Tree Climbing Gear
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Let's Talk About the Essential Tree Climbing Equipment for Every Kit
When it comes to climbing trees, no matter the reason, there are some essential pieces of tree climbing gear that you're going to need. From tree work to recreational tree climbing, these are the 7 pieces of gear that all climbers need.
- Tree Climbing Harness: Tree climbing harnesses are unique to tree climbing. They are designed differently from rock climbing and caving harnesses, and allow you to work while seated. The construction itself is very different, with the bridge being lower, and D rings for attaching a flipline or lanyard.
- Flipline/Lanyard/Polestrap: This is a product that goes by many names. Whatever it's being advertised as, it has the same job; keeping you in a secure position. This attaches to a D-ring on the harness, wraps around the tree, and attaches to the opposite D-ring.
- Flipline/Lanyard Adjuster: As the name implies, the lanyard adjuster allows you to adjust the length of your lanyard.
- Climbing Rope: Just like tree climbing harnesses, tree climbing ropes are specifically designed for climbing trees. They have little slack, and are pliable enough to tie knots. Rock climbing rope is too stretchy to be used, while caving ropes are too stiff to tie knots with. Ropes that you're using should be made for tree climbing specifically.
- Prusik: The Prusik is a friction hitch that you use to adjust your position on the climbing rope, allowing you to ascend or descend safely. This is normally made from a specific cord that's heat resistant.
- Carabiners: When you're looking for carabiners, they have to be rated for climbing. You may find them in alloy or steel, depending on the intended use and brand. Most climbers should have 4 at the minimum.
- Spurs/Spikes: Spurs and spikes allow you to gain footholds where there may be none on the tree. They allow you to "walk" up the tree. Most guidance says that these should be reserved for tree removal only, as they can harm the tree.
When you create a kit that has the tree climbing equipment listed above, you've got all you need to get started! As your experience continues to mount, you can look into other options and start to branch out.