Ever since kids learned to play, climbing trees has become one of their favorite activities. The thrill is different when going on top of a tree using one’s hands and feet.
For adults, though, climbing trees gained ground as a recreational activity with the use of modern gear only in the early part of the 1980s. This has led to the creation of numerous groups worldwide that raise awareness on this fun activity. In the United States, the founder of the Tree Climbers International group Peter Jenkins is credited for establishing the first tree climbing school in the world in 1983.
So how can anybody possibly engage in this activity? For one, you need to have the desire to climb trees for recreation purposes similar to rock climbing. And then just like in any sport activity, you should have the proper gear to protect yourself. But then, there are also people whose job involves this type of task such as rescuers and scientists and they undergo special training for this purpose.
The basic equipment required for tree climbing include your helmet and harness. Wearing of comfortable clothes and shoes is a must. You may also want to use gloves to protect your hands from getting bruises while holding on to the rope as well as protective sunglasses to prevent debris from getting into your eyes. People who climb trees for professional purposes also known as arborists use many other equipment other than the basic ones.
Helmet. This gear will protect your head from falling branches and other objects. It will also keep your head safe from bumps and falls.
Harness. Basically, a climbing harness makes use of a rope, belt, pulleys and links to secure a person while ascending and descending. It is normally tied around the waist but today, many patterns are available for greater comfort and security.
1. Sit string. This is commonly used for recreational activities especially rock climbing and abseiling. It is made up of a waist belt and two loops for the legs providing more flexibility and safety at the same time.
2. Chest. This type is worn around the shoulders and is usually combined with a sit harness. Its main purpose is to achieve balance notably for people carrying a heavy load.
3. Full body. This is comprised of the sit and chest harness connected to each other either on a permanent or semi permanent basis. Although this is often used by rescuers, it is also ideal for small children while climbing trees.
Saddle straps and accessories. The saddle strap is used in tandem with the harness notably the sit harness type. It also comes with accessories including the saw strap.
Carabiner. This metal loop is very useful when connecting components of a harness. The word is derived from a German term ‘Karabinerhaken’ which means hook for a carbine.
Micro pulleys. This is where the rope is attached to allow for faster ascending and descending. This comes in different designs depending on the need of arborists and recreational tree climbers.
There are the snatch, double sheave, double tie-in, shackle, fixed and hitch climber among many others.