January 04, 2021
By Bowhunter Staff
Lose Weight — Ascend New Heights
A climbing aider is a device that you use in conjunction with a stick that helps you gain more height per stick, but at the addition of very little weight to the stick setup. An aider can provide one or two more steps per each stick section, thereby greatly increasing height potential when needed and allowing you to carry fewer total sticks to gain a specific height.
Example: If you have a stick with two rungs of steps 15-inches apart, such as Trophyline’s new Mini Sticks, and then you add a two-step aider with 15-inch spacing per step, instead of that stick getting you 30-inches off the ground (assuming you use safe, highly-recommended equidistant spacing), you now get 60 inches or 5 feet high per stick, doubling your achievable height per stick for mere ounces in weight. Aiders or etriers used in the climbing world with more than two steps require cat-like agility and skinny shoes to work well, and they’re not worth the risk in my opinion. Almost anyone can use a one-step aider with practice, and the well-braced and wider versions of two-step aiders can be mastered with practice.
The three common types of aiders for sticks include:
1. Carry As You Go aiders that you carry and move up and down successively on each stick, most being homemade from ½-inch tubular climbing webbing tied or sewn to your specific step spacing (see: Tree Saddle Demo Climb with Aider Use)
2. Semi-Automatic Wearable Aiders that remove themselves off your stick Versa Button as you climb via an adjustable elastic string (you must remove them by hand as you climb down), like the stick-specific Versa Aider (A) and Multi-Step Aider (B) from Backwoodsmobilegear.com and the unique, stick-adaptable Daisy Aider (C) from Customamsteelproducts.com.
3. Fixed Aiders, typically of Amsteel rope, such as the many models from Customamsteelproducts.com (D, E), or models from tubular climbing-rated webbing (F), and the newest models of folding, plastic-coated cable wire like those from Lone Wolf Custom Gear (G) and Eastern Woods Outdoors. All styles of Fixed Aiders permanently install and live on your stick. Each aider type has pros and cons, but they are all wonderfully empowering and weight saving.