Tree climbing is not a child’s play, it is a risky job and so it is not advisable to climb a tree for any reason without being safe, secure, and comfortable.
So, let’s introduce you to climbing spikes, a.k.a climbing spurs or tree gaffs which are sharpened steel spikes that tree climbers attach to their legs by leather straps and padded support which keeps them safe as they climb.
Climbers jam the spikes into the tree trunks as they take each step up the tree and so doing are kept safe and supported as they climb trees.
Today, we will let you in on the best climbing spikes that there are, and we will answer some of the questions you will want to ask.
Before You Buy That Climbing Spike
There are a few questions you have to ask yourself before you part with your money for a climbing spike, some of these questions include:
1. How Often Do You Climb
The quality of spike you buy should be of the highest value if you will be climbing trees regularly, if you are an arborist or anyone whose job description requires you climbers trees, then you need a reliable climbing spike that is durable, sturdy, and made of premium quality because you don’t want your climbing spike breaking while you are up the tree.
This might not worry someone who needs a unit for a one-off job or one will not be using the climbing spike frequently.
2. What Size Do You Need
The climbing spike you buy depends on the thickness of the tree bark you will be climbing as well as the length of the climb.
There are 2 main sizes of climbing spikes; the short tree climbing spikes which are used by beginners tree climbers or those who climb trees that have soft tree bark.
The long tree climbing spikes are made of steel and are about an inch longer. They are best used on trees with rough barks or experienced tree climbers.
3. Can I Afford It
Some climbing spikes can be a little pricey and do you must ensure that you can afford that lovely spike you want, if not you may have to go with the second or even third best options.
4. Is It Comfortable
Comfort is a very important consideration while shopping for a climbing spike. Comfortable spikes help you remain focused as you climb and that is why some climbing spikes have extra cushion to keep enjoying the climb.
You are better off buying a climbing spike that you can adjust your position easily by changing the gaffs, this helps you save time and energy.
Some units have extra loops where you can attach the equipment you need, this versatile climbing spike makes climbing a beautiful experience.
6. What Materials Is used In Making The Climbing Spike:
Climbing spikes that are made with steel are quite heavy and durable, the better material in terms of durability is alloys and titanium. Carbon fiber is one of the cheapest climbing spikes but they are very fragile and so are not meant for frequent climbers.
Best Tree Climbing Spikes
There are a lot of climbing spikes rest you can find in stores and online, we have taken the liberty to research and bring to you some of the finest ones that are available.
1. Steel Spur Kit with Big Buck Pads
This is a lightweight climbing spike that makes your climbing experience easy. It is a very sturdy set that is durable and long-lasting.
It has a lot of padding with a steel insert which ensures you are comfortable. It is very safe to be used on most trees and also quite affordable.
2. Buckingham Steel Spur Kit
If you are looking for comfort while climbing trees; then this product is for you. It is a versatile spike that can be used for other activities like pole climbing, it is well cushioned to keep you from feeling any pain as you climb.
Even though it is a tad expensive, it’s worth buying one because it is durable, comfortable, and efficient.
3. Klein Tools Tree Climber Set
This well-cushioned climbing spike is made of high-quality materials. The pad is 100% upper graded leather which is very sturdy and durable, and it ensures that you are comfortable as you climb.
The stirrup is also wide so that you get that much-needed foot support. They come in many sizes, and reasonable prices and it is easy to replace the spikes or gaffs.
4. Evoke Gear Spike Set
This set is made of Aluminum which impacts the longevity of the climbing spike, it also has a Two-sided pole which makes climbing quite easy.
It is easy to use and with every dime, you spend on it. This product is a hit with buyers because it is lightweight and yet very strong. The spike pair of this unit is comfortably padded with Velcro straps which ensures that it fits your size
5. Sport Climbers Spikes
These climbing spikes promises to amaze you with their super jumping power, their elegant finish, and the kind of comfort it offers. This is probably because it is made of high-end quality raw materials.
You however have to buy your exact size so that your font hurts your ankle as you climb. These climbing spikes are versatile and can be used for other purposes.
Guidelines for Safe and Responsible Climbing
Climbing trees can be a pastime for some people while it is a source of living for others, but whatever category you fall onto, there are some safety precautions that you need to imbibe as you climb trees and they include:
1. Always Stay on The Rope or the Climbing Spike
It is very common for amateur climbers to get so carried away with the fun of climbing trees that they get off the climbing spike or rope that serves as their protection and safety.
Just getting off that rope or spike for a few moments to move around obstacles is enough time to become destabilized and then fall. One of the maxims of climbers is: your rope or spike is your lifeline.
