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Climbing Harness for Hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by daniel craig, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    Hello all,

    This is my first post in a while, it's good to be back. This year, now that I'm older and 'wiser' I'd like to use a harness while I'm in my tree stand. I've never been a fan of full body harness so I'd consider just tying myself a Swiss seat. Well, a friend of mine who climbs suggested I just get a lightweight climbing harness for comfort and weight reduction if I want to pack in.

    Have any of you done this? How do you like it? Do you tie in to the tree like on a regular body harness or is it different because a rock harness is from the front?
     
  2. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    This isn't what you want to hear, but you should just use a harness designed for the task. If you fall out wearing a climbing harness/swiss seat, you will be making a radical turn back to the anchor point, maybe doing a flip, along with any other drama from rope stretch factors, etc. You could always test it by tying in 5' off the ground and hurling yourself off a ladder. Also, there is nothing saying that when you use a full body harness, that you have to have it cranked down all the way like you are in a spacecraft about to re-enter the atmosphere. When I was in the mil, sometimes we were in helos with no doors or seats, and we used different tie-downs to save our lives if we fell out. I never had to test one, but I know I would have been dangling out sideways, while also having 60 or more pounds of lightweight gear strapped to me. I would have needed a few team mates (or at least 1 of the big guys) to haul me back into the helo. I religiously use a body harness when I am in a stand now, as I have woke up a few times in a stand and been lucky I wasn't falling forward. I also make sure my cell phone is in my pocket in the event that something does happen that I am not able to correct myself. Don't make our sport more dangerous than you need to. Just my 2 cent.
     
  3. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Hunter safety systems ultra light is the best I’ve used.
     
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  4. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    I don't dislike that answer, in fact, I appreciate the candor. You're probably right on the flipping around thing especially being attached to the harness at the front.
     
  5. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    I was a climber for about 12 years and I've got a box full of climbing harnesses that I've used for various types of climbing during that time.

    While a couple rigs that I used during my mountaineering days come close, there still isn't a single one that I'd use for safety in a tree stand simply because there are, as mentioned in the posts above, better and safer choices. (It's not that they CAN'T work, but there are some gotchas that aren't readily apparent when using a climbing harness in that situation.)

    A body harness designed and purpose built for tree stand safety is your best bet.
     
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  6. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    What ever you choose, please use it. I taught Hunter's Ed of AGFC a few years and they would send a report of accidents every year. There was usually 25-30 accidents reported and 50%-60% would be treestand related. I have a Hunter's Safety Harness and use it anytime I am in a tree. 68 years old and I still climb trees.
     
  7. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    I finally realized how dumb it is to not use one. That'll be changing this season.
     
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  8. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Also, check out the Treestand Wingman by Blackash outdoors. It lowers you to the ground if you should fall.
     
  9. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I'm 76 and still climb them although it didn't do me any good this past weekend. A full moon and 96 deg. took the fun out.
     
  10. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Good advice here!

    I used to rock climb too (though only for about 3 years). The harnesses are designed the way they are because you face the rock, and because you have to manage your rope. In a fall where you are leading the climb you are above your last piece of protection (anchor point), and so knowing where the rope is so that you fall on it correctly (and don't get it wrapped around you somehow) is very important. You also need constant access to the rope to attach it to each piece new of protection as it is placed.

    But in a stationary position (such as a tree stand) you are facing away from the anchor and hopefully are below it (being above the anchor point is less than ideal). And not only do you not need constant access to your tether, it's also preferable to have it out of your way. So you want the tie-in point on your harness to be behind you. When the tie-in point is behind you, a full body harness is what stops you slipping out of it when you fall (and hopefully keeps you right way up). Also, in rock climbing, when you fall you usually know about it right before it happens, unlike accidentally stepping off a platform which would be a complete surprise.
     
  11. zdc1775

    zdc1775 Member

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    Guess I'm going to have to be the different one here but I always use a climbing harness when hunting out of a tree stand. I do it mainly because, for me, it is much more comfortable, allows me to add or remove layers as necessary, and would make self rescue easier in the event of a catastrophic failure of the stand. I do understand that being spun around into the tree in the event of a long fall is a definite possibility but I keep the tether short for just that reason so for me that seems like a less than likely occurrence.

    Since I almost exclusively use a climber to hunt out of trees I use two different life lines while hunting. One for the climbing that is loosely tied to the climber's top strap and moves whenever I lift the stand and another that I cinch around the tree when i get to the height I want to be at.
     
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