Tree Climbing Gear

Most new climbers share the same confusion when they buy gear for the first time: "There's so much out there! What should I get?" "Will I really use it?" "Will it hold up?" Excellent questions, because if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can spend a fortune buying gear you don't need and won’t use.

The kind of gear you purchase will depend on your reasons for being in the trees. We’ve divided tree climbers into three types:

  • The casual recreational climber gets up into the trees once in a while for fun. For you, a tremendous amount of gear is not necessary.
  • The adventure climber goes out to climb fairly regularly. As you move beyond “novice,” you’ll probably want the gear and gizmos for more advanced climbing techniques.
  • The professional climber goes up into trees daily on the job. Climbing gear is all-important and a central focus of concern, especially the special purpose gear to get work done safely and efficiently.

In this section, we’ll review all the basic types of climbing gear, what they are used for, and what to look for when you buy. However, before we begin, we want to remind you of some fundamental rules about basic tree-climbing equipment which always apply:

  • Don't buy used gear. You don’t know its history. Buy only new and high quality gear. You’re going to be in some dangerous situations, and your life will depend on the condition of your equipment.
  • Store gear in a safe, protected area. Keep it away from chemicals and dirty places.
  • Inspect gear often for wear and damage. With good care, your gear will last many years and take you to many extraordinary places.
  • Follow appropriate safety guidelines for climbing, and the safety guidelines and protocols for each kind of gear you use. No piece of hardware can replace good safety procedures, and safety procedures can’t make up for improper use of gear.

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