Treestands and Harnesses

HighDesertSage

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Apr 6, 2013
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Sage Brush to Corn Fields
So thinking about what happened to Gussyfarm really got me thinking more about treestands and harnesses. If he had had a harness on, it would have undoubtedly restricted the fall, but what happens in this case where there is no way to climb back in the stand since it went out from under you? Do you just dangle there and wait for help? Cut the harness and fall? Try and play spider monkey and shimmy down the tree?

I had to take an OSHA 30 class for work a few years back, and part of the class we went out and they dropped a 200lb dummy 4' to simulate what happens when a worker falls and the fall arrest system is activated. The force put on the dummy from the harness was unbelievable. Further more the instructor said that you only have about 5-10 minutes before the body starts to go into shock from the loss of circulation from the leg straps. People have even died after being suspended for only 15 minutes.

Looking for an education here as I am new to the treestand game, but for me, If I had to pick being suspended in a harness indefinitely or falling, I almost would rather take my chances with the fall knowing what I do about harnesses. Plus I only go 10-12' off the ground, not that it helps that much.

So what am I missing here? Are harnesses really the one stop solution here to tree stand safety? Is there other options available to hunters? Is there a way to self rescue that I am not aware of?
 

Corn king 60

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Feb 4, 2021
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561
Most harnesses come with a separate leg strap. It’s a lot to do in a bad situation but they are designed to on my harness snap onto buckle between my legs and hang down with two leads with loops at the ends that you put your boots in and stand up.the xtra strap is in the pocket of my harness.it supposed to then alow you to get back to ladder or climbing sticks 🤷‍♂️. Again it’s a lot to do in a bad situation. Most good harness come with a dvd which is better to watch than listening to me.🤣.probably would be a good idea to practice from a couple feet what your plan of recovery would be. Something I should do also
 

Khunter

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Jun 8, 2008
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western Colorado
in my limited treestand hunting I think if I fall, my harness wont let me fall more than a few feet cuz I keep it set with a short “leash“ and I will be able to get hands/feet on tree steps to regain control of situation. at least that is how I set things up.
 

Corn king 60

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Feb 4, 2021
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in my limited treestand hunting I think if I fall, my harness wont let me fall more than a few feet cuz I keep it set with a short “leash“ and I will be able to get hands/feet on tree steps to regain control of situation. at least that is how I set things up.
I agree my safety ropes are as high as I can get them above my seat and I slide the teather and prussic knot up high keeping me pretty snug. All my stands are ladders as well. Still have two climbers but haven’t used them in awhile.
 

ElkFever2

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Mar 4, 2019
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Iowa
Personally, I am bendy and light enough to scramble back up. I’ve been climbing tree trunks with my bare hands since I was a little kid, so it’s no issue. I also use a high anchor point and a short tether, so it would not be much of a fall.

Some day I’ll be too old to scramble and I’ll need a different strategy. Compression stress is no joke, even if I happen to be able to access my phone to call for help, I’d still be hanging there for hours before someone showed up. I wouldn’t want to test the compression relief band for that long even if it did work.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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14,049
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Boston
What happens when you take the mountain kid back east…

I use a climbing harness with a static rope around a branch above me, rope is locked in a descender. I rappel down when I’m done hunting.
 

Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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3,343
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The Driftless Area
Having your harness properly adjusted is a must to avoid cutting off circulation. That can be hard with all the clothes required to be in the stand comfortably though. I have always been under the assumption I’d be able to pull myself back up or recover, but that is a bad assumption.

If I hunt from a tree I’m strapped in but I need to get lines for ascending and descending the ladder with the prusik knot.
 

3855WIN

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Jul 17, 2014
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2,167
Location
Mississippi
I took a Treestand manufacturers course a while back. We stepped off the stand with a harness on. Recovering is no joke.

Keep two or three screw in steps in your pocket. If you’re unable to get back in the stand, screw steps in the tree to stand on.

Make sure someone knows exactly where you are hunting. Keep your phone in your pocket.
 

Camdu7

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Sep 29, 2015
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198
Location
Duluth, MN
Run a second Prussic with a 2 foot loop below the one you hook too. Then if you fall just step in the second Prussic and take the pressure off. You can also just climb down the rope that way.
 

Willy Dee

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Sep 5, 2018
Messages
86
I use climbing stands often. I always keep 50 feet of paracord in my cargo pocket. It is useful to haul up my pack and rifle. I also could use it to descend in a pinch. Setting your harness to limit a significant fall is also key.
 

Duck90

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Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
19
I always had a hard time just using a harness when I was hunting from stands all the time. One incident in particular, ice and cold weather climbing a prehung set, had me reconsider my whole hunting method. Also my wife was about 6 mo pregnant with our first kid. I started using a saddle for the safety reasons. The ropes are always under tension and everything is rated ridiculous weights (lightest is my prusik at 3k lbs).
 

dgc1963

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Feb 17, 2019
Messages
831
Living in the east I use stands all the time and a climber a lot, being safe is rule #1 a harness with a step or 2nd way to get back in stand is always set up before even pulling up my bow
Having both parts of climber hooked together so if one falls it doesnt go far ratchet the seat in place for extra security and a step or 2nd strap to pull your self up
And doing this stuff 3 ft off the ground so you know what to do if it happens so your not as freaked out if it happens
 

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