How to Climb a Tree Safely

How to Climb a Tree Safely
Climbing trees is something that almost all children learn to do for fun, but there may come a time when you need to climb a tree for a specific reason, like getting a cat or frisbee out of the branches. Climbing trees without any ropes is called free climbing, and it is not recommended for trees that are very tall or difficult to climb. Here are some hints on to how to climb a tree safely.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Heavy gloves
  • A sturdy tree with thick branches.
  • Strength
Step 1
Find a tree that you can climb safely. The tree needs to be sturdy, with thick branches that are within your reach and are consistent along the trunk of the tree so you can climb it. The branches must be able to support your weight, as well.
Step 2
Examine the tree to make sure there are no dangerous insects or animals, such as ants or aggressive squirrels. You do not want to climb a tree where you could get bitten and fall off, or have to rush down. Wear protective gloves to avoid splinters or scrapes from rough bark.
Step 3
Start climbing the tree. Look for nooks in between trunks, gnarls, bark holes, small branches or knots, or any other places where your foot can fit and help push you up to reach the lowest branch. As your foot gets a hold here, look for the closest branch that you can grab onto. It needs to be a sturdy branch, not a stick, to support your weight.
Step 4
Use your foot to push you upwards, then pull yourself up into the branches. Keep in mind that the spot where the branch meets the trunk is always the sturdiest on the tree. Keep going upward, making sure as you move along that your feet are in sturdy places before letting go of other branches. Don't venture out on thinner branches, and try to stay as close to the trunk as possible. Use your legs more than you use your arms, since it is less tiring. As you work your way up the tree, it is important to consider how to get down from each step you take.
Step 5
Climb down the tree when you are ready, slowly and steadily. Take your time, testing out each spot you step or grab onto to make sure it is sturdy. Sometimes there are rotting or broken spots on trees that are not clearly visible. Come down facing the tree rather than facing outwards. Keep a strong grip as you are going down, because your feet are more likely to slip on the way down.

Tips & Warnings

Never jump off a tree.
Be careful of rotting or overly thin branches that cannot support your weight.
Watch for poison ivy, bugs or animals.

Article Written By Lauren Wise

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.

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