I have built a number of these climbing sticks with 1/2-inch EMT and 3/8-inch hollow braid polypropylene rope – I hate buckles! The beauty of the curved step is it creates a lot of room for two feet. These are easy to climb and are very stable.The bends were made with an EMT tubing bender available at any home building center. I welded the EMT with a MIG welder and they have held up just fine. Each section weighs 3.5 pounds so four total 14 pounds. Not light but not bad either. If you are going to weld EMT be sure to do a Google search for the cautions needed because gas is created when welding zinc-coated metal…be safe!
The photos below show the dimensions I have used. Note that the middle step is shorter than the end ones so it does not touch the tree. I welded a chain link to each side to attach the rope to. The knot is really easy to tie and adjust. Some of the photos show the rope I used before switching to hollow braid poly. I think the hollow braid is easier to tighten and stretches less…your mileage may vary. :)
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Knot Used to Tie and Adjust Rope