TreestandsThere are several styles of treestands. How /when do you use each?
Built-in tree standsBefore tree stands were commercially available hunters just nailed some boards into trees, some more elaborate than others. And when the trees grew and the boards moved, they fell out, perhaps with the hunters on top.
When to use:Never
Climbing treestandsThese may be expensive but you only need to have one. They really only work with straight trees of a certain width, which can limit your placement options. But they are valuable and useful to have, especially if you cannot leave the stand up for a while.
When to use:Hunting public or land you do not own
You can afford 1 stand
You want really good abs
Ground blindsGround blinds can be pop-up tents, piles of brush, or a homemade box. They are useful if you have limited mobility, and if you are in thick cover, where an elevated position may not be useful. having a ground blind or tower with a roof is great to have when it rains or during other inclement weather. Anything that keeps you comfortable keeps you out longer.
When to use:During inclement weather
You have limited mobility
When an elevated position is not helpful
Hang-on tree standsThere are a wide variety of hang-on tree stands available, seat-belt like straps or chains. These can be very expensive or cheap. They can be very comfortable or easy to move. They can be heavy or light. They are great if you can afford several stands. They are very useful if you do not want to carry your weapon and a stand in every time you hunt. They can also be a bit dangerous to put up and take down. Replace the straps every so often or use chains.
For more information in choosing hang on treestands .
Hang on stands will need to be paired with some sort of steps to get up the tree
When to use:You own, or similar, the property
You don't want to carry treestands in each time you hunt
You want the treestands that are easy, although not the easiest, to go up and down
Ladder standsLadder treestands can be very comfortable and are very easy to climb up and down. However, they are also very heavy and require more than 1 person to put up. They also require a lot of storage space in the back of a truck and in the off season. They aren't the best when you bow hunt due to the armrests limiting your ability to turn right and left.
Buy one with a wide ladder section not a narrow one. Narrow ladders are useful only when you have 1 foot and wish to climb a tree like you are a runway model, one foot directly in front of the other. I'm in reasonable shape, in my twenties, and I find the narrow ladders very uncomfortable to climb.
When to use:You have limited mobility
You have someone to help put it up
Tripods and TowersTripods and towers can be very comfortable. They may be necessary if you do not have any trees of the the right size. Ones with roofs are great during inclement weather. If you build your own you won't be able to move it, but you can add things like stairs if you want. Even if you have a lot of trees you may want a stand in a specific place where there is no good tree.
When to use:No suitable trees for the other stand styles
You want to build one
If you build your own you can add stairs, railings, electricity, cushioned chairs, refrigerators, etc. These things are not recommended but you could be as comfortable as you want.