How to Climb Out on a Limb of a Tree

How to Climb Out on a Limb of a Tree
Climbing trees is a favorite pastime of children. Whether you are teaching your child how to climb out on a tree limb properly, or need to learn for your own safety purposes, the key to climbing out on a tree limb is to make sure it is sturdy enough to hold you. If you are climbing trees without any supplies or ropes, it is called free climbing. This is not recommended for trees that are very tall. Here are some hints on how to climb out on a tree limb safely.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Heavy gloves
Step 1
Pick the tree you plan to climb. It needs to be sturdy, with thick branches that will be within your reach to get off the ground. To climb out on the branches, you need to make sure that there are some branches that are thick and sturdy enough to hold your weight. You may be able to tell this by sight, but most likely will have to test them with some weight.
Step 2
Make sure there are no dangerous insects along the tree trunk or branches, such as ants, that could bite you while climbing and cause you to fall or jump. Wear protective gloves to avoid splinters or scrapes from rough bark.
Step 3
Get up the tree to the branches you want to climb. Look for areas your foot can get ahold of such as nooks in between trunks, knots or gnarls in the bark. The key is to get yourself to the lowest sturdy branch to pull yourself up.
Step 4
Push up with your foot and pull yourself up on branches. Make sure it is a sturdy branch, not a stick. Always aim for the spots where the branches connect to the tree trunk, as these are the most sturdy places. Climb upward, making sure to test each branch before stepping on it or grabbing it. Don't rely on thinner branches. Remember to use your legs more than your arms for strength, so you do not use a lot of energy and tire out.
Step 5
Climb out on the limbs that are thick and sturdy enough to hold your weight. As you climb out on them, lay down on top of the branch and straddle it, scooting yourself out as far as you desire with both hands holding you on. To get back toward the trunk of the tree, scoot backward carefully and slowly, watching where you are going.
Step 6
Climb down the tree when you are ready, testing out each spot to make sure it's sturdy. Move down the tree facing it rather than facing outward.

Tips & Warnings

Don't jump off a tree unless you are forced to.
Be careful of rotting or overly thin branches that cannot support your weight.

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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