If SHTF and it ever comes down to defending your property, you need to give yourself advanced warning of threats. This can be obtained in a variety of ways:
- Using radio communications, you can network with other homes in your area and get forewarning of threats.
- You can perform routine scout patrols (also with radio communications) of your area.
- You can use security cameras with Wifi signaling to transmit into your control station.
- OR you can set up a tree sentry position! I hope you don’t have a fear of heights!
In this article, I’ll show you a couple of ways you can set up a high elevation sentry lookout. Paired up with a good pair of binoculars, you’ve just given yourself an incredible force multiplier against threats in terms of getting early first warning.
Tree Climbing Deer Stands
These deer stands are comprised of two large pieces – the seat and the step stool. They work in tandem using pivot friction to work your way up a tree (no ladder needed). The only caveat is that they work best when there are not several limbs which prohibit the stand from progressing up the tree. However, once you reach the desired height, you have a nice comfortable seat to use for your lookout tower. The Summit Model below currently runs for $200. Best thing is that you can use it for its intended purpose of hunting in addition to the sentry tower.
Here is a nice video showing how this stand type is used:
Rope Climbing / Arboring
Although I am not as involved as I used to be, one of my hobbies used to be rock climbing. I climbed all styles (top rope, sport, trad, etc.) and it instilled a great wealth of knowledge in me in terms of rope work and knots. Similar to my experiences, Wranglerstar on Youtube also started tree climbing based on his previous rock climbing background. It’s a great hobby, it’s functional (you can climb trees and trim/cut them if need be), and you can use the skills to hoist yourself high up into a tree to be a sentry lookout. The benefits of this type of tree climbing as opposed to the stands is that you get to learn knots which can be re-purposed for rock climbing or rope rescue, the gear is much lighter, and it costs around the same (a couple hundred dollars). Additionally, you could always hide gear high up in the trees instead of burying it in the ground! Below is a video of Wranglerstar showing how he climbs trees. I think it’s a good video to demonstrate the concept. However, there are a couple safety and efficiency caveats that I found…
I always like having 2+ anchor points while ascending ropes whereas he only has 1 prussik knot. Also, you can tell he is struggling a little bit as he hoists himself up the rope with the 1 prussik. Having a second prussik attached to one of his feet would be much more efficient. That foot prussik could also serve as a safety backup (2nd point of attachment to the main rope) if you have a line coming off of it to your main harness.
Don’t understand what I just said? If you have never gone rock climbing or climbed trees, I must stress that you need to get trained. Finding folks that climb trees are few and far between. However, most every major city has rock climbing gyms where they can at least start to teach your rope work and knots. From there, find folks to climb with, do some self-education through books and the internet, and BE SAFE! Always, always, always have a partner whenever you are climbing anything and have fun!