How to Climb Trees Properly – 5 Simple Steps

Tree work is more popular than ever. Climbing trees is fun and adventurous, but it could be dangerous if you aren’t doing it right.

You have to know how to climb trees properly before you attempt to venture into this new road.

Some people climb trees for money, while others do it for fun. Whatever your reasons are, you should remember that safety always comes first. We’ll introduce you to the most important steps to climbing trees. Once you get hang of it, these steps will be second nature to you.

5 Steps to Climbing Trees Properly

Watching professionals climb trees is fascinating. You can’t just ignore how tempting it is.

Most of them, however, don’t advise you to try their tree-climbing techniques alone. You need to have someone who’ll support you in the unfortunate case of an accident. Having a professional tree climber around is your best shot.

Here are the 5 primary steps to climb a tree properly.

Step 1: Take a Beginners Course

If you’re a beginner, then you must take a tree climbing course first. You may have tried climbing a tree when you’re a kid, but things are different now. Tree climbing can be risky. A tree climbing course can teach you by doing. Don’t read a book. You need real action.

Step 2: Get Ready With Your Gear

Tree climbing, just like any other sport, requires some tools. You can’t climb a tree with your physical force. You may feel strong enough, but you need your gear to guarantee safety.

Here is the essential gear for tree climbing;

  • Helmet and gloves
  • Tree climbing harness
  • Flipline or pole strap with an adjuster
  • Tree climbing rope with a friction hitch
  • Triple action, auto-locking carabiners
  • Spikes

When climbing trees, safety is your top priority. You’ll need a lightweight helmet to avoid adding extra weight. That’ll only slow you down.

For more safety, you need gloves to protect your hands from rope burns or wood injuries. They’ll also help you get a firmer grip on your rope.

A harness will keep you safe too. If you fall, it’ll help you stay attached to the tree.

The rest of the gear mentioned in this list is for the actual climbing. Your rope must be static. It has to be strong to hold your weight. There’s a debate on whether spikes should be used or not when climbing trees. Because they cause permanent damage to the trees, you should only use them if the tree will be cut down. The same rule goes for chainsaw and pruning.

Step 3: Choose the Right Tree

Once you’re in the forest, you’ll see a lot of trees. The question is: which tree should you pick to climb?

To be safe, you need to look for a tree that’s strong and can handle your weight. Its branches must be large (at least 6 inches wide) since they’ll be the ones supporting you up and down.

You need also to avoid trees that have turns. Go for the straightest tree that you can find. Climbing a tree that has a straight trunk is easier and safer.

If the tree is surrounded by dead branches on the ground, it’s a sign that this tree is dying. It may not be strong enough for climbing.

Step 4: Know Your Techniques

Every tree climber does it the way they feel most comfortable. Since you’re a beginner, there are two popular techniques that we recommend.

Double Rope Technique

First, you need to throw your rope over your tree. Once you position your rope safely, try to connect both ends to create a loop. Using a hitch, you can adjust the length of this loop for climbing and ascending the tree.

Then, once your helmet and harness are on, connect yourself to your rope. Basically, you’ll be climbing your rope not the tree. You can adjust while climbing up and down or in and out.

This technique is difficult. You have to master positioning to be able to move safely. Although we say it’s hard, it’s probably the safest technique. You just need some practice.

Single Rope Technique

The second method is best used when the climb is long. It’s faster and more efficient.

First, you need to secure your climbing rope on a brach or a suitable crotch. The next step is to make sure that the climbing rope is securely connected to the tree base as well. That’ll leave you with a single rope to climb.

Step 5: Climb Down the Tree

The descent is the easiest part of climbing a tree. All you’ve to do do is grab your rope and start sliding down. It’s better to go slow because it’s safer.

You can also tie knots around your rope as you start climbing. These will come in handy when you’re climbing down the tree. They’ll help you descend without any risks of falling.


Tree work is a popular sport. Once you know the right tools, you need to start practicing. It’s helpful to take a tree climbing course as well.

You may have a friend who can teach you. Whatever you decide to do, just remember to be safe. Tree climbing can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

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