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Video: Make Your Own Treestand Safety Line

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July 21, 2010

Video: Make Your Own Treestand Safety Line

By Dave Hurteau

I don't even want to die once. But with two young kids, if I bit it falling out of my treestand, my wife would kill me. That is why I put a prussic-loop safety line on every one of my mid- to long-term sets.

Because I'm willing to make the assumption that I don't want you do die either, here is an explanation of how to make your own line. I know, the old prussic-loop thing has been well-covered. And yet, I'm always surprised at how few treestand hunters use it. So it bears repeating. If you make several lines in advance and you keep an eye out for bulk rope on sale, this becomes a simple, fairly inexpensive way to vastly improve treestand safety.

A few quick notes about the video: [1] the line in the beginning of the vid is for demonstration only (it would not normally pull down with a couple of light tugs); [2] I'm being eaten alive by mosquitoes; and [3] while I'm one hundred percent confident in my own knots, I can't vouch for yours; if you make your own safety line, I repeat: Do it at your own risk--which is almost certainly less risky than climbing into your stands without one.

Comments (5)

Top Rated
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from FandSFAN wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

DAVE,

YOU FORGOT TO TELL EVERYONE TO TIE THE GROUND END OF THE LIFELINE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TREE OR LADDERSTAND RUNG SO THAT WHEN YOU GO UP YOU CAN SLIDE THE PRUSSIC KNOT UP WITH ONE HAND! OTHERWISE, THE PRUSSIC WILL LIFT THE LIFELINE, OR YOU HAVE TO USE BOTH HANDS TO SLIDE THE LIFELINE THROUGH THE PRUSSIC KNOT AS YOU GO UP.

ALSO, I'M SURE YOU MEAN AN "OVERHAND KNOT" WHENEVER YOU SAID "SQUARE KNOT".

I TAKE THE LIFELINE THROUGH THE LOOP TWICE WHEN I INSTALL MINE. LIKE YOU SAID ABOUT IT BEING NICE TO HAVE THE PRUSSIC KNOT WAITING FOR YOU WHEN YOU GET TO YOUR STAND TREE, IT'S NOT SO NICE WHEN THE WHOLE LIFELINE IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TREE BECAUSE THE WIND HAS SHOOK THE LOOP LOOSE. I'VE STARTED ADDING A SCREW-IN STEP UNDER THE LIFELINE LOOP, IF A LIMB ISN'T HANDY, TO PREVENT THE WHOLE LIFELINE FROM COMING DOWN.

NICE VIDEO,IMO. YOU DID A MUCH BETTER JOB OF EXPLAINING THE SYSTEM THAN THE "FAMOUS" TOM MIRANDA :( DID ON ONE OF HIS TV SHOWS!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ngrygleski wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Thanks for the great video. You could buy one for $50 or you could just make this.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan Felix wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING ROPE RATED FOR LIFE SUPPORT!!!

Buying a "five-eighths" rope and a "three-eighths" rope at the local hardware store is almost a guaranteed failure. Not all rope is created equal.

ANSI standards for tree work (as in arborists, which you are essentially becoming when you tie off into a tree) demand rope with a minimum tensile rating of 5500 pounds. This gives a 10:1 working load rating of 550 pounds. Chances are, if you pick up a rope at the local hardware/Lowes/Home Depot, *if* the rope has a rating on it it is a 2:1 or less likely a 5:1 rating. The reason ANSI standards demand such a high rating is a simple thing called shock loading. When you fall, your weight is multiplied into the force of the fall, adding to the shock. A low ratio for working load likely means the rope will break if you take a bad fall.

Yes, it's a nice "how-to" video (even though I would personally NOT use an overhand knot...), but failing to mention strength requirements of rope is completely negligent in my opinion. Leading people to believe any rope will work is completely dangerous.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Dan,
This is an excellent comment. Thank you for that information. I did not know that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kippa09 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

This is great info that I could have been using for years.... thank you. I just wonder what kind of knot Dan Felix would use (and where, there are two overhand knots in the video) instead of the overhand knots.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from FandSFAN wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

DAVE,

YOU FORGOT TO TELL EVERYONE TO TIE THE GROUND END OF THE LIFELINE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TREE OR LADDERSTAND RUNG SO THAT WHEN YOU GO UP YOU CAN SLIDE THE PRUSSIC KNOT UP WITH ONE HAND! OTHERWISE, THE PRUSSIC WILL LIFT THE LIFELINE, OR YOU HAVE TO USE BOTH HANDS TO SLIDE THE LIFELINE THROUGH THE PRUSSIC KNOT AS YOU GO UP.

ALSO, I'M SURE YOU MEAN AN "OVERHAND KNOT" WHENEVER YOU SAID "SQUARE KNOT".

I TAKE THE LIFELINE THROUGH THE LOOP TWICE WHEN I INSTALL MINE. LIKE YOU SAID ABOUT IT BEING NICE TO HAVE THE PRUSSIC KNOT WAITING FOR YOU WHEN YOU GET TO YOUR STAND TREE, IT'S NOT SO NICE WHEN THE WHOLE LIFELINE IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TREE BECAUSE THE WIND HAS SHOOK THE LOOP LOOSE. I'VE STARTED ADDING A SCREW-IN STEP UNDER THE LIFELINE LOOP, IF A LIMB ISN'T HANDY, TO PREVENT THE WHOLE LIFELINE FROM COMING DOWN.

NICE VIDEO,IMO. YOU DID A MUCH BETTER JOB OF EXPLAINING THE SYSTEM THAN THE "FAMOUS" TOM MIRANDA :( DID ON ONE OF HIS TV SHOWS!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan Felix wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING ROPE RATED FOR LIFE SUPPORT!!!

Buying a "five-eighths" rope and a "three-eighths" rope at the local hardware store is almost a guaranteed failure. Not all rope is created equal.

ANSI standards for tree work (as in arborists, which you are essentially becoming when you tie off into a tree) demand rope with a minimum tensile rating of 5500 pounds. This gives a 10:1 working load rating of 550 pounds. Chances are, if you pick up a rope at the local hardware/Lowes/Home Depot, *if* the rope has a rating on it it is a 2:1 or less likely a 5:1 rating. The reason ANSI standards demand such a high rating is a simple thing called shock loading. When you fall, your weight is multiplied into the force of the fall, adding to the shock. A low ratio for working load likely means the rope will break if you take a bad fall.

Yes, it's a nice "how-to" video (even though I would personally NOT use an overhand knot...), but failing to mention strength requirements of rope is completely negligent in my opinion. Leading people to believe any rope will work is completely dangerous.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ngrygleski wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Thanks for the great video. You could buy one for $50 or you could just make this.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Dan,
This is an excellent comment. Thank you for that information. I did not know that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kippa09 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

This is great info that I could have been using for years.... thank you. I just wonder what kind of knot Dan Felix would use (and where, there are two overhand knots in the video) instead of the overhand knots.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment