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Tree Climbing: Safety Lifelines

safety life line tree climbing treestand prevent falls safely climb

43 replies to this topic

#1 Male OFFLINE   BowhunterNJ

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Posted 09/17/13 - 02:44 PM

Hey guys, in light of the recent tragedy to a fellow hunter and friend of our of site's members, I thought I'd pass along an excellent site regarding safety lifelines hunters can use while climbing trees. They say most falls occur while climbing, and I can tell you after starting to use the lifelines myself, they certainly give you a much greater peace of mind and comfort when climbing to and from your stand.

Obviously there are still safety concerns as initial stand setup is required, and lifelines are meant to be used after that part, but from hunt to hunt out of a fixed stand, these are great tools that can help keep you safe from the moment you leave the ground until you touch back down again!

If you have some time, check out Safe Tree Hunt. The site was originally hosted on Geocities years ago and has since moved to it's own host. It has a wealth of information on the lifeline systems as well as a Product line he sells himself. Definitely worth the time to check out and invest in, for your sake as well as your family's and friends'!

Website: http://safetreehunt.com/
Their Products: http://safetreehunt.com/products/


Good luck, stay safe, and shoot straight! :up:
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#2 Male OFFLINE   NJBowman

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Posted 09/17/13 - 03:46 PM

Jack bought one of those things that looks like a seat belt. You leave it in the tree and pull the cord down when you get ready to climb, the belt clips to your harness and in the event of a fall stops just like a seat belt. I will have one for my mine and Courtneys stand very soon.

#3 OFFLINE   Cousin Brown

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Posted 09/17/13 - 04:41 PM

Great post , should be pinned.
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#4 Male OFFLINE   Axiom

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Posted 09/17/13 - 07:08 PM

 

They say most falls occur while climbing

 

 

 Almost fell yesterday when a branch i was holding on to broke...good post... :up:


:D


#5 Male OFFLINE   BowTechExperience

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Posted 09/17/13 - 08:50 PM

Definately a huge fan of a "lifeline". Several years ago I fell about 18' from a treestand. Totally my fault. I was rushing to get up the tree with my climbing sticks and did not make sure that the strap had completely secured itself behing the button. I go to step off the last step when the section pulled away from the tree. Everything happened in slow motion. I got REAL lucky because I fell into a small sapling pine that broke my fall half way down. I remember falling away from the tree and staring up as I fell. When I made contact with the pine , it kinda vaulted me forward and I landed on my hands and knees as if I were a dog. I tore the butt section of my pants on my left side of my body basically from the back of the thigh up to the cheek. Had a little road rash on the leg and butt but I survived. I picked up my stick and climbed back up into the tree. I called my buddy on the walkie and told him what happened. he wanted to come make sure I was ok. I was ok at the moment, but about 15 minutes later the realization of what took place sunk in on me and I kinda whent into shock. I was afraid to move a muscle. It took me over 30 minutes to get the courage to stand up in the stand and climb back down.

 

Now I don't climb a tree without a lifeline. When I am initally setting up. I use a lineman belt to do the initial climb, but once I am at my max height when setting up the climbing sticks, the lifeline is the next thing to go on the tree before the stand is even hoisted up.  As a matter of fact, I just got another one in the mail today for the stand I'm hanging tomorrow. 


Edited by BowTechExperience, 09/17/13 - 08:52 PM.


#6 Male OFFLINE   sam3

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Posted 09/18/13 - 04:52 AM

Jack bought one of those things that looks like a seat belt. You leave it in the tree and pull the cord down when you get ready to climb, the belt clips to your harness and in the event of a fall stops just like a seat belt. I will have one for my mine and Courtneys stand very soon.

They work well John. I would check and lubricate the moving parts after the end of the season. The weather can do a toll on them and can keep it from retracting while climbing up.



#7 Male OFFLINE   nycredneck

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Posted 01/01/14 - 07:18 PM

I have a lifeline installed on all 4 of my setups, well worth the time,effort and money.


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#8 Male OFFLINE   MackofallTrades

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Posted 01/01/14 - 08:12 PM

I actually use my tree strap on the tree as I climb.  I loosen it and slide it up each time it gets taut.  It is a pain, but it is safer than a lineman's belt and since I use a climber and rarely use the same tree, a lifeline rope would rarely help me. 


