Title:
Climbing Treestand
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A treestand apparatus has a frame having a first end configured to engage a tree and a second end configured to support a user's weight, a toothed belt attached to the frame at first and second points, with a portion of the toothed belt between the first and second points being configured to extend around the tree. At least one of the points of the frame includes a ratchet mechanism configured to selectively adjust the length of the portion of the toothed belt, with ratchet mechanism located ideally proximal to the tree.



Inventors:
Bedell, Raymond L. (Providence, UT, US)
Application Number:
12/142166
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
06/19/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVEN L. NICHOLS (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A treestand apparatus comprising: a frame having a first end configured to engage a tree and a second end configured to support a user's weight; a toothed belt attached to said frame at first and second points, a portion of said toothed belt between said first and second points being configured to extend around said tree; wherein at least one of said points of said frame comprises a ratchet mechanism configured to selectively adjust a length of said portion of said toothed belt.

2. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, wherein said ratchet mechanism comprises a pawl configured to engage individual teeth of said toothed belt.

3. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, wherein said ratchet mechanism comprises internal and external portions which allow easy inspection and replacement of parts of said ratchet mechanism.

4. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, wherein said ratchet mechanism comprises an independently mounted spring.

5. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, wherein said frame comprises a composite material.

6. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, wherein said frame comprises shoulder straps.

7. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, wherein said frame comprises wheels and an extendable handle.

8. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, further comprising one or more attachments for connection of a safety harness.

9. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an extendable frame.

10. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a second toothed belt attached to said frame at third and fourth points.

11. The treestand apparatus of claim 10, wherein at least one of said third and fourth points comprises a ratchet mechanism configured to selectively adjust a length of said portion of said second toothed belt.

12. The treestand apparatus of claim 10, wherein said ratchet mechanism of at least one of said third and fourth points comprises a pawl configured to engage individual teeth of said toothed belt.

13. The treestand apparatus of claim 1, wherein said toothed belt comprises a resilient material.

14. A system for climbing a tree, comprising: a first main frame having a first toothed belt attached thereto at first and second points, a portion of said first toothed belt being configured to extend around said tree; a second main frame having a second toothed belt attached thereto at third and fourth points, a portion of said second toothed belt being configured to extend around said tree; wherein each of said first and second main frames comprises a ratchet mechanism configured to selectively adjust a length of said portion of said first and second toothed belts, respectively.

15. The system of claim 14, further comprising a third toothed belt attached to said second main frame, a portion of said third toothed belt being configured to extend around said tree.

16. The system of claim 14, wherein at least one of said ratchet mechanisms comprises a pawl configured to engage individual teeth of said toothed belt.

17. The system of claim 14, wherein said first main frame comprises a seat.

18. The system of claim 14, wherein said second main frame is comprises an apparatus to attach said user's feet thereto.

19. The system of claim 14, wherein at least one of said first and second main frames comprises a composite material.

20. The system of claim 14, wherein at least one of said first and second main frames comprises shoulder straps.

21. The system of claim 14, wherein at least one of said first and second main frames comprises an extendable handle and wheels.

22. A method of climbing a tree, said method comprising: providing a system as defined in claim 14; coupling said user's feet to said second frame; and ascending a tree; wherein said user uses said ratchet mechanisms to shorten the length of said toothed belts to compensate for a diminishing tree trunk diameter.

23. A method of climbing a tree, said method comprising: providing a system as defined in claim 14; coupling said user's feet to said second frame; and ascending a tree; wherein said user alternately disengages said toothed belts to manipulate said system around an obstacle in said tree.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part and claims the priority under 35 U.S.C. § 120 of prior U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/728,709, entitled “Climbing Treestand,” filed Mar. 27, 2007, which in turn claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/787,098, filed Mar. 28, 2006, in the name of Raymond Bedell. Both of these prior applications are incorporated by reference in their respective entireties.

BACKGROUND

Many people prefer to observe or hunt large game animals from the vantage point provided by an elevated platform in a high tree. Such vantage points provide the opportunity to hunt and observe wildlife while avoiding detection by big-game animals roaming through the general vicinity of the platform-bearing tree.

