Please exercise safety when climbing trees. Always wear a safety harness and be sure to always have three points of contacts with the tree at all time.

Climbing sticks

Climbing sticks are a popular method of climbing trees by hunters using a hang-on stand. They allow the hunter to climb a crooked tree and where limbs would get in the way of a normal ladder. Combining with a quality hang-on stand, you can climb virtually any tree. This gives the hunter using those a big advantage. You can finally stop hunting for the perfect tree, and hunt the place that you choose!


Mobile hunter

As part of my goal of extending my capacity as a bowhunter, I purchased a complete mobile set-up last year consisting of a Lone Wolf Alpha II combined with a set of four Lone Wolf climbing sticks. I had the chance to used them quite a lot and did multiple sits on a bunch of different sites.

Sticks on the tree Pictured above: The Lone Wolf climbing sticks on a tree

As a mobile hunter, you have a couple of possible option available, but in my mind, the climbing stick might be the best. You could hardly move a complete solid 20 feet ladder everytime you want to change spot, and screw-in steps are impractical at best and also damage trees. The climbing sticks method help you place them everywhere you want on the tree, even if crooked, but are also easily portable. I think this is the best of both worlds.

Another advantage of the sticks is that if you need to place one to a slight angle to accommodate the tree angle or lean, each section is short enough to conform to the shape way better than any long regular hunting ladder.

Price and feature

The Lone Wolf climbing sticks are available as single, a pack of 3 or a pack of 4 and retail for $200USD for the pack of 4. They are a single step design, meaning that each row of steps is a set up to the right or the left of the stick. Some other brands have a double step design meaning that you have a step on each side on all row. This design allows the saving of weight but is quite uncomfortable when trying to set up your tree stand. I often find myself trying to juggle all of my gear and raising my treestand while trying to keep my balance on only one foot is sometimes frustrating. Maybe experience will play into that, I don’t know. Once set-up, however, the problem disappear since you only need to climb up or down, and this is easily achievable alternating right and left foot/hand.

Sticks on transport mode Pictured above: The Lone Wolf climbing sticks in transport mode with stealth strips installed

They are also made of aluminum and weight a total of about 10 pounds for the whole set and are 32 inches long, which is on the long side comparing to the competition. They are made to mate one on top of the others bringing to the total package to a very manageable size. One thing you are sure to get with Lone Wolf is the ability to tuck everything easily in a nice transportable manner. Every piece fits with the next and everything is easily usable while in the field, it really shines in that way while using the whole Lone Wolf system

This is accentuated by the usage of the Versa button. It is a way to attach the strap that goes around the tree to the stick. Hang-on stand from Lone Wolf uses the same technology and it is one of the best feature ever on a hunting product. You can quickly attach your straps and cinch them tight in a fraction of a second.

Versa Button Pictured above: The Versa Button


Competition

Lone Wolf caters to the most serious hunters out there. They make some of the best product around and hunter buy their product with the confidence of what they will get. However, I feel that the climbing stick from Lone Wolf doesn’t offer anything more than the current competition. Just to name a few, you could get: Muddy Aerolite, XOP climbing stick, Hawk Helium Climbing stick and I am sure a myriad of other brands. All of those models have different characteristics that make them slightly unique, some have dual steps, some have longer or shorter length of sticks, etc… although I only tested the Lone Wolf one, I am sure that you can find the set that conveys the most to you. Most of them are in the same price range as well.


Noise reduction

As with their tree stand, Lone Wolf climbing sticks are pretty good at being quiet out of the box. I went ahead and did a couple of modification on mine to bring them at a level that I am more comfortable with. The worst is all the metal on metal contact that can happen on the main aluminum tubing and the buckle strap. A product that is called “stealth strips” is available to cover the tubing. It is, in my opinion, a must-have. You can, in fact, apply this product on any climbing stick you have that are based on aluminum square tubing, they really do make a world of difference. For the buckle, just recover them with felt or a bicycle tire tubing. Do it properly so that the buckle button is not depressed by the tubing. Cut little slot around it to relieve the pressure on it. Doing those two simple step will bring your stealth game to a whole new level.

Stealth Strips on the sticks Pictured above: The Lone Wolf climbing sticks in transport mode with stealth strips installed


Conclusion

For me, there is no question, having a set of climbing sticks is a must have for someone that like to stay mobile like me. I also would like to note that I like getting as high as I can get. The Lone Wolf climbing sticks are great for that because of their length and the fact that I could buy a set of four sticks. All of those features are a clear win for me. I would definitely have no trouble recommending them to mobile hunter out there. I would like however to note that since they are a single step construction design, they can be quite awkward when trying to attach the next stick or the stand over the last stick. You can easily work with this con if you are in shape (which you should try your best to be), but if you are not, I think this could become quite a shore for out of shape hunter.

The Versa Button also help me rate this product highly. This is still one of the best features on hunting product after all those years, and it will continue to be in the future.

I give the Lone Wolf Climbing sticks a solid 8.5/10 for their performance, ease of use with their stand and packability.