Tree stands are among the most important items in a hunter’s gear checklist.
Designed by hunters for hunters, the ability to stay out of eye-level and off the ground provides a good vantage point for hunters.
There are a couple of popular trees stand types mentioned within hunting forums and communities, and each one has its advantage over the type of terrain and hunting location.
One of the most recommended types is the climbing tree stand. Have you used one before?
Climbing tree stands come in two part system; the top is the seat platform and the bottom of the standing platform.
Are Climbing Tree Stands Safe?
While standing on a small platform where everything and your life depends on some cable or bolt bonded around a tree doesn’t look so grounded for safety at all, climbing tree stands are overall safe to use.
You can climb easily and secure yourself comfortably within the stand.
The whole setup feels safer than any other tree stand type; you can even take a nap on it and still be safe.
Surprising, though, most accidents does not occur from stand malfunction, but when the hunter mistakenly dances off the top and takes an ungraceful swan dive without a safety harness.
With that said, always wear a secondary/backup safety harness around your body while on any tree stand.
Although tree stands are very safe to use, accidents from it are the most common source of hunter-related injuries.
Remember that using a tree stand means you’re elevated from the ground, and an unfortunate fall is one thing that you don’t want to experience.
How to avoid this? Read and follow these safety tips.
Here’s the rule of thumb before you go out on a hunt with a new tree stand – always test or practice on it first at home.
Set it up on the ground and familiarize yourself with the system.
This way you don’t have to worry about not bringing the manual with on the hunt.
Climbing Tree Stand vs. Hang-On Tree Stand
Which one is better, the climbing tree stand or the hang-on type? Ask seasoned hunters and they’ll give you these two options often.
We’ve already described how climbing tree stands work, how about the hand-on type.
It requires you to climb the tree using climbing sticks and harness, with the hang-on stand strapped on your back.
Once you get to the height you want and the sticks in place as your ladder steps, you then lock on the stand on the tree and secure yourself in place.
Climbing Tree Stand
Hang-on Tree Sand
Easy-to-setup. Once the two part system is installed on the ground, you can climb easily.
Easy-to-setup. No need to worry about platforms or seat rest part.
Once you have climbed to the height and position you want, just wrap and secure that stand as instructed by the manual, then open up the platform and you’re ready to lock yourself in that position.
Safe, secured and silent cable system that locks itself around the tree effectively.
Safe, secured and silent setup.
Comfortable and secured with mesh or arm rest.
Cheap – You can purchase a couple of these with the price of one climbing tree stand
Closed front system gives you more security while on the small platform
Climb and secure your base with climbing sticks or ladder. No need to worry about crooked branches/limbs all around the tree.
Has arm rests, seat cushion and some even have back cushion.
Choose models with shock absorbers in its mechanism. This with help in keeping your stealth in case you need to move fast.
With closed front systems and safety harness in place, you can even take a nap and still feel safe on top
In case you need to go further, you can climb further away from the platform in just a minute or less.
Many new models have ergonomic boot stirrups to keep your feet within the platform. No need to worry about slipping off a climbing step
This can be a semi-permanent setup. You can install a couple of hand-on tree stands in strategic locations.
If you live to cover more ground, the climbing tree stand allows you to be more mobile.
Allows you to move fast between climbing and descending. You can leave the stand and climb down with the sticks whenever needed.
Need to climb with ‘climbing sticks’. Not many hunters like this process; you have to install the sticks up the tree as you climb.
Although you can probably remove some small branches blocking the climbing path, the height that you can climb is limited by how void of limbs the tree is.
Since hang on doesn’t have its cable climbing system, you will need to purchase extra climbing gear; ladder, climbing cables, tree steps, etc.
Requires a straight, sturdy tree with no branches for you to climb further.
Requires some fitness level to be able to climb some considerable height.
Usually, comes with small platforms that are just enough for you to stand up or sit down.
You will need to go back to each of your tree stand spots to remove each, which limits your hunting ground coverage.
Hang-on Tree stands are easy to remove, and there’s a possibility that someone might steal your stand when hunting on public grounds.
Most hunters have both climbing, and hang-on tree stands ready among their gear, and they decide which one to carry based on the terrain or hunting ground they want to cover.
The terrain plays an important part on what type of trees grows within the area and the amount of hiking you need to cover ground.
There is no doubt that a climbing tree stands is a top choice when you want to hunt and cover a larger area. You can set it up wherever you go and no need to go back on each spot.
On the other hand, if you have spotted your favorite hunting spots, you can easily install hang-on stands and move within those points from time to time.
Some hunters use both. They install hang-on on their best spots, leave it there, and use it whenever they want to. That’s assuming that your hang-on doesn’t get stolen.
And then if you need to move according to deer or hunting activity, you can always carry around a climber tree stand.