Treestand Tip: Wear Your Full-Body Safety Harness Under — Not Over — a Jacket

For maximum comfort while deer hunting from a treestand, wear your full-body safety harness under an outermost jacket or parka.

Treestand Tip: Wear Your Full-Body Safety Harness Under — Not Over — a Jacket

If you’re new to deer hunting from a treestand, you might find it a bit confusing as you try to slip your legs and arms into a full-body safety harness. Don’t worry — after a bit of practice it’ll soon become second nature.

One tip when it comes to comfort while wearing the harness: When hunting in a heavy jacket or parka, which is common in cold-weather states during October, November and December, it’s smart to wear the harness beneath your outermost top layer (top photo). The reason is the harness straps won’t block access to various pockets in your jacket, which is often the case if you slip into the harness last (below).

If you wear a full-body safety harness on the outside of your jacket, then it could prevent accessing many of your pockets.
If you wear a full-body safety harness on the outside of your jacket, then it could prevent accessing many of your pockets.

Some jackets and parkas have a built-in opening (a slot high in the back) designed for the harness strap that will attach to the tree strap/rope. (Example: Sitka Gear calls this feature a Safety Harness Pass-Through Port.) If your jacket doesn’t have such a feature, simply pull the harness attachment strap out from the jacket’s collar and attach it to the strap/rope that is wrapped around the tree.

Sitka Gear has a feature on many of its whitetail jackets and parkas called a Safety Harness Pass-Through Port. It allows hunters to wear their safety harness under their outermost jacket.
Sitka Gear has a feature on many of its whitetail jackets and parkas called a Safety Harness Pass-Through Port. It allows hunters to wear their safety harness under their outermost jacket.

One more tip: For cold-weather hunting, you’ll stay warmer in bibs than pants, and a full-body safety harness will fit more comfortably over bibs. With pants, a harness can sometimes pull upward on your top layers, which allows cold air to permeate your waistline. This doesn’t occur with bibs.

Wearing a full-body safety harness under a jacket or parka makes it comfortable for bow or gun hunters to access their pockets, and still stay safe in the treestand.
Wearing a full-body safety harness under a jacket or parka makes it comfortable for bow or gun hunters to access their pockets, and still stay safe in the treestand.

If you’ve purchased a new full-body safety harness, it’s smart — and safe — to try it out at home before using it for the first time in a treestand, especially if you’ll be climbing into a stand in the dark. Slip the harness over your bibs, and adjust the straps that wrap around each leg. Then adjust the straps that pass over your shoulders and around your waist. Then feed the harness strap that will attach to the tree through the provided hole/slot in your jacket, or practice feeding it out the collar of your jacket.

You don’t want any safety harness surprises in the dark after you step onto the platform of your treestand. Also, it’s best to use a HSS LifeLine, Summit Safety Line or similar rope system so you can stay connected to the tree and climb safely from the moment you leave the ground.

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