Safe Tree Climbing—How to Make Sure You’ve Got Everything You Need

safety - Safe Tree Climbing—How to Make Sure You’ve Got Everything You Need

Tree climbing is definitely a different kind of beast, so to speak. Everytime beginner tree climbers are looking up at a tree they want to conquer, they almost always get asked one type of question—a question about their ‘starter kit.’ Basically, this starter kit contains ropes, gadgets, and gear that they need if they want to climb high up in the air and see the surrounding area of the canopy.

But before you get started, you need to decide on one thing—which technique you’re going to use. Aside from the starter kit, there are more basics to climbing that you need to review.


These harnesses have different features; the ones with features made for climbing trees are the ones you need to find. You’ll know them by a configuration that lets you sit in the air when you’re tired from all that climbing. This is called ‘work positioning’ and, when put side-by-side with harness used to climb mountains, they will look different.

2|Flipline: Polestrap

These are used in tandem with a climbing rope, and they work hand-in-hand with your climbing spur. It’s an important gear to have as it balances you while you climb, and it keeps you in position should you decide to rest. It also acts as a support for your harness when you’re stationary high up in the air.

3|Flipline: Lanyard adjuster

Sometimes, your lanyard can come as a complete set, but in most cases, the lanyard adjuster may be sold separately. The lanyard adjuster is used to create length and more maneuverability for your flipline or lanyard. It is also an integral part of your gear so you can keep your work positioning better.

4|Climbing Rope

There are different kinds of ropes for every type of climb. When you’re climbing a tree, you need to get a tree-climbing rope. These are set separately from rock-climbing rope and it is not advisable to use the ropes for rock-climbing when tree climbing, as they are very different.


These usually come auto-locking and they are made of a metal alloy or completely of steel. However, some tree climbers will advise you to use alloy for climbing, and separate steel use for when you need rigging. These are good for creating secure bridges that allow you to connect your harness to the other ropes and gears you use for tree climbing.

6|Spurs or Spikes

These are always used on the foot of your shoes; they allow you to use footholds when they are none, and you usually make them dig into the trunk of the tree to keep yourself in position. When used with your harness and flipline, they may also make you walk vertically on the side of the tree.

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