Anyone who has hunted from a tree stand knows the feeling: You’re 20 feet up a maple, you’ve settled yourself into your seat, and everything seems right.
Then any number of small problems will pop up to ruin your whole day. You’re going to waste a lot of time like this without the right equipment.
We’ve compiled a short list of the accessories every hunter should take a serious look at.
Comparison of the Best Tree Stand Accessories
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Choosing the Right Tree Stand Accessories
Tree stands are highly specialized places, and you have to know what your needs are in that situation. Everything comes down to a small set of factors and the ratios between them.
When you’re in a tree stand, everything around you is there for a reason. There isn’t an atom out of place... or there shouldn’t be. You are in a functional space, which means your equipment all have this single trait in common: functionality.
This is always a trade-off, and so you have to weigh the pros and cons for each item you bring along. This is not to say comfort cannot be one of your considerations, but when confronted with limited space, safety and utility should be your priority.
Hunting boils down to a basic relationship between you and your quarry. It’s a given that each hunter will assume a different approach, but at the end of the day, no matter who you are, you’re there, and you’re looking for a specific animal.
In the case of the tree stand, you’ve selected your spot, and you want the prey to come to you. You want it ignorant of your presence. Everything must be imperceptible to the target animal until you’ve got it in the bag.
Most of the equipment you use has been designed with portability in mind to increase the likelihood of enjoying a successful hunt. In the end, though, there are so many of these tools on the market that, with enough of them, you could still end up over-encumbered.
When sorting out essential equipment from the rest, you have to be ruthless. A big part of that equation is related to how carriageable each item is. An inch here or a pound there can make a heck of a difference in the end.
Thousands of Americans each year are injured using tree stands, and some are even killed. Just by virtue of what they are, tree stands carry the risk of injury, and there’s no way around that fact.
However, the choices you make can mitigate the danger. You must trust all of the gear with you to perform without interfering or hampering you in any way. Your hunting success depends on it, as does your safety.
Review of the Best Accessories For Tree Stands
There are reviews that focus on comparing different makes of the same item, or a range of similar tools with the same function. We’ve decided to make a broad overview of must-have accessories for any hunter. Maybe you’ll agree, or maybe not, but we think our top picks all deserve a look.
Allen Company Treestand Umbrella
Economy: Super light, and folds away to nothing
Visibility: Camouflage from both top and bottom
Safety First: Keeps you dry and slip-free in the stand
Strength/Durability: The strong frame and mount secure it against the weather
This one, we liked. It’s so small and lightweight that it basically isn’t even there until you need it. When that rain comes, just install it over your head and you’re done. The combination of the main screw and ropes makes for an easy one-man setup, and when the day’s over you can either pack it away or leave it perched above your stand.
The lighter design means that it may not handle heavier snowfall if you’re not there to push it off, and for very high winds, the same applies. Nonetheless, it’s a great little accessory.
Whether sun, rain, or snow, this umbrella saves the day. Super light, and folding to nothing, you’ll be glad to have it in your carry-all on any hunting trip. Camo from above or below, and easy assembly every time.
Hawk Cruzr Tree Bracket
Economy: This bracket tucks away well, and is compact and lightweight
Visibility: Well obscured in position behind the stand
Safety: Highly rated for safety
Strength/Durability: Extremely strong, and will last
There are many different brackets out there, but this one is military-grade. Putting this bracket up is almost as economical as taking it down. So, it’s ideal whether you want to shift position frequently, or just stay put all season.
No noise, no flapping straps, just clean and efficient. We think that’ll be a big win for most hunters out there. Unfortunately, the design won’t work for every stand type, especially slightly older models, but for most of the newer ones it links up perfectly. You’ll love it the moment you use it.
This is as safe and easy as brackets come. It slips on and off quietly and simply, with a robust and effective design. Tools like this one are a shoo-in when you have to make choices about what to bring, and what not to.
Best for the Money:
Summit Treestands Deluxe Front Storage Bag
Economy: Highly economical way to store items
Visibility: All-round camouflage
Safety: Solid attachments for stability, which allows for the safe storage of items
Strength/Durability: Made from durable material and PVC-lined for weatherproofing
Despite our obsession with keeping our luggage to a minimum, there’s always space for a little more, well, space. This front storage bag fits right into that niche. 13”x7”x4” is great capacity, and it fits most modern stands well.
Camo exterior and solid weather-resistant PVC lining make this a great companion up to any tree. With all the extra room, you’ll probably end up taking more equipment than you’ll need. Unless you prefer to take nothing along when you hunt, you’ll benefit from having this with you.
A super spacious bag, which holds a lot of gear with ease. Waterproofed with PVC lining, and very durable. Attaches easily to the stand. Basically, it’s about the best a carrying bag can be.
Best Tree Stand Blind Kit:
Guide Gear Universal Blind Kit
Economy: Packs away well, and weighs little
Visibility: Thoroughly camouflaged throughout, including the adjustable windows
Safety: Ties down well, without getting in the way
Strength/Durability: Built tough, although snow-weight on the roof may become an issue if left out
Sometimes you find a tree that’s perfectly positioned, is great for attaching your stand but hasn’t got enough cover in the right places. This blind kit may solve your problem.
Light, durable, and weatherproof, it has a simple design which you just wrap around your existing stand. Obviously, it will slightly limit visibility but conversely makes you completely hidden from the ground. The fact that it’s also a ground blind makes it all the more utilitarian, and stakes are included for this purpose.
