Tree-Climbing Equipment That You Should Know About

Tree-Climbing Equipment That You Should Know About

Tree Climbing Equipment

Tree climbing can be a dangerous job but also thrilling and enjoyable especially if you have the right climbing equipment to keep you safe when doing tree work.

Here are some suggestions as to what climbing equipment you will need when climbing a tree. Make sure you read up on the climbing equipment you will need to ensure you stay safe at height.

What Climbing Equipment Do You Need To Climb A Tree?

The climbing equipment you will need to climb a tree includes but is not limited to:

  • Single rope
  • Foot ascender
  • Climbing ropes
  • Climbing harness
  • Climbers
  • Helmet
  • Lanyard
  • Pulley system
  • Hitch
  • Ascender
  • And other tools and devices.


Tree climbing provides countless variations of equipment used to build a wide variety of systems and techniques for climbing trees. The thing is, you just need to know what strategy you’re going to use first. You can only know what gear you need after that!

For the purpose of this article, we will start with the Double Rope Technique or DdRT for short. It is generally considered to be the most basic technique and the position where most climbers start. From there, you can add additional equipment to increase its performance, or move on to other more advanced techniques, including Single Rope Technique.

We’ve been avoiding selling a “starter kit” as such, for a long time. We don’t believe it gives the best value in the long run – especially to a new climber. More often than not – starter kits bundle the bare minimum low-grade gear with a low-price.

It might seem like a simple solution to you and a quick, easy sale to the vendor, but it’s a false economy. As soon as you understand what you’re doing, we promise you will either want to substitute half of it, or you don’t need half of it. And we don’t want to be the company you’re cursing to sell you a worthless pile of gear. We want to be the company you admire for helping you put together the best package for you that will fit you in the long run. A package that’s a strong base that you can build on over time.

Here is a list of the seven basic minimum items needed to climb trees professionally and safely. *Note that this list does not include Personal Protective Equipment. Your PPE needs can differ, but consider Helmet, Eye / Ear Safety, Chainsaw Protection Trousers & Boots.

Each item form has a connection to a selection of items that suit you, where you can search the options and choose the one that appeals most on the basis of features or budget. Inside each, there is no right or wrong, only different. And all of the items are professional quality gear. There’s no cheap handyman grade stuff here like what you might find in “kits.”

Tree-Climbing Harness

tree climbing harnesses

Of all of the tree climbing equipment to get, a harness is right up there. When you need to attach ropes and fall safety measures for tree climbing – a harness ensures you are tied up and secured. Only those explicitly built for tree work are recommended. Tree climbing harnesses have several special features that may not be noticeable at first. They are built for “Work Positioning” and often referred to as a “Sit Harness” A sit harness is very different from recreation/rock climbing harnesses or fall arrest harnesses. They have a low central key attachment point, typically referred to as a “bridge” and, most significantly, they have side “D” rings for the Flipline / Lanyard attachment and so are better for tree climbing for workers. Here you can see our range: Harnesses.

Flipline / Lanyard / Polestrap

The flip line, lanyard or pole strap (all the same thing) is fixed to the one-sided D ring of the harness and is used to firmly mount the harness around the tree and then to the opposite side of the D ring. It is a crucial part of climbing on spurs, and besides your climbing rope, it is also important both to keep you in place and to provide a secondary form of connection when making a cut. You will need this for tree climbing for both fun and for work. Here you can see our range: Fliplines / Lanyards.

Flipline / Lanyard Adjuster

You would require a Flipline or Lanyard Adjuster unless it is included as part of the full Lanyard System. An adjuster is used to lengthen or shorten your lanyard to fine-tune the placement of your work. Please see our range here: Flipline / Lanyard Adjusters.

Climbing Rope

tree climbing rope

The rope that we sell is specifically designed and built for professional tree surgeons, tree climber professionals and arborists and tree climbing and they are licenced for such use by their manufacturers. Rock climbing ropes or other basic ropes are NOT acceptable and can behave very differently when used beyond its purpose. Climbing Rope is often referred to as a “LifeLine”, and it should be thought of as just that! Your life, as you know, can well depend on it! There’s no fixed length … it depends on the scale of the trees you’re planning to work in. Generally, you would need a length of twice the height of the tree, but this varies with various climbing techniques. Popular lengths People tend to use are 35 m, 45 m, 50 m or 60 m. Or you can pick any length you want by the metre.


Prusik is a friction hitch. It is used to change your position on the Climbing Rope, effectively enabling you to ascend or descend the tree. At the bare minimum, it can be packed out of one end of your climbing line, but most generally, it is a separated short cord length with high resistance to heat. The friction as it comes down produces a lot of heat concentrated in one position that can melt through the regular cord. They are sold either by the metre here-Prusik Cord, in loops or with eye terminations here-Prusik Loops, or there are also devices built as alternatives to cordage here-Mechanical Prusiks.


For climbing, we suggest Triple Action, Auto-Locking Carabiners or any Karabiners. They can be Alloy or Steel, but most of them use alloy for climbing and saving steel for rigging. These are used to make a safe link to the harness between the climbing rope, the prusik and the lanyard above. You’re going to need at least 2, but it’s smart to have at least four or more.

Spurs / Spikes

Spurs are used to position yourself on the trunk or limbs where there is no natural foothold. They allow you, with the help of Flipline & Brace, to “roll” up the trunk of a tree. If you think about the trees you’re working on, good practice suggests they can only be used during tree removal, NOT pruning! See our collection here: spikes and spikes.

It’s about the fundamentals. With the “Kit” above, you can navigate, switch around, and position yourself within the canopy.

By combining your preferred option with each of the above pieces, you can create a “kit” that will keep you safe in the canopy in no time. I’m going to warn you that this isn’t a “cheap” kit-and that’s a good thing! This is professional quality gear that the best Arborists will be able to use, not the lowest cost range of things that we could get away with selling as a package to unsuspecting newbies! There’s no good in the discount package if you have to repair much of it a month later!




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