Introduction: How to Climb a Tree (using Only Rope!) the Fun/simple Way

In this instructable, I will be showing how to climb a tree using only rope, a carabiner, muscle strenght, and time.

I am not an experienced or trained climber. Don't tell me that I'm not either. I'm only showing you how to climb how I like to climb. It is the easiest, most relaxing, simplest way.

WEAR A HELMET (I didn't)

It is divided into 6 steps.
1. Equipment
2. Getting the rope into the tree
3. The harness
4. The knots
5. Climbing
6. Getting back down

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Step 1: Equipment

These are the minimum requirements to climb a tree.

1. Have at least one locking carabiner. Make sure you have one that is made for climbing! The ones that I have cost $7 each, bought at REI. They can hold 25kN (That's about 5,600 pounds)

2. Have about 15 feet of 3/4 inch rope. This will be used for the harness. It is important that is thick, because this makes for a more comfortable, satisfying harness (Unless you have a real harness)

3. Depending on the height of your tree, you will need rope that is as long as twice the height of the tree. (Use equation below) I didn't use real climbing rope, but I recommend that you do. The rope I have can hold 350 pounds. It gets the job done.
My equation!
h = height of tree
r = length of rope needed
r = 2h + 10 (IE. 30' tall tree = at least 70' of rope)

4. A tree of course! Make sure that it is some sort of oak. Oaks are very strong, large trees, with few branches at their bases.
Find a good-sized tree that is about 25-50' tall. My tree is about 30'. (I would also find a tree that isn't over a cement driveway)

Step 2: Get the Rope in the Tree.

I'm not going to show you how to get your rope in the tree :-(
But, I will say that is extremely easy if you have a tree in a good location, and the branch isn't more than 50' high (You should start low anyways)

There's a great instrucatable here

Find some sort of weight. (I used a roll of duct tape, but the heavier the better). Tie your rope around it, and swing it until it wraps around the branch you want.

Once in the tree, get slack in the rope and "whip" the rope. You'll know what I mean. It will be your first instinct. You do this foot by foot until the hanging end with the weight comes down to your level.

Step 3: The Harness

This is a very important step, and it is crucial that you get it right.

The comfort really depends on the rope and positioning

I am using a rope harness called the swiss seat. It is a very common harness. If my pictures and tutorial are confusing, you can find it on Google somewhere. It is a very common search.

Follow along with the pictures.

Harness Video

Step 4: The Knots

There are only two knots that we'll be tying.
1. I'm not sure if it has a name, but I didn't make it up. It's a real knot
2. The Blake's hitch. The best climbing hitch for our purposes.

Follow the pictures once again. The first is the noname. The second is the Blake's Hitch

Once again, if you can't figure it out from the pictures, go to Google. There are plenty of sites that show how to make knots

Step 5: CLIMBING(Finally)

Ok. Let's start to climb. It is very simple. It takes several minutes, but then you start to get in the rhythm.

1. Wrap your hand around the rope that is hanging down. Don't wrap excessively, just once, enough to have a good comfortable grip.

2. Pull down on that rope. The goal is not to have your weight on the rope above you, but the rope you are pulling down. It takes a bit of strength, and it's something that everybody can do easily, unless you're doing it wrong. (There is a video below)

3. You probably used two hands to pull the first rope down. If you did it right you moved up about 6 inches ( after a while it isn't that bad). Now. you need to hold the rope you pulled down held down below your waist, or however far you pulled. Hopefully, it will sort of lock, and you can slide up you're Blake's hitch up with your left hand as far as you can. From there, the Blake's hitch should do its magic, and keep you held in place.

4. Repeat

If you couldn't get it by reading, look at the pictures, and watch the video(The video's focus got a little messed up, but you can see better


Step 6: AH! I'm Stuck! Get Me Back Down!

Calm down! It's really easy!

Grab the hitch. Pull down in the top. See? Just make sure you do it slowly, and at intervals to prevent the rope from melting, and the branch from burning!

Watch the video once again.
And there are two other video's that I just decided to dump on this step.