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Strap on tree steps
I have been considering going away from a climber and using strap on tree steps and a hang on with brackets where I could have brackets in multiple locations. I think there are many more options with this approach than a climber.
The only strap on step I can find is Primal. Any recommendations on steps or treestands as described is appreciated. Opinions on this strategy are welcome as well.
Lone wolf sticks is the way to go
I haven’t heard many good things about the strap on steps
Screw in steps are nice though
Jim Stepps used to make a system, like the Primal. There is a guy that must have bought out Jim. He is making Jim's steps now. Same step, bag, everything. Look up Steppladder by Wild Edge. I use to have a set. There is a learning cure with them. They are solid, if put on correctly. My opinion is that they took me a while to hook up. I personally like the rapid rails. I hook the rope around the tree, just like the way you do with the Steppladder,, and then just put foot on them to snug them up. I also blew spray foam in each rapid rail. They are totally silent, and you can hook all three Rapid Rails up in seconds. Mine are very fast to set up, and no metal buckles, to fail or clang around. Good Luck.
Here is what works for me,,,,, I have to be very mobile, hunting lots of public and private land..... Weight is utmost for me,,,,, So this year, I have a Millenium M7 stand, and I use 2 LW sticks,,,,,, I also use 2 rope steps, to start with, kept in my pack,,, they are the EZ step,,,,,,
The whole idea is to be mobile, quick and light,,,, That gets me up about 12 - 14 feet easily,,,, however I hunt heavy cover in the far north, so height is not that important, and a lot of marshes, where at times I only use one stick......
I like the LW for one reason,,,, the step will swing both to the right side and left side, so I can adjust, when climbing if needed. I tried the Hawke and XOP, both also excellent sticks, but I do not like a step, out on both sides,,,, so it is preference......
You do not want to haul a whole bunch of crap with you,,,,,, I would never trust a screw in step, and they are illegal in so many places I never screw with them,,,,, also the stick is so much quicker......
I have never seen a better stick than the LW
Strap on steps sound good for business.....I work in an emergency department!
I think Cranford still makes they EZY climb step. I have used strap on steps for years and have always felt safe with them. I still have Ameristep brand steps that are 20 yrs old but they don't make them anymore. I like to use two Lone Wolf sticks and then use several steps because when I'm up 12+ feet I can install 3 of those steps quieter and more safely than I can that third LW stick.
My buddy uses the Cranford ones. I tried them and didn't care for how they can move around. I use Lone Wolf sticks.
Cheesehead Mike's Link
I just sold 10 ameristep strap on steps on eBay for $150. Couldn't believe what they are selling for. Not sure what the benefit is over the 2-3 step rails that are more common. Apparently some people really like them. If you buy ameristep be careful, there was a year or so that were recalled.
I bought a 4-pack of the Cranford rope steps and tried them this year just to experiment with another option. They're not my favorite way to climb a tree but I do like them and they do add another option to the arsenal. Last weekend I had a long walk into the area I was going to hunt so I went as light and compact as possible. I used 2 Lone Wolf sticks with a 2-rung rope extender on the bottom stick and then 3 Cranford rope steps and my old Loggy Bayou Cheap Seat. It was a very light load and I was able to get up 18' into the tree. The rope steps will come in handy for those times when you have some branches in the way or that you can use to step on and you don't want or need to use a climbing stick. They're compact enough that you can throw some in your pack and you won't notice them.
I don't bother with individual steps anymore. Climbing sticks are the way to go. Some good ones out there, I prefer Lone Wolf.
I bought some stealth steps at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA.
They are very light, quite, and easy to set up. The only down side is they take a few more minutes to set up vs climbing sticks.
Ground hunter, The XOPs I bought this year work exactly like the LWs. The steps swing to one side, and they are longer. The sticks also stand a little farther out from the tree. Both of these are improvements to me that caused me to quit using my LWs this year. Being a little older the XOPs provide more winter boot room IMO.
Habitat,,, thanks for the info, will have to look at that, I would like that feature....
Lone wolf stick and stand is the way to go for mobility. I can hang mine in less then 10 minutes if tree is fairly strait and don’t have to cut a lot of branches. 4 sticks can get you to 15 to 18’ easily. 5 sticks can go over 20’.
sticks is all I use anymore
I like the Summit ones
For sticks vs steps LW steps are the way to go. The Muddy step system is good as well but LW more versatile. Get two extension straps for bigger trees. For brackets the Millenium brackets are great, but make sure you try the stand first. The M150 is too big. The M100 is portable and super comfortable. But standing is not easy. The LW hang on is no doubt my best killing stand. Light, quiet and easy to set up. You can get extra brackets as well, but it’s so easy to set up extra brackets not necessary in my mind. Good luck.
I bought the Steppladder by Wild Edge Inc. Then I bought the Lone Wolf Sticks and Alpha Loc on. I have not even used the steps. If your interested send me a P.M.
I like the look of the stealth steps and they are light. If I get to hunt where I would like next year (yes already talking about next year) it will be an hour plus walk each way. Just thinking I need to shed as much weight as possible. Thanks for all the input.
The XOP sticks also lock into one another. The middle step on each stick has a notch that fits into a slot on another stick and locks into place when you turn the step upright.
I hang a stand 4-6 times a week and hands down this beats LW IMO. I will say LW now makes an identical thick seat pad like the XOP you can purchase. And I also like the round button the straps fit over on LW more than the oval type XOP uses, but I still favor the XOP. Again, JMO on what works for me.
FYI, for those that hang in the dark, Home Depot has a twin pack of Coast brand head lamps that are 425 lumens at their brightest setting. They are on sale for $19.98.
Depends on how far you have to hike in and where you hunt (public versus private). If the hike is far and on public ground, I use Cranford rope steps. 10 will fit in a small fanny pack. If you want to be in the thick stuff, there's no way to do that silently with 4 or 5 sticks on your back. While it may take marginally more time, the weight savings is big. 10 rope steps are 6 pounds compared to 10 pounds for LW sticks, plus 10 steps will get you higher than the LW sticks. If I carried 10 pounds of rope steps, that would be about 16 steps. You can definitely get way higher with the equivalent weight of steps.
There is also a new company making plastic strap-on steps as well. Check out the videos on bullmanoutdoors.com.
As far as "treestands", check out saddlehunter.com or any of John Eberhart's books/DVDs/writings about the use of a tree sling/saddle. Big time weight savings, quiet, hunt-any-tree, and theft-proof.
Squirrels......... the silent killer
There's a discussion regarding the EZ steps in the Wisconsin forum you may want to read. "Climbing steps recommendations" on 10/21/17. smaller, lighter, faster, way more quiet than any sticks. 30 years with them now, with zero saftey issues.