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2019-The year of safety

Peterk1234

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
801
Location
Massachusetts
@DaveT1963 climbing while tethered is on my list of "to try" this off season. It is a no brainer from a safety standpoint. I want to experiment to determine if it is cumbersome enough where I will continue to rely on my lineman and arms to help me. I am still using the three points of contact rule at all times and most of the time have a WE Step near head level as a handle. All of them contribute toward my overall safety. However I still do not have a fall arrest in place when moving up and down the tree. Pete
 

DaveT1963

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
3,511
@DaveT1963 climbing while tethered is on my list of "to try" this off season. It is a no brainer from a safety standpoint. I want to experiment to determine if it is cumbersome enough where I will continue to rely on my lineman and arms to help me. I am still using the three points of contact rule at all times and most of the time have a WE Step near head level as a handle. All of them contribute toward my overall safety. However I still do not have a fall arrest in place when moving up and down the tree. Pete

I use both. I think having the lineman's belt helps with moving it and the tether is just a back up. Just my way of doing it. It can be a pain in the Arse with two ropes - but with practice and slowing down I was able to do it with my sticks and CAYG aider.... the most difficult part was getting the tether around tree over the top of the stick I am setting. It made me go back to 6 foot per stick but I still get 20 foot with a step into the platform.
 

skell

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Staff member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
1,342
Location
Iowa
This will be my first saddle season. First with amsteel stick mods (if i don't completely convert to versa straps), first in a saddle, first on a platform! It's only January, which gives me about 9 months at ground level to get my system wired!! Thanks to you guys, my tree game is already much safer. Not that I was unsafe before (rock harness on lone wolf's) but now my tethers/ropes are backed up.
Also, this is the first place I recommend to others for ANYTHING SADDLE RELATED!
IMO this is the best time to be getting into saddle hunting. I don't mean in terms of current innovation. I mean right after season. I stumbled upon this site 3+ years ago having never heard of saddle hunting. Spent an entire off season learning and practicing. Made a world of difference in my confidence of knowledge and gear.

I had never used a lineman belt before...it was surprisingly awkward to me initially. Amazing what some practice and learning some technique can do. This site and YouTube can be a wealth of information if you are willing to seek it out. There is quite a bit of arborist climbing/safety info and instruction on YouTube.

Great post and reminder @redsquirrel!
 

N1ChBryant

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
81
Location
Ramona Ok
Forcing ones self to use their Tether as safety #1 can build alot of confidence when climbing with any method, Sure it slows you down some, but not falling tends to be more important .....add in a ropeman 1 to quickly adjust as you climb and now were talking inches instead of feet if a fall does occur.
 

DaWiz9578

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
570
Location
SE Michigan
This is a perfect opportunity for me to throw out my newbie question on safety. Looking to get into saddle hunting and I am going between the modified sitdrag and just blowing my wod on a complete kit, probably the kestrel. My thought is that the modified sitdrag would be cheaper, but by modifying it myself, according to all the videos and information available on modifications, not ad libbing my own equipment (I know what I dont know), I would become more familiar with the construction, function, etc. of the equipment. Would I be better off to start with a kit and just spend the time familiarizing myself with that and just doing any non-safety related modifications (molle loops, equipment connections, etc.)? The one thing that does concerns me about the modified sitdrag is it doesnt seem as safe as far as inversion. Ive seen both videos of the kestrel and mod'd sitdrag with people inverted, but seemed like the sit drag he had to try and keep himself in where the kestrel he actually tried to shake himself out. I guess the legs being locked in, where on the mod'd sit drag, your climbing harness is disconnected (by choice) when you attach your bridge and sit.

Saddle hunting honestly caught my attention on how safe it is, when done properly. The fact that where im sitting is the safety harness puts my mind at ease, and less of a jerk if you do "fall" as with a typical safety harness with a ladder/climber. Actually caught grief from my father-in-law climbing into a stand on his property this year where he has screw in steps that looked older than me, wrapped around a tree and branches, poorly planned out, and while climbing in the dark I was taking time to move my climber harness (all I have at the moment, but glad I took it) around branches as best as I could (having to disconnect several times, which I didnt like). I told him its quicker than a trip to the hospital. Another tid bit, not to toot my own horn, but I climb oil & gas storage tanks for a living and I dont know how many times Ive been the only one clipped in wherever possible on top of 65' tanks, catwalks, stairways etc. People roll their eyes and give me grief about that as well, but I know I feel safe when Im clipped in and its their decision what they want to do about their safety. You'd be surprised how often its not require at those heights.
 

Islandshooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
1,098
Location
Flagler Beach, FL
I use both. I think having the lineman's belt helps with moving it and the tether is just a back up. Just my way of doing it. It can be a pain in the Arse with two ropes - but with practice and slowing down I was able to do it with my sticks and CAYG aider.... the most difficult part was getting the tether around tree over the top of the stick I am setting. It made me go back to 6 foot per stick but I still get 20 foot with a step into the platform.
I think that's what I'm going to go with, using my tether to climb with. I'm really only transitioning to a smaller platform, as I've been in the harness for years and using the techniques we've all been talking about. I actually do not use my linesman's belt as I'm pulling my set, I'm using either my tree rope or the safety line (if it was a multiple sit set). 10 months should be enough time to get it wired!!
 

DaveT1963

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Vendor Rep
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
3,511
I think that's what I'm going to go with, using my tether to climb with. I'm really only transitioning to a smaller platform, as I've been in the harness for years and using the techniques we've all been talking about. I actually do not use my linesman's belt as I'm pulling my set, I'm using either my tree rope or the safety line (if it was a multiple sit set). 10 months should be enough time to get it wired!!

I would keep a lineman's belt as you will want that to attach to tree while you move tether over limbs, etc.... just a thought.
 

skell

Moderator
Staff member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
1,342
Location
Iowa
This is a perfect opportunity for me to throw out my newbie question on safety. Looking to get into saddle hunting and I am going between the modified sitdrag and just blowing my wod on a complete kit, probably the kestrel. My thought is that the modified sitdrag would be cheaper, but by modifying it myself, according to all the videos and information available on modifications, not ad libbing my own equipment (I know what I dont know), I would become more familiar with the construction, function, etc. of the equipment. Would I be better off to start with a kit and just spend the time familiarizing myself with that and just doing any non-safety related modifications (molle loops, equipment connections, etc.)? The one thing that does concerns me about the modified sitdrag is it doesnt seem as safe as far as inversion. Ive seen both videos of the kestrel and mod'd sitdrag with people inverted, but seemed like the sit drag he had to try and keep himself in where the kestrel he actually tried to shake himself out. I guess the legs being locked in, where on the mod'd sit drag, your climbing harness is disconnected (by choice) when you attach your bridge and sit.
I started with the SitDrag/RC harness combo. When hunting, BOTH were connected to my tether. I used that setup for a season. This year I used a DIY Kestrel Clone. The Kestrel clone is much more comfortable in my opinion.

As for which route to go...if I was starting over and the price tag wasn't that big of a deal, I would go with a kit. With that being said, I learned a great deal by going the SitDrag route. I spent ALOT of time researching knots, sewing, lineman belt use, ascenders, rock climbing harnesses, carabiners, webbing, rope, splicing, and on and on. I pretty much went down every topic rabbit hole I could.

No matter which path you choose, take the time to learn your equipment at ground level. And take advantage of the time you have to practice. It will pay off come season...
 

Vtbow

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
5,476
This is a perfect opportunity for me to throw out my newbie question on safety. Looking to get into saddle hunting and I am going between the modified sitdrag and just blowing my wod on a complete kit, probably the kestrel. My thought is that the modified sitdrag would be cheaper, but by modifying it myself, according to all the videos and information available on modifications, not ad libbing my own equipment (I know what I dont know), I would become more familiar with the construction, function, etc. of the equipment. Would I be better off to start with a kit and just spend the time familiarizing myself with that and just doing any non-safety related modifications (molle loops, equipment connections, etc.)? The one thing that does concerns me about the modified sitdrag is it doesnt seem as safe as far as inversion. Ive seen both videos of the kestrel and mod'd sitdrag with people inverted, but seemed like the sit drag he had to try and keep himself in where the kestrel he actually tried to shake himself out. I guess the legs being locked in, where on the mod'd sit drag, your climbing harness is disconnected (by choice) when you attach your bridge and sit.

