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#3435329 - 11/04/13 11:08 AM Safety Harness Questions
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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I've always hunted from some low-elevation platform stands, and have never given any though to fall protection. Now that I'm looking into a climber, I'm wondering how you're supposed to tie off.....

Do you hook the harness to the stand? Do you need to rig a separate anchor system to the tree? Are the harnesses that come with climber rigs worth using?

Thanks
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Everything important in life was learned from Mary Jo Kopechne.

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#3435338 - 11/04/13 11:15 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TAFKAP]
TNDeerGuy
12 Point


Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: Old Hickory/Mt.Juliet, TN

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You always should tie off to a tree—never to the stand! In my opinion, a rock climbing harness is the only way to go—they are significantly safer than the vest/strap type that is the strap behind your head style, they are more comfortable, more versatile and lastly.....less expensive!!


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#3435350 - 11/04/13 11:19 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TNDeerGuy]
TNDeerGuy
12 Point


Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: Old Hickory/Mt.Juliet, TN

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Also, you should always be secured to a tree via a system of any type any time your feet leave the ground until you return back to mother earth. My first and only fall came from the great height of 4ft and I landed square on my back, resulting in me having a lump on the back of my head and being sore for several days.
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#3435353 - 11/04/13 11:20 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TNDeerGuy]
LanceS4803
6 Point


Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 829
Loc: Middle TN

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I use a rope style safety strap. It goes around the tree, above the climber, and then to your vest. Snap in before you go up.
I take a couple bites with the climber and then readjust the safety strap. Keep working climber and strap until you get to your desired height.
Place the strap on the tree above your head, leaving a little slack.
Don't forget your suspension relief strap.
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#3435364 - 11/04/13 11:23 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TNDeerGuy]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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 Originally Posted By: TNDeerGuy
You always should tie off to a tree—never to the stand! In my opinion, a rock climbing harness is the only way to go—they are significantly safer than the vest/strap type that is the strap behind your head style, they are more comfortable, more versatile and lastly.....less expensive!!


I would disagree with you on the style.

Climbing harnesses are designed for physically fit climbers, with the muscle strength, tone, and central C.G. to utilize a harness that suspends him from around his navel. When a climber engages his harness, he's facing his anchor point and will be able to use the climbing rope to stabilize himself, and will be in a position to prepare for the fall better than someone using "Fall Protection".

Fall protection is for ANYONE, and must take into account all aspects of keeping you alive in the event of a fall. The tether point must be high, above the CG of all humans possibly wearing it. When someone wearing a full-body harness (Fall Protection) needs their rig, they're not expecting the fall. 99% of people will accidentally fall away from their anchor point, so a tether in the back is ideal, as it will keep the harness from snatching around your head.

That being said, I'm curious as to HOW you are supposed to tie off to a tree. Do the rigs come with a tie strap? Are there preferable styles out there?
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Everything important in life was learned from Mary Jo Kopechne.

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#3435369 - 11/04/13 11:26 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: LanceS4803]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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 Originally Posted By: LanceS4803
I use a rope style safety strap. It goes around the tree, above the climber, and then to your vest.



How does it keep you from falling down the tree when it engages? Got a picture?

And what is a suspension relief strap?
_________________________
Everything important in life was learned from Mary Jo Kopechne.

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#3435382 - 11/04/13 11:30 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TAFKAP]
KANATI McD
8 Point


Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 2471
Loc: West, TN.

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I use a rope with a prussic knot around the tree and hook my harness in the prussic knot. Tension puts pressure on the knot securing you to the tree. I'll see if I can find some pics
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#3435400 - 11/04/13 11:44 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TAFKAP]
TNDeerGuy
12 Point


Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: Old Hickory/Mt.Juliet, TN

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 Originally Posted By: TAFKAP
 Originally Posted By: TNDeerGuy
You always should tie off to a tree—never to the stand! In my opinion, a rock climbing harness is the only way to go—they are significantly safer than the vest/strap type that is the strap behind your head style, they are more comfortable, more versatile and lastly.....less expensive!!


I would disagree with you on the style.

Climbing harnesses are designed for physically fit climbers, with the muscle strength, tone, and central C.G. to utilize a harness that suspends him from around his navel. When a climber engages his harness, he's facing his anchor point and will be able to use the climbing rope to stabilize himself, and will be in a position to prepare for the fall better than someone using "Fall Protection".

Fall protection is for ANYONE, and must take into account all aspects of keeping you alive in the event of a fall. The tether point must be high, above the CG of all humans possibly wearing it. When someone wearing a full-body harness (Fall Protection) needs their rig, they're not expecting the fall. 99% of people will accidentally fall away from their anchor point, so a tether in the back is ideal, as it will keep the harness from snatching around your head.

That being said, I'm curious as to HOW you are supposed to tie off to a tree. Do the rigs come with a tie strap? Are there preferable styles out there?



They make lifelines that is a hanging rope with a prussic knot leader that you attach to, or there are also tree strap options as well. Or....you could make your own life line out of static or dynamic rope.

