So you're trying to find the best climbing treestand, but before you start you want to know how to use one.

The good thing about climbing stands is the fact that they're not too hard to learn. The bad news is the fact that if you don't take precaution and do things properly, you could end up having a bad accident.

The most important thing to remember when using a climbing stand is to have a reliable safety harness. From there, we're going to walk you through some other things to pay attention to.

How To Use A Climbing Stand

1. Choose The Right Tree Stand Safety Harness

When picking a harness, you want to make sure it's going to be comfortable and easy to use, while also not getting in the way of your standard movements or final shot. 

But don't forget to evaluate the construction of the harness, and most importantly, the harness weight capacity as you want to be confident that it lines up with you and your style of hunting.

Additionally, if you can find a safety harness that meets and exceeds the expectations of the TMA (Treestand Manufacturer's Association) that's an added bonus!

2. Pick The Right Tree To Climb

Hardwood trees like oaks and walnut are the best option for climbing while hunting.

While pines are often a popular choice, their fragile bark makes it somewhat difficult to safely climb.

3. Properly Attach Your Stand To The Tree

You'll notice that a lot of hunters will angle their climbers up slightly at the base of the tree. Tree diameters get smaller as you start to climb, and if you're level at the base, your stand might be on a decline as you go higher.

From there, ensure that all cables and straps are intact and without wear and tear.

4. If You're On Uneven Ground, Enter From The Elevated Side

If you find yourself on uneven ground, try to enter your stand from the elevated side of your stand - the side where your stand is closet to the ground.

You'll want to do this because this is the only time you'll start climbing without your safety harness attached. Falling from a foot or two is a lot better than three or four.

5. Tether And Connect Your Two Stand Sections

The step mentioned above also lets your easily attached the two sections of your stand together.

Most climbing stands will come with some sort of rope or strap to attach the upper and lower portion. This is essential as you don't want to be 15 feet up in the air just to have the bottom portion of your stand fall to the bottom!

6. Attach Pull Rope To Top Stand Portion

Before finally entering stand, remember to attach your pull rope to both your gear and weapon.

When attaching the rope to your stand, place the rope on the upper section of the climber as you don't want to bend down to the bottom section while you're at your desired hunting height.

As far as attaching it to your weapons, I prefer to attach my rope to my gun with the barrel pointing down just in case. Of course, your gun should never be loaded during this time, but I prefer to never have the barrel pointing in my direction.

When bringing up a bow, I like to attach the rope to my bow limbs by my fletching so I don't bend my arrows as I draw up my bow.

7. Attach Safety Harness To Your Tree

A safety harness is mentioned twice in this process because it's so important when using climbing stands.

After you're in your stand, remember to attach your safety harness to the climbing rope. There's many different names for this including a lineman's climbing rope. Then, ensure your harness carabiner is successfully attached to the rope before beginning to climb.

8. Begin Climbing

As mentioned above, before you start climbing, you'll notice that a lot of hunters will angle their climbers up slightly at the base of the tree. This is due to the fact that tree diameters get smaller as you start to climb, and you don't want to have to readjust your stand while climbing.

From there, it's a simple process of readjusting your safety harness, moving your top section of the climber up with your upper body, sitting or leaning on the top portion, then raising the bottom section up. Then just rinse and repeat!

Remember to secure each portion of the climber deep into the tree bark by putting your weight on the end (away from the tree) of the climber. This leverage point will dig the spikes into the tree with ease. 

9. Secure And Lock Stand At Your Hunting Height

Once you're at your desired hunting height, it's best to first adjust the top section of your platform based on the most comfortable sitting height.

From there, sit down, and see how high you can place your safety harness. Putting it too low is not safe as you want as little drop as possible if you stand starts to fall. Putting it too high will not allow you to sit comfortably.

After your two platforms are set, and your safety harness is at the right height, place an additional security strap around your top section of the stand and around the tree. Straps like this are already provided by top treestand brands like Summit.

10. Pull Up And Attach Gear

Once your stand is secure, pull up your hunting pack and bow. I would suggest first pulling up your pack and attaching it to your tree or stand, then bringing up your bow.

You want to make sure your gear is out of the way and everything is in the right place before drawing up your weapon.

Things To Keep In Mind When Using A Climbing Treestand

Climbing Stand Safety

According to the TSSA, climbing stands have the second highest rate of incidents, right behind hang on stands.

Pros And Cons Of Climbing Tree Stands

Pros of climbing stands include mobility, the fact they are lightweight, and they are great for both bow and gun hunters. Cons include the fact they are somewhat expensive, that they are also not the safest, and that cable stands can wear out over time.

Best Video About Using A Climbing Stand

Additionally, if you're not a fan of climbing stands, check out our blog about the Best Ladder Stands!