone who doesnt have a lot of rope-work experience already or hasnt used a mobile setup enough to have a specific reason to move away from one of the well-established methods of climbing a tree. However, enough people seem to prefer climbing methods that I dont care for, so I think its a good bet that you'll have to just try something and see how it works for you. There are a gajillion youtube videos of people showing how to effficiently use every method of climbing under the sun--watch a few videos of climbing methods you are considering and pick one that seems like what you are looking for (in the dark, in the cold, etc), and run with it.
All climbing has risk. The questions are do people understand the risk, do they understand the fall force risk of the method they choose, do they understand what their chosen gear was designed for whether that be work positioning or fall arrest, do they understand how to properly use the gear chosen and are they prepared for self rescue in the event of a fall if their system allows a fall. The fall is never what gets folks, it's the sudden stop. That sudden stop might not be the ground. Whatever method of climbing is going to be used, it is important to be competent in the use of the system and knowledgeable about the risk being taken.
 

Macintosh

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Not sure what you are referring to in my post, or if you are agreeing or disagreeing, but I agree with you and that is specifically why I wrote what I did. Unless Im misunderstanding you, I think my post and yours are in complete agreement.
 

Btaylor

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Not sure what you are referring to in my post, or if you are agreeing or disagreeing, but I agree with you and that is specifically why I wrote what I did. Unless Im misunderstanding you, I think my post and yours are in complete agreement.
Yep I could have been more clear but was agreeing with your post and maybe getting some folks to think about their climbing choices.
 

Rich M

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Orlando
If screw in steps were legal around here that's all I'd use - fast, easy, quiet. Used them for the first 10-15 years of my hunting career. Just not legal on public around here.

What I don't like is climbing sticks - had one shift on me as I was stepping onto the lock-on and will not voluntarily use em unless absolutely have to.

I hunt out of a summit climber or a ladder stand these days.
 

Whip

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Nov 28, 2015
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Whatever climbing method you choose the most important part is to have a system that will keep you tethered to the tree at all times during the climb. Full body harness with lineman's belt. (double belt if you need to work around branches) If I'm leaving my set up in the tree for multiple sits I use a safety rope and prusic knot set up so that I am attached at all times that my feet are off the ground.
 

Zerickson

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I run 3 hawk heliums cut down to 20 inches and use an aider on the bottom stick. Can get up to 20 feet pretty easily and they're not too expensive at around $100 when I bought them. You can now buy 4 sticks already cut down to 20 inches for around the same price. Mainly use for saddle hunting but work great for both saddle and hand on stand.
 

fwafwow

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the jrb climbing method seems to be the best system for climbing, and basically sets you up for saddle hunting with no additional equipment. Very safe, quiet, and versatile.
Are you still liking the JRB system/method? I've just pulled the trigger on ordering all of the components and now have the learning phase to look forward to. My hope and plan is to be proficient enough to use it next year.
 

ResearchinStuff

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Are you still liking the JRB system/method? I've just pulled the trigger on ordering all of the components and now have the learning phase to look forward to. My hope and plan is to be proficient enough to use it next year.
unfortuantely i'm just killing deer off the ground this year. I had the cash in hand for all the JRB stuff, and then the cgs hyperion came into stock, so that play $ disappeared with no ropes coming to my house, and at this point in the season i'm not trying something new.

I've watched and read a ton of the climbing systems videos, from a safety engineering perspective JRB's stuff stands out in a positive way.
 

fwafwow

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unfortuantely i'm just killing deer off the ground this year. I had the cash in hand for all the JRB stuff, and then the cgs hyperion came into stock, so that play $ disappeared with no ropes coming to my house, and at this point in the season i'm not trying something new.

I've watched and read a ton of the climbing systems videos, from a safety engineering perspective JRB's stuff stands out in a positive way.
"just killing deer off the ground" sounds pretty cool to me. That Hyperion sounds familiar - I think I've seen good feedback on RS, so I can see how that happened.

Yep, this won't be something I implement for a while. I also think that the JRB system makes a good bit of sense, but the main weakness in the system is between my ears (not that I'm an idiot, but I'm old and wise enough to know the problem is me). Some of my friends think I'm crazy, and I've not yet bothered to tell my wife, but I see being tied in and having redundancies makes for a safer method/system than some of the things I have done in the past (like not tying in until the top of the stand). i've also recently read enough on SH about people falling just a short ways and hitting their sticks that I'm thinking that's an under appreciated risk.
 

ResearchinStuff

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i've rock climbed and rappelled quite a bit, never got hurt rapelling but had a couple of scary falls rock climbing, one where I hit the ground. being in a position where you are fully supported by the ropes the entire time eliminates a lot of the risks.

the stick based climbing options range from risky to insane. most stick designs seem optimized to lacerate the arteries in your thighs.
 

GreenNDark Timber

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I run 3 hawk heliums cut down to 20 inches and use an aider on the bottom stick. Can get up to 20 feet pretty easily and they're not too expensive at around $100 when I bought them. You can now buy 4 sticks already cut down to 20 inches for around the same price. Mainly use for saddle hunting but work great for both saddle and hand on stand.
How are you able to get 20' with (3) 20" sticks? Even with an aider on the bottom and spacing 18" between steps that would only put you around 13'.
 

loganwayne

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Western NC
How are you able to get 20' with (3) 20" sticks? Even with an aider on the bottom and spacing 18" between steps that would only put you around 13'.
i use 3 20" lone wolf double sticks with aiders. first stick is at eye level. and i set the rest of the sticks at a similar height. never measured how high i am but id say 18' fairly easily, to top of sticks. then i can get another couple feet higher if needed by how high i put the stand platform.
 
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