Do you know that tree climbing is a recreational activity that you can engage in if you are desirous of doing something exciting and daring? Some people find tree climbing an exhilarating recreation, and they enjoy the thrill of scaling towering trees. Yet, tree climbing is not meant for all people. It is not easy. Nevertheless, if you have the guts and the drive for risky and challenging recreational activities like this, I bet you will enjoy tree climbing so much.
Tree climbing consists of climbing and moving around the crown of a tree to have fun, bask in the sun, or earn money. Tree climbers, just like rock climbers, do not just do it without preparation. Moreover, they utilize essential equipment like harnesses, helmets, and ropes to ensure they are safe when climbing while minimizing injury risks. Of course, the rope is the most critical equipment you should have if you want to engage in tree climbing.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Climbing Rope for Trees
The climbing rope is a gear that you should carefully select, for your safety and life hinges on it when tree climbing. There are various types of ropes for climbing, and as you shop around, you may get confused in the process as to which one to choose. To zero in on the right tree climbing rope, you will need to consider the following factors you should consider when buying a tree climbing rope:
Static Vs Dynamic Ropes
Not all ropes are suited for tree climbing. Moreover, you cannot just use any rope out there that you can get hold of. Besides, you can’t merely use ropes used in rock caving or rock climbing. The reason is that rock climbing ropes are dynamic ropes, characterized by their stretchy fibers and their design for taking a climber’s fall. Caving ropes, however, are stiff and is difficult to knot. Hence, these types of ropes can make things hard for you.
The semi-static rope is the most suitable rope tree climbing, characterized by moderate stretchability and low elongation, allowing for more excellent energy absorption. Such characteristics are necessary for tree climbing rope. You can also opt for a static rope.
As you search for the best tree-climbing ropes, you will soon discover that tree climbing and arborist ropes come with different weave types. But the two most common types of weave are the kernmantle and braided. Any of these two will do, but your choice will indeed depend on your preference. However, a good piece of advice for you is to choose a rope that comes with 16 strands constructions. The higher the number of strands, the better. Remember, go for the higher number of strands.
The rope should also be flexible and soft, allowing you to tie it using the unique knots for climbing trees. As a caveat, don’t go for twist construction, for it tends to make its user spin after leaving the ground.
You will find arborist climbing ropes with various diameters that range from 10mm to 13mm. The thickest rope you will find will be 1/2 inch or 13mm. Moreover, it will be useful to note that thicker ropes facilitate a better grip. Yet, you will find them very heavy.
On the other hand, you can use ropes with smaller diameters (10mm to 11.6mm) for single-rope or traditional doubled rope technique. These smaller ropes are portable, yet, you will find them difficult to grip with your bare hands, considering that they have tight weaves.
You can overcome this grip problem with smaller ropes by wearing specialized gloves coated with latex for a better grip without hurting your hands. You will also find the smaller diameter ropes more workable with various mechanical ascending devices used by more experienced tree climbers.
As you shop around for your tree-climbing rope, you will discover that tree-climbing ropes come in various colors. It will be useful to choose ropes with the brightest colors to let you recognize the rope’s position in the tree. Moreover, ground workers will quickly see these brightly colored ropes, warning them not to run their chainsaws on these ropes. Such an occurrence may be injurious or fatal to you.
When choosing a rope, you should ensure that the rope you would buy is twice longer than the tree’s height. If you are climbing an 80-foot tree, you should settle for a 150-foot rope. If you are climbing a shorter tree, then go for the standard 120-foot rope. You can also go for a 200-foot rope if you intend to ascend taller trees.
It will be useful to note that tree-climbing rope must not be stretchy. Stretchy rope may cause you to bounce, enervating you in the process. Remember that you should go for more static rope instead of the more dynamic ropes of rock climbing.
It will be useful to go for ropes that resist heat and friction more. If a rope creates much friction, it tends to fuse or melt quickly, resulting in a crusty outer layer that makes the rope stiff and difficult to knot. So, go for a cord that comes with an outer layer designed for resisting heat and friction.
When buying a rope, it will be useful to consider the rope’s ends. It is advisable to purchase one with one spliced end to allow you to engage in other techniques aside from the doubled-rope technique like that of the single rope or hitch pulley method for enhanced speed and efficiency.