As far as the harness style, with all due respect you obviously have limited experience in mountaineering. You do NOT have to be physically fit to use/wear a mountaineering harness—it just so happens to be that most people that use them are physically fit. I have taken plenty of people that are not physically fit that have no problem falling and recovering when wearing this style harness. Yes, your anchor point is in front of you and that is where this style has a distinct advantage over the vest style. A climbing harness, because it anchors in the front, will allow you to get in a position facing the tree a lot easier that the style that is attached in the middle of your back and above your shoulders. Also, a vest/strap style will kill you in minutes if you cannot recover or get in your suspension relief strap....a climbing harness greatly reduces that risk. When back home in Chattanooga, we would tie off for quite some time and free-hang from Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain and watch the sunset—something you can't do without a relief strap in the vest style.

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#3435406 - 11/04/13 11:50 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: KANATI McD]
Nimrod777
Non-Typical


Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 26175
Loc: Spring Hill, TN

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Here's my rig--

I use a vest-style harness ranging from the confusing basic one that comes with many stands to one built into a vest with plastic buckles that snap together.

I hook up my climber to a tree.

Step into the climber and fasten a strap through my harness fall-restraint strap (the looped strap coming high off the back), and then around the tree, loosely, but taught enough that it would not slip through the buckle in the event of a fall.

I raise the tree strap as high as I can, then climb. Raise the strap and climb. Raise the strap and climb. I estimate it costs me an extra 60 seconds out of my day to be attached to the tree while I climb, but provides some safety during the time when I'm most likely to be involved in an accidental fall.

Note: always keep that tree strap fastened at a height above the stand so that in the event of a fall, you will easily be able to grab the stand and get yourself safely back into it.

Also, keep a knife on your person, so that in a worst case scenario (you are suspended, can't get back into the stand, can't call for help), you can cut yourself loose and attempt a semi-controlled drop to the ground, or slide down the tree trunk.
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#3435497 - 11/04/13 12:52 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TNDeerGuy]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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I'm with you as far as the climbing harness goes.....They are much more comfortable to sit in. But I still maintain that a fall protection device is still preferable than a climbing rig.

But two things remain....1) those that wear one (regardless of style ;\) ) are much less likely to bite it than the free climbers. 2) The harness is useless without something to hook onto.


I think what I'll do is get a nylon sling made here at the shop with a metal ring to choke around the tree.
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#3435526 - 11/04/13 01:07 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TAFKAP]
Nimrod777
Non-Typical


Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 26175
Loc: Spring Hill, TN

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 Originally Posted By: TAFKAP


I think what I'll do is get a nylon sling made here at the shop with a metal ring to choke around the tree.


That's basically what I have. Nylon strap around the tree, through and through with a metal buckle.
_________________________
Some hunt for racks, some hunt for roasts. I hunt for sheer joy; the aforementioned items are merely fringe benefits.

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#3435547 - 11/04/13 01:18 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: Nimrod777]
Knothead
12 Point


Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 6612
Loc: Middle TN

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 Originally Posted By: Nimrod777
Here's my rig--

I use a vest-style harness ranging from the confusing basic one that comes with many stands to one built into a vest with plastic buckles that snap together.

I hook up my climber to a tree.

Step into the climber and fasten a strap through my harness fall-restraint strap (the looped strap coming high off the back), and then around the tree, loosely, but taught enough that it would not slip through the buckle in the event of a fall.

I raise the tree strap as high as I can, then climb. Raise the strap and climb. Raise the strap and climb. I estimate it costs me an extra 60 seconds out of my day to be attached to the tree while I climb, but provides some safety during the time when I'm most likely to be involved in an accidental fall.

Note: always keep that tree strap fastened at a height above the stand so that in the event of a fall, you will easily be able to grab the stand and get yourself safely back into it.

Also, keep a knife on your person, so that in a worst case scenario (you are suspended, can't get back into the stand, can't call for help), you can cut yourself loose and attempt a semi-controlled drop to the ground, or slide down the tree trunk.


Exactly the method I use when using a climber. When using a loc-on, or even on some ladders, I use the HSS Lifeline System---click the link for info on that.
http://www.huntersafetysystem.com/hss-lifeline/
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#3435584 - 11/04/13 01:45 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: Knothead]
KANATI McD
8 Point


Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 2471
Loc: West, TN.

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Tether

Loop around tree

Loop tether through itself


Fasten safety vest in prussic knot

Tension holds
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#3435646 - 11/04/13 02:25 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: KANATI McD]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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That's what I was looking for. Thanks for the pics.

I found a forged aluminum ring here at the shop, and I've asked the nylon lady to make me up a 72" sling. It ought to go around just about any tree a platform is hung against, or any tree a climber will climb. I'll just choke the soft eye through the ring, and clip into the eye. I'll put up pics when they're done.

Thanks for all the talk. Everyone brings up safety harnesses, but resources on how to use them are a little slim.
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#3435658 - 11/04/13 02:32 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TAFKAP]
KANATI McD
8 Point


Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 2471
Loc: West, TN.

