TFTC #35 Top 10 Tools Every Climber Needs: Part 3

Sherrilltree Nov 15th 2021
This is part three of the top tools every climber needs. We've covered saddles, climbing lines, a climbing system, loop runners, carabiners, foot ascenders, lanyards, and helmets, handsaws.

Let's get into part three of the top tools every climber needs. In parts one and two, we covered a variety of equipment. If you haven't had a chance to take a look, check out part one here and part two here.

Helmet (with chinstrap)

Mark Chisolm recently said, “It’s 2021...there’s really no reason people shouldn’t know when to wear proper PPE.” Gearing up for climbing should not be the first time you have thought about a helmet. The significance of a helmet in this list is making sure that whatever helmet you have or plan to buy, make sure it is ANSI 289.1 compliant and has a chinstrap. And remember, a chinstrap only works if you use it. There are many stories of helmets saving climbers’ lives, and darker stories of how unstrapped helmets could have saved lives if they’d been strapped.

Besides having a chinstrap, your helmet should be inspected regularly, and retired no matter what after an impact, failed inspection, or when it expires per manufacturer guidelines. If you will be working near powerlines, check to make sure your helmet is “E” rated. If you’re not sure, feel free to contact us for help.

“The significance of a helmetis making sure that whatever helmet you have or plan to buy, make sure it is ANSI 289.1 compliant and has a chinstrap."


Straight blade or curved, folding saw or scabbard, hardened blade or sharpenable? There are so many options! Just remember, according to ANSI, you must carry a handsaw with you while working aloft. (That goes for bucket and lift operations, too!)

Chainsaw Lanyard

An easy thing to forget when putting together your kit, and such a pain not to have on the job. When looking at the options available, think about-

  • Break-away- some lanyards feature a break-away system that will keep a saw from forcefully jerking the saddle if the saw gets snatched by a limb or log when cut. If the lanyard you want doesn't have this feature, you can always choose a low-strength connector when attaching the lanyard to your saddle.
  • Bungee- Many climbers prefer bungee-style lanyards for their reach while deployed and compact profile while stowed.
  • Connectors- There are so many choices of snaps, rings, and carabiner slots. Whatever you choose, make sure it connects effectively on your saddle and saws.

Double Check

To recap, here are the 10 things you need to remember when building a new climbing kit:

As for choosing specifics—research, research, research, and stay within your expertise! Check out reviews both on and social media. Ask other climbers you know. Remember, manufacturers have made user manuals to many of their products available online. Never hesitate to contact any manufacturer with questions about their products. Also, the customer service team at is ready to help through live chat on the website, email, or over the phone.

Daryl Stanley is a freelance writer, contract climber, arborist, and trainer with over 10 years in the industry.