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#9 Male OFFLINE   Gruntmaster

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Posted 01/18/14 - 05:59 PM

The life line with the prussik knot great setup.
Retractable lanyards are a better choice , but must be left in tree, not cool, theft and weather conditions can destroy them.
I use them for construction work, they are equipment that needs to be taken care of, not left outside in the elements.
Going to setup a lifeline-prussik knot on next trip to the stand.
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#10 Male OFFLINE   Bucksnbows

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Posted 01/18/14 - 07:04 PM

I've been surprised at the very high cost of most lifelines on the market!  So I went out and bought the rope and am making my own for far less than 25% of retail costs.  No need when using a climber, but on my ladder and hang-ons, they are the way to go.  


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#11 Male OFFLINE   BowhunterNJ

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Posted 01/18/14 - 07:58 PM

BnB, yes definitely. I made my own based on the info in the links I posted in the main link. Buy in a bit more bulk for better pricing, and make a bunch. I probably have 6 or 8 of them. Regardless, small price to pay for a lifeline! Also be sure to use the right rope, I've seen guys using stuff they get in Home Depot and that isn't the right stuff for a lifeline purpose. Better than nothing, but I wouldn't say you can trust your life with it.
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#12 Male OFFLINE   Bucksnbows

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Posted 01/18/14 - 09:10 PM

BnB, yes definitely. I made my own based on the info in the links I posted in the main link. Buy in a bit more bulk for better pricing, and make a bunch. I probably have 6 or 8 of them. Regardless, small price to pay for a lifeline! Also be sure to use the right rope, I've seen guys using stuff they get in Home Depot and that isn't the right stuff for a lifeline purpose. Better than nothing, but I wouldn't say you can trust your life with it.

Yeah, I found what I was looking for online but not at Lowes, Home Depot or Tractor Supply.   



#13 Male OFFLINE   Gruntmaster

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Posted 01/18/14 - 09:24 PM

Definitely pays to use the right rope.
The home depot stuff is just going through the motions...
That rope will not stand up to the stress that a fall will tax a rope after a fall. What do you have a broken rope, and someone in the hospital. Doesn't make sense to me, spend the 10 percent more and purchase the right material for the job...Your life depends on it.
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#14 Male OFFLINE   Gruntmaster

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Posted 01/19/14 - 12:36 PM

You really need to be very careful buying rope.

Home Depot may have some good multi purpose rope but for climbing that's a whole different story.

I purchased some great marine grade rope from them years ago, 15 plus years still strong as the day I bought it.

But I would not trust it for climbing, never designed for climbing.

All climbing rope is supplied with a tag or certification from the manufacture showing the tensile rating.

If you don't see that info...."BEWARE".


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#15 Male OFFLINE   BowhunterNJ

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Posted 01/19/14 - 12:49 PM

Right, I'm pretty sure this is what I used, 1/2" New England Ropes KMIII in olive drab color.
It's classified as a fall protection rope.

SAFRES_KMIII_LG.gif



 

KMIII

KMIII
View Larger Image
Product Description:
KMIII static rope is a balanced construction consisting of a continuous filament polyester cover braided over a unidirectional nylon core. KMIII is designed to meet the rigorous requirements associated with rescue and rappelling operations. KMIII is dual certified (CE & NFPA).
Features:
5/16" - UL Classified to NFPA 1983:2006 for Escape Rope.
3/8" & 7/16" - UL Classified to NFPA 1983:2006 for Light Use
1/2" & 5/8" - UL Classified to NFPA 1983:2006 for General Use
Applications:
Vertical Lifeline
Rappelling
Caving
Canyoneering
Work Positioning
High Lines
Fall Protection
Climbing
SRT
Aborist
Climbing Gym (top roping)
Ropes Courses
Colors Available:

White
Red
Blue
Black
Olive Drab
Orange
Safety Green
Lengths Available:

150'
200'
300'
600'
Size Weight Tensile Static
Elongation % Classification
lbs/100' g/m lbs kg
5/16" 4.0 59.5 4,500 2,043 4.1 @ 1.35 kN (300 lbf)
7.7 @ 2.70 kN (600 lbf)
11.5 @ 4.40 kN (1000 lbf)
Escape Rope
3/8" 4.4 65.5 6,000 2,724 3.6 @ 1.35 kN (300 lbf)
6.5 @ 2.70 kN (600 lbf)
9.5 @ 4.40 kN (1000 lbf)
Light Use
7/16" 5.8 86.3 8,000 3,632 2.9 @ 1.35 kN (300 lbf)
5.1 @ 2.70 kN (600 lbf)
8.0 @ 4.40 kN (1000 lbf)
Light Use
1/2" 7.9 117.5 10,000 4,540 2.7 @ 1.35 kN (300 lbf)
4.6 @ 2.70 kN (600 lbf)
6.8 @ 4.40 kN (1000 lbf)
General Use
5/8" 10.2 151.7 11,000 4,994 2.0 @ 1.35 kN (300 lbf)
3.6 @ 2.70 kN (600 lbf)
5.4 @ 4.40 kN (1000 lbf)
General Use
Sunlight/UV:
Very little degradation from sunlight. Can be used outside over long term if inspected regularly.

