Contributors to this thread:
Treestand Safety Line?
I never used one before. I bought a couple to use this year with hang on stands and climbing sticks/screw in steps. I understand some of the basics but I do have questions.
- What do you do with the ground end of the rope? Let it dangle freely, tie it to the base of the tree, somehow stake it to the ground or ??
- How do you keep the rope from getting tangled up with your feet or climbing sticks?
- I like to place stands that are in a cluster of trees. Can I put a stand in one tree and the climbing sticks in a close by tree and still be able to use the safety line?
- How do you keep the top part of the rope from sliding down on a smooth bark tree with no branches, knobs, etc...?
- Do you have any other tips or suggestions that might be helpful?
Thanks for your help!
I tie the ground end to the tree or a screw in step. Don't pull out all of the slack. Leave the rope a little loose. Too tight and the rope is in the way. Too loose and it's a pain to slide the knot as you climb. I always have one hand on the knot while climbing/descending, this keeps it from under foot. Yes, you can put the rope on the stand tree and the sticks on another. A tree to either side may be better than one to the front or rear of the stand . I usually put the rope through the top "eyelet" twice to cinch it and keep my rope from sliding. Most trees are not that slick to have to worry about it. You can always place a screw in step to keep the rope from sliding as well.
I agree with most of Roosters post. But, DO NOT put your hand on the prusik hitch, or knot as some call it. Place your under below the hitch and slide it up as you ascend. While descending, slide it down and take the hand of it. If you have a hold of it and fall it will not work. It must tighten up on the lifeline to catch.
+2 on Smokey's comment. Your natural reaction is to tighten your grip if you slip or fall and if you have your hand gripping the prusik your going to take a fast trip to the ground. Like Smokey said place your hand around the safety line below the prusik knot and push it up when going up. When going down I only place my index finger and middle finger on the top of the prussic knot and hold my pinky and other finger against my palm (peace sign) to slide the knot down while going down so that if I fall I can't instinctively grab the knot. I was watching a hunting partner climbing down from his stand and he hand his hand around the knot and he lost his balance and fell to the ground luckily he was only about six feet off the ground at the time. You have to let go of the knot for it to tighten on the safety line and if you fall you most likely will do the opposite and just squeeze it.
I have just done 20 of them. I tie the rope aroudn the tree at the top at least head height while standing on the stand. I use a 3.5" 5/16th bolt at the bottom to anchor rope. I do leave it a bit loose. I also put the bolt in about 6 ft up as it is easy to hook your harness caribeener into the prusik and not waste too much rope. I have been wedging a piece of wood under the rope at top like a door wedge, when I yank down it tightens so the rope does not slide down. I used 12mm sterling static rope for the safety line and 7mm dynamic rope for the prusik. I did 20 trees everything included for 350 bucks so 17.50 a tree. Shawn
Thanks for the great information. Is there any problems if the rope and not get wet and then freezes so that they are iced up?
Smokey and Cocoon...that is a great point about how to move the prussic hitch-knot.... I had never thought through your point before. I am grateful that I read this thread and you guys pointed that out.
Hunt98, It happens often to me since I hunt in the Northernmost US. You have to mess with it a little until it frees up and then it will work. It's nylon and hanging verticle so the rope does not hold a lot of moisture.
Good points made by the others. On the top portion, if it is cinched tightly around the tree, it won't slide down. I do always give it a good pull to tighten it each time I hunt. At the bottom of the tree, I have a screw in step ( I use screw-ins to get into my lock-on) just above the rope whack keeps it tight. Good discussion, glad people are using these life-lines!
I'm planning on building some lines this year and been looking for rope. Any (Shawn or anyone else ) links to where and which ropes to get. This my just be one of the most important threads of fall of 2017. Thanks guys. Ed
Trenton you can go online and look for climbing rope or if your looking for a store that specializes in that stuff check out REI.Com
I use my rope as a tow line. The weight of my pack keeps the rope straight while I'm climbing.
Fleabay Castobargains or rwrope there are several good sellers. I went with 12-13mm static rope for the main safety line and 7-8mm for the prusik. I am sure you could go with 10-11 mm for the safety line and 6mm for the prusik but I am 220#s and my bud is 320#s so we went a bit on the safe side. If you buy in bulk you can do them for between 17 and 20 bucks. This includes 5/16th eye lag to attach at bottom of tree. I had a 69 foot piece yesterday of Sterling static line and 4 prusiks and did 4 trees albeit one was a shorty and used maybe 10 ft of rope. Totals cost was 60 bucks so 15 a tree. Shawn
I've normally used them with kids and I tie it off. For starters if it dangled it's harder to bring knot up, secondly the wind could whip it up out of reach if it wasn't. I too leave some slack
I should say too screw the lag bolt into tree about the top of your head, it saves some rope. Also pull hard on the rope and tie an over hand knot after ya slid it through the eye bolt, this will leave some slack in the rope. You really want to attch it somehow as it is easier to slid up the prusik as you climb. Shawn
Gear Express usually has sales on their rope. I use Blue Water static assault line(7/16) for my main line and use 7mm or 6mm dynamic cord for the pruisk. It is important to use cordage for the prusik that is smaller than the mainline so it grabs properly, the closer it gets in size to the mainline the less effective it grabs. As far as anchoring the main line on the ground end I make a prusik loop out of paracord and attach it to the ground end of the mainline and hook it on a screw in tree step that way it can easily be adjusted for the right amount of tension. I started using a Klemheist knot rather than a Prusik for the grab knot on the mainline because it is easier to tie since I just have one on my harness and tie it on the mainline when I get to the tree, it is a unidirectional grab knot and works well as the only direction I need it to grab is down! Besides the benefit of reducing cost as I have around 25 life lines out, it is not out in the elements where sunlight can degrade it, ice will not get on it and rodents will not chew it. The down side is I have to tie it to the mainline each time I get to a stand.
These work well, until it rains, sleets and then refreezes in sub zero temps. I always bring a spare climbers rope belt or sling when that happens. I don't tie the bottom end as that sometimes gives trouble with freezing too.
Hypothetical question. If I'm up in a treestand for an evening hunt and clipped into a safety line. It then starts to rain or wet snow. Now the temp drops well below freezing and the rain or wet snow is now frozen
If I suddenly fell out of the treestand, will the prusik knot still work?
I usually carry a backpack with extra gear in it to the tree that I intend to hunt. It is fairly heavy. Therefore, I don't tie off the bottom of my lifeline to a rung on a ladder stand, or to a stake or hook near a climbing stand. I just tie the bottom of the lifeline to my backpack, and put my bow on the pull up line. I ascend the tree, and the weight of the backpack on the ground is enough to hold the line taut while I slide the prussic knot up during my ascent (similar to nockup, I believe). Then, when I am in my stand, I pull up the bow and hang it on a bowholder, and I pull up the backpack on the lifeline, untie it from the lifeline (lower the lifeline back to the ground) and hang the pack on a limb or a hook, or put it under my seat. That way, when I go to leave, I can use the lifeline to lower my backpack, and use the pull up rope to lower the bow.