2. Inspect a Tree Before you Climb it
Before you climb any tree, you must evaluate and be sure that the tree is safe enough to be climbed. Safety here refers to the tree being free from any form of danger be it from parasites, pests and wild animals, damages and weakness that might cause the tree to break and hurt you. You can ask an arborist for help if you are not sure of how safe a tree is for climbing.
3. Never Climb Near Power Lines
To avoid the risk of electrocution: it is paramount that you don’t climb a tree near power lines, because just your rope touching a power line is enough to electrocute you.
4. Always Climb in Safe Weather Conditions:
For safety concerns you should never climb a tree during an ice storm, a thunderstorm or even during heavy rain. Be sure you can take care of yourself in extreme weather be it during the very hot days or cold ones.
5. Get Training From a Qualified Instructor
You don’t want to learn how to climb trees y trial and error because the result can be devastating. If you are a novice at climbing trees, then you should enlist the help of a qualified instructor who will teach you how to climb trees.
6. Always Wear a Helmet
Even though climbing ropes and spikes give support and offer some sort of safety for climbers, you should go the extra mile of wearing a helmet no matter your years of tree-climbing experience.
7. Only People With Experience Should Trim Dead Branches
Only trained or experienced people should trim dead branches from a tree. You can mistakenly cut your climbing rope with the handsaw while climbing. Climbing a tree is enough trouble for a beginner without the extra stress of cutting down dead branches
8. Stay Away From Nests and Nesting Animals
Always remember that that tree you are climbing might be a thing of fun or a job you are doing, but some animals live in there and do you should not get too close to a wild animal on a tree especially if they have their young around, this could cause them to attack you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some of the questions bubbling in your mind with regards to tree climbing spikes.
Do Climbing Spikes Hurt Trees?
We will say Yes, climbing spikes hurt trees, this is because these spikes injure some of the tissues of the trees as they make holes or better still wounds while you climb the tree. These wounds sometimes support u necessary water-sprouts which is a sort of stress to the tree.
Secondly, the wounds that these spikes inflict on trees reduce their wood value and create opportunities for insects and other pathogens to infest the tree and introduce diseases.
Should I use Climbing Spikes while Pruning Trees?
It is a bad idea to use climbing spikes while pruning trees because of the injuries they inflict on the trees. Climbing spikes are meant for climbing only thick-barked trees or any other tree that is about to be cut down.
While many tree climbers use climbing spikes for climbing trees because it is cheaper and easier to use than other climbing devices, it still doesn’t justify hurting trees as you climb them.
Are Tree Gaffs and Pole Gaffs the Same?
They are not. Even though they are both made for climbing trees, tree spikes or gaffs are best used for thick-barked which will not be easily injured by the spikes, while pole gaffs or spikes are great for climbing trees with thin bark.
Is it Ok to Use Pole Gaff for a Tree-climbing Action?
It is OK to use pole gaff for climbing trees, even though they are best for thin-bark trees like palm trees, but they should only be used on woods with very thick tree bark
What Kind of Trees Should be Spiked While Climbing?
Climbing spikes give wounds to trees as you wear them for climbing trees, however, because of the nature of some trees like furs, palm trees, cedar, live oaks, redwoods and they like. The spike does not cause any real damage to these trees.
That is why there are climbing ropes that are safe to be used for climbing other trees, these ropes do not hurt the trees at all
Can I Use a Climbing Rope or Belt While Climbing a Tree?
Of course, you can use climbing rope or safety belts while climbing a tree. They are recommended for tree climbers because it prevents any eventualities or accidents as you climb.
How Can You Tell if a Tree is Safe to Climb?
There are a few things to look out for before you climb any tree: the first is the presence of mushrooms or fungi. These organisms can not only cause some rashes on your skin but can be carriers of disease pathogens that can be transmitted to you.
Also check for cracks, splits, missing chunks, deep cavities, and what have you. These are signs that you should not climb the tree because it might be unstable.
What Do Tree Climbers Get Paid?
Tree climbing is a pretty lucrative job that can net you as much as $50,000 per year if you do a good job. This amounts to about $24 per hour which is a fair price.
How to Spike the Tree While Climbing?
To spike the tree while climbing, all you have to do is to bang your legs against the tree, this will cause the spikes to get fixed to the tree.
Conclusion: Best Tree Climbing Spikes
Climbing spikes are an important item in the arsenal of every tree climber, even if you are climbing to do minor maintenance on your tree or you earn a living climbing tree, you should always ensure that you do so safely.
There are different considerations you keep in mind before you get a tree-climbing spike, factors like comfort, price, and what have you.
There is also a wide range of climbing spikes to choose from, making a wise choice can make that tree experience very pleasant.
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We trust this article helped you know the Best Tree Climbing Spikes. You may also want to check out the Best Firewood Conveyors You Can Find For Maximum Efficiency.
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