1 Clear away any rocks or potential hazards from the base of the tree. Put on a climbing harness, strap it to the tree, and only then start attaching the steps or climbing sticks.
2 Keep steps just a foot or so apart at a 90-degree angle from one another. When climbing, you want your feet to find the next step naturally. Check each step twice to make sure it can bear your weight.
3 Once you reach the proper height (15 to 20 feet is plenty), trim away branches that will be in your way, then haul the stand up the tree using a heavy pull rope. Never carry it while you climb. Set it so that you can step down onto the platform, not up.
4 Once you've attached the stand per the manufacturer's instructions, get onto it with your safety belt still fastened to the tree to confirm that it can support you completely. Forcing your weight down onto the platform will help set the stand securely against the trunk. Sit and stand, trimming away any branches that will impair your ability to enter and exit safely.