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How to Climb and Camp in an Ancient Tree in Oregon

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The trees growing across the great state of Oregon date back hundreds, even thousands, of years. With so many years of untouched growth, these trees are a sight to behold. These lush forests are available for the adventurous and experienced campers to utilize.

Largely speaking, these trees need protection from deforestation. Adventurers must respect the rules of the national forest and respect the surrounding nature. Minimize your impact on the environment as much as possible.

Climbing trees may sound like a child-like game, but many outdoorsmen love to see the view from atop a tree. There are many factors into what makes a tree suitable for climbing.

Camping in a tree is a completely different experience. Not only will you climb high into the branches to a beautiful view, but you will also make camp amongst the branches. Just because a tree is suitable for climbing does not mean it is suitable as a campsite.

Finding the correct tree is the most important decision you will make when you go on this adventure. You will also need the correct equipment. For your first-time camping in a tree, you should pair up with an experienced camper or guide. They will prepare you for the proper equipment and site choice.

Besides experiencing nature in a way that preserves the trees, you will also want to experience nature that is safe for you.

Choosing the Best Tree

Choosing a Tree to Camp in

Before you climb the first tree you find, you need to find a tree that is safe to climb. When inspecting trees for climbing, look for a healthy and sturdy tree. A healthy tree is free of cracks or signs of decay. Additionally, inspect the ground for dead branches or signs of infestation.

After assessing the health of the tree, you should assess the size of the tree. The tree needs to be large enough to not only support your weight, but also the weight of your equipment. All things considered, bigger is always better.

Look up to the sky and inspect the canopy. The canopy should be full of leaves or needles. Moreover, the canopy must be large enough to accommodate your gear and tent.

Not all trees are legal to climb. Many trees are protected by local authorities and are illegal to climb.

Using the Correct Equipment

Climbing a Tree in Harness

Many of these ancient trees in Oregon are hundreds of feet tall. In order for you to climb safely, you will need several pieces of equipment.

Climbing Harness

A climbing harness is a crucial piece of equipment that a climber must have. It is a system of straps that wraps around the climber's waist and legs. The harness connects the climber to a rope and provides support while climbing. When choosing a harness, it is important to consider comfort, durability, and adjustability.

Climbing Rope

A climbing rope is another essential piece of equipment that a climber should have. It is used to secure the climber to the tree and to provide support while climbing. Climbing ropes come in different lengths and thicknesses, and the choice of rope depends on the climber's weight and the height of the tree.

Carabiners

Carabiners are used to connect the climbing rope to the climber's harness. They come in different shapes and sizes, and the choice of carabiner depends on the type of climbing rope and the climber's preference.

Climbing Helmet

A climbing helmet is a crucial piece of equipment that protects the climber's head from falling debris and other hazards. When choosing a climbing helmet, it is important to consider comfort, durability, and ventilation.

Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes are specifically designed to provide grip and support while climbing. They come in different sizes and styles, and the choice of climbing shoes depends on the climber's foot size and the type of climbing.

Ascenders

Ascenders are used to climb the rope while ascending the tree. They come in different sizes and styles, and the choice of ascender depends on the type of climbing rope and the climber's preference.

Descenders

Descenders are used to descend the tree while climbing down. They come in different sizes and styles, and the choice of descender depends on the type of climbing rope and the climber's preference.

How to Climb an Ancient Tree

How to Climb an Ancient Tree

Use a Harness: Always wear a harness when climbing an ancient tree. This will keep you securely attached to the tree and prevent you from falling.

Climb Slowly: Take your time when climbing an ancient tree. Move slowly and deliberately, making sure to test each branch for stability before putting your full weight on it.

Maintain Three Points of Contact: Always maintain three points of contact with the tree when climbing. This means having both feet and one hand, or both hands and one foot, on the tree at all times.

Using Spikes: Climbing spikes can also be used by more experienced climbers. These are metal spikes that attach to the climber's boots and allow them to climb up the tree more easily.

Avoid Damaging the Tree: Be careful not to damage the tree when climbing. Avoid stepping on small branches or pulling on them, as this can cause them to break.

How to Camp in an Ancient Tree

Once you have chosen a suitable tree, it's time to set up your tree camp. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Use a specialized tree tent or hammock designed for tree camping. These are designed to be anchored to the tree without damaging it.
  • Use a tree-friendly rope or strap to anchor your tent or hammock to the tree. Avoid using nails, screws, or other hardware that can damage the tree.
  • Use a tarp or rain fly to protect your tent from rain and moisture. Make sure it is securely anchored to the tree and does not touch the trunk or branches.
  • Keep your campsite clean and free of litter. Dispose of waste properly and avoid damaging the tree or surrounding vegetation.
  • Be respectful of the tree and its ecosystem. Do not harm or disturb any wildlife that may inhabit the tree.

Safety Guidelines

Climbing and camping in trees is a wonderful experience, but it comes with risks. Only experienced climbers should attempt camping in a tree. When possible, go with a guide. The guide will help you find the best tree for climbing and camping. Moreover, he will give plenty of advice to keep you safe and give you the best possible experience.

Climbing a Tree with a Professional

Though climbing a tree is fun, once you get some off the ground, it could become more and more risky if you are not sure what you are doing.

It then makes sense to do it for the first time with a professional, in fact that is what we recommend. The YouTube video below is an organization in Oregon that could help you for the very first time.

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