Mossy Oak
comfortable in treestand

Long hours hunting from a tree means trying to stay comfortable in your treestand, and it’s not always an easy thing to do. We may plan for every contingency, but we know it’s not going to be completely comfortable when spending a lot of time up in the air. The seats tend to be small and with too little padding, and a treestand safety harness isn’t the most comfortable thing to wear. Even so, there are techniques that you can use to try and increase comfort. Even those with larger, more open box stands will want to find a way to sit reasonably comfortably for hours while waiting for a quarry to show. Since most of us use some kind of portable hang-on stand or a tree climber, let’s look at a few ways to deal with comfort while remaining safe in the treetops. When we learned to hunt from the trees, we found game would be much more vulnerable. But we know how long we have to wait, and our backsides can get sore just thinking about it. Here are some tips on staying comfortable and engaged.


When anyone’s hunting in a treestand, they want to stay warm. This detail can make or break a day of hunting for any hunter. Yet, we still sometimes take it for granted. With today’s hunting clothes and layering systems, this may seem like a moot point; we have so many options for lightweight, heavyweight, and waterproof clothing to keep us in the tree for the entire day. You should typically dress as if it will be colder than expected because you can always shed layers if it warms up. But ultimately, cold hands and fingers, frigid toes, or any other part of your body that isn’t kept warm will almost always be a detriment to hunting. Don’t let it happen.

Wisely Chosen Height

One thing that can make you uncomfortable in your treestand is too much height. Doing a recon during the offseason will ensure that, when the sun comes up on Opening Day, they don’t feel like they climbed too high and wish they were lower. This is a great reason to try a good ladder stand since the height it offers is finite and labeled right on the box. Even then, stand placement alone can cause unwanted stress due to unforeseen obstacles. Keeping your treestand as level as possible is vital, and you don’t want to be trying to adjust when the deer are moving. Address these factors well before the season. This will also increase your accuracy when it comes to the moment of truth.

Comfortable Seating

Male hunter sets up a hang on treestand


It should go without saying, but having a comfortable seat or an extra seat pad is super important when you’re planning to sit for the day. Even if your stand doesn’t offer a decent seat, that can be changed in a hurry with many of today’s seating options. Try using something bigger than you need to sit on (as long as it doesn’t conflict with safety), since it will cushion you during any shift in your position.

Leave Room to Roam

Sure, movement–or rather the lack of it–is the key to a successful deer hunt. But we can’t sit perfectly still for hours on end without some kind of movement. A regular-sized person can benefit from a stand made for someone larger or even a stand made for two people. Adding extra space for movement can also include hangers for gear and weapons, so that they don’t take up space. Having plenty of support for the feet while sitting can make all the difference, just as struggling to find a place to set both hunting boots comfortably can make you miserable. When all else fails, you may need to find a safe way to stand, or at least stretch your limbs, to keep your sanity while on stand. Ensuring you have enough room should be planned out well before the season begins.

Proper Food and Drink

We’re all guilty of taking junk food into our treestands, like chips and soda. Your body needs fuel to stay warm so you’re going to want beverages that will keep you hydrated and protein to fuel you, even though you’re only using a small amount of energy. A homemade sandwich is a much better option than those store-bought cupcakes that looked so good because you were hungry when you bought them. Your day should start with a good breakfast or lunch if you’re hunting in the afternoon, but it’s still a good idea to bring food with you. A hot thermos of coffee or hot chocolate can work wonders in the cold, and a bottle of frozen water that will slowly thaw is great for those hotter days during the early season.

Don’t Let Yourself Get Bored

Everyone jokes about it these days, but a cellphone or good book can help fight the boredom that comes with an all-day sit, as long as you remember to stay aware of your surroundings. You’ll want to take things slowly to keep your movement and silhouette from spooking wild game or other animals, but this is one the best ways to keep yourself from nodding off or suffering from severe boredom as the day goes on. We’re fortunate that we are part of the technological age where having a hand-held, portable phone at our disposal can keep us in touch with loved ones, wildlife authorities, and our hunting partners in the field. Considerations like weather updates, sun and moon phases, sunrise and sunset, a review of the local seasons, and bag limits are just a click away. Not only that, we can get info on deer activity or determine what time of day is the best deer hunting while we’re actually out there doing it. Having a cell phone on hand in the field is not only a great way to pass the time, but it can save your life as well should you wind up injured or stranded.

Please check out my book “The Hunter’s Way” from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube.


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