Climbing treestands are frequently used by hunters to ascend tree trunks and provide an elevated platform on which to support their weight during hunting. A climbing treestand is both a climbing aid and, eventually, a platform supporting the climber in the tree. These treestands typically rely on a cable or strap that extends around a tree trunk to support the weight of the hunter during ascension and subsequent hunting operations. It is common for some climbing tree stands to include a top piece, upon which the hunter may sit, and a bottom piece, configured to receive one or both of the hunter's legs. The top and bottom pieces are used to ascend a tree trunk using what is known as the “sit and stand” technique.

In the “sit and stand” technique, a user alternately rests his or her weight on one of the pieces while raising the other piece with respect to the tree trunk. Thus, when the hunter's weight is on the top piece and the bottom piece is being raised with respect to the trunk, the hunter is sitting. Conversely, when the hunter's weight is on the bottom piece and the top piece is being raised with respect to the tree trunk, the hunter is standing. Climbing tree stands are generally more versatile and less dangerous than fixed tree stands, and consequentially enjoy widespread usage by many large game hunters.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate various embodiments of the principles described herein and are a part of the specification. The illustrated embodiments are merely examples and do not limit the scope of the claims.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an exemplary top piece of a climbing tree stand, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a perspective view of an exemplary top piece of a climbing tree stand with the arms in extended position, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of an exemplary bottom piece of a climbing tree stand, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a perspective view of an exemplary bottom piece of a climbing tree stand with the arms in extended position, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of an attachment mechanism, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of a portion of an exemplary ratchet mechanism and an exemplary toothed belt, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of a portion of an exemplary compression grip mechanism and belt or cable, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 8 is an illustration of a side view of the top piece and bottom piece with arms collapsed and the pieces attached together for portability, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 9 is an illustration of a user carrying an exemplary climbing tree stand, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 10 is an illustration of a user pulling an exemplary climbing tree stand behind him, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 11 is an illustration of an exemplary climbing tree stand in the process of ascending a tree, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 12 is an illustration of an exemplary climbing tree stand in the process of ascending a tree, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 13 is an illustration of an exemplary climbing tree stand in the process of ascending a tree, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 14 is an illustration of an exemplary climbing tree stand in the process of ascending a tree, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 15 is an illustration of an exemplary climbing tree stand in the process of ascending a tree, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 16 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary method of ascending a tree, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

FIG. 17 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary method of ascending a tree, according to one embodiment of the principles described herein.

Throughout the drawings, identical reference numbers designate similar, but not necessarily identical, elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Notwithstanding the many benefits associated with climbing treestands, users of climbing treestands available in the art often encounter problematic situations. For example, tree trunks tend to taper in diameter, becoming narrower as a climber ascends. Typically climbing treestands include cables configured to extend around the trunk of a tree. These cables are difficult to adjust or may not be adjustable at all. Without adjusting the cable, the user has very little control over the pitch of the climbing treestand, which may vary substantially due to the change in tree trunk diameter upon ascension of the tree.

An additional problem often encountered by users of climbing treestands is that of encountering branches in a tree trunk upon ascension of the tree. Generally, climbing treestands have only one cable extending around the tree trunk, and therefore the maneuver of dismounting and disassembling the treestand in order to move around the branch may be unsafe. Typically treestand users faced with this problem cut the branch off of the trunk, which in turn causes damage to the tree, may cause a hazard on the forest floor, and may startle or notify game of a hunter's presence.

To address the issues mentioned above, the present specification describes a climbing treestand having a belt or cable configured to extend around the diameter of a tree trunk. The belt or cable is connected to the climbing treestand by at least one connection mechanism. The connection mechanism allows for adjusting the length of the portion of the belt or cable that extends around the tree trunk, thus providing enhanced pitch control to a user. The present specification further describes an example of a climbing treestand having a first and second belt or cable on the foot or platform section, configured to extend around a tree trunk. The plurality of belts or cables allows for a user to safely maneuver the treestand around branches and other obstacles protruding from the tree trunk. The specification also addresses portability issues by describing wheels, collapsible arms, straps to carry the apparatus as a backpack, carrying bags, extendable frames, and a telescoping handle.

In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present systems and methods. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the present systems and methods may be practiced without these specific details. Reference in the specification to “an embodiment,” “an example” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment or example is included in at least that one embodiment, but not necessarily in other embodiments. The various instances of the phrase “in one embodiment” or similar phrases in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

The principles disclosed herein will now be discussed with respect to exemplary climbing treestand apparatus and systems for climbing trees.

