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Good idea / bad idea - saddle platform
My brother recently purchased a Tree Saddle and is planning on using it next weekend for what's hopefully a 1st annual trip. He received the saddle early this week and realized...he didn't order a platform with it (and he's the bright one of the family :) ). I looked around at some of the platforms in use and realized that the dimensions are roughly similar to a tree stand seat. Using that information, i deconstructed a treestand i had on hand to create a platform for him. I have hung this maybe 2ft off the ground and it supports my weight (195lbs). Also, using my own safety harness, i put as much side pressure on both sides as i could to see if it would shift at all (no movement). This was done using the two straps shown in the pictures below, but i have since added a 3rd strap as a precaution.
As the title says, this a decent idea? Anything that you all would recommend to making it a bit "safer"? Open to any suggestions.
The thing that is the weak link is the bolts connecting the seat to the frame. Might look at adding an angle brace to strengthen it.
I see can find no fault with it for the intended application.
most of the platforms on the market "wedge" against the tree when folded down. i wouldn't be afraid to use what you have with the extra straps....
I was thinking of that Boothill. Something that connects at a 45 degree angle from the edge of the platform, to the lower cross brace. With my limited knowledge of materials, what do you think may be an option? Some sort of metal tubing with a fastener?
Also you might use a small ratchet strap instead of the pull tight straps.
As long as you are in the saddle and have the saddle strapped to the tree before using it I would not worry about it. I would not use it as a step to get up the tree. You should have a step on the other side of tree anyways.
My only concern would be if you can keep it tight enough that it doesn’t make noise with weight on it. Would have to be at LEAST one ratchet strap
I would want another "V" in that bottom cross piece to better bite into the tree. Not only for better grip but also to prevent any noise that flat piece may make if it slips sideways a little.
Having never used a saddle before and after thinking about it the saddle is going to be carrying most the weight correct? Would probably be fine but I would more than likely use a ratchet strap to make sure it is tight.
Lots of folks using tree stand "seats". Some even modify and widen them. Lots of cool stuff, mainly just need someplace to put your feet or something to push against to move. Just as these seats rarely get the full weight and movement that a stand platform does, when strapped into the saddle I'd say it was roughly the same as when used as a seat. We use lag bolts as often as not, Wild Edge steps also. We always try to position so as to use a couple tree limbs too. But have been told "never" use a tree limb to stand on by tree stand guys.
Check out the saddlehunter.com forum and see what these guys are doing. Some cool stuff.
It will probably work, but a platform isn't a necessity. I'm more than comfortable just using my top step to push around the tree.
Make sure to keep tension on your tether so if it does fail, you don't drop at all.
Hh76 let’s say it does fail and your tether stops you. What would be your next move? Just asking cuz I’m contemplating a saddle and getting all my safety basis covered.
^^^^^ You get on your steps if the platform fails. Which that one shouldn't.
I think what you got OP will work fine. I also know there is a reason manufactured platforms have the part strapped to the tree, above the platform. As APauls, Nick, and a few others pointed out though, with ratchet straps yours will work fine like it is. FWIW, I use a Wild Edge type step that I U-Bolted a piece of 3/4" plywood too. It is very cheap to make. I had the 3/4" plywood and paid $4 for the step. It works well. Saddle hunting is 'da BOMB. I love it.
The idea of the saddle, is that you are always hanging form your tether. No reason for a next move if the platform fails, other than regaining balance. It's not the same as a traditional fall arrest system where recovery is so important.
Personally, the reason I started with the saddle is because of safety. I caught myself cutting corners too often with my stand. With the saddle, other than when climbing, you are forced to be tethered at all times.
One thing you are going to notice is how much stretch there is in a ratchet strap. Here’s what I’m using. I’m still messing with this setup
My platform is just like Grubby's Same primal edge step except my plywood is slightly different dimension wise.
Btw, a platform of some sort is a game changer for saddle hunting
Not all ratchet straps are created equal....I would use a piece of rope before I would use a cheap Chinese ratchet strap.
What is that setup Grubby??
That’s a primal step with a homemade aluminum platform. I’m using the saddle some this year.... I’m not super comfortable yet. Time will tell if I keep at it.
How high are you wearing it Grubby? I've found pulling it down underneath my belt line much better then letting it cup my whole butt. So comfy I can't describe it like that.
Physically I’m pretty comfortable..... it’s more of a mental thing. I threw my back out (bending down to tie my boot :0) a couple of weeks ago and haven’t been in the saddle since. It’s coming out again this weekend.
What saddle do you have Grubby?
Wow. Looks CNC milled platform! That's some next level engineering for sure!
I like the wild edge.... just wish I could remember the knots better..... have a memory like a steel sieve...... Maybe now have a decent, logical reason for a tat. Get one on the back of my hand of the knot, weave it around the liver spots..... =D
Ha! Tom, the primal edge steps come with a buckle. No need to remember the knot.
Tender feet here !
Anything but single style / type steps should be an improvement !!!
Hung my saddle up a few seasons back, enjoyed it when I used it. This said, my feet didn't care for it at all. LOL
Good luck with the experiment.
A buckle instead of a knot? My goodness...... technology is awesome... =D
Thank you for the insight all! As a bit of an update, with no photos currently, i have replaced main strap with a racketing strap. I left the cinch at the bottom to help hold the platform to the tree a bit easier as the 2 rackets are put on. Currently, i am planning on adding another V to the bottom cross brace to assist with lateral movement. I've also layered traction tape to the top of the platform where boots would be. This may cause a little noise, but it seemed like a good idea. Also gave it a bit of a spray paint camo finish for appeal :)
Hope to attach a pic of the end result next to my bro's 1st archery deer this time next week!