With such a wide range of arborist gear available these days, it's easy to quickly feel overwhelmed with such a saturation of information and gear. Too much information can make it difficult to find and purchase the type of gear you desperately need. This information may be found in the form of a website, video, or blog posts, where authors utilize big words with very little value. It's for this exact reason that we have created this guide to help you on your way to discovering the most essential tree climbing gear you need to get the job done.
PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
Experienced arborists agree, you don't want to leave those chainsaw resistant chaps at home. At the very least, you need a pair of chainsaw resistant pants to ensure overall safety. You wouldn't want to show up to your next job without the appropriate PPE gear, in order to stay safe and remain professional. Typically, supervisors do not allow their arborists to perform any work without the correct PPE gear, whether you identify as a daredevil, or not. But what gear is considered PPE, and which do you need? Gloves, helmet, eye wear, boots, chain resistant chaps/pants, and ear protection (such as muffs or plugs).
Harness or Climbing SaddleFor those of you who are looking to get up a tree, and we're guessing you do, you will need the correct gear to attach yourself to a line. Climbing saddles or harnesses fulfill this role, better enabling arborists to climb safely with all of their gear securely attached. When choosing your next harness or saddle, opt for whichever is most comfortable. When you try it on for the first time, try to recreate being on the job site. You won't want to struggle through pinching and squeezing, or chafing while up a tree, so remember to choose carefully.
Arborist RopeWhen you want to climb trees professionally, you will need a decent arborist rope. Not only will aid in climbing your next tree, but it will also enable you to bring your gear along, too. Tree climbing ropes are static ropes, of various strand counts, coloration, materials, diameter, and stretch. When you first get started, you might want to go for an 11MM or 7/16”, 24 strand, double braid rope. Often times, this kind of rope is referred to as a kernmantle, which means it utilizes a separate cover and core. Kernmantle ropes might feature a nylon core and plastic cover, which provides a suitable balance for knotting, climbing, and more. Some additional features to be on the lookout for include:
- Low Stretch
- Double Braid
- Firm Core
- High Strength
- Soft Grip Cover
Numerous Carabiners, Snap Hooks, and More.
Arborists need to keep a countless amount of snap hooks and carabiners on hand – seriously. You will go through tons of carabiners on any given job, which is why we suggest purchasing them in bulk. Try to find them in different sizes and shapes, or you will be kicking yourself later on down the road. If you are feeling fancy, buy them in your favorite color, and you'll always know which are yours. There are additionally features you might appreciate, like: self locking safety gates, triple lock gate, and models that open and close easier than others. Again, we can't stress this enough, purchase more than you think you'll need.
Assembly for Positioning
Positioning assembly lanyards are typically utilized as an additional method of attaching to your climbing system. This better enables you to remain safely in place. Before purchasing an assembly, ensure it meets the strength requirements presented by the snaps, carabiners, and ropes that you use on a daily basis. Otherwise, you may look into a flipline, instead. A flipline is a type of positioning lanyard that uses steel wiring at its core, to ensure arborists may flip up and down trees with ease. This little gem is rather popular, especially in that it makes the life of an arborist much more pleasant.
Before You Go
We understand arborists don't have time for small talk – you've got a job to do. You are better enabled to perform that job well when you have obtained the appropriate gear. With the right gear, you can feel confident each day you head out to conquer the world, one tree at a time. It is our hope that this guide was helpful enough to assist in your search for the most basic tree climbing equipment.