Exemplary Apparatus

Referring now to FIG. 1, an exemplary top portion of a climbing treestand apparatus (100) is shown. The climbing treestand apparatus (100) includes a main frame (140) having a first end (110) and a second end (115). The first end (110) is configured to engage a tree, and includes components generally forming a “V” shape permitting the first end (110) to engage tree trunks having a wide range of diameters. A sort of padding (112) made of substantially resilient material, such as polyurethane, may be placed on the first end (110) situated so that it will be between the main frame (140) and the tree for better grip and protection of the tree trunk. The second end (15) is configured to support the weight of a user. In this case, the main frame is configured to support the user's weight by providing a seat (145) for the user to sit on during and after climbing operations. The second end (115) may also provide attachments for a climbing harness for safety in the case of a fall.

The main frame (140) may be partially or substantially made out of a lightweight, strong composite material. In other embodiments, the main frame (140) may be made out of metal.

The main frame (140) has attached to it first and second arms (120, 125) to which a belt or cable may be attached. In this embodiment a toothed belt (105) is removably attached with ratchet mechanisms (130, 135). The ratchet mechanisms (130, 135) are configured to allow the user to selectively alter the length of a portion of the toothed belt (105) that runs between the first and second arms (130, 135) for example, while ascending or descending a tree.

As will be apparent to one skilled in the art, there are variations on the type of belt or cable that may be used to hold the treestand apparatus (100) and user against the trunk of the tree. For example, as an alternate to the toothed belt (105) and ratchet mechanisms (130, 135), the first and second arms may receive a synthetic or metal cable with spring activated compression grips. The cable or belt used will be able to bear the weight of the treestand and user. The cable or belt may also be made of resilient material that will withstand the wear and tear of use in outdoor environments, scraping against tree trunks, and frequent belt or cable length adjustment.

The arms (120, 125) may be collapsible angular extensions of the main frame (140). The arms (120, 125) may be attached to the main frame by hinges or pins (127, 128) that allow the angular rotation of the arms. A support weldment (121) forming a “V” shape may be attached to the arms (120, 125) to support them in their extended positions. The support weldment (121) may be attached to the arms (120, 125) by hinge like connectors or pins (123, 124) to allow the rotation of the weldment (121) from collapsed to extended positions. These hinges or pins (127, 128, 123, 124) may be sufficiently strong to support the weight of an individual and his/her gear. The weldment (121) may be removably attachable to the main frame (140) by a connector (126) that receives a hole (122) in the weldment and holds the arms (120, 125) in extended position. The connector (126) may be, for example, a bolt and wing-nut combination for quick removal and attachment.

The embodiment further comprises bolts (141) to attach to a bottom portion of the treestand. The bolts (141) may be placed on the main frame (140) with the threaded portion facing down or away from the face where the arms (120, 125) are attached. As will be apparent to one skilled in the art, the bolts (141) may be replaced by other suitable connectors, such as pins or hooks. The attachment of the treestands will be discussed later in further detail.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a perspective view of the exemplary top portion (100) of the climbing treestand apparatus is shown. The toothed belt (105), or comparable belt or cable, has been left out for simplicity and the arms (120, 125) are shown in extended position. In extended position, the weldment support (121) is attached to the main frame via the bolt (126) as previously discussed. The hinges or pins (123, 124, 127, 128) that attach the arms to the weldment and main frame create a triangle of support with the bolt attachment (126) for rigidity in the extended position. The support weldment (121) can be detached and rotated forward or backwards to allow the arms (120, 125) to be collapsed. The arms (120, 125) are meant to be in extended position when engaging a tree and collapsed position for transport.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an exemplary bottom portion of a climbing treestand apparatus (300) is shown. The climbing treestand apparatus (300) includes a main frame (340) having a first end (310) and a second end (315). The first end (310) is configured to engage a tree, and includes a “V” shape and padding (312), similar to that of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Furthermore, the second end (315) of the main frame (340) is configured to support a user's weight by providing foot straps (365) to attach the user's feet to the main frame (340) and allow the user to stand on the main frame (340).

