tree stand safety lifeline

So I was drifting around some of my local message boards and two warnings went up about people falling out of tree stands and being messed up pretty good. One fell off getting in and one had the top section for the climb ladder break loose, fold over and dump them to the ground. I thought, WOW, that could be either me or my daughter as we are only hooked up once in the stand. So I was determined to find a solution.

I did some reading and and lots of articles on us the Hunter Safety Systems or some other pre-made life line. I also could not find information on their websites about what the rating are, what the loading for the ropes was. So on and so on and I was not feeling comfortable buying their products if they couldn’t provide this simple information. Someone on line said 300 pounds was the limit and I was like, Hell, let it get a couple years old and it will snap. I have had some horrible experiences with Polypropylene ropes snapping once old. I was not interested in repeating them with mine or my daughters life at stake.

So as I always do, it’s research and a DIY solution. I asked on some message boards and and climbers ropes were the main suggestions. I looked them up and you basically have static and dynamic ropes. Static are fixed and dynamic stretch when you fall. That is good for a rock climber falling 30′ but in tree stands and falling only 3′, static will work just fine. So that is what I went with.

So this is the rope I went with. It is a static climbing rope and rated at 9,000 pounds and I can’t see needing all that. The Sterling HTP rope is highly rated and one section of this rope did three 20′ stands. I might make the 30′ next year and will just need to make a tie link at the bottom. I got white and I didn’t care about the color, it will probably mildew after a while. You can buy the same rope by the foot in your picked color just by paying more money, I’m cheap and the deer don’t care what color it is.

Here above I have the 90′ – 99′ section stretched out on my basement from the family room into my son’s room to get three equal pieces.

This is really important. You need to tape the ropes before cutting them!! I can’t be more clear. The ropes are a fiber liner and a braided jacket. The jacket will fray, badly, if not taped.

Cutting the rope

Now its cut

Here it is cut and burned to melt the ends before the tape is removes. The 1/2″ static rope really needed a propane torch to melt the center of the rope. A lighter did the jacket fine but didn’t heat the center enough.

This is about how much line you need to make the loop to cinch around the tree above your stand. It is hard to tie this knot. You have to pull from the loop and hen the tag and back and forth. this line makes this work.

This is the line for the prusik knot that you will hook on too. It is smaller and still rated for 1,900+ pounds. I cut this one once without taping and taped it damn fast and cut off the frayed part. Always tape before cutting. Did I mention that? 😉

Here is 5′ of the 6mm accessory cord that is used to make the prusik know. The link will give you enough to make 5 lines. You can shop for others now that you know what to look for.

This video on you-tube will show you how to tie the prusik knot in your 5′ section of accessory cord. I will embed it once I figure how too do it.

Here is the line bound up and waiting to get put in the field.

Here is my stand we call the “Acorn Stand” with the new life line attached. I walk up, clip one and start climbing. I take two steps, right, left and then use my left hand to push the prusik knot farther up. It slides really well and grabs really well. I hunted tonight and went to leave. I forgot to pull the prusik knot lower and as I went down it tightened to stopped me real fast.

Here I am sitting in the stand before hunting. The strap behind my head was the old clip in spot. Now I just run the prusik knot to the top and I never unhook. I am hooked up 24/7 from ground accent until descending and touching the ground again.

Enjoy and be safe!!       Yes, I am on vacation for hunting and need to shave, my wife told me too. 🙂


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