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The Gear You Can't Live Without!

Over on our Facebook page where we have 37,000 of you as friends we asked a simple question:

"What is the one piece of gear you wouldn't want to climb without?"

We asked because over the last few years there have been more revolutionary pieces of gear released than ever before! After climbing DDRT for decades the Rope Wrench was created and changed everything, making it possible for the Arborist community to ascend safely up into a tree using a single rope technique (SRT) for the first time ever! This started the storm that would keep the tree community changing for YEARS to come! Since then we've seen the release of The Zig Zag, Rope Runner, Akimbo, Chicane, Spider Jack, Unicender, and the list goes on!

Everyone is different, they climb differently, and they experience a tree differently. The responses we got to this question were so interesting we thought it would be fun to share them on a blog! The answers below prove- there is no right answer. This then proves- there is no wrong answer! Do what makes you comfortable, what you understand, what you're confident with, and more importantly- climb with whatever will keep you safe.

A great comment that we received that goes right along with this is:

'If I climbed with 100 different tree climbers, I'd see a 100 different ways to climb a tree.'
- Bob Stewert

So let's dive in.

What is the one piece of gear you wouldn't want to climb without?

'Nothing is as useful in all forms of climbing as a single, solid, and smooth foot ascender.
CT is my go-to until it bites the dust.'
- Gregory D. Lammers

The CT foot ascender is a light and compact ascender that is well built and highly efficient. The fully adjustable webbing lets you place the ascender exactly where it needs to be. The locking device on the cam keeps the rope securely latched into the ascender. This is a very popular foot ascender among professional arborist!

'The Sena makes the day go by!!'
- Joshua Burr

The Sena SMH10 is a Bluetooth 3.0 stereo headset with long-range Bluetooth intercom communications device. You can call handsfree on your Bluetooth mobile phone, listen to stereo music or voice instructions of GPS navigations by Bluetooth wirelessly, and have intercom conversations in full duplex with another SMH10 headset.

'You're gonna laugh... CMI Twin Expedition Arborist Ascender.
Because its still easier for me to just footlock up a doubled rope.'
- Chip Hildreth

Here's a similar product to what Chip talks about that we love:

The Petzl Acentree was designed for an ergonomic solution for the secured double rope ascent. Suitable for ropes 8-13mm. The newly designed cams help reduce abrasion on most ropes

'The first leg strap saddle I bought was a Blair Ultralight. It had a floating bridge too.
I NEVER will go backwards to a butt strap with fixed tie in.'
- Tom Dunlap

The newest and most popular saddle in the game now:

Designed over a five year period by three of the world's top climbers, the treeMotion is designed as a high performance piece of equipment. As the name states, the treeMotion is all about being able to maximize each movement without wasting any bit of energy. Every component of this saddle is highly customizable; from the bridge length, bridge attachment, leg loop placement, or gear loop attachment. Each saddle comes with extra gear loops so that you can put the gear loops where you want opposed to having to deal with fixed loops chosen by the manufacturer. The back pad offers lumbar support while also giving the climber the option of placing accessory carabiners through the back pad for added gear attachment. With color coded attachment points, one can easily identify what component is life support and which isn't (green is for life support, red is not). Quick connect buckles make putting on the treeMotion a breeze. The absolute king of comfort and mobility!

'I won't get all religious about gear as if they are religious icons.
What stokes me is the grassroots innovation that's exploded the last couple decades.
All of the tools and configurations we've been given, even the older ones are valuable bits of kit.
For me, the rope runner and Giorgio Fiori's SRT device are key things.
If i'm using the runner, I'll use it DdRT or SRT, sometimes during the same climb'
- Nora Bryan

The Singing Tree Rope Runner is a revolutionary climbing device. This device allows the climber to easily ascend and descend on a single line in unparalleled speed. The Singing Tree Rope Runner does not create a bend in the rope and is easily installed midline.

'Good old prusik.'
- Jon Cooper

Our top rated prusik:

epiCORD is the latest hitchcord in the TEUFELBERGER line up. epiCORD has a tight cover of polyester and technora which gives it the great heat resistance while also being flexible enough to let you tie hitches easily. The core is a blend of Technora and Dyneema braided in a special balance that allows your hitch to release when you need it. Expertly sewn by the experts at At Height.

'Hitch climber pulley.'
- Logan Ring

By combining a compact rigging plate with a pulley, DMM produced a highly efficient triple attachment pulley that completely streamlines your climbing system. Organize carabiners, ascend, descend, or rig it for rescue or hauling.

'My omni block that thing rocks.'
- John Hildebrand

The Omni Block features a pulley with an attached swivel designed to reduce overall vertical height. Double locking mechanism maximizes safety. Large top hole with rounded edges for both hard and textile connections. Great for light rigging applications. Beautiful machining and cutting edge design from none other than Rock Exotica!

'Zigzag for sure.'
- David Herman

The ZigZag Plus mechanical prusik allows the user to move around efficiently in a tree using classic Prusik pulley system technique. The friction chain provides precision and fluidity when moving around. The pulley is mounted on sealed ball bearings to allow the slack to be taken up easily. Can be used on either doubled ropes or a single rope, providing great versatility. The lower attachment hold with high-efficiency swivel ensures stable and correct positioning of the mechanical Prusik and optimal rope glide through the device.

And that's just getting the list started. As you can tell- everyone has a different rhyme or reason to what they like and what makes climbing for them either fun, fast, easy, and again, the top thing- safe!

We would love to hear what works best for you. Leave us a comment below telling us your opinion and why!
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