The Most Recommended Tree Climbing Ropes
Aside from being cognizant of the abovementioned essential factors to consider when selecting a tree-climbing rope, it will be best to know the following most recommended tree-climbing ropes to facilitate the choosing process for you:
1) Blue Ox Rope
One of the well-known rope makers in the U.S. is the Blue Ox Rope. This company engages in excellent research about quality materials for building ropes for tree climbers.
The Blue Ox rope comes in 12 polyester strands for better durability and usability. This rope comes with 8,000 pounds (tensile strength) and is highly resistant to milking, hand abrasion, twisting, and sunlight. It also offers good knot retention and a flexible line.
2) Arborist Bull Rope
If you are looking for a well-tested rope and known for durability and flexibility, you can always opt for the Arborist Bull Rope. This rope features double-protected layers for greater strength. It also features a nylon core and polyester sheath for more extended durability and strength.
Many tree climbers like this rope for its exceptional core that comes with protection from UV rays and the effects of the environment’s chemicals. It is also weather-proof.
Its double-braided nylon core comes with better performance and offers abrasion protection. Moreover, its extra abrasion protection makes it a perfect rope for winches and pulleys. It comes in various colors and pre-cut lengths of 100, 150, 200, and 600 feet. Additionally, its color signifies its diameter. These colors include orange, red, yellow, blue, and pink.
3) Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
One of the excellent ropes for tree climbing is the Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope. The company that produces this rope came from the Czech Republic. ROUTE 44 comes with a patented technology that makes use of a unique braiding system. This technology lets the blending of properties in a rope that seemed impossible before.
ROUTE 44 offers excellent durability and flexibility. It features tight and compact braiding and softer sheathe for ease of use and superior flexibility. It is also stronger than most available climbing ropes in the market today.
This rope naturally bends while keeping itself not susceptible to abrasion. It comes with a thick and easy-to-grip shell, making this rope suitable for rugged usages like a rescue mission, rappelling, and many other applications. It is also quite heavy for beginners, but it is not intimidating.
4) SGT KNOTS Arborist Climbing Rope
Another dependable climbing rope for arborists is the SGT KNOTS Arborist Climbing Rope. All Gear, the leading and pioneering company in rope manufacturing, designed this rope. This rope comes with 100% polyester strands that offer high-strength and low flexibility. It can handle a high level of friction and heavy loads.
Being made of polyester, it does not stretch much and comes with much flexibility. It won’t sag, distort, or slip even under exertion. Its synthetic fibers are abrasion-resistant and can handle friction without fraying or tearing.
It is also a perfect rope for outdoor climbing activities. Many climbers are surprised by the tensile diversity of this rope. Moreover, it comes in 24-strand or 16-strand options. The 24-strand rope comes with 6.3k pounds tensile strength, while its 16-strand rope offers 7.5k pounds tensile strengths.
5) Pelican Arborist-24 Strand 11 mm (7/16 inch) Rope
The Pelican Arborist-24 Strand Rope is a perfect rope for rescue and climbing operations. It comes with 100% polyester strands that offer high strength and low flex. With these properties, you can expect it to handle friction and heavy loads.
The Pelican Arborist rope features a chemical-resistant (polyester sheathe) cover and a braided nylon core (non-rotational) ideal for tree climbers and tree cutters. It’s also highly resistant to abrasion and can easily handle high friction sans fraying or tearing. It is also resistant to UV ray degradation, outdoor moisture, and other types of external factors.
This rope comes with 7,000 pounds of tensile strength, allowing you to use it in any challenging applications. Moreover, it comes in 120, 150, 200 feet pre-cut lengths. This rope, of course, is a quality choice for tree climbing activities.
As an arborist, I know precisely the hassles and pains that come with not having the right ropes at my disposal. Hence, if you intend to try your hand at tree climbing, it will be useful to use the best tree-climbing ropes in the market today. It is not acceptable to experiment with ropes when it comes to tree climbing, for one misstep in your choice can be injurious or detrimental to you.
You need to know the abovementioned essential factors to consider when choosing a cable. Knowing these factors put you at least a step closer to getting the ideal rope for tree climbing. Yet, if you want to zero in on the best tree climbing rope quickly, you need to be cognizant of the most recommended climbing ropes in the market today.