Simultaneously carrying a backpack and a climbing treestand (and climbing sticks) isn’t quite as simple as initially envisioned for many hunters.
Not much consideration would go into the strategy of carrying both to the hunting spot for the first time.
The effort and hassle of having to lug a climbing treestand into position at your hunting spot is, for a lot of hunters, one of the main arguments in the question of hang-on stands vs climbing stands.
Most hunters likely decided to carry one in their hand and the other on their back before realizing how incredibly painful and uncomfortable the hike to the hunting spot would be.
The system of carrying either the stand or the pack in your hand is flawed.
The weight distribution is uneven, and it does not secure your load.
Essentially, walking with this strategy is extremely difficult and can cause injury or exhaustion.
A good distribution of weight will make walking more comfortable and will do less damage to the body.
It would involve positioning most of the load high on your back, or evenly distributing the load on your chest and back, and/or evenly distributing on both sides of your shoulder straps.
A secure load will make walking easier, and quieter. It would require less adjustments and changing directions would be smoother.
This article identifies four possible solutions relating to comfortably carrying both a backpack and a tree stand.
To make tree stands easier to carry, it is recommended that you purchase padded shoulder straps/harnesses and install them to your tree stand.
It is hard to go past Molle shoulder straps.
You might also want to consider using a backpack with wider straps or a climbing carabiner to secure your climbing stand to your backpack
Attach Backpack to Climbing Stand with Bungee Cords
Bungee cords are elastic cords encased in either woven cotton or thermoplastic polymer.
They are well known for securing objects; hence they are suitable for attaching backpacks or other items to climbing stands.
First, get two bungee cords and attach your backpack to the climbing stand with the bungee cords.
You can attach the backpack with a piggyback system or however else you consider acceptable but ensure that the backpack has an even weight distribution.
If not, everything will move around while you walk and make it super uncomfortable for you to carry.
Once completed, you will be able to carry your tree stand on your shoulders with the backpack securely held in place on your stand.
If you want, you can utilize your backpack’s hip and chest straps, or use a retention strap to ensure further security.
Balance the Load – Protect Your Back by Wearing Backpack on Chest and Climbing Stand on Back
For long days of hunting, packs can be extremely heavy.
Thus, wearing both your pack and climbing stand on your back can be painful and stressful for your spine.
This is why there has been plenty of emphasis on weight distribution.
Uneven weight distribution can cause instability which can lead to injuries and exhaustion.
Hence, save your back and possibly your life by dispersing the weight of your backpack and tree stand. Wear your pack on your chest and your tree stand on your back.
The simplest way to do this would be to first put the pack on your chest with the straps over the front of your shoulders and then put the climbing stand straps over your shoulders like you normally would.
Attach Backpack to Climbing Stand with Hip and Chest Straps
Another system for comfortably carrying your climbing stand and backpack on your back is to attach the pack to the stand with the pack’s hip and chest straps.
You may find that hip and chest straps secure the pack and stand well enough that using bungee cords is not necessary.
Ensure your backpack has an even weight distribution
Attach your backpack to the climbing stand by placing it on the climbing stand in a way you would place your bag on your back when you want to put it on.
Put the shoulder straps over the tip of the climbing stand
Buckle the chest strap and hip strap respectively to secure the top and bottom
Strap on your climbing stand attached to your backpack, and you are good to go.
The video below gives a good demonstration of this method.
Alternative Solution – Reduce Carry Weight, Wear Fanny Pack(s), and Utilize Coat Pockets
The lighter the load, the easier it is to move and hike.
Reducing your backpack weight is another option that you can use to carry your backpack and climbing stand comfortably.
Obviously, removing items you don’t consider necessary for your hunting trips is the best way to reduce the items in your backpack.
Another option is to get some use out of your clothing pockets by storing smaller items in them.
With a lighter pack, backpacks may not even be required on your trips.
It is possible that you will be able to store your items in a fanny pack or two and attach larger items (such as clothing and climbing sticks) to the tree stand with bungee cords.
Using this alternative option is simple and quiet, and it may be the most appropriate solution for those that do not carry many items.
While it might be tempting to carry your backpack or tree stand in your hand due to the number of things you must take along, for your health and comfort, it is best to avoid this system.
Better solutions to simultaneously carrying a pack and stand are to: attach your pack to the stand with bungee cords or the pack’s hip and chest straps, wear the pack on your chest and stand on your back, or reduce your pack weight and utilize a fanny pack(s).
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