The main frame (340) may be made of some sort of metal or substantially or partially fabricated from a lightweight, strong composite material to provide versatility in transporting the climbing treestand apparatus (300).

The exemplary bottom portion of the climbing treestand apparatus includes a pair of belts or cables. Specifically in FIG. 3, the apparatus (300) includes first and second toothed belts (305, 307) made of resilient material, both of which are removably attached to first and second arms (330, 335) of the main frame (340), with ratchet mechanisms similar to those discussed in relation to FIG. 1. The ratchet mechanisms, or equivalent attachment mechanisms, allow the user to selectively alter the length of the portion of the first and second toothed belts (305, 307) between the first and second arms (330, 335) of the main frame (340). These portions of the toothed belts (305, 307) are configured to extend around the tree engaged by the first end (310) of the main frame (340).

The toothed belts (305, 307) may be independently adjustable. One of the toothed belts (305, 307) may be disengaged from the main frame (340) while another of the toothed belts (305, 307) maintains its position extending around the tree trunk and attached to the main frame (340) allowing the treestand to remain secured to the tree while one of the belts is not attached.

Again, as discussed in relation to FIG. 1, alternate belts or cables along with alternate attachment mechanisms may also be used in place of the depicted toothed belts (305, 307) and ratchet mechanisms.

The exemplary treestand apparatus (300) further includes wheels (345, 350) that may be used to conveniently transport the treestand apparatus (300) on the ground. In one embodiment, the wheels (345, 350) may be used in conjunction with a pop-up handle, similar to those used with many suitcases. A pop-up handle may be mounted, for example, on the underside of the main frame (340).

In this embodiment, the arms are collapsible in a similar manner to that shown in FIG. 1. The apparatus includes a support weldment (331) with a hole (332) that can be received by a connector (336) when the arms (330, 335) are in extended position.

The embodiment further comprises threaded holes (341) to receive the bolts (141, FIG. 1) from the top portion of the treestand. The top (100, FIG. 1) and bottom (300, FIG. 3) portions of the treestand may be attached for portability as will be displayed in a later drawing. Once again, a variation on the threaded holes (341) may be used depending on the connecting mechanism used to attach the tree stands. For example, if hooks or pins were used on the top portion (100, FIG. 1), corresponding hooks or holes may be used on the bottom portion (300).

Variations on the main frame (340) are also possible. For example, the main frame could be telescoping and length adjustable. This would enable the length of the frame to be collapsed for transportation and extended when mounted on a tree.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a perspective view is shown of the bottom portion of the treestand apparatus (300) of FIG. 3. The toothed belts (305, 307, FIG. 3), or comparable cables or belts, are left out for simplicity. The arms (330, 335) are shown in extended position with the support weldment (331) attached to the main frame via the connector (336). The arms (330, 335) are attached to the main frame (340) and support weldment (331) by hinges or pins (405, 406, 407). The last hinge or pin connecting the support to one of the arms (330) is not in view.

The first and second arms (330, 335) are shown to include housings (410, 415, 420, 425) for the ratchet assemblies by which the toothed belts (305, 307, FIG. 3) are attached to the first and second arms (330, 335). If alternate belts or cables are used, assemblies used for the attachment of the said belts or cables may be placed in a similar location, with attachments located ideally proximal to the tree.

With reference to toothed belts and ratchet assemblies, and as will be similar to other cable or belt configurations, the ratchet assemblies permit the free movement of the toothed belts (305, 307 of FIG. 3) through the ratchet housings (410, 415, 420, 425) in one direction and prevent movement of the toothed belts (305, 307, FIG. 3) in a second, opposite direction. Movement by the toothed belts (305, 307, FIG. 3) in the second, opposite direction may be accomplished by pressing the lever, cam, or pawl of the ratchet assembly concurrent to the movement.

Specifically, the ratchet assemblies of this embodiment permit the movement of the toothed belts (305, 307, FIG. 3) through the ratchet housings (410, 415, 420, 425) in a direction that shortens the length of at least one of the portions of the toothed belts (305, 307, FIG. 3) configured to extend around a tree. The portions of the toothed belts (305, 307, FIG. 3) configured to extend around the tree may be lengthened only by depressing a ratchet pawl, as will be shown in more detail in subsequent figures.

