There are a variety of climbing steps and sticks available on the market today. Where you are hunting will dictate what kind of steps or sticks you should use.
Screw in steps
Screw in steps have been around almost as long as hang on treestands. They have a pointed/threaded end that is screwed like a lag bolt into the tree. When screwed in, they offer solid footing and can support up to 300 lbs of weight. Installation of screw in steps is somewhat demanding. Without the use of additional tools, its quite a workout. If you intend on installing screw in steps, we advise bringing along a cordless drill along with an appropriate drill bit to pre-drill all holes.
- Extremely portable.
- They provide solid footing.
- Once installed, they blend in the best when compared to other climbing devices
- They penetrate the bark and are not allowed in most public hunting areas.
- Installation is time consuming and demanding.
Strap on Steps
Strap on steps are similar in appearance to screw in steps but attach to the tree differently. Strap on steps are secured to the tree with a strap and friction buckle. Strap on steps do not penetrate the bark of the tree and are legal in public hunting areas. These steps are useful on trees that can not be used by climbing tree stands on public lands.
- Extremely portable.
- They do not penetrate the bark and are legal to use in public hunting areas.
- Depending on the strap color, they normally blend in to the tree well.
- Installation is a time consuming and physically demanding process.
- It takes a little practice to get the art of installation down.
- They are easily spotted if the strap is black.
- They are easily stolen.
Climbing sticks are single or sectional segments of climbing steps that attach to the tree either separately or in combination with additional sticks. They are bulky but install easy and give the best footing while climbing. The climbing ease with climbing sticks is second only to ladder stands. The sections of climbing sticks, whether joined in design to other sticks or not, are strapped to the tree with a strap and friction buckle. Most sets of climbing sticks are between 17 and 20 feet in height.
- Excellent footing while climbing.
- Installation is easy.
- Climbing sticks conceal nicely to a tree in comparison to ladder stands.
- Bulky and heavy to carry in the field.
- Creaking sometimes occurs while climbing.