Tree climbing
TREE CLIMBING GEAR


Tree climbing
 

 

Frequently Asked Questions


Fundamentals

Who climbs trees? Why?

My rock climbing friends think tree climbing is boring. Why bother?

I'm afraid of heights. Will I ever be able to enjoy tree climbing?

Why do you use a peace pipe in your old logo?

Safety

What is the first rule of safety while tree climbing?

How important is wearing a helmet or goggles for tree climbing?

New Tribe Business

Do you accept international orders? How do I pay, and how do you ship? Do you have any distributors outside the US?

Do you have a wholesale program?

Beginners

I'm new to climbing and want to prune my own trees. What climbing gear do I need?

Saddles 

Can I hang on my saddle's aluminum rings for life safety?

Is it safe to hang upside-down in a New Tribe saddle?

Rope 

How do I wash my climbing rope without damaging it?

What's the best way to cut and seal climbing rope at home?

Treeboat Hammocks  

Do you sell sleeping platforms for tree camping?

I feel stress in my knee joints lying in your Treeboat Hammock. Why not build a cushion into it, to support the backs of the knees?

Which keeps the Treeboat warmer, your Cozy insulation, or a pad like a Thermarest?

Should I stay tied in for safety when I sleep in a Treeboat?

Can I use my hiking poles to set up my Treeboat above the tree line?

I'm backpacking in bear country and want to make a Treeboat camp above the ground out of reach of bears. What do you think?

Who climbs trees? Why?

The list of answers to this question is getting longer every day.  

1. Every child who's ever been near one, because they can

2. Arborists, the professional tree workers who prune and care for trees   

3. Utility line workers who clear branches away from power lines

4. Canopy researchers, the scientists exploring the "high frontier" of the treetops

5. Botanical and wildlife surveyors

6. Nature photographers for magazines, movies and television

7. Hunters in tree stands waiting for game

8. Cone pickers harvesting seed for tree farms

9. Mistletoe collectors

10. Recreational climbers enjoying the pleasure of the treetops:

Ages 3 to 103+

All over the world

In backyards and far wilderness

For an hour or an overnight camp

Alone and in groups of friends and family

Anyone, for weddings or birthdays or full moons or just because it's there...

 

My rock climbing friends think tree climbing is boring. Why bother?

Tree climbing is an activity, not a thrill sport. The goal for most people is not just to make the climb, but to spend time peacefully enjoying the treetop. Tree climbers leave their troubles on the ground. Their new perspective on the world opens up fresh ideas and renewed excitement about life. After a climb, tree climbers feel refreshed and relaxed. Tree climbing is a spiritual thrill, not a physical one. Time and time again, this has led folks to feel increased respect for themselves and deep reverence for trees. Often, it moves them to take action that supports and preserves trees. At New Tribe, we love this. We believe that the more folks get up into the trees, the more hearts will be opened in this way. This is good for people, for trees, and for the larger world that supports us all.

 

I'm afraid of heights. Will I ever be able to enjoy tree climbing?

Fear of heights (acrophobia) is a normal healthy thing. It doesn't have to keep you on the ground, however. Most people say they climbed trees "as a kid" and then quit when they grew up and acrophobia kicked in. Fear of heights is actually fear of falling: it keeps us safe because it causes us to be careful when there is a risk of falling. Anytime we are off the ground, there is a risk of falling. In tree climbing, we use rope and saddle to protect us from falls. As a new climber, once you learn to trust your equipment and your skill to use it safely, acrophobia settles down. It's always on your mind to help you climb safely, but it no longer makes you queasy or stops you from enjoying the experience of the trees. If you want to enjoy tree climbing, find a sensitive instructor you trust. You can learn to accept your fear, put it to work for you, and free yourself of discomfort from it. All tree climbers are afraid to fall. But they needn't be afraid to climb.

 

Why do you use a peace pipe in your old logo? I appreciate what you guys are doing but a lot of people associate the peace pipe with marijuana or tobacco and I do not think it looks good for your company. I don't see where that goes with anything you represent.

 

Our use of the peace pipe is related to the meaning behind the Native American tradition.

 

Tobacco is sacred to the old tribes, and used only on ritual occasions. Sharing the pipe is a sign of agreement made between people who find common ground. For us, it symbolizes agreement, and therefore a good connection, between each other and between us and our natural world. You could look at it as a form of handshake. In our logo, we show it within a circle that surrounds the earth. When you get right down to it, our vision is one of Peace on Earth.