Referring now to FIG. 5, an exemplary attachment mechanism (500) that is used to attach a belt or cable to the treestand arms (335, 330 FIG. 3 and 120, 125 FIG. 1) is shown. The attachment mechanism (500) includes a housing (510), a pawl (505), a pivot pin (515), a spring (525), and a spring pin (520). The spring (525) has one end in contact with the ratchet housing (510) and another end that engages the pawl (505). The following figures will give specific details regarding attachment mechanisms for different belt or cable types.

A belt or cable may be fed through the housing (510) where it is engaged by the spring-loaded pawl (505) and restricted. An outer end of the pawl (505) provides a lever which may be depressed by the user to disengage the pawl (505) from the toothed belt (305, FIG. 3) and permit the toothed belt (305, FIG. 3) unrestrained movement in either direction through the housing (510).

The ratchet mechanism (500) depicted in this embodiment has internal and external portions which allow easy inspection and replacement of the parts of the ratchet mechanism.

Referring now to FIG. 6, a side view of an attachment assembly (600) that is configured to engage toothed belts is shown. The attachment assembly (600) for toothed belts will also be referred to as a ratchet assembly. The ratchet assembly (600) is shown in conjunction with a toothed belt (305). The housing (510, FIG. 5) and spring elements (520, 525, FIG. 5) have been removed to better illustrate the interaction between the ratchet pawl (605) and a toothed belt (305).

The pawl (605) has a recess (610) designed to engage individual teeth (615) of the toothed belt (305). The geometries of the teeth (615) and the pawl (605) are such that movement of the toothed belt (305) to the right is possible. The spring-loaded pawl (605) locks the toothed belt (305) into position by preventing it from moving to the left as long as the pawl (605) has engaged one of the teeth (615). When a leftward motion of the toothed belt is desired, the pawl (505) must be disengaged by rotating it counterclockwise about the pivot pin (515). This rotation may be accomplished by depressing the top of pawl (605).

Referring now to FIG. 7, a side view of an attachment assembly (700) that is configured to engage a non-toothed belt or cable is shown. The attachment assembly (700) for a non-toothed belt or cable will also be referred to as a compression grip assembly. The compression grip assembly (700) is shown in conjunction with a non-toothed belt or cable (710). The housing (510, FIG. 5) and spring elements (520, 525, FIG. 5) have been removed to better illustrate the interaction between the compression grip pawl (705) and a non-toothed belt or cable (710).

The geometry of the pawl (705) is such that movement of the belt or cable (700) to the right is possible. That is, if the belt or cable (710) is pulled to the right, the friction between the pawl (705) and the belt or cable (710) will reduce the compression of the belt or cable (710) and allow the right-ward movement. However, the geometry of the pawl (705) inhibits the movement of the cable or belt (710) to the left. The spring-loaded pawl (705) along with friction between the pawl (705) and belt or cable (710) locks the belt or cable (710) into position by preventing it from moving to the left as long as the pawl (705) sufficiently compresses the belt or cable (710). When a leftward motion of the belt or cable (710) is desired, the pawl (705) must be disengaged by rotating it counterclockwise about the pivot pin (515). This rotation may be accomplished by depressing the top of pawl (605).

Referring now to FIG. 8, the treestand (800) consists of the top (100) and bottom (300) portions of the treestand. Both portions (100, 300) of the treestand are collapsed and attached for portability. The dotted lines are used to distinguish each portion of the tree stand (100, 300). The bottom portion of the treestand in this view comprises the mainframe (340), an arm (330), the support weldment (331), and a wheel (345). The top portion (100) in this view comprises the main frame (140), the arm (120), the support weldment (121), and attachment bolts (141). Using the attachment bolts (141) and the receiving bolt holes (341, FIG. 3), the portions are attached firmly together. The collapsibility and attachment of the frames allows for easy portability of the treestand.

Referring now to FIG. 9, an exemplary climbing treestand apparatus (300) is shown mounted on the back of a user (905) with shoulder straps (910, 915).

