We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

If you’ve never almost fallen from a tree doing something risky while trying to get into your treestand, it’s likely you haven’t hunted much. Treestands are dangerous because they are high off the ground, and gravity works to the hunter’s disadvantage. The safest, surest way to get into and out of your stand safely is with a quality set of climbing sticks. To make the best selection, consider three important factors—safety, portability and stand height.

This model is made with a “gravity forward” design to improve safety when ascending and descending. Amazon

Safety must always be the most important consideration in hunting, no matter what. Since treestands can be dangerous, safety when climbing up and down is paramount. That’s where climbing sticks come in. Choose a safe set of climbing sticks with a weight rating far above your own weight, including the weight of your equipment. Those with steps sticking out both sides of the stick are safer because you can always have both feet on a step. Likewise, sticks with less space between the steps keep you from having to take a giant step up to the next level. Some sticks are designed so that the base is a little farther away from the tree than the top, giving the sticks more of a ladder feel and making it easier to balance.

This product breaks down for easy storage. Hawk Helium

If you plan to drive right up to your chosen tree and strap on your climbing sticks, weight isn’t an important consideration. But if you’re one of those die-hard hunters who likes to trek a mile or two back into the woods with your stand and sticks in tow, lighter is always better. Sticks made of lightweight materials and that have sections that hang a foot or two apart generally are the lightest models. But don’t go light at the expense of safety. Be sure and check the weight rating on any climbing sticks you consider purchasing.

This model can support up to 350 pounds. Amazon

Experienced hunters know that some trees are naturally perfect for high stands, while characteristics of other trees make them better for a lower stand. If you’re stand is only 16 feet up in a tree, there’s no use spending the extra money for a 24-foot set of climbing sticks. On the flip side, if your stand is set extremely high, purchasing a 16-foot set of climbing sticks will leave you disappointed. If you’re going to move your sticks to different trees and different stands, though, longer is better, since a 24-foot set will get you to stands from the ground all the way up to 24 feet high.