Tree climbing is an enjoyable way to commune with nature. And it's good exercise, to boot. Trees are everywhere, with many that can be climbed. Indulging your urge to act like a monkey once in a while can leave you feeling more liberated and in better shape. Arms, legs and back, tree climbing can stimulate your muscles. More than that, it can stimulate your mind, since tree climbing involves varied terrain and in-the-field problem solving techniques.
Inspecting a Tree
Look for a living tree of a size large enough to support your weight. Dead trees should never be used for climbing, since many of the limbs are likely rotten and could easily fall. The tree you pick should be at least 1.5 to 2 feet wide, with deep roots. Avoid climbing trees in sandy soil. Rope should never be strung over any branch less than 6 inches thick. Finally, avoid trees with signs of animal habitation. Nothing can cause a fall faster than sticking your hand on a hornet's nest.
Free Solo Climbing
While not recommended under any condition, free solo climbing is the primary method of tree climbing for children and other people climbing a tree in their free time. This method should only be performed after a tree inspection has been conducted. Furthermore, free solo climbing should always have a supervising spotter in attendance at the tree's bottom.
Single Rope Technique
This technique is used by a number of tree climbers to quickly reach higher levels in the tree. Arborists and other professionals often use a single rope technique. Using a thin line, the climber will typically shoot (with bow and arrow) or throw a weighted line over a branch. They will then tie their climbing rope to this thin line, pull down on the weight, and run their climbing line over the tree branch. This method requires a helmet, climbing rope and harness. The climbing rope can be run through the harness and form a belay system with friction devices. The rope can be climbed with ascenders, involving no direct contact with the tree, or can be used as a climbing rope, with the climber tightening the belay system as they climb.
Article Written By Louie Doverspike
Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.