Tree climbing is one way to connect with nature. It can also be a form of exercise to train bones and muscles. Furthermore, it improves one’s spatial reasoning skills, flexibility, and hand-eye coordination. In a more practical sense, some people go up trees to prune them for safety or aesthetic purposes.
Suppose you plan to climb trees anytime soon, whether as an arborist or a regular climber. In that case, you need appropriate tree climbing gear to make your activity safe and trouble-free. However, there’s a wide range of products available on the market, making the selection of suitable tree climbing equipment a bit tricky.
Therefore, you need to know some pro tips to make an informed buying decision. For that purpose, here’s an article to guide you. So, read on!
Consider The Qualities
Top-quality climbing gear is imperative in every tree climbing activity. The better the equipment’s quality, the more reliable it will be for an extended time. This means the gear should stand repeated use, rusting, and natural wear and tear.
Aside from reliability, you may consider the following qualities to ensure that the tree climbing equipment is of top-notch quality:
The gear’s usability is demonstrated when it allows you to perform the activity effectively and efficiently. For example, a top-of-the-line climbing harness can keep a climber in place while abseiling and going up the trees. In addition, the harness should work well with traditional and modern nuts, straps, and locks.
Moreover, high-quality tree climbing gear should be easy to adjust and use. It must also be easy to repair and doesn’t need special maintenance. It’s likewise essential that the equipment you purchase should be able to work with other climbing gear and devices. For example, fliplines must attach easily to harnesses and carabiners. With these qualities, the equipment will likely remain usable for an extended time.
Tree climbing gear should be highly resistant to cutting even when repeatedly rubbed against rough surfaces. Ropes, harnesses, and fliplines must be thick enough to avoid disjointing and sufficiently elastic to extend.
Carabiners, on the other hand, should have a reliable locking mechanism. Collectively, these types of climbing equipment should have the maximum tensile strength to support climbers when they ascend and descend a tree.
Tree climbing can be dangerous because of the height. To ensure the tree climber’s safe and convenient ascent and descent, the gear they wear should have the necessary safety features. Such features are critical to prevent falling and other accidents whether one climbs during spring or winter.
Ropes and fliplines should be equipped with a thimble and protective rope cover to prevent abrasions on the climber’s hands and legs. Carabiners and rope grabs should have solid and secure clips and fall arrest systems. They should also allow hands-free use for better adjustment and maneuverability.
Snaphooks should be double action locking, while friction hitches should allow space for movement, especially during transfer to branches and other trees. It’s advisable to read the safety features of the various gear before considering to buy.
Checking the material or components of tree climbing gear is one way of knowing if the equipment will last long or not. For example, ropes with braided synthetic fibers tend to last longer than other types because they’re more intact and more hard-wearing. As for the material, you may choose from polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyester.
For carabiners and hooks, you may need to choose heavy-duty steel if you’re after durable models. You may select lightweight aluminum types if you’re looking for lighter types. Most of these don’t rust or rust more slowly than the others, so you’ll have your fair share of advantages.
For tree climbing spikes, you may need to look for rust-proof, wear-proof, and high-strength alloy steel. For fliplines, you may look for high-strength nylon or steel-core types. You can go after durable nylon core or polyester if you seek a reliable lanyard option.
Check The Special Features
Most tree climbing equipment is intended for a particular use. But as they evolve, the different types of equipment offer more benefits now than before. For example, ropes were meant to tie and guide climbers in ascending trees. Now, special cords are more elastic than traditional ones.
Some gear adds protection, such as carabiners with a triple locking mechanism that ensures climbers’ safety. Some offer necessary restraints to keep climbers in safe positions despite transferring from tree to tree or branch to branch. Some ropes have high ultraviolet (UV) resistance, so you can use them in sunny weather.
Evaluate The Types
Tree climbing gear has various types. Each has specific uses, pros, and cons. While these types are generally helpful, each type excels in a particular setting. For more ideas, you may dive into the following:
These are often grouped into the following types:
- Climbing Line: This is the generic selection of arborist ropes.
- Winch Line: This is used explicitly in cutting or uprooting trees with the help of a vehicle. These lines are tied to the vehicle’s winch, thus the name.
- Rigging Rope: This arborist rope is used to hold branches and trunks in place to allow the climber to move freely without being hampered by the tree’s tension and friction.
- Throw Line: This rope is used with a throw bag to lock a rigging and tie-in point.
- Hitch Cord: This is used in securing objects that a climber needs in pruning or cutting.
Arborists use carabiners for rigging, life support, and lugging their climbing accessories. They’re often classified according to their strength in a particular direction as follows:
- Gate Open
Before you embark on tree climbing either for recreation or to prune the trees in your yard, you must have the proper tree climbing gear. Safety should be your primary consideration when selecting equipment, as tree climbing is dangerous. In addition, check the gear’s durability, usability, and other special features. Suppose you’re planning to buy a piece of climbing equipment anytime soon. In that case, you may refer to this article to learn some tips. Apart from this, you may also ask seasoned arborists and tree climbers for their expert opinion or personal preferences to get more ideas.