Chemicals:
Nylon will degrade with strong oxidizing agents, mineral acids, and 90% formic acid. May discolor when exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide. Polyester has good resistance to most chemicals, except 95% sulfuric acid and strong alkalines at boil.

Heat:
Nylon melts at 460°F with progressive strength loss above 300°F. Polyester melts at 480°F with progressive strength loss above 300°F.

Dielectrics:
Good resistance to the passage of electrical current. However, dirt, surface contaminants, water entrapment, and the like can significantly affect dielectric properties. Extreme caution should be exercised any time a rope is in the proximity of live circuits.

Sheaves:
Recommended sheave diameter to rope diameter is 8:1.

Working Loads:
No blanket safe working load (SWL) recommendations can be made for any line because SWL's must be calculated based on application, conditions of use, and potential danger to personnel among other considerations. It is recommended that the end user establish working loads and safety factors based on best practices established by the end user's industry; by professional judgment and personal experience; and after thorough assessment of all risks. The SWL is a guideline for the use of a rope in good condition for non-critical applications and should be reduced where life, limb, or valuable property is involved, or in cases of exceptional service such as shock loading, sustained loading, severe vibration, etc. The Cordage Institute specifies that the SWL of a rope shall be determined by dividing the Minimum Tensile Strength of the rope by a safety factor. The safety factor ranges from 5 to 12 for non-critical uses and is typically set at 15 for life lines.

Splicing Instructions:
Not Spliceable


Website link: http://www.teufelber...opes/kmiii.html


And I used 8mm Petzl Rescue Cord for my friction hitch (most use prusiks, I used a Klemheist [see below]).


Vector_8mm.jpg


 

8 MM RESCUE CORD
Static rope designed primarily for tying Prusik hitches on VECTOR 11 mm and VECTOR 12.5 mm ropes

Excellent performance when belaying with the Tandem Prusik technique
Available in four colors for easier identification of different kits
Standard lengths


Website link: https://www.petzl.co...mm#.V7xYd_krLRY



And here's the info on the Klemheist hitch/knot that I used:
 

The klemheist knot or Machard knot is a type of friction hitch that grips the rope when weight is applied, and is free to move when the weight is released. It is used similarly to a Prusik knot or the Bachmann knot to ascend or descend a climbing rope. One advantage is that webbing can be used as an alternative to cord. The Klemheist is easier to slide up than a Prusik. The klemheist is also a way to attach a snubber to the anchor rope of small boats, with the advantage that it is easy to undo.
Sometimes the knot name is misspelled as kleimheist, with an extra i. Klem means clamp in Dutch.


Arborist video on it:



And how to tie it:


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#16 Male OFFLINE   Bowhunter444

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Posted 01/20/14 - 07:56 AM

Picked up 4 life lines to install in all my stands for next year, not as agile as I was when I was younger.


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#17 Male OFFLINE   Gruntmaster

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Posted 01/20/14 - 07:21 PM

Excellent post...

Definitely using lifelines on all my stands next season.

Great videos on knot tying. Feel like a boy scout again!!!


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#18 Male OFFLINE   markbrit

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Posted 01/21/14 - 07:01 AM

Great info, thanks!!



#19 Male OFFLINE   BowhunterNJ

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Posted 08/15/14 - 03:15 PM

*bump* for the upcoming season, be safe out there everyone! :up:

#20 Male OFFLINE   Bucksnbows

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Posted 08/15/14 - 04:34 PM

I recently put up 20' climbing sticks and a hang on while wearing my HSS system strapped to the tree as well as the belt attached near the waist while putting them up.  I now need to add a life line and I'll be all set.  


Edited by Bucksnbows, 08/15/14 - 04:34 PM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: safety, life line, tree climbing, treestand, prevent falls, safely climb

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