It is strongly recommended that you use a fall-arrest system (FAS) that is manufactured to industry standards. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of your FAS.
Always use a properly fitting FAS that includes a full-body harness at all times when your feet are off the ground. This includes while climbing a tree, installing a tree stand that uses climbing aids, and hunting from a tree stand. (When using a ladder stand, attach your FAS to the tree and tighten the tether as soon as you reach the top of the ladder.)
- Essential FAS Components: Make sure your FAS includes these components.
- Full-Body Harness: The vest harness is a very effective style of full-body harness.
- Tether: The tether attaches your full-body harness to the tree strap/belt or the tree stand safety line system and has a shock-absorbing feature.
- Suspension Relief Strap: This strap provides a loop to stand in if you fall.
- Additional FAS Components: Your FAS also must have additional components that you use to attach yourself to the tree.
- Lineman's-Style Belt or Climbing Belt: The lineman's-style belt (or climbing belt) goes around the tree while you are climbing up and down the tree.
- Tree Strap/Belt: The tree strap goes around the tree after you are in your tree stand.
- Tree Stand Safety Line System: The tree stand safety line system is an alternative to using a lineman's-style belt and a tree strap. When installed on a tree, a tree stand safety line system lets you remain attached to the tree with your FAS full-body harness and tether from the time you leave the ground until you return. A complete system includes these parts.
- Safety Rope/Line With Prusik Knot: The rope/line goes around the tree and extends from the base of the tree to a point at, or above, head level when you are standing on the tree stand platform. The prusik knot on the rope/line is designed to slide easily with one hand. If you should fall, the knot will tighten around the rope/line to keep you from falling to the ground.
- Carabiner: This metal ring connects the tether from your full-body harness to the prusik knot on the safety rope/line.
- Single-strap belts and chest harnesses are not manufactured to industry standards and are not recommended for use.