View Full Version : Treestand Safety
01-19-2002, 08:13 AM
For all those who hunt from above, do you prefer a safety belt or a full harness?
01-19-2002, 08:27 AM
I've tried both, and I ultimately stuck with just the belt. ###Here's why:
The harness is actually much more safe than the belt, but have you ever put one to the test? ###This past year, out of dumb curiousity, I stood on a short stump or something-or-other and strapped myself to a pine tree the way I would if I were in my treestand. ###Then, I simulated a fall....although a slower and more carefully planned one....and I can tell you this - if this is on your list of things to do before you die, TAKE IT OFF!!!
It didn't feel good at all. ###I decided then I believed I'd just rather fall to the ground than I would endure that....it ain't fun hanging around like that!!
Realistically though, that hanging sensation I know is not as painful as a potentially fatal or paralyzing fall from a tree, especially when you are 25 or 30 feet up.
I chose to stick with the safety belt over the harness because the safety belt does do the job I depend on it to do - it keeps me from losing my balance and falling out of my treestand. ###Also, it is not nearly as restrictive or as noisy as the harness.
Now, if I worried about my treestands breaking I would use the harness, although I wince at the thought of that sudden stop at the end of a short and very quick fall. ###In that situation, losing my balance is not an issue and the safety belt would not have an advantage.
That's just my two cents worth...now, where's Gun Docc??
01-19-2002, 10:48 AM
Here's my two cents worth...I used to wear just a belt also, until one day I saw the bruising my buddy endured while hanging from a safety belt in a tree for over two hours, he weighs around 240lbs, and when his stand let out from under him (before he had a chance to tie the loggy bayou in)the belt gave him "road rash" when it slipped up under his arm pits. He was brush burned from ###belt line to his arm pits 360...A safety harness distributes the weight evenly aross the torso (shoulders, ###legs, and waist, and the tether rope is centered between your shoulder blades, and prevents you from being thrown upside down like a waist belt can do. There is a safety belt called "seat of the pants" that is awesome, you don't even know it's on when your wearing it, and you can rotate 360 with it on. The one I use is very similiar to it, it came with my Summit tree stand. Any belt is obviously better than no belt at all (I can't beleive there are actually people that will still climb into a 20-30 foot tree stand, and not wear a safety belt) Obviously they don't know anyone that is a parapaligic, or someone with a severe head injury...Sorry to ramble on...Please guys and gals, wear your safety belts/harnesses!!!!
01-19-2002, 01:36 PM
The idea behind it though is to not leave so much slack that you cannot recover from the fall. Unless I would loose both of my platforms, I could get back on board and not hang from the tree all day long.
01-19-2002, 06:13 PM
I use to use only a belt until I heard simular stories as the one you tell h2obobh2o. Where people have slipped from thier stands with a belt on and still wind up with broken ribs or worse. Now I use the "seat-of-pants" harness. Like you say it is rather comfortable and provides 360 degree mobility while in the tree. I like the teather system it provides too. As many other companies do too, they sew small loops into the teather belt that are designed to lessen the severity of the jolt if you happen to fall. though I've never had a mishap, *knock on wood*, safety is always of concern. Does the harness Summit provides with their stand come with the climbing rings, where you stay connected to the tree as you climb too? I hope everyone uses some sort of safety restraint while perched above waiting for that golden opportunity.
01-19-2002, 08:07 PM
The summitt safety harness does come with a "climbing" rope type set up, but instead of "D" rings, they are small loops of webbing sewn to the harness, and the actual rope that you slide up and down the tree as you are climbing has the "D" rings on each end. It also has the sewn loops on the tether to slow you down if you do fall. My buddy uses the seat of the pants, and I must say, it's a quality made product! I still may even buy one, just because they are so nice.
Have been using a strap type belt . My son gave me a harness but it takes 10 minutes to figure out where you put your arms and where you put your legs through*L* Have to work on that! I Have been using rachet straps to lock my stand to the tree. They really stableize the stand .I'm not too cool on heights to begin with so I take my sweet time going up and down a tree. It's always fun getting up a tree and strapping in then lookin' down and seeing that I forgot to hook my bow to the line *L*
01-21-2002, 05:30 AM
Consider this if you don't wear any type of harness ### ###
There's also information there on the harness Summit provides with it's stands.
(Edited by ToddP at 9:42 am on Jan. 21, 2002)
01-21-2002, 06:18 AM
I too used to use the belt as a balance tool. ###Always made me nervous. Now wear the S.O.P. The strap goes on the tree at the bottom. ###The harness is way comfortable and well worth the extra couple of minutes, just ask my kids.
I don't care how bad it feels while it's working, as long as it's working. ###I'll take upright and breathing over upside down and gasping anyday.
01-21-2002, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the info. Todd, I figured this topic must have come up before. That prusic hitch knot is truely ingenious how it works. I keep a screw in step in the strap pouch of my "seat-of-the-pants" harness just in case of a fall so I can recover without hanging till some one finds me. I've never tryed it, but it appears you could use the climbing line and prusic hitch to desend the tree. It wouldn't be a fun climb down but it beats the alternative. Fall Woods, maker of this harness, offers a Decender Rope too. Do other manufacturers use a simular prusic hitch system?
01-22-2002, 09:03 AM
I just use a belt and keep it under my armpits with enough slack to recover from the fall(Ithink). I have not fallen out yet(knock on wood). I am not big on heights so when I am up there I keep my moving to a minimum.
01-22-2002, 09:10 AM
I used to use the cheap strap that came with my stand, one that goes under the arms and around the chest, but didn't have too much confidence in it so I switched to a harness. ###Hopefully I'll never have to try it out! ###Good idea though carrying a screw-in step just in case!!
(Edited by jayber at 11:17 am on Jan. 22, 2002)
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