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No problem. Your top end safety harness usually comes with tethers and an instructional video. Glad I could help....
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#3435698 - 11/04/13 02:56 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: KANATI McD]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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I like the sliding knot part, though. That'll allow the adjustment for hooking onto smaller trees. I figure with a 72" nylon sling, I'll be able to double wrap on the smaller ones.
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#3435736 - 11/04/13 03:23 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TAFKAP]
TJS209
8 Point


Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 1833
Loc: West Tennessee, US

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 Originally Posted By: TAFKAP
I like the sliding knot part, though. That'll allow the adjustment for hooking onto smaller trees. I figure with a 72" nylon sling, I'll be able to double wrap on the smaller ones.


If you double wrap the rope on smaller trees that might make it difficult to climb

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#3435826 - 11/04/13 04:13 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TJS209]
BDS05
8 Point


Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 2127
Loc: tn

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Great thread. I use the same method as Tanati but have recently caught myself thinking what if I do fall and can't make it back to the stand. I carry a knife in case I have to cut but really don't want to do that. Any other options for descending?
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#3435994 - 11/04/13 05:41 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: BDS05]
TNDeerGuy
12 Point


Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: Old Hickory/Mt.Juliet, TN

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I always carry a couple of the folding screw-in steps in the knee-pocket of my pants in case I need them to help me recover, and I always carry two knives—one in my pocket and one on my belt loop, I go over-board with safety at times.
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#3436003 - 11/04/13 05:45 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TNDeerGuy]
Mag
8 Point


Registered: 11/12/07
Posts: 1994
Loc: Hendersonville

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If you need a harness let me know, I am sure I have a few extras that came with climbers. Not fancy but will do the job.
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#3436057 - 11/04/13 06:07 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: KANATI McD]
gator-n-buck
WAFL
18 Point


Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 22393
Loc: Knox, TN / Palatka, FL

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Use a rope with a prussic knot (I use Summit ropes) and you can slide it up and down the tree as you go up and down. That way you are always hooked to the tree. I also use the Hunters safety vest. It makes a very good combination and I use climbers 99% of the time.... \:\)
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#3436084 - 11/04/13 06:23 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: gator-n-buck]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13478
Loc: Tennessee

content Online
Tieing off to the tree is simple. Just girth hitch a rope, cord around the tree and tie off with a prussik, ascender or other adjustable locking device that gives you adjustability.

For the rock climbing harness, I have taken falls up to 80 feet every which way a person can fall: Backwards, upside down, and sideways. That being said, a treestand fall is going to be a static fall since, even if you use dynamic rope, you wouldn't have enough rope out to give you an stretch. A dynamic fall can be an awsfuly painful jolt. Rock climbing falls are very soft due to the dynamics of the system. Based on that, its not a bad idea to think about incorporating a "screamer" on your tether to absorb some of the shock.

Also, for a climber, you are going to need an adjustable lineman's belt of some sort to use while going up and down. A section of rope and a prussik knot is the simplest and least expensive. The hunting industry harnesses look awfully overdesigned to me and are definitely overpriced. A Black Diamond Alpine Bod is probably your best bang for your buck in relation to minimalism.
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#3436091 - 11/04/13 06:26 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TJS209]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13478
Loc: Tennessee

content Online
 Originally Posted By: bowtch huntr209
 Originally Posted By: TAFKAP
I like the sliding knot part, though. That'll allow the adjustment for hooking onto smaller trees. I figure with a 72" nylon sling, I'll be able to double wrap on the smaller ones.


If you double wrap the rope on smaller trees that might make it difficult to climb


Sure would -too much friction, BUT, better to have extra than not enough. Since you hunt bottom lands a lot, you need to be able to negotiate those the girth of the bases of the trees, which can be enormous.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3436385 - 11/04/13 08:33 PM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: TAFKAP]
KANATI McD
8 Point


Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 2471
Loc: West, TN.

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 Originally Posted By: TAFKAP
I like the sliding knot part, though. That'll allow the adjustment for hooking onto smaller trees. I figure with a 72" nylon sling, I'll be able to double wrap on the smaller ones.


Simple solution: make 2 tethers, 1 long one for your ladder stands on big trees and maybe a 3' tether for your climber. Too much excess will work against safety and a will be a big nuisance. On a climber it should be attached as soon as you start to climb. Put tether as high as you can reach, climb to it, raise it, climb to it, etc. etc.
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#3437154 - 11/05/13 09:55 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: BDS05]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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 Originally Posted By: BDS05
Great thread. I use the same method as Tanati but have recently caught myself thinking what if I do fall and can't make it back to the stand. I carry a knife in case I have to cut but really don't want to do that. Any other options for descending?


Looks like I'm going to string a climbing rope up with my stand \:D
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Everything important in life was learned from Mary Jo Kopechne.

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#3437160 - 11/05/13 10:01 AM Re: Safety Harness Questions [Re: KANATI McD]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9797
Loc: Memphis

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Here's my tree tether. 1" wide x 6', single-ply nylon, with a ř2" forged aluminum "parachute ring" at one end. Too bad my fall protection harness for work is too cumbersome and loud.....that thing is comfy, and it has a 15' shock absorbing tether.

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