Are you thinking of buying a tree stand? The following 3 considerations will give you the answer.
The first consideration is the type of environment you are going to hunt in. If your hunting involves several types of environment, you may need more than one type of tree stand.
The second consideration is your personal comfort needs:
- How long are you going to be seated?
- What is your body shape, particularly the bit going on the seat?
- How comfortable do you want to be when sitting?
- How much protection from the elements do you want?
The third consideration is your capabilities with respect to heights and fitness:
- How high are you comfortable climbing?
- How high are you capable of climbing?
- How fit are you to safely accomplish the climb?
- If the area you are going to hunt is in woods that have trees that are relatively straight with few limbs up to the height you are comfortable climbing, a lock on or hang on stand is just as suitable as a climbing stand. You can also choose a ladder stand for this type of environment
- If the area has trees with lots of limbs or low hanging branches, a climbing tree stand is unsuitable
- You can use a hang on tree stand in this environment if you are comfortable climbing
- You can also use a ladder stand if you can find a tree that has no limbs up to the height of the ladder stand, on the side of the tree you wish to place the stand
- A tower stand can also be used in this environment
- If the area has no trees or no suitable trees [such as in brush country], then you will need to use a tower stand
Once you have decided on the type of tree stand you need, the next consideration is the level of comfort you need.
- Hang on tree stand. As these stands are only a seat and a footrest, they offer limited comfort. The most important part is the seat and the level of padding it has. The cheaper models have minimum padding, so the price may be initially attractive, but that will soon wear off after a few hours sitting on them. The seat should be able to fold up or down, so you can alternate between the sitting and standing position
- Climbing tree stand. These types of stands offer a high level of comfort, from a basic chair to a soft, comfortable lounge type of seat. Check the size of the seat to ensure it will accommodate the size of your body. They can come with a variety of features such as shooting rails, foot rests, camo padding, detachable gear bags, multiple seating positions and heights, sit down and stand up climbing, and extra wide seats
- Ladder tree stand. The ladder stand is basically a seat attached to a ladder. The level of comfort is determined by the seat size and padding on the base and armrests. They can come as 1 or 2 person stands.
To further increase the comfort with all stands, you can get protection from the weather above you and around you. The protection above you is like an awning or umbrella. It can either attach to your stand, or to the tree to keep most of the rain, snow and sleet off your body.
The protection around you is like a skirt encircling the stand. It may also provide protection from the wind below blowing up through the stand.
They obviously also provide concealment.
It is vital that the tree stand you purchase is:
Your best assurance of safety is to buy a tree stand that has the approval of the Tree stand Manufacturer’s Association [TMA]. Tree stands that are certified by the TMA are commercially designed using the highest quality materials, and tested to meet high standards.