When you need to get more height but don’t want to carry the extra weight of additional climbing sticks the answer may be a climbing stick aider or two.
A tree step aider gives you the chance to add a step or two for every stick section you have without adding much weight to the load you’re carrying.
It is possible to add an extra 4-5 feet to each climbing stick length just by including a 2 step aider to either end.
The result is the ability to climb higher without having to carry additional climbing sticks on your pack.
However, there are also a few dangers associated with using a climbing stick aider for hunting.
Through this guide, we will take you through the benefits and dangers of using this kind of aider along with its main types. The final section will then provide a review of four different stick aiders that you can pick from.
Benefits of Using a Climbing Stick Aider
There are several benefits of using this kind of stick aider. Let’s take a look at some of these:
- Can help you climb a lot more quickly than you would without one.
- Grants you greater flexibility.
- Can help reduce the amount of weight that you usually have to carry on your own while hunting. Since these are light, they won’t add too much to your equipment.
- They can help reduce your expenses on climbing sticks as a stick aider can be durable enough to last you a long time.
- They can give you better access to more heightened areas for hunting.
Dangers with a Climbing Stick Aider
There are, however, a few dangers that you need to keep in mind as well. These can be listed below:
- You may need to exert more effort to climb using this kind of aider.
- You will need to ensure that you are as secure as possible when it comes to using this aider as it might lead to accidents or injuries.
- It takes time to get used to using an aider.
- The installation process might take some time to figure out and carry out.
Types of Climbing Stick Aiders
There are three main types of climbing stick aiders namely carry as you go, semi-automatic wearable and fixed. We can discuss these in greater detail in this section.
Carry as You Go Aiders
Carry as you go aiders are generally those that you need to carry along with you as you climb higher.
These are usually the lightest ones that you can even make on your own using webbing or fabric.
Each time you want to climb the next stick, you will need to remove this aider and place it on each new stick.
*** Important Safety Note ***
A Carry As You Go aider is considered to be an advanced climbing method and should only be attempted by experienced climbers.
You must be connected to the tree at all times when using it making sure your lineman belt or tether is securely attached.
Climbing safety is essential where heights are concerned and if you don’t feel comfortable with this type of equipment you should not use it.
Semi-Automatic Wearable Aiders
Semi-automatic wearable aiders are those that can take themselves off the stick with each step that you climb. They generally come with strings that you can carry and adjust depending on your requirements.
However, for climbing back down, you will need to remove this aider manually with each step.
Fixed aiders are those that you can permanently attach to your climbing stick. This can be convenient as you do not need to keep attaching and removing them each time.
This can be a good way to ensure sturdiness without having to place separate aiders to help you out.
There is no right answer about the perfect kind of aider; it generally depends on what you are looking for and how secure they are.
- Length: 36” to 48” (overall)
- Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Material: Black vinyl coating
- Other tools: Bolts (socket head, hex head)
The Eastern Wood Outdoors Wire Rope Aider comes in a range of sizes that you can pick from. It is compatible with most kinds of sticks.
For installation, you will need to use the bolts and eyelets that come with the aider itself.
You must ensure that you confirm the stick you use and whether or not it is compatible.
Being high in quality and lightweight, you can easily rely on this aider for your climbing needs.
Visit the Double Steps website for more details.
- Length: 17” and 20”
- Weight: Around 3 ounces
- Material: Steel, PVC
- Other tools: Bolts and locknuts
The Lone Wolf Cable Aider has two length options that you can choose from. You can use this aider to fit any kind of angle. The cable is strong and sturdy and will provide good balance while you try to climb up.
However, you can mainly only use this aider with the sticks provided by Lone Wolf itself. If you want to use them with other sticks, you will need to buy other tools to help you out. You can use them with single or double step sticks.
Visit the Lone Wolf website for more details.
- Length: 42”
- Weight: 4-5 ounces
- Material: PVC
- Other tools: Carabiner, bungee
The Amsteel Aider comes in several different colors and diameters. The one referred to here is 42” overall. You can, however, look at the other options on offer as well. Amsteel further offers you a way to request a custom aider if you need one.
This aider has a long bungee rope that ensures safety while you climb back down.
Visit the Amsteel website for more details.
- Length: Various (two-step or three-step)
- Weight: Around 4 ounces
- Material: Rubber hook, Coyote Brown webbing
- Other tools: N/A
The Backwoods Multi-Step Aider can either come in a fixed structure or a movable or semi-movable one. The movable one comes with either two or three steps that you can attach to it through a hook. The webbing of these aiders is made by Backwoods on their own.
You can find out more about these aiders after you place your order so that you can customize the aider as per your choice.
Visit the Backwoods website for more details.
Black Diamond Etrier
- Length: Five-step or six-step - (5’)
- Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Material: 25 mm (1 in) nylon webbing
- Other tools: N/A
This multi-step aider comes in either a five-step or six-step version and while traditionally used for mountaineering, canyoneering and ice-climbing, it is also very effective on trees.
The aider uses reinforced steps for strength and safety. Built from 1-inch webbing, it has a reinforced clip-in and ballast point. It measures 5-feet in length.
While five steps may be considered too many to be useful by hunters, it is likely that the top steps will be used with your 2nd and 3rd sticks.
Visit the Black Diamond Equipment website for further details.
How Do You Use A Climbing Stick Aider?
There are a number of different ways in which aiders are used and it depends on the type you use (CAYG or fixed) and the height you wish to climb to.
As well as the commercial aiders available from various manufacturers, many saddle hunters have found simple ways of making their own.
Materials such as tubular webbing, PVC tubing or steel rope can be fashioned into simple and safe aiders that will work effectively.
The following video demonstrates one way to use a CAYG aider to extend the climbing height of just a few climbing sticks.
You will notice that the aider demonstrated in the video has been built with tubing to keep the loop wide open.
This ensures it will be relatively easy to get the foot inside it as you climb or descend.
Using a climbing stick aider to get more height will make climbing to your tree stand or saddle position trouble-free. But make sure you try to minimize the dangers by taking the necessary safety measures.
We have also explained the three main types of climbing stick aiders that you pick from depending on your requirements and experience.
By providing brief reviews of five different aiders, you will have found a good mix of options that are useful in choosing a commercially designed one.
All you need to do now is to choose one that suits you best while hunting.