Tree Climbing Spikes, also known as hooks, spurs, and climbers, are one piece of gear that can get overlooked, but can quickly remind you how important proper fitment is when blocking down big timber on a spar. Anything from steel to aluminum, and even carbon fiber are available for tree climbing spikes. Notch Geckos have seen some fresh designs and features with their Gecko Steel Climbers and continue to improve upon the already successful Gecko Aluminum 2.0 and Gecko Carbon Fiber tree climbers. Other great options are available such as the Edelrid Talon Steel Climbers, Buckingham Alloy Climbers, Stein X2, and other models from manufacturers such as Klein, Climb Right, and Weaver.
Tree gaffs are longer than pole gaffs and work well on thick bark trees where the extra length is needed to get through the bark to solid wood. Pole gaffs, or short spikes, find their place on thinner bark where the longer tree gaff may keep you too far away from the tree. Many models allow you the option to quickly change out the gaffs as needed.
Tree climbing spikes damage trees and should only be used when completely removing the tree. Using climbing spikes for pruning or other tree work causes damage to the tree and allows bugs and diseases to further harm the tree.
Choosing the Right Climbing Spurs for Your Tree Climbing Equipment
When it comes to spurs, you have to worry about the health of the tree first and foremost. However, Having a pair of comfortable tree climbing spikes is important for the arborist, as well. When it comes to tree climbing gear, much of the focus is put on the comfort of the wearer. This is because climbing trees often takes all day. To choose the right climbing spurs, consider the following areas.
The Material the Shank is Made From
When it comes to climbers, there are a few different material choices that you'll be able to pick from. Typically, people gravitate towards lightweight gear for climbing because it takes less energy to use. Generally speaking, you'll have your choice between, steel, alloy, titanium, or carbon fiber. Steel climbers will be the heaviest, but they'll also be the most durable Carbon fiber climbers will be the lightest, but may be prone to wear and tear. It really comes down to how often you'll use them, how they'll be used, and how much you want to spend. The lighter they are, the more expensive they are.
The Design of the Shin Pad
When you choose climbers, the shin pads have to be comfortable. If they aren't, the work you're doing won't be comfortable, either. When it comes to pads, you'll have two options, either fixed shin pad or a sleeved shin pad. Most climbers will agree, a fixed shin pad is more comfortable, as it cannot move under your weight when climbing. However, some prefer the sleeved shin pad, which moves with the shanks, making them a bit more flexible.
The Length of the Tree Gaffs
Gaffs come in a range of sizes, but most people concern themselves with the most basic of concepts when it comes to gaff length. What's better; long or short? It depends entirely on the user. Long gaffs are great for trees with thick bark, while short gaffs are ideal for thinner areas of bark on the tree. When selecting your gaffs, you'll need to think long and hard about the way that you like to climb, and what trees you'll be climbing.
Replacing Parts on Your Gear
Thankfully, when something starts to wear out on your spurs, you can easily find replacement parts. The market is full of replaceable tree climbing spike parts, like replacement sleeves and replacement gaffs. For when you need replacement parts, be sure to check out the extensive list of replacement cuffs, pads, gaffs, bolts, and screws we offer.