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Safety tip removing life lines
When putting up and removing life lines you need to be secured against a fall when putting them up and taking them down. When putting life lines up I use a sit harness that I modified to use like a linemans belt and have 2 ropes to go around the tree so I can pass the stand and limbs as most of the trees I set stands in have a lot of branches.
I have a lot of stands out and when season is over I am usually in a rush to take all my lifelines down before a big snow storm hits as was the case this year. To speed things up I took along a 60 foot length of climbing rope and an additional prussic loop. I climbed into my stand as always attached to my life line. Once on stand I ran one end of the 60 foot rope over a substantial limb and lowered it until the ends were even on or near the ground. I attached a prussic around the doubled up rope, and hooked it into my sit harness. I was able to then disconnect safely from the lifeline, and remove it from the tree. This enabled me to quickly descend safely to the ground while attached to this temporary life line, once on the ground I removed the prussic from the doubled line and simply pulled on one end of the rope to retrieve the line.
This was much faster than the linemans belt system which requires one to use the second linesmans rope to pass the stand and any branches on the way down. To be honest in the past I would occasionally(a lot) skip using the linemans belt when coming down.
I did have a few stands which were on trees that did not have a branch handy and I just went around the trunk with the double line. On one occasion the line got stuck at the tree stand when removing it and had to use my linemans belt to go up and get it.
I just thought I would share this technique as it worked so well that I wasn't tempted to skip being securely attached while climbing down after removing my lifeline.
Be safe out there!
A picture would really help.......
If I am going to use the same tree next season, I try to leave a string over a stout branch at stand height and tie it off near the ground (at chest height). It is usually still there the next fall and I use it to pull my lifeline back up. Don't use a branch that has a tight crook that will prevent pulling a lifeline through. This saves time on the first climb up the tree.
I like the concept of life lines. But they just don't seem practical to me...
I generally only sit once or twice in each tree. I don't to leave 20 lifelines scattered all over the woods for one or two sits. I don't like the idea of leaving them up over the winter. It seems that rot or some rodent could easily damage your lifeline and give you an incorrect sense of security.
So... What do other folks do? btw, I mostly hunt ladder stands. I use a normal strap and attach/detach it while I am standing on the top step of the ladder. I don't really like that but that is what works for me.
A lifeline saved a buddy of mine last year. Would not hunt without them
Greg, I don't have a picture but think of the temporary line as a rope long enough to go from the ground up and over or through a pulley , an eye bolt or a carabiner (ie the branch/anchor) and back to the ground again. Then wrap the prussic around both segments of the line together like I would for a single line. If I fell it would grab the two lines together and it would hold as the line goes around the branch(anchor point). This allows me to retrieve the line from the ground by taking the prussic off when I get to the bottom and pull on one end of the rope until the other end goes up and over the branch and it all comes down. Not sure I am explaining what you are looking for.
Bullshooter is right, don't use a branch with an acute angle to the truck as the rope will be difficult or impossible to pull around the branch it will get wedged in the tight crotch.
X2 Mad Angler don't leave the life lines up over winter. Sunlight degrades and rodents chew ropes! Good safety rope is spendy$$.
I mainly use hang on stands around 25 which are left out all year I use chains rather than straps. Hang on stands are much more prone to a catastrophic failure if a strap, chain or cable were to fail. Ladder stands are inherently less prone to such total failure, think of a ladder leaning against your gutter and tied in with a ratchet half way up and then again at the top . How many people tie a ladder in and even fewer ever use a safety line climbing a ladder. Its a good idea when hunting as a tree is round and a ladder stand not properly installed could shift around the tree. Also you are usually alone and a long way from help. That being said I am very comfortable climbing ladders (firefighter) but I don't sit on top of one all day and I have fallen asleep on occasion during an all day sit! so at a minimum tie in when you get to the platform. I have to admit this is the first year I have used the life line on my ladder stands and I have on occasion gotten to my ladder platform and realized I forgot to hook up to my lifeline.
And like Loprofile a good friend had a hang on break and fall out from under him he did not have a life line set up on that tree. He had climbed up gotten on his stand attached his safety line to the tree and was just sitting there after about an hour when the chain bracket weld broke and he was left hanging. Just lucky it didn't break when he first got on the stand.
To solve my issue of being tied off at all times while installing and removing stands and life lines I bought a climbing harness that has steel "D" rings specifically for attaching a line mans rope. I use two line man ropes as do others and that way I'm never not attached to the tree. I use it when ever I hang or remove stands. Have included a picture of the one I use. It works fantastic. IIRC it was very affordable.
DMTJager where did you get that harness and what make & model?
That's a great looking harness. I'd probably grab one if I didn't already have a good hanging harness. I took the plunge on this 2 yrs ago, and am happy with it. The extra pouches come in handy and free up your hands.
I have had lifelines out for 3 years with no I'll effect. I use only lines rated for 8 thousands pounds or more. I check them each preseason and have had no issues. Shawn
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Half-Body-Safety-Rock-Tree-Climbing-Rappelling-Harness-Seat-Sitting-Bust-Belt-US/173676178105 Maybe not the same exact one but if not it's VERY close the same one and same manufacturer.
I hope this link works as this is the exact one I bought.
I forgot to add something I feel is worth mentioning. I just used this harness 8 days ago to take down the 6 hang on tree stands and 4 ladder stands I put up for the years hunting and while using it I had forgotten how comfortable it makes stand removal and installation and it gives you a feeling of extreme safety and confidence that if for what ever the reason you do fall it will be short and most likely free from any serious injury. My one stand I was forced to put it in a tree that was my only option and unfortunately the tree was down in a heavily wooded drainage ditch. Even though I was at least 24' up in the tree I was only 12-14' above the field I was hunting over. Installing the screw in steps, the stand, the life line then brushing it in caused me to take several brakes while hanging in my harness that if I had been wearing a lineman's belt I would've had to get down out of the tree adding more time and effort to installing the stand or any stand for that matter. I was very impressed and relieved at the level of comfort and security a rock climbing harness afforded me over a plane line mans belt or traditional full body harness would not and could not have.
With your lifeline over a limb above your stand, and both ends of it reaching ground level, tie one end of it to your climbing harness loop that's in front of your belly, with about 4 feet of tag end left after you've tied the knot to the harness. Use the tag end to tie a prussix knot around the other end of your lifeline. This is the method used by tree climber arborists for many years prior to bucket trucks and the metal devices rock climbers used to ascend and descend.
This is why I exclusively hunt from my LW climbers. Follow same routine every time that has constant three point contact and minimal risk.