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Old 01-05-2008, 10:27 PM
SWAMPFOX SWAMPFOX is offline
 
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Default Baker Tree Stand Question

I hunted for years out of the original Baker stand and never had a problem with safety. Always wore a safety belt, etc. Then I switched to an original steel Summit and still used the Baker from time to time.

Then I began to hear that the Baker stands were inherently unsafe. My question is: what was unsafe about Baker stands? Were they mechanically or structurally unsound?

I still have two and unless they have some safety problems due to the manufacturing process or structural problems I can't see not using them.

I'd appreciate any input based on others' experiences. Thanks.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:33 PM
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alot of folks on here are not old enough to know what a Baker stand is. your dating yourself.
I think it was a design issue. they were well known for giving you an unexpected elevator ride down.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:40 PM
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When yoy steped back close to the tree, it closed up and down you went.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RWK View Post
When yoy steped back close to the tree, it closed up and down you went.
Yep - had one go to the bottom of the tree with me 35 feet up - straddled the tree with the top piece banging me on the head the whole shimmy down. Killed my first deer in that incident.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:22 AM
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Yep - had one go to the bottom of the tree with me 35 feet up - straddled the tree with the top piece banging me on the head the whole shimmy down. Killed my first deer in that incident.
Years ago, one of the guys in our club went up a tree in a Baker Stand. He was directly across the creek from the stand that I was in and I could hear him climbing the Pine Tree that morning. Just as he got to the top of the tree and moved his feet, the stand started back down the tree. He held on to the tree for deer life as it was one of the "hug the tree" models with no hand climber.
It made a ruckous as he came down the tree. Once he hit the bottom of the tree, the stand finally grabbed and then I heard a loud "Crack". It broke the stand in half.
He had ratcheted about 25 feet down the pine tree.
He was "OK" but looked like he had been run up and down on a cheese grater. He was scuffed on his face, arms and chest and had a mouth full of pine bark.
That was the last time anyone that was in our club used one. I do remember one of the guys in the club put one on a Pine tree behind his camper to sit a 5 gallon jug of water on to siphon into his camper.
BB
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:34 AM
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The first climbing stand I ever owned was a Baker with the hand climber. Never had a minutes trouble with it other than I just got too fat and heavy for it. The stand had a little fold-down stool to sit on which I usually used to rest my feet on while sitting on the platform. I kept my blades sharp and never had it slip like the other guys on here. It was a great tool to use back in those days and wouldn't hesitate to use it again if I didn't weigh so much. Thanks for the memories.

Russ
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:47 AM
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I am 50 years old and suffered my first busted rear end courtesy of the Baker stand! 16 years old and climbing a sweetgum tree (bad idea!). Got up about 35 feet, settled in to watch the beautiful sunrise over the Oconee National Forest. About 5 minutes later, while just sitting there being still my stand said "ka-chunka-chunk" and ratched itself down, only about an inch or so. "Hmm....wonder what that was all about?" Another occurence in the next 3-5 minutes just like that! Starting to really get concerned and then all you-know-what broke loose and it just hauled butt down the tree and my butt hauled butt right along with the stand! I was trying my best to hold on to the rifle and the tree and ended up with five pounds of Sweetgum bark under my fingernails by the time I impacted the ground at approximately 95mph. Lucky for me that 16 year old boys are, for the most part, bulletproof. I survived with a busted up caboose two sore as the dickens arms. The stand was split in half and the store gladly replaced it.

That company is lucky more folks didn't get killed with their invention. No hand climber, no safety rails, tricky turnaround to get seated, can only stand on the edge (not near the tree!), no safety belts back then....Gawd, we were lucky back then.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:52 AM
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We had a thread a couple of years ago about the Baker and how many were left in the woods for anybody to get after they experience a wild ride. The thread had a lot of replies and the stories were funny. I'm glad no one got killed or injured badly.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:15 AM
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Boy this sure sounds familiar. I was also a young lad of 16 who was using one of those fine Baker tree stands in I believe the year was 1978. I was hunting in Tide Swamp in Florida. I was using the model that only had a platform. You had to hug the tree and pull yourself up. What a fine invention. I climbed a pine tree. I think I was about 35 feet up. Was just pulling my feet out of the straps when all of a sudden the next thing I know I was hugging the tree for dear life 35 feet up looking down at my stand at the bottom of the tree. All I can say is I'm lucky to be alive. I slid down the tree, scraping my arms and legs the whole way down. At least I didnt break my neck!!! Now you wont catch me in my stand without my Hunter Safety System. I still wonder sometimes if that stand is still hanging on that tree...
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:25 AM
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I got one the first year they came out and added the hand climber portion when it later hit the market. I hunted out of it for about 20 years and it is in my garage right now still in excellent shape. I never had any problem with it.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:42 AM
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Years ago, we used two old Baker stands to make very simple permanent stands. We leaned a 16' wooden ladder against a tree, put the Baker above the ladder, and lashed it to the tree with a heavy piece of rope. They were basically lock-ons, but no one we knew had lock-ons back then. We left that club after the 1989 season, so that tells you how long ago it was. We left both Bakers in the tree for the other club members to hunt.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:47 AM
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Default I still have one also

Sits in my garage as a double back up to my other two stands. I have the hand climber model, so my story isn't quite as bad as the others. I was way up a tree and had the foot straps come loose and the stand fall all the way to the ground. I had to shimmy down the tree using the hand climber and a scissor leg lock. No injuries, but my favorite camos were covered in pine sap.

I kept using that thing until better models came along. 30 years ago, there weren't many alternatives. Baker ruled the roost in those days. There is definitely a trick to those stands. You have to keep weight on the far edge of the platform/climber. In other words, lean away from the tree. That way, the edge remains lodged in the bark. You have to be especially careful going up or coming down.

Even though I feel relatively safe in the thing, I doubt I would ever use it again. In addition to the gripping issue, they also squeak, are really noisy while climbing, heavy and uncomfortable.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:47 AM
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Had one for bout 2 weeks...Tree hugger to climb ...Just too
much work...Sold it and bought 2 Warren and Sweat "Specials"..
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:05 AM
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Ive had them cut out on me several times.Dangerous to your chest skin because they were made before the hand climber part was invented, you had to hug the tree to climb.
My favorite baker story happened to a fellow hunter in our club. He was climbing out of an oak tree when at about 10 feet the stand slipped and unelevated him to terra firma. While still standing on the platform (checking if he had any ankles left) the hand climbing part cut out as well at about 15 feet. Struck him on the head, causing a 4" deep gash to his head. He wandered out of the woods and came to the truck. Our flashlights revealed a hunter covered in blood, boots squishing and all. We thought he was going to die, a little first aid and a bath he wuz fine. That baker (as far as i know is still in that tree.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:30 AM
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With the innovations ,comfort, and above all else SAFETY in modern day stands, I wouldnt even consider getting back in one of those death traps.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:37 AM
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Yes Sir, I have ridden the Suicide Stand down many a tree. I also finally started using it as a camp table.
They really were good weight-loss products....if you could stand the bare arms and chests. And also taught me lots of new words!
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:56 PM
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Default Tree Hugger

