How to Climb a Tree Safely

There are several reasons why you may want to climb a tree. You might want to cut the branches, tie a rope, or even crawl up the highest tree limbs for sport. No matter the reason, knowing how to climb a tree safely is the best way to protect yourself and anyone around you if you are going to climb. Some people may think that it is as simple as putting one hand in front of the other and pulling. However, you can quickly lose your grip and fall to the ground. Depending on the equipment at hand, there are safe ways to tackle your problem. Here is how to climb a tree safely.

1. Gear. Always ensure you are in the right clothing before climbing a tree. You should look for clothes that are loose enough to allow a range of movement. However, do not choose clothes that are too baggy since they can get snagged on branches. Remove any jewelry and unnecessary accessories. Look for shoes with excellent traction to provide the grip you will need as you climb up. If you do not have such shoes, climbing barefoot is the best alternative.

2. Examine the Tree. Stand back and scrutinize each tree to determine the one that is good for climbing. Choose a tree with strong branches that are more than six inches wide. Narrower branches will break under your weight. Avoid trees that lean, have deep cracks on the trunk, or has missing bark. Make sure that the base of the tree is at least three feet around. Additionally, consider local dangers such as power lines, broken branches, and large animal nests. If the tree is safe to climb, consider the weather. A tree can be sturdy, but some climates such as thunderstorms can make the activity more dangerous.
Climbing without equipment
3. Climbing without equipment. Climbing up a tree without equipment depends on how high the lowest branch is. If you can easily reach the first branch, test it to see if it can hold your weight. If it can, wrap your hands around the trunk and place your feet on the base to help yourself up. If you cannot reach the first branch, try any of the following methods.

  • Jump to grab the branch.
  • Take a running start towards the tree, use your feet to push yourself off the trunk to propel you up to the branch.
  • Hug the tree with your thighs and hands, and use them to work your way up.

After getting a hold of the first branch, pull yourself up. If you have a tremendous upper body strength, pulling yourself up may be easy. However, you may need to swing your feet up for further assistance.
Climbing with Rope
4. Climbing with Rope. When using a rope, throw it over the strongest branch. Place a branch protector on the cord, and tie the static line to your throw line. Pull the other end of the throw rope until the protector reaches the branch. Use Blake’s hitch to secure the two ropes. Use a double fisherman’s knot to your carabiner to secure the knot. Attach yourself to the rope system. Use your upper body strength to climb up. Adding a prusik cord may assist you in climbing up since you only have to tug it as you move higher.

Although a tree climbing stand might be the easiest way to climb a tree, follow these ways to make sure that you are safe.

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