This is a great dual-purpose blind, for tree stands and ground use. It’s got you covered from the weather, and from visibility too. Ties down well, and has windows on three sides, which you can raise to selected heights.
Best Tree Stand Safety Harness:
Hunter Safety System X-1
Economy: Weighs around 2.5 lb, and fits snugly to the wearer, meaning that it takes up next to no space at all
Visibility: Camouflaged throughout, so it fades into the background
Safety: This is its central function, and it’s world-class as a safety harness
Strength/Durability: This harness is as strong as they come
There’s nothing more important than safety, and it’s a top concern for us all. This is the harness with answers. No weave-through, no dangling straps, just a click-in system that keeps everything out of the way.
Features a primary and secondary strap, both of which are the heaviest around. Considering the statistics around tree stand injuries, this is the kind of gear that all hunters should be using, whenever employing a stand.
Some larger men may find the harness a little tight, but it pays to be safe.
For strength and ease of use, you’ll do well with this harness. Its tassel- and weave-free clip attachment means the whole apparatus comes together fast, without anything flapping around. The two harness straps keep you fully secure.
Best Tree Stand Seat Cushion:
Northeast Products Therm-A-SEAT
Economy: Takes up no space in the stand, because it’s beneath you. Comes with a carabiner to make carrying easier
Visibility: While it’s pretty hidden during use anyway, it does come fully camouflaged
Safety: No flapping straps or hazardous parts
Strength/Durability: Durable design and tough fabric. This cushion will last a good long time
If there’s a luxury item most tree stand hunters think about after hours in the air, it’s a good seat cushion. Therm-A-SEAT is the Cadillac of hunting seats, quite frankly. It’s warm, durable, and most importantly, super comfortable.
You can use it anywhere, too. From the stand to the kayak, or even just at home, it’s a truly great cushion. The only drawback is that it’s got bulk, and doesn’t pack easily. There’s a carabiner to assist with carrying, though, which does help.
Maximum comfort is not something often associated with tree stand hunting, but with this cushion, that’s what you get. It’s an all-purpose cushion, which you could use wherever you like, for any outdoor setting.
Hunting Accessories to Pack into Your Tree Stand
What we like to bring with us into a hunting stand says something about the kind of person we are. It’s a little like a home away from home, when you think about it. There’s also a wide variety of weather conditions, and the type of game we’re after, to consider.
There are some universal considerations, though. Shelter is one of these, and most hunters go for some sort of umbrella covering overhead, like the one featured above. This functions in all weather since even mild sunshine can be unhealthy after long exposure.
A front-mounted carry bag is another must-have accessory to safely store smaller items you might need. A decent bag is a big bonus to have with you, both for convenience and safety. Similarly, your main rucksack is a big factor that can affect a hunting trip.
A decent rucksack should be comfortable across the shoulders, and the right size for your needs. Everything should be in a designated place, and if you’re having trouble fitting in necessary gear, you probably need a different rucksack.
In colder areas, a tree blind can be a wonderful addition. It can make a world of difference when temperatures drop into the low thirties or below. Many hunters struggle to even pull their bows at those temps, and having the added shelter has a marked effect.
Safety Considerations When Using Tree Stand Accessories
Before you start using any accessories, you need to ensure that you remain safe at all times. Here are some factors worth considering.
Setting Up Your Stand
Setup is the central safety concern for tree stand hunting. Whatever bracket you’re using, you need to thoroughly check it at the beginning of the season. Check each strap from end to end, ensuring that there is no fraying or splitting. All metal fittings should also be inspected because even heavy welding can fatigue and come apart with time.
Another big area is ascending and descending the tree. Here, a lineman’s rope is a fantastic tool and highly recommended, especially before you’ve attached your harness. Also, take that little extra time with your steps. Wood isn’t perfectly uniform, and screwing or spiking your step into a crack or fault in the tree could mean a serious fall.
Tree stands seldom fall out of trees; hunters fall out of tree stands. It’s not uncommon for hunters to poorly rig their lifeline, or to forget about it completely.
A properly fitted lifeline should include a simple prusik knot, which allows the line to pass but will lock with any sudden force.
One of the primary safety issues that hunters neglect is tidiness and efficiency. The economical use of space is critical to safety, because loose strapping, spilled liquids, and scattered items cause falls... and falls ruin hunting seasons. Nothing should be loose or otherwise out of place.
Accessories make or break hunting trips. In some cases, they’re central to the function of your stand, and in other cases, they make it more comfortable. For most, a mix of both is typical. Given the limitations of space, and what you can carry, it’s important to think through what you want your experience to be, and accessorize accordingly. We hope our list helped to focus those thoughts.
People Also Ask
Hunting is at least partly about curiosity, and hunters ask a lot of questions. It’s great to be curious, and we’ve put together some answers to common queries, for convenience’s sake.
How Do You Secure Items in a Tree Stand?
Most equipment for use in a tree stand should have heavy strapping, clips, or tassels to secure them to the frame of the stand. If an accessory doesn’t seem to have these, consider an alternative. Once firmly bound to the frame, ensure all strapping is folded out of the way.
What is the Most Important Type of Accessory To Use in a Tree Stand?
There are as many answers to this as there are hunters, really. One thing which does come up time and again is the harness. This device has saved many lives, and it cannot be overstated. Nobody should be 20 feet in the air without a harness. Ever.