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Lone Wolf Hand Climber with saddle

jsthntn

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Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
93
just purchased one and looking forward to trying it out. What mods have been done to improve the functionality? Pics please if possible. I’ve heard some bad about these things breaking? Info on that would be great if someone has specifics on the size of feller (weight) and pics of the break on the climber.
Looking for good some good tips and tricks. Thanks guys
 

muzzypower

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Aug 5, 2018
Messages
273
After a season of using one, my conclusion is the slow ascent/descent sorta kills me
on my last hunt of 2020, i just took my lw assault climber and saddle hunted from that. Figure i can sit down n take a break now n then. My bow holder is built into the stand already. I fly up n down the tree. it creates a backpack frame so i dont need my regular pack. It only adds a few pounds. I did find if i used the sit n climb top along with the hand climber top, then i could climb much easier. Tougher to pack together tho
 

muzzypower

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Aug 5, 2018
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273
I may try 2 handclimber tops. That may be good middle ground. I also don’t like being huddled against wet trees when im climbing. Yup im that guy lol
 

USMC5831

Active Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
118
Location
Georgetown, KY
I used one a lot last year, and mine cracked on the front lip. Used it again (with the crack) the next day and tagged out. I am 5’10 200ish lbs.
climbing with it isn’t as fast as I’d like, but with practice, it’s manageable. Climbing down is really pretty quick.
I liked it so much, that I bought another one to replace the broken one. It is the best system to carry that I’ve used.
 

jsthntn

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Jan 10, 2020
Messages
93
Adrena123 I’ve watched ur videos on YouTube. Good information. Have u ever had any issues with ur platforms cracking? I know u have used them for a long time. Just curious. Ur kinda cube shaped like me. So just curious if I’m pushing the limits of the hand climber. I’m 6ft 280lb
 

Plebe

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Sep 14, 2020
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1,007

@Bwhana had some posts on his mods that were pretty good (rope mod for the increased arm angles..others have installed bolts...whoopie sling tied on for foot loop).

As well:

Some guys run a multistep aider to get the platform past the widest part of the trunk so it doesn't need as much adjustment while climbing. (I'd suggest as an alternative a rope step or 2, like cranford sells, to minimize stressing the platform)

Some like to use the sit and climb top with the hand climber bottom for easier climbing.

Some like to run a strap around the tree, others like the platform to move with them for positioning and don't use a strap.

For me, I was super excited about the LWHC method, until I stood on my hand climber top. I wasn't comfortable at all. So, I cut back a LW climber bottom and it is much stiffer and to my liking.

While many have and are using the hand climber top as a platform without issue, probably smart to have a backup plan for descending in case of a platform failure.
 
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Adrena123

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Oct 20, 2016
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668
Location
MARYLAND
I have some videos on youtube about it, part 3 is when I modified it to make it worth using. If I know what tree I'm hunting from and it's limbless, I use this system. I really like it for times I have to hunt high. It is light weight and fast, at least for me. I have the original bolt modded HC, I weigh 207lbs and climb with my pack/ bow on my back. I have no cracking issues etc.etc... I'll probably make one more video, like a "how to" because some guys struggle and say it's slow. I don't feel it's slow and I have timed my cousin for what it's worth and he climbed 30' in less then 3 minutes. I don't race up trees, I move slow, I'm hunting. People need to maximize their movements for the most distance while climbing...

Raise tether and lock it in place. Do not let it slide down at all. An inch is an inch.

Make sure the platform is tight to your feet. When you bring your feet up and lock down, that is where the platform is.
Some guys use bungees and loose straps so they are losing inches right there. When they go to lock down the platform it is going back down the tree before it bites. I have watched people do that in person and on videos. No wonder they feel like they are not moving.
The best is when I coached a newbie at the last maryland saddle meetup and he effortlessly climbed up the tree like a boss.... I was shaking my head lol... If you @jsthntn or anyone else have any questions, hit me up.
 

Adrena123

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Oct 20, 2016
Messages
668
Location
MARYLAND
Adrena123 I’ve watched ur videos on YouTube. Good information. Have u ever had any issues with ur platforms cracking? I know u have used them for a long time. Just curious. Ur kinda cube shaped like me. So just curious if I’m pushing the limits of the hand climber. I’m 6ft 280lb
I have never had an issue with cracking. I could crack/break it if I wanted too but that goes for most other platforms on the market. Just don't bounce on the corners. Remember, it is rated at 350lbs meaning a 350lb guy can sit on the seat and hunt. Andre D'Acquisto told me he snapped one of the popular saddle platforms at a trade show. He knows where the weak spots are. I'm shorter but yes I'm built like a neanderthal lol.
 

TNSTAAFL

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May 16, 2018
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1,334
I also don’t like being huddled against wet trees when im climbing. Yup im that guy lol
I know what you are saying. My 2018 season with this method had similar experiences. Hated how my gloves/hands got soaked and tore up on bark. As I consider trying this strategy again this year (gun/late season only for me), I might bring work gloves to mitigate that.