Saddle hunting honestly caught my attention on how safe it is, when done properly. The fact that where im sitting is the safety harness puts my mind at ease, and less of a jerk if you do "fall" as with a typical safety harness with a ladder/climber. Actually caught grief from my father-in-law climbing into a stand on his property this year where he has screw in steps that looked older than me, wrapped around a tree and branches, poorly planned out, and while climbing in the dark I was taking time to move my climber harness (all I have at the moment, but glad I took it) around branches as best as I could (having to disconnect several times, which I didnt like). I told him its quicker than a trip to the hospital. Another tid bit, not to toot my own horn, but I climb oil & gas storage tanks for a living and I dont know how many times Ive been the only one clipped in wherever possible on top of 65' tanks, catwalks, stairways etc. People roll their eyes and give me grief about that as well, but I know I feel safe when Im clipped in and its their decision what they want to do about their safety. You'd be surprised how often its not require at those heights.
I would say buy the kit. Be comfortable with the gear knowing it is manufactured professionally. Get comfortable climbing, shooting, setup, etc. Once you're there, start DIYing if you want, or feel the need. Keep in mind, you'll probably spen $75 on a good RCH, plus biners, rope, sitdrag($30?) by the time you';re done you wont have saved as much as you thought. Get in a tree and do some shooting....
 

skell

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SH Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
1,342
Location
Iowa
I would say buy the kit. Be comfortable with the gear knowing it is manufactured professionally. Get comfortable climbing, shooting, setup, etc. Once you're there, start DIYing if you want, or feel the need. Keep in mind, you'll probably spen $75 on a good RCH, plus biners, rope, sitdrag($30?) by the time you';re done you wont have saved as much as you thought. Get in a tree and do some shooting....
Excellent point. I certainly haven't saved money by not going with the kit initially!! :tearsofjoy: @DaWiz9578
 

GCTerpfan

Moderator
Staff member
SH Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
5,054
Location
Garrett County, MD
This is a perfect opportunity for me to throw out my newbie question on safety. Looking to get into saddle hunting and I am going between the modified sitdrag and just blowing my wod on a complete kit, probably the kestrel. My thought is that the modified sitdrag would be cheaper, but by modifying it myself, according to all the videos and information available on modifications, not ad libbing my own equipment (I know what I dont know), I would become more familiar with the construction, function, etc. of the equipment. Would I be better off to start with a kit and just spend the time familiarizing myself with that and just doing any non-safety related modifications (molle loops, equipment connections, etc.)? The one thing that does concerns me about the modified sitdrag is it doesnt seem as safe as far as inversion. Ive seen both videos of the kestrel and mod'd sitdrag with people inverted, but seemed like the sit drag he had to try and keep himself in where the kestrel he actually tried to shake himself out. I guess the legs being locked in, where on the mod'd sit drag, your climbing harness is disconnected (by choice) when you attach your bridge and sit.

Saddle hunting honestly caught my attention on how safe it is, when done properly. The fact that where im sitting is the safety harness puts my mind at ease, and less of a jerk if you do "fall" as with a typical safety harness with a ladder/climber. Actually caught grief from my father-in-law climbing into a stand on his property this year where he has screw in steps that looked older than me, wrapped around a tree and branches, poorly planned out, and while climbing in the dark I was taking time to move my climber harness (all I have at the moment, but glad I took it) around branches as best as I could (having to disconnect several times, which I didn't like). I told him its quicker than a trip to the hospital. Another tid bit, not to toot my own horn, but I climb oil & gas storage tanks for a living and I dont know how many times Ive been the only one clipped in wherever possible on top of 65' tanks, catwalks, stairways etc. People roll their eyes and give me grief about that as well, but I know I feel safe when Im clipped in and its their decision what they want to do about their safety. You'd be surprised how often its not require at those heights.
I wrestled with many of the same questions as you when I first got into Saddle Hunting. I was going to start with a sit drag, then at the last second I decided to order a Kestrel (this was during their pre-order period) I just ordered the saddle and was going to try to save a few dollars and make my own tether and LB. Before my Kestrel even shipped I changed my mind, called Debbie and ordered the complete kit. I was glad I did, it allowed me to play with and learn a complete set up and see how things functioned together. From there I started experimenting with different things, like bridge material, sit drag(which wasn't for me) and ultimately a fleece saddle and RCH, which I hunt out of today. If you decide to go with some type of DIY saddle later, you will most likely be able to sell your Kestrel for a very small loss.
 

Islandshooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
1,098
Location
Flagler Beach, FL
I would keep a lineman's belt as you will want that to attach to tree while you move tether over limbs, etc.... just a thought.
Absolutely, I just meant rather than go up with the lineman's only, I will use the tether. I'm pretty sure footed, as I'm sure most everyone here is, but you can't ever be too safe . Most of the trees I'll practice in will be straight. Then I go to Nebraska and hunt crooked cottonwoods, so two ropes are mandatory.
 