At New Tribe, we help people connect with each other and with nature through the joy of tree climbing. We are dedicated to creating excellence in our products. We earn the trust of our customers by conducting our business with honesty and impeccable service. All of these activities are inspired by the principles of agreement represented by our peace pipe.

 

In 2005 we decided to update our logo to better suggest our specialty of tree climbing. Although we let go of the peace pipe, we did retain the notion of Peace on Earth: the new image still features our beautiful earth, and the tree depicted is the olive branch of peace.  

 

 

What is the first rule of safety while tree climbing?

Stay tied in every moment you are off the ground. Never expose yourself to a fall. If you change from one safety line to another, secure the second one before you undo the first. Even when you are comfortable sitting on a branch or relaxing in a hammock, you are still at risk for a fall. Gravity Rules! Stay tied in!

How important is wearing a helmet or goggles for tree climbing? Helmets are recommended for general climbing safety, and are especially important in group climbs where the hazard of falling branches increases with increased activity in the tree. It's not just falling branches to be wary of -- unexpected swings are also a danger.

We like the Petzl helmets. Many kinds of helmets are good, including those used by cyclists, cavers and hang gliders. Some use industrial hard hats.

 

Just as important is eye protection. Climbing loosens fine debris that can be disabling if it gets into your eyes. There is always risk of a branch or twig whipping into your eye. A wide variety of safety glasses are available at hardware stores and sporting goods suppliers.

 

Do you accept international orders? How do I pay, and how do you ship? Do you have any distributors outside the US?

In Japan, Tree Climbing World is our distributor for a wide range of New Tribe products. Please shop there. New Tribe does not sell direct to individual customers in Japan.

In Denmark visit our Danish distributor of Treeboat Hammocks and accessories at Træklatring.dk (Treeclimbing Denmark) in Nykøbing Falster.

 

Other international customers can order equipment directly from us in Oregon, USA. We may ask you to pay by Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card, or by bank wire transfer, International Money Order, or Cashier's Check. All funds must be in US dollars. We usually ship international orders using Priority Mail International. If you wish to place an order, please choose the items you want and order online, or send us an email. We will figure your cost including shipping, and let you know. Then we will make payment arrangements with you and we can ship your order as soon as payment is received.

Do you have a wholesale program?

Yes. We have a wholesale program for retailers who buy sufficient volume every year to make the lower price reasonable for us. Selected items from our catalog are available at wholesale to qualified dealers. Contact us by phone, fax or email to inquire.

I'm new to climbing and want to prune my own trees. What climbing gear do I need?

Some words of caution: if you are new to rope and harness, we STRONGLY advise you to learn how to stay safe, with an experienced climbing instructor. Also, there is much to know about rigging safety when lowering cut branches. Knowing how and where to make cuts is a science, with a lot to learn about ensuring the long term health of your trees. In the long run, you could save money and risk by hiring a pro to do your tree work.

 

To learn more about profesisonal tree care practices, we highly recommend Jeff Jepson's Tree Climber's Companion. This book is designed for working arborists to carry with them on the job, as a reference for safe tree-trimming practice.

 

Can I hang on my saddle's tool loops for life safety?

WARNING: The rolled aluminum rings, snaphooks, carabiner loops and gear loops on your New Tribe saddle are intended for gear carrying only. They are not rated for life safety. DO NOT use these tool loops for any part of your life-safety rigging. In a New Tribe Saddle, the life-safety hookup points include the screw link at center front (primary safety) --or-- the forged D rings at the sides, when these D-rings are used together with a lanyard or rope running through both. Climb safe, and clip your equipment into your tool loops, not your life.

Is it safe to hang upside-down in a New Tribe Saddle?

Our New Tribe saddles, when properly fitted to the climber's size, are safe for "bat hang," even for small kids and small-hipped grownups. We've used them in countless Kids' Climbs at fairs, ISA shows and private climbs, for over 25 years. With the saddle properly fitted with the cinch strap snug at the waist, it stays in place no matter what maneuvers a climber makes. We can't say that it is impossible to slip out of our saddle when hanging upside-down, but no one has yet been able to do it.

 

How do I wash my climbing rope without damaging it?

Best way to wash rope:

--Put the rope into a net or mesh bag. If you don't have a mesh bag, you can reduce tangling of your rope by doubling it and then chaining it beginning at the center and working out towards the ends.

