There has been a fast and significant improvement in the technology surrounding tree stands over the years. From the days of the permanent stands consisting of an enclosed platform reached by climbing a ladder to the more modern climbing tree stands and lightest weight hang-on stands the hunter can now raise himself up into a dominant vantage point in a tree.
For those who have bought a hang-on tree stand, there is one more hurdle to jump. You’ve got to get the stand up into position and you then have to climb up and down when you take your place to hunt. To do this, one of your options is to use a set of tree stand climbing sticks for hunting.
Tree stand climbing sticks can be attached to the trunk of your chosen tree and will enable you to climb the tree with relative ease while carrying your equipment and a pack. They should be lightweight but sturdy enough to ensure they will hold your weight and will remain solidly in place.
The available options are quite extensive and, like just about every other piece of equipment, will need your careful consideration as you weigh up the pros and cons of each one.
Featured below is a comparison table that presents a selection of some of the most popular climbing sticks available on the market today. We have provided a few basic specifications about each one as well as the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Further down the page is a more extensive review of each product along with any features that might help make a particular climbing stick stand out from the others.
Comparison List of Tree Stand Climbing Sticks
Make / Model
32" x 4
32" x 3
34" x 4
32" x 3
4 lbs / section
Descriptions of Tree Stand Climbing Sticks
Now that we have had a chance to take a brief side-by-side look at a range of climbing sticks we will take a more detailed look at each model. Below is a short review of each one along with product specifications and listed features plus any noted strengths and weaknesses.
Read through the details of each of the climbing sticks reviews below to get a better understanding of what it is that differentiates each product as well as which one might best meet your needs.
A set of climbing sticks is a low environmental impact option for climbing into tree stands
Reasons For Using Climbing Sticks
Low Environmental Impact
One of the nice features of a set of climbing sticks is that they are low impact to the environment. For some people this is a very important consideration and makes a good reason for using them over other climbing systems. The fact that the sticks are attached to the trees using straps means that the trees won't be damaged and they can quickly be removed after use without leaving behind any evidence that they had been there.
Easy to Carry
Quite frankly, your alternative to this type of climbing system is a ladder and, let’s face it, you’re not lugging a ladder through dense undergrowth or up and down hills before you get to your treestand.
The technology used to make climbing sticks continues to improve and this means they are getting lighter and have innovative storage features built in. This makes it even easier to carry them into position as part of your hunting pack. The ability to create a lightweight climbing system is a big asset to your hunting arsenal.
The use of climbing sticks is a safe option that provides the hunter with an easy to install method using equipment that has few or no moving parts. This means there is less chance that it can fail.
As the technology has improved we have seen more innovative ways to ensure the footing is solid and the grip is secure. We have also seen significant advancements in attaching the sticks to trees.
Because there are almost no moving parts with the majority of climbing sticks, the process of installing them usually comes down to correctly hooking the accompanying nylon straps and then drawing it tightly around the tree.
It is possible to practice with these sticks at low altitude to confirm that you have set them up correctly and this should give you the confidence to put them in place higher up the tree.
Not all tree stand climbing sticks are made the same. Light or heavy, long or short, cheap or expensive. There are a many factors to consider before you buy one.
What Should You Consider When Buying Tree Stand Climbing Sticks?
There are a few basic considerations that may make a difference as to which climbing sticks you buy. While they generally perform the same task (i.e. get you up a tree to your hang-on treestand) they each have their subtle differences.
Weight is always a significant consideration to a hunter who is already loaded down with a lot of gear. Chuck a set of climbing sticks into the mix and the weight grows considerably. A good set of climbing sticks might weigh around 10 pounds which is pretty good and if they can be packaged up compatibly with your tree stand then you will barely notice that they are there.
Climbing height capability
The majority of hunters would like to get around 20 feet high when they sit in their tree stand so the climbing sticks you buy should have the capability to reach that. Depending on how far apart you place each section, most 3-piece sets will get you 20 feet up.
No matter how light the sticks are and no matter how high they will get you, you want to feel safe as you climb and this comes down to how sturdy the sticks are as well as how securely they are attached to the tree.
The convenience of carrying climbing sticks into place comes down to more than simply how light they might be. They need to be bundled into a small enough package that they can be stowed on your pack without having to worry that they will a) get in the way while you walk, or b) randomly slip out because they can’t properly be secured together.
This is always going to be a factor in any purchase and with climbing sticks you have to weigh up the same trade-off of buying an inexpensive model that may not be quite as sturdy or a solid set that costs a little bit more.
With climbing apparatus we are dealing with safety equipment and, as far as I’m concerned, I’d be prepared to pay a little bit more if it meant that it would give me a more reliable and solid way of climbing a tree.
It is more likely that the more expensive climbing sticks will provide you with more years of use and, in the long run, could actually give you better value for money.
Which One To Buy? - It May Be A Question of Light vs Heavy
For some people the choice of which climbing aids to buy might come down to the amount of weight they are willing to carry. We can quickly see that the lightest options available are the Lone Wolf and the Muddy Aerolite Climbing Sticks. It is also hardly surprising that they sit at the top of the comparison list as the highest rated options.
The Case for Light Sticks
It’s a simple case and it’s one that hunters make over and over again from their bow to their optics to their daypack and the clothes that they wear. Every ounce saved is a saving in energy for the hunter and this has an impact on their shooting performance.
If a hunter can rely on a light set of climbing sticks they will then be able to expect to hunt for longer and shoot more accurately.
That being said, some hunters believe the long wait in their tree stand may offset the expenditure of energy that comes with carrying heavier equipment and that leads us to…
The Case for Heavy Sticks
There is most definitely a place for the heavier sticks as well. Some people prefer the factors such as a sense of security while climbing and comfort over the burden of carrying them.
When you take a look at the features of the Hurricane Safety Systems Gravity Forward Climbing System you can see that there are a lot of reasons for buying it just to be able to enjoy the comfortable climbing experience.
Installation Guide for the Hurricane Safety Systems Gravity Forward Climbing System
This climbing system is innovative and provides you with an extremely safe and comfortable method of climbing to your tree stand. It does require a little more work to set up so it is worth taking a look at the supplied video to make sure you are doing it correctly.
Using Your Climbing Sticks Safely
For the most part, the process of setting up and using climbing sticks and other types of climbing systems is a fairly straightforward process. However, it involves dealing with heights and moving yourself off the ground and this immediately raises safety concerns.
It is vitally important that you read all safety warnings and instructions that are supplied with your climbing sticks.
When you attach your climbing sticks to the tree you will need to ensure all straps are properly secured and there is no excess movement or chance of slipping. Movement will create an unstable climbing system and can also cause the straps to wear unnecessarily quickly.
We have also provided a detailed guide for using treestand climbing sticks.
The quick and easy way of climbing a tree to hang and then get into your hang-on or permanent tree stand is by using climbing sticks. They are safe to use when properly installed and they are convenient to transport into place.
Many people have enjoyed the convenience and reliability of each of the models that are examined above and have found that they will continue to perform year after year.