DaWiz9578

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
570
Location
SE Michigan
Alright thanks guys. I'll probably end up buying the kit then. Didnt mean to hi jack the thread, it is a great reminder OP and topic to discuss.
 

redsquirrel

Administrator
Staff member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Messages
14,511
Location
NJ
This is a perfect opportunity for me to throw out my newbie question on safety. Looking to get into saddle hunting and I am going between the modified sitdrag and just blowing my wod on a complete kit, probably the kestrel. My thought is that the modified sitdrag would be cheaper, but by modifying it myself, according to all the videos and information available on modifications, not ad libbing my own equipment (I know what I dont know), I would become more familiar with the construction, function, etc. of the equipment. Would I be better off to start with a kit and just spend the time familiarizing myself with that and just doing any non-safety related modifications (molle loops, equipment connections, etc.)? The one thing that does concerns me about the modified sitdrag is it doesnt seem as safe as far as inversion. Ive seen both videos of the kestrel and mod'd sitdrag with people inverted, but seemed like the sit drag he had to try and keep himself in where the kestrel he actually tried to shake himself out. I guess the legs being locked in, where on the mod'd sit drag, your climbing harness is disconnected (by choice) when you attach your bridge and sit.

Saddle hunting honestly caught my attention on how safe it is, when done properly. The fact that where im sitting is the safety harness puts my mind at ease, and less of a jerk if you do "fall" as with a typical safety harness with a ladder/climber. Actually caught grief from my father-in-law climbing into a stand on his property this year where he has screw in steps that looked older than me, wrapped around a tree and branches, poorly planned out, and while climbing in the dark I was taking time to move my climber harness (all I have at the moment, but glad I took it) around branches as best as I could (having to disconnect several times, which I didnt like). I told him its quicker than a trip to the hospital. Another tid bit, not to toot my own horn, but I climb oil & gas storage tanks for a living and I dont know how many times Ive been the only one clipped in wherever possible on top of 65' tanks, catwalks, stairways etc. People roll their eyes and give me grief about that as well, but I know I feel safe when Im clipped in and its their decision what they want to do about their safety. You'd be surprised how often its not require at those heights.
I always recommend the kit for a newbie as well. It is much easier to learn things when you have the entire system in your hands. Once you understand how the system works safely you can move on to swapping pieces in and out.
 

drew13

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Joined
Sep 11, 2014
Messages
1,061
Location
Maine
Speaking of safety, we’ve talked about this here before but if you are using a tether as a fall restraint while you climb and you use a ropeman on your tether, you have to be careful to not allow slack in your tether. If you fall with slack then the teeth on the ropeman can actually cut the rope.

I am all for climbing with a tether - I think it’s super safe, but it is not foolproof with a ropeman.
 

dalton916

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SH Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2018
Messages
3,277
I'm declaring 2019 the year of safety around saddlehunter.com. With the recent explosion in saddle hunters I've seen a lot of questionable things floating around here lately. I need you, the community, to call these ideas out. We have developed a culture of safety around here and we need to stick to that. Our mantra has always been about finding new, better and lighter ways to do things while still maintaining safe practices.
Careful what you ask for.....suddenly it’s like Helicopter parents have been given OSHA badges.
 

Adrena123

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
714
Location
MARYLAND
Speaking of safety, we’ve talked about this here before but if you are using a tether as a fall restraint while you climb and you use a ropeman on your tether, you have to be careful to not allow slack in your tether. If you fall with slack then the teeth on the ropeman can actually cut the rope.

I am all for climbing with a tether - I think it’s super safe, but it is not foolproof with a ropeman.
It is if you clip back in to your biner with a figure 8 or an over hand knot. It's the easiest free safety "mod" to do. A knot at the end of a tether might keep a ropeman/ prusik knot from sliding off, but will do nothing if one of those breaks. Blows my mind.

I just seen the part where the ropeman1 could possibly cut through the rope in a free fall. Makes me want to test that. That would suck if it cut through my static line with like a 3' fall for sure.
 
Last edited:

GCTerpfan

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SH Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
5,054
Location
Garrett County, MD
Careful what you ask for.....suddenly it’s like Helicopter parents have been given OSHA badges.
Or...there are lots of new saddle hunters that don't know what they don't know and there are many member's that truly care about helping people be safe. Even if a few people get defensive when their posts aren't crystal clear and questions are asked.

This was my second full year hunting out of a saddle and thanks to this site my learning curve was greatly reduced and I think I have the safety aspect figured out but, if I ever post something that someone thinks might be questionable, I hope they at least ask me about it so I can re-evaluate it myself, especially when the vast majority on this site typically ask those questions in a polite and cordial manner.
 
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