Most hunting-related incidents that involve treestands occur because a hunter either didn’t use a Fall Arrest System (FAS) / Full Body Harness (FBH) at all or used one in an unsafe manner. Treestand incident and injury rate would dramatically reduce if every hunter wore a FAS/FBH and used it properly. The fall arrest system consists of a strap attached to the tree and a full-body harness worn by the hunter.
A vest-type harness is the safest and most reliable harness for a hunter. Its use is quite easy: slip it on, adjust the straps and fasten the clips. Unlike a simple belt or chest harness, a vest-type harness straps around the shoulders, waist and legs. If a hunter falls from a treestand wearing this kind of harness, the pressure is distributed across a larger area of the hunter's body, which helps to ensure a quick recovery with less chance of injury.
Parachute or full-body harness
A parachute harness is just as safe and offers the same type of protection as the vest-harness when used properly; however, there are many more straps and buckles involved. Always check and re-check your harness to ensure that it is properly secured before you start climbing up into the treestand.
Single strap harnesses are not considered a safe harness. This kind of harness causes severe restriction in the chest area, making it difficult to breathe or move if a hunter falls. ALWAYS use a full-body harness when using a treestand!
Chest harnesses are also no longer the preferred harness type. These harnesses cause severe restriction in the chest area, making it difficult to breathe or move if a fall occurs. Instead, ALWAYS use a full-body harness when using a treestand!
Remember! If you do fall, practice your 3 R’s: Rescue, Relief, Recover.