Referring now to FIG. 10, the exemplary climbing treestand (800) is shown pulled by a user (1005). The attached climbing treestand apparatus (800) may be rolled on wheels (350) behind a user (1005) holding onto the main frame (340, FIG. 3) of the bottom portion (300) of the treestand. Although not shown in this figure, an extendable handle similar to that used on luggage may also be included. Luggage bags (not shown) may also be attached to the stand (800) in which the stand may be placed and carried or checked as a piece of airline luggage. Additional bags may also be incorporated onto the stand such as a detachable fanny pack, or pouches for holding needed items while ascending, descending, or waiting for game in the stand.

Exemplary System

FIGS. 11-15 illustrate an exemplary system (1100) for climbing a tree (1105) in various stages of ascending a tree. The system (1100) includes first and second climbing treestand apparatus (100, 300). Each climbing treestand apparatus (100, 300) has a main frame and extending arms.

The first climbing treestand apparatus (100) is configured to support a user's weight with the user sitting thereon, and has a toothed belt (105) attached to the extending arms at two points with ratchet mechanisms. A portion of the toothed belt (105) extends around the tree (1105) thereby securing the apparatus (100) to the tree.

The second climbing treestand apparatus (300) is configured to support the user's weight with the user standing thereon. The second apparatus (300) has two toothed belts (305, 307), which, similar to the first apparatus (100), are each attached to the arms of the second apparatus at two points with ratchet mechanisms. A portion of each of the toothed belts (305, 307) extends around the tree (1105).

The exemplary system (1100) is configured to allow a user to climb the tree (1005) using the “sit and stand” technique, in which the first and second apparatus (100, 300) serve to alternately ascend or descend the tree trunk and provide support for the weight of the user. This and other similar techniques are known in the art. The user is not shown in the figures for clarity.

Referring now to FIG. 11, the system (1100) is shown ascending the tree (1105) with a branch (1110) as a potential obstacle to the system (1100). To continue ascending the tree (1105), the first or upper climbing treestand apparatus (100) must be manipulated around the branch (1110). To do so, the toothed belt (105) may be disengaged from the main frame using the ratchet mechanism. While the second apparatus (300) supports the user's weight, the first apparatus (100) may then be secured to the tree above the branch (1110) and the toothed belt (105) reattached to the main frame with the ratchet mechanism.

Referring now to FIG. 12, the system (1100) is shown with the first apparatus (100) above the branch (1110), and one of the toothed belts (307) of the second apparatus (300) disengaged. The toothed belt (307) may be disengaged from the arm using the ratchet mechanism. Once disengaged, the loose toothed belt (307) may be manipulated over the branch (1110) and reengaged into the main frame, while maintaining a constant anchor to the tree (1105) from the other toothed belt (305) of the second apparatus (300).

Referring now to FIG. 13, the system (1100) is shown with the first climbing treestand apparatus (100) and one of the toothed belts (307) of the second climbing treestand above the branch (1110). The second belt (305) is still engaged and attached below the branch.

Referring now to FIG. 14, the system (1100) is shown with the toothed belt (305) that was beneath the branch (1110) disengaged from the main frame, while the second climbing treestand apparatus (300) is being supported by the engaged toothed belt (307) above the branch (1110).

Referring now to FIG. 15, the system (1100) is shown with all of the toothed belts (105, 305, 307) connected to their corresponding treestand climbing apparatus (100, 300) above the branch (1110). Using ratchet mechanisms in conjunction with toothed belts (105, 305, 307) the treestand apparatus (100, 300) may be successfully and safely manipulated around obstacles such as branches (1110).

Exemplary Methods

Referring now to FIG. 16, an exemplary method (1600) of climbing a tree is shown. The method (1600) includes the step of providing (step 1605) a tree-climbing system, as described in relation to FIG. 11. A user's feet are then coupled (step 1610) to the tree-climbing system. The user then ascends (step 1615) the tree, compensating (step 1620) for a diminishing tree trunk diameter by using two attachment mechanisms to shorten the length of the belts or cables extending around the tree.

Referring now to FIG. 17, another method (1700) of climbing a tree is shown. The method includes the step of providing (step 1705) a tree-climbing system as described in relation to FIG. 11. A user's feet are coupled (step 1710) to the system, and the user then ascends (step 1715) the tree, alternately disengaging (step 1720) the belts or cables to manipulate the system around an obstacle in the tree.

The preceding description has been presented only to illustrate and describe embodiments and examples of the principles described. This description is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit these principles to any precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching.