I’ve heard from a number of guys that they prefer climbing sticks, those two- or three-runged “ladders” that are strapped onto the tree. Some claim they can set up faster and – far more important – more quietly with sticks.

I don’t dispute this; I just find it surprising. The few times I’ve tried this method, I’ve found it difficult. Unless you’re climbing a tree with a lot of branches that can double as steps, you’ve got to carry a fair number of sticks to get to a decent height. Then there’s the fact that the stand itself is the last thing you attach to the tree. Do you make multiple trips or haul it all (however many sticks plus your stand) up at the same time? And, since it’s safer to step down to your stand rather than up, do most of you hang your last stick higher than the stand or what?

Forgive my ignorance, but this is keeping me up at night.