Climbing sticks - I hate the straps!

John-W-WI

Administrator
I bought some new climbing sticks recently. Before I even put them up, I replaced the strap with chain. I don't trust the straps. I've never had one break, but after a season or two, I worry about them wearing out and breaking.

Climbing Sticks 2.jpg

I replaced the strap with fairly 'flat' chain using a small connector from the local hardware store:

Climbing Sticks 12.jpg

Here's the finished product installed on a tree:

Climbing Sticks 10.jpg

I saved the straps for use on treestands. I like to put 2 or 3 straps on a stand just to make it more secure. The main strap is always something heavy and high quality. I use these smaller straps on the top or bottom just to keep it from moving:

Climbing Sticks 6.jpg

After installing them, I've decided I don't like the "new" round stock Rivers Edge has started to use this year. A 1/4" round rod, smashed flat and welded to the tube. Way too easy to break for me. I'll have to come up with a field fix for them, I'll post here if I come up with something interesting.

Thanks,

-John
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
John, do you have a picture of how you tighten the chains? Type of connector?

I install the chain a link or two away from tight. Then pull the step down to tighten (leaving the back side of the chain higher than the connecting point on the step). The relatively long links in the chain don't like to 'roll' down the tree. They hold like a beast. And when you want to remove them, just push the step up, the chain comes loose, and you are good to go.

We converted about 70 steps last season, they all worked great. This type of connection system (the new River's Edge steps) is different than the ones we did last year. But the method is the same.

Thanks,

-John
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I would worry about the chain not being tight enough and slipping. I only use a single piece climbing stick at the top near my stand. I pretty use the Rivers Edge 20' sticks. Much more secure & stable.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
I would worry about the chain not being tight enough and slipping. I only use a single piece climbing stick at the top near my stand. I pretty use the Rivers Edge 20' sticks. Much more secure & stable.

No worries about the chain being tight enough or slipping. When you pull the step down an inch or two, it is TIGHT. The only risk is if you bump it up, it could slip. Although you could only bump it up if you weren't standing on it.

I've never tried the 20' sticks. I'm sure they are slick, but it isn't often our trees are straight enough to go up in a straight line. Usually the steps end up wrapping around a little to get to the top.

-John
 

j-bird

Moderator
I hate the cam buckle straps like you have shown - I always try to convert to ratchet straps. My ladders have cam buckles and I changed them to ratchet straps. You want tight - that will get them tight! I use ratchet straps for the stands themselves as well. I have never used chain,but have considered it. I could never figure out how to get a chain tight and ensure that it stays that way without some sort o expensive do-hicky. I typically replace ratchet straps after about 2 years of use and I take my stands down ever year as well - tree rats will other wise chew them up.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I agree that the best tree is usually the most difficult to get up in and the sectional sticks provides options.
No worries about the chain being tight enough or slipping. When you pull the step down an inch or two, it is TIGHT. The only risk is if you bump it up, it could slip. Although you could only bump it up if you weren't standing on it.

I've never tried the 20' sticks. I'm sure they are slick, but it isn't often our trees are straight enough to go up in a straight line. Usually the steps end up wrapping around a little to get to the top.

-John

I have used turnbuckles with chains and they allow you to tighten each time you climb up.

http://www.lowes.com/Hardware/Fasteners/Turnbuckles/_/N-1z0yk25/pl#!
 

MNAaron

5 year old buck +
John do you drip your chains to quiet them down? Curious if you have a way to quiet the metal to metal contact. I am always striving to be quieter in the woods...I need all the help I can get. Hee Hee
 

Bluecollaroutdoors

5 year old buck +
For the top strap on hang on stands we have always used a qaulity chain with a load binder or wire stretcher to get it snug. I put another ratchet strap on the top and bottom as well just in case. Those stands are not the place to skimp on safety and comfort. I dont want mine to move or wiggle at all.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
John do you drip your chains to quiet them down? Curious if you have a way to quiet the metal to metal contact. I am always striving to be quieter in the woods...I need all the help I can get. Hee Hee

They are loud as heck when installing, but they are so solid once installed they are dead quiet. I've considered adding a short bungee to the end of the chain so the left over could be secured, but honestly, we drop the extra between the tree and stick, and rarely hit them to make a noise. There is probably a little improvement to be had there, but seems to be working well for us so far.

-John
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
For the top strap on hang on stands we have always used a qaulity chain with a load binder or wire stretcher to get it snug. I put another ratchet strap on the top and bottom as well just in case. Those stands are not the place to skimp on safety and comfort. I dont want mine to move or wiggle at all.

I like your chain idea. I'm with you, they can't be secure enough.

When I went to buy new ratchet straps this season, I found 2" 10,000 lb straps on sale for $9. They are overkill but work great!

-John
 

Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
I dont use the sticks but Im pretty leery about tree stand straps. I often hunt by myself in the middle of no where. I have mental images of falling and having a tree stand step ripping my guts out! A guy can get the huge yellow 3 inch straps for 10 bucks. I trust these much more than typical tree stand straps and they arent much more expensive.
 

Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
Ladder stands are defiantly nice. I love the 2 seaters
 

Reagan

5 year old buck +
I started adding a second strap to each section of steps two years ago. Since I hang stands in august and pull them in January/February I was still concerned even with a second strap.

This year I went the chain route. I still have not hunted yet but the only down side I see is bumping the section while climbing and releasing the tension that can cause the steps to shift. When you only put downward pressure on the step, the chains seem to really lock the steps into the tree.

I started with 5 ft sections of chain. The second tree I went to was too large. I then purchased some 6 ft sections. Some chains I purchased are rated for 1300 pounds, some at 700 and a few others at 450 pounds. I figure any of these chains are better than a stamp but I'm not sure how heavy duty my chains should be.
 

bigmike

5 year old buck +
How about high tensile fence wire and tensioners? High tensile wire is rated at 180KSI. 1 KSI = 1000psi.
 
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Terrific_tom

5 year old buck +
John be very careful using the quick connects. Make sure that you use one that has proper weight rating and that are American made.Check that they are fully tightened with wrench each time that you use them. I have had several quick connects that have failed on trapping line.
 

fuldraw

5 year old buck +
We have put swing set chain on some of or portable stands as back up to the Ratchet straps that we put on them just in case the ratchet strap brakes we add new straps about every other year
They may not be rated for it but at least it's better than nothing it's cheap and easy
For a back up
 

Drahts

Yearling... With promise
I typically am 25-35' up. I use ratchet straps on the top, middle and bottom of the ladder. I use the cinch straps in between. The ladder isn't moving since I
ratchet strapped it, and I always ratchet the bottom of the stand. I also always finish my ladder 24" min above my stand so I am stepping down onto the platform.
So my last ratchet goes around the ladder and the top of the seat post triple securing the stand. I also use lifelines on EVERY stand.
 

blumsden

A good 3 year old buck
All the of your weight is straight down, i have no problems with the cam buckles and been using them for over 15 years. I replace them every 2-3 years. I loosen them every year.
 

Tap

5 year old buck +
No worries about the chain being tight enough or slipping. When you pull the step down an inch or two, it is TIGHT. The only risk is if you bump it up, it could slip. Although you could only bump it up if you weren't standing on it.

I've never tried the 20' sticks. I'm sure they are slick, but it isn't often our trees are straight enough to go up in a straight line. Usually the steps end up wrapping around a little to get to the top.

-John
I often use a bungee on my chain-on stands or ladders. I hook it to the chain on one side of the tree, wrap it around the front of the tree and hook it to the chain on the other side of the tree. It holds the chain tight on the tree.
A bungee is an essential addition to any piece of tree gear. I love them for quieting loose parts when transporting stands. Seems like there is always something that "clanks"or rattles while walking with the stand. A bungee takes the slack out and makes things quiet.
There are lots of other uses for bungee straps in the woods. Every set-up should have one.
 

Tap

5 year old buck +
John do you dip your chains to quiet them down? Curious if you have a way to quiet the metal to metal contact. I am always striving to be quieter in the woods...I need all the help I can get. Hee Hee

I rubber dip all my tree stand chains.
And I also just made an improvement to my hang-on stands... I noticed the cables that secured the platform to the frame were starting to rust. It was just a matter of time until they weakened. I replaced the cable with chain with a quick connector on one end which allows the platform to be leveled. I just pick the appropriate chain link to hook the quick connect to. I used to have a turn buckle installed in the cable for leveling the stand, but chains are much better. Leaning trees are never an issue. I gave the new chains a triple coat of rubber dip...now the stands are safe, adjustable, and quiet.
I also like to dip some screw in steps. I usually remove the bottom 3 or 4 steps to keep people from climbing in while I'm away. Those removed steps always seemed to rattle in my pack while walking. A little rubber dip quieted them perfectly.
 
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