Contributors to this thread:
rock climbing harness for hunting
Anyone switch to a rock climbing harness to use in a tree-stand while bow hunting? Does the front connect life line get in the way when drawing your bow? What brand name/model would you recommend?
Why do the makers of treestands endorse full body harnesses instead of rock climbing harnesses?
Not rock climbing but similar, I use a Tetherd harness. Works fine for me. There are Youtube videos on how to adjust for different shots. Go as light as possible for your climbing set up.
When I do hunt from a treestand I use a RC harness. Black Diamond Bod.
For me, the RC harness is less of a problem of being in the way, I hunt with recurves n longbows. You still have to set your tether to where you have very little slack just like a full body harness. The tether hooked in the front is not a problem. I have 1" tubular webbing attached to my harness with loops on each side for a lineman rope.
For me, line is wrapped around the tree at about mid sternum, with it coming around on my right side. I'm right handed. I use a prusik knot and adjust the life line as needed so there is no slack whether standing or sitting. Never any problem with it being in the way.
If you do slip out of the stand, your belly won't even make it past the bottom of the stand for you to get back in it. With no slack in the line, you just swing on the life line, with no jerk like you would get if you fell with a harness with slack. I even have practiced falling out of a low stand (just off the ground) to see what would happen... No problems. I never felt comfortable to "practice" falling out of a stand with a body harness.
If a real fall happens you will probably get injured to some degree..be it just minor brusing to being slung into the tree,ect ...no matter what type harness you have on in a real world fall it won't be fun...but in a full body harness, you better be prepared to be able to back on your sticks, or stand because you won't have long before circulation issue start effecting your body.
Can't believe we use to tie a rope around our chest as a safety, thank God most of us never fell. Since I've begun using a harness, I've been saved twice. The most dramatic was when after several minutes in the stand, and being secured, I stood to do a practice draw. Just as I got to my feet, the stand dropped out from under me, boy what a sensory jolt. Interesting enough, the stand caught on the toe of my boot. I was close enough to my hanger that I could hang my bow up, then I reached down and grabbed the stand, and was able to hang it on one of the climbing stick steps. From there, I was able to get on the steps, reattach the stand, and very cautiously got back in and sat for the rest of the morning. Not sure what went wrong, but thankful for the harness.
Glad it wasn't worse Don.
I used to hunt really high (25-30’)with minimal steps out of homemade wooden hang ons. No worries I felt invincible when I was young. Got into my 40’s & started using a harness. Now I use a linesman belt when hanging or removing stands, a harness while sitting and a rope to descend once the stand is hung. I started setting up all my stands like that when my daughter started hunting. In hindsight feel very lucky all those climbs without protection. About 5 years ago I had my only fall. Used my climber & harness on a very cold hunt. When I got down it was minus 22. Lowered the stand to the base of the tree and unhooked my harness to step down . I hooked a heel & did the Nestea plunge from a height of around 2’. When I rolled out of it I couldn’t believe I wasn’t hurt. Eye opening for me….trust me when I say you don’t want to fall from even knee high. Whatever’s option you choose use it religiously.
I also use a Black Diamond RC Harness. As for the tether ever getting in the way, just make sure the tether comes from the tree on your draw arm side.
Pirogue x2. I just received my custom made harness from John at Tactisaddle. It has more features than the Black Diamond and is made for hunting, like linesman loops and molly webbing…
Michael, I was looking at that harness telling other day, kind of pricey but he makes good stuff
Just use a saddle. best of all worlds.
RC harness. Made the switch 4 years ago and will never go back. Black Diamond but not sure of model. Far more comfortable, less obstruction and I find it to be more secure and safe.
“Why do the makers of treestands endorse full body harnesses instead of rock climbing harnesses?”
Rocky D, That's an insincere answer since a rock climbing harness also costs money. The difference is in the performance. Waist belts were found to cause back injuries and the climbing harness is only slightly better in a fall. Also, the full body harness insures you are head up in any fall, when the tether is correctly located. The measure of safety the full body harness provides for the stand makers is in the insurance claims cost that don't come to the stand makers who provide a harness.
Bill, the harness money goes mostly to tree stand or hunting oriented companies and not the climbing community and legality IMHO.
Less trained hunters. Are most likely better off in a full harness. Climbing rigs are designed to be used for more dynamic rope designs. (More stretch) to absorb the fall energy. Tree stand hunters are only falling 10’ before rig engagement and should not have too much rope stretch. So the harness will take more of the hit. A full body harness when worn correctly spreads the energy through the body and keeps the hunter upright. Belts are great and definitely a good choice. But there are always trade offs
Hunt out of a saddle and forgetaboutit. You can’t fall when tethered in. No jerk, no hanging hopelessly. Safest and most practical method on the planet. It’s comfortable too. Forget what you think you know about it being uncomfortable. Buy one, watch a fitting video, then use it.
In 30 years, they’ll be very few hang on or climbing stands manufactured. Mark my words if we are still alive. It’d be a lot sooner then that if people would try it instead of saying it’s uncomfortable. It’s like hammock camping: if done right it’s unbeatable. If done wrong, it ain’t much.
WV, I am not convinced that I can do an all day set in a harness.
Good point WV. Proper fit and tightening is easy to learn
There will always be a need for climbers in the piney woods down south.
Jay, "Tree stand hunters are only falling 10’ before rig engagement "
If your tether is correctly positioned, maybe you drop a foot and a half. To allow yourself a ten foot fall is crazy. A full body harness attached properly, should not allow your chest to go below the foot platform.
WV, The sling seat is an alternative, not a replacement. IMHO, all the body weight on the feet is much more of a stable form.
Time will tell Rocky. But, a guy one sticking can climb faster and way higher then anyone in a climber. I understand the need for height. And, I’ve been in my fair share of planted pine too.
If you want to give a saddle a try, pm me your address. I’ll mail you one to try out.
2wild I agree completely. 10’ was worst case scenario and something went wrong if you fall 10’ from a tree.
Where falling 10’ while being belayed with dynamic rope is not uncommon. I used the example to point out the difference in design and purpose of a full body harness and a climbing rigs. The rope stretch the person on belay can also ease the hit against the protection and harness.
I fell about 4 feet with this one!
Assuming you raise your tree loop up ahead of your hand platform, if it is slack when you do so, you're too loose. I've found that to use the hand portion of the climber, I position it so I can rest my forearms on the side rails as I disengage the foot portion and raise it up. I then raise my tether tree loop as high as I can reach, and then raise the hand portion to the level I previously stated. Then disengage and raise the foot platform. If the foot platform should drop before I raise the tether tree loop, I might fall two feet, but it would be pulling me into the hand portion with hands free to grab it.
How did the foot platform disengage from the tree? Why isn't the tether between the two sections, outside the foot platform side rail and attached to the platform from a point between your feet?
Rocky - did the pin come out of the cable on the foot piece? I have a TreeWalker and would like to understand how it happened.
Been hunting with a RCH for the last 7 years. I attach a Beal Dyaglide 70cm (I think and it goes under my right arm and attaches to my Tether. Works great. I did send my to Custom Gear Modifications (CGM) and had linesman's belt loops sewed in.