--Use gentle soap, NOT detergent.

--Put the bag of rope into a bathtub of soapy water and dance around on it. OR put the bag of rope into a washing machine and wash on Delicate cycle.

--Rinse well in clear water, hang to dry away from direct sunlight.

 

Never use solvents or harsh detergents on your climbing ropes.

 

There is also a device called a Rope Washer that you could try. Look for it at mountaineering/rock climbing stores. It attaches to a water hose. As you feed the rope through the device, the water is forced through the fibers of the rope. No soap is used.

 

What's the best way to cut and seal climbing rope at home?

To cut a rope yourself: mark a line at the cut location, then wrap two pieces of electrician's tape securely around the rope, one on each side of the line, allowing about 3/8" of exposed rope at the cut line. Then slice the rope at the cut line using a sharp blade. Fuse the cut fibers with a flame, rolling the hot end on a flat surface to keep the melted fibers from forming a bulky blob. Leave the tape in place to strengthen the cut end.

 

Do you sell sleeping platforms for tree camping?

We have the Treeboat Hammock, lighter, less cumbersome, and more versatile than a platform. It is easier to rig and reeeeeeally comfortable. It holds two people (or more) and you can kneel or stand up in it. It's perfect for sleeping one person all night.

 

We don't carry platforms, and don't see the need for them when the Treeboat serves the purpose so well. Some climbers use Portaledge, same as rock climbers use to bivouac on cliff faces. They like it because it is flat and offers a double-wide version that sleeps two side-by-side. You could buy a complete set of climbing gear plus Treeboat for the price of one Portaledge.

 

I feel stress in my knee joints lying in your Treeboat Hammock. Why not build a cushion into it, to support the backs of the knees?

We've always understood the need for a "knee lift" for best comfort in any hammock, including our Treeboat . So far, the best remedies for this come from the resourcefulness of the individual users. We use a backpack, or a rolled-up jacket, or a large pillow, depending on what we've got handy. If you are high in a tree, you can pull up your rope, stuff it in a bag, and use that as a knee-lift. We like the idea of an inflatable pillow, perhaps with ties to secure it to the Treeboat in a variety of locations. There are many individual preferences, so it would be tough to arrive at a single built-in solution that would be right for everybody. So far, it seems best to keep the design of the Treeboat simple, versatile, and affordable.

 

Which keeps the Treeboat warmer, your Cozy insulation, or a pad like Thermarest™?

We haven't done any scientific testing, but here's what we've experienced:

 

The Cozy provides a soothing reflective warmth that envelops the hammock from side to side, and end to end. It wraps more insulation around you, compared to the pad.

 

A Thermarest™ (or equivalent) pad is superb used inside the sleeve of our Hideaway Treeboat . It adds a cushion value in addition to warmth, on the deck of the Treeboat but not up the sides. We've found that while the all-around warmth of the Cozy is snug and wonderful, Treeboat comfort with only a pad is good throughout a cool summer night. (Backpackers know that a pad is more versatile than the Cozy, as well.)

 

For ultimate warmth even in winter, use the Cozy and a pad together with the Hideaway Treeboat.

 

Should I stay tied in for safety when I sleep in a Treeboat? The Treeboat is so deep and comfortable, it seems fine to take off my safety overnight.

YES absolutely, stay tied in overnight. Don't let the comfort of the Treeboat fool you. You are still high off the ground, and all the safety rules are in force all night long.

 

Can I use my hiking poles to set up my Treeboat above the tree line?

The Treeboat requires two to four very strong anchor points that have a minimum of 3 feet clearance below. Nature provides these in abundance in trees, and sometimes in rock. If you are camping above the tree line, such anchor points will be scarce. The pull force on Treeboat's lines can quickly climb to 1000 lbs, so your hiking poles will fail.

 

I'm backpacking in bear country and want to make a Treeboat camp above the ground out of reach of bears. What do you think?

Sometimes you'll find a tree with the right architecture to set a Treeboat above-ground in a single tree. Sometimes you'll find two trees that are 8 to 12 feet apart and the right size to set the hammock between them at the height you want. If so, you'll have to rig and climb both trees (one at a time) to set up your camp. You'll need to carry rope, saddle, carabiners, and hammock in addition to your other pack items. Your idea is possible, but may be a bit cumbersome when you get all the required gear together. People we know with experience in bear country are more concerned about getting their food out of reach than their whole camp.

 

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