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Stick + steps system

beej32

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Dec 10, 2017
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Just wanted to share a system I’ve settled on that gives a pretty good balance between packability and speed. It’s 1) a single stick with double steps and a 3 step aider and 2) a satchel with 5 or 6 strap on steps (I’m using bullman steps).

I’ll hang the stick as high as I can reach, climb, and then use strap on steps to get the rest of the way up. It’s less movement/energy than 1-sticking. There are a few more things to hang than using multiple sticks, but you don’t have the stacking/packing/wind chime issues. And using the stick + aider eliminates half the steps I’d have to hang if only using steps. I can usually hang all the steps with both feet comfortably on the stick.

The biggest issue is that you’ll be stagger-stepped at the top while hanging your platform or stand. I’ve found that tolerable though.

It’s no game changer, but I don’t see much discussion of mixing methods so thought it might be a good option for more than just me.
 

Matki15

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Jun 20, 2019
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403
Location
Denham Springs, Louisiana
I mix methods occasionally, I mainly run 6 primal steps but for my first step I use a Cranford rope step with a 3 step aider. I started doing that because the straps on my primals are sometimes too short to run around the base of the tree so a cranford at 5 feet let’s me get the first primal step up around 8 feet where the tree diameter is smaller
 

enkriss

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Sep 13, 2018
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Why not bring 2 sticks with a 3 step moveable aider. Then you don’t have the issue of a swaying aider and there are only 2 straps.
 

beej32

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Dec 10, 2017
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Why not bring 2 sticks with a 3 step moveable aider. Then you don’t have the issue of a swaying aider and there are only 2 straps.
A small part of it is to avoid the perils of a multi-step aider further from the ground. A bigger part is not dealing with stacking and bundling sticks for transport and not needing some means to bring the stick up while ascending. The steps are immediately available in a pouch, whereas I’d have to make some sort of accommodation to bring that second stick up.

I do intend to make the aider removable though to remove the concerns with swaying in the breeze. It’ll just go into the pouch that the steps were removed from.
 

Westdesign03

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Nov 3, 2019
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Ohio
I still haven't figured out how a multi step aider somehow gets more dangerous the further it gets from the ground.
I think it’s a matter of the hunters pucker factor getting worse the higher he goes in the tree using a multi step aider. Then the more likely there is for a slip or accident because of nervousness. I know that’s my problem with them anyway.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

beej32

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Dec 10, 2017
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I think it’s fair to define risk as the product of the probability something will happen and the damage that’ll occur if it does happen. The chance of an issue on the aider is generally constant regardless of height, but to me the difference in falling from 10 feet versus 4 feet is pretty substantial.

On its own the total risk wouldn’t keep me from using the aider up higher, but combining that with other factors in choosing a climbing system is how I wound up here.
 

cedar paul

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Oct 14, 2014
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I am back to a version of 1 sticking with 2 strap on steps at the top. I have tried all the aiders/ swaiders both moveable and stationary. I am using a Metolius 4 step aider and a long Chippewa Wedge Loc stick that once on top of top rung of step I have pull cords on the stick and strap. I don't have to rappell to retrieve them so I don't loose any vertical gain. Once at top put on my 2 Climbpaw toppaws on a Treehopper heavy duty OCB strap. This system is rock solid and my sweat expenditure is minimal. I am connected the whole way using my cinched rappell/tree tether. I have used a form of 1 sticking since seeing a video on YouTube many years ago. Will probably refine system so I can remove the aider at the top so it is not blowing in the wind.
 

kyler1945

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Dec 4, 2016
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Baton Rouge, La.
I think it’s fair to define risk as the product of the probability something will happen and the damage that’ll occur if it does happen. The chance of an issue on the aider is generally constant regardless of height, but to me the difference in falling from 10 feet versus 4 feet is pretty substantial.

On its own the total risk wouldn’t keep me from using the aider up higher, but combining that with other factors in choosing a climbing system is how I wound up here.
Out of curiosity, what do you think will happen to your leg, or back, or pelvis, or shoulder, if it hits the ground from 48” up? Same question for 120”.

it sounds like you have a very good understanding of what happens at 10’. It also sounds like you don’t have a grasp on the forces involved falling 48”. I could be wrong. If I’m not, I encourage you to use the internet and do some simple calculations on how much force is generated in a 48” free fall. You may be surprised.

collectively, the members of this site, and tree climbing hunters generally, wildly underestimate how dangerous being 18”-60” off the ground is.
 

cedar paul

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Kyle it is not soo much the vertical height as it is the sudden stop at the end of a fall that is misunderstood.
 

beej32

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Dec 10, 2017
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Out of curiosity, what do you think will happen to your leg, or back, or pelvis, or shoulder, if it hits the ground from 48” up? Same question for 120”.
Fair point and I didn’t mean to imply no harm would come from 4 feet but would at 10. But you can’t argue there isn’t a delta, since force is a function of time and distance. Whether that delta matters is the point you’re trying to make and fully understood. Worst-case or perhaps even most probable scenario is you wind up dead or a vegetable either way. But the question was why there’s a greater concern higher up, and the simple reason is that the force of impact would be greater.
 

kyler1945

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Fair point and I didn’t mean to imply no harm would come from 4 feet but would at 10. But you can’t argue there isn’t a delta, since force is a function of time and distance. Whether that delta matters is the point you’re trying to make and fully understood. Worst-case or perhaps even most probable scenario is you wind up dead or a vegetable either way. But the question was why there’s a greater concern higher up, and the simple reason is that the force of impact would be greater.
Yes to all. My argument is that there shouldn’t be a greater concern, because the concern should be maxed out the second you have both feet off the ground.

it’s a mindset, and a framework for climbing safely.

the cost of maxing out this concern the second you leave the ground, spread across all hunters, is incredibly low. It just takes a little critical thinking, and maybe equipment/procedure tweak, prior to going in the woods. The benefit of a dozen less sprained ankles, torn groins, separated shoulders, broken hips or backs, and dead people, seems to far outweigh a few minutes of thought, and a few seconds of extra effort climbing.

you may think that the semantics are trivial. But I disagree strongly. It’s fine until it’s not. And the actual effort to make it more likely to be fine is so tiny compared to the risks.

just looking out for everyone.
 

mtsrunner

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Sep 10, 2019
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I don’t know, Kyle. Keon Johnson seems to be ok dropping from 48”…
#Go Vols

 

Harder&Deeper

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Oct 24, 2019
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21
Now have him jump off a platform 4" off the ground, wearing a saddle that is tensioned at the jump. Then pull the platform out from under him. Also don't tell him you're doing it.
I've jumped off an 8ft roof before. Falling of the roof would be no differnet as far as forces applied. You think gravity works differnently when people ain't lookin'?

Some people...
 
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