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


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 8937
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: 5892
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: 5892
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: 764
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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To a deer, every human is a stump.
To a turkey, every stump is a human.

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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: 8937
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?
_________________________
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: 8937
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?
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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: 5892
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: 25359
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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Some hunt for racks, some hunt for roasts. I hunt for sheer joy; the aforementioned items are merely fringe benefits.

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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: 8937
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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Everything important in life was learned from Mary Jo Kopechne.

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