Determine your budget
Many types of tree climbing gear are relatively affordable, from ropes to throw weights. However, there are other items that can be a bit more of an investment, especially if you begin to invest in professional-quality climbing harnesses, ascenders and descenders. If you are going to be climbing for a career or as a serious hobby, investing in more equipment and setting a higher budget is often worthwhile as you can become a much more effective climber with more advanced gear. However, if you plan to climb only occasionally or if you are buying tree climbing gear for a child who may outgrow his or her fascination with climbing trees, you might want to start small.
Define your climbing needs
First, you need the basic requirements for safety. An OSHA/ANSI approved saddle, lanyard and climbing line are essentials. When it comes to carabiners, there are many options available from screw lock, twist lock to ball lock. Just remember for climbing you must have double auto locking carabiners. There are also choices for throw lines and throw weights. The heavier the throw ball the farther it will go in the tree. Don’t forget a hard hat. Groundsmen can wear the Bullard, or fill rim style while climbers should wear a climbing helmet with cushion and a chin strap. For climbing spikes or spurs, there are choices of irons or lighter-weight aluminum. There are different pads to choose from depending on your personal preference, comfort and budget. Accessories such as ascenders, descenders, bags and storage may also come in handy as well, so don’t forget to consider these items when you think about the types of tear climbing gear you want to buy.
Size your gear appropriately
Harnesses come in small, medium, large and ex-large. You must have a proper fit not only for comfort but safety as well. All harnesses have leg and waist adjustments to tailor to your body. Your saddle/harness should fit snug but have enough adjustments for cooler weather when you wear more layers. However, there are different harnesses for kids than for adults, so you’ll need to make sure you get the right products. Children’s harnesses have weight ratings so make sure you are safe and protected by the harness you buy.