Also considering rappelling down. While the HC climb down wasn't hard, rappelling seems so quick and easy it might be worth the extra rope and tools at the end of a long cold hunt. My least favorite part of climbing with the HC was moving the tether. It's a pain and also introduces slack. Rappelling reduces the amount of both by 50%.
 

tmattson

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Jul 2, 2019
Messages
873
Location
South East Michigan
I know what you are saying. My 2018 season with this method had similar experiences. Hated how my gloves/hands got soaked and tore up on bark. As I consider trying this strategy again this year (gun/late season only for me), I might bring work gloves to mitigate that.

Also considering rappelling down. While the HC climb down wasn't hard, rappelling seems so quick and easy it might be worth the extra rope and tools at the end of a long cold hunt. My least favorite part of climbing with the HC was moving the tether. It's a pain and also introduces slack. Rappelling reduces the amount of both by 50%.
What if you climbed with tether attached while using LW hand climber, tie a alpine buuterfly toward the top of tether (a loop tp grab), and use that instead of wrapping you hands around the tree? Cant speak from experience as my LW hand climber is still in the box from 2019, could not hunt last fall due to an cancer. I am trying the 2TC methood this year and you all talking about getting gloves wet got me thinking.
 

Plebe

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Sep 14, 2020
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What if you climbed with tether attached while using LW hand climber, tie a alpine buuterfly toward the top of tether (a loop tp grab), and use that instead of wrapping you hands around the tree? Cant speak from experience as my LW hand climber is still in the box from 2019, could not hunt last fall due to an cancer. I am trying the 2TC methood this year and you all talking about getting gloves wet got me thinking.
2TC and many 1stickers use tether grab loops or handles.

The cheapest option I've seen is a couple of cable ties.
 

TNSTAAFL

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May 16, 2018
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What if you climbed with tether attached while using LW hand climber, tie a alpine buuterfly toward the top of tether (a loop tp grab), and use that instead of wrapping you hands around the tree? Cant speak from experience as my LW hand climber is still in the box from 2019, could not hunt last fall due to an cancer. I am trying the 2TC methood this year and you all talking about getting gloves wet got me thinking.
I thought about using some kind of hand grab. I haven't tried, but I suspect it will be a struggle, as the main purpose of your hands in the climbing movement is to push your body away from the tree (not lift) in order to use your legs to release and lift/lower the HC. Not sure if that makes sense. Anything dangling from a girth hitch (your body in a saddle, or your body hanging from a hand grab) gets drawn in to the tree, which would make manipulating the HC more challenging (I would think).

I think a good pair of work gloves would improve the experience. Not sure why I didn't just bring a pair the year I used this method.

Side note: I hope you are doing better in terms of the cancer. My dad has battled it in his prostate recently and is fortunately mostly on the mend. He and we are lucky.
 

wingnut

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Jan 28, 2021
Messages
130
Does anyone use a strap at the base of the HC to lock it to the tree at hunting height? Thinking of using a cam over strap to lock it in place in case I need to pivot a bit. Standing on the small platform and attaching a strap at foot level might be tough though.
 

Adrena123

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Oct 20, 2016
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668
Location
MARYLAND
Does anyone use a strap at the base of the HC to lock it to the tree at hunting height? Thinking of using a cam over strap to lock it in place in case I need to pivot a bit. Standing on the small platform and attaching a strap at foot level might be tough though.
I covered that in video 2. It works great and is solid. 99% of the time I do not strap it though.
 

wingnut

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Jan 28, 2021
Messages
130
I watched your videos, I must have missed it. Is it more hassle than its worth to strap it down? I do remember you mentioning your not as limber as your cousin LOL. If not it would sure add a good safety factor on top of being able to spin around put some side pressure on it.
 
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Adrena123

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Oct 20, 2016
Messages
668
Location
MARYLAND
I watched your videos, I must have missed it. Is it more hassle than its worth to strap it down? I do remember you mentioning your not as limber as your cousin LOL. If not it would sure add a good safety factor on top of being able to spin around put some side pressure on it.
Yea my cousin gets down on one knee and I get down on two, it's not that bad. I just hunted off a ROS for 13 yrs until I incorporated the HC into the mix. I have never used or would want to use a " saddle platform" over a ROS. Now a bigger platform (longer) I do see an advantage (for me) when self filming. That is why I'm tweaking my system after 15 yrs in the saddle.

So when I use the HC, I just set it up on the tree for where the deer will be standing for the shot. During the rut phases that can change quickly so I may add a step to the strong side and spin weakside with my new mod....Be careful strapping it down, I think that is why people crack them. We never had issues though, when testing and hunting.
 

jsthntn

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Jan 10, 2020
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93
Great info and questions.

what is the average size tree that people climb with the hand climber? Preferably without adjusting any.
 

wingnut

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Jan 28, 2021
Messages
130
I'd say basketball sized would be about the average. I think any climber is going to need to be adjusted as you get higher. Starting as high as possible would help take at least one adjustment out, getting up away from the taper at the bottom. Your still going to run into crooks and leans in some trees.
 

CZMark

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Sep 21, 2018
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849
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Foggy Bog, WI
Regarding tree size, I believe at least some of the cracking problems with this stand are caused by use in small diameter trees. This causes the belt to pull the arms inward (towards each other) which puts a stress on the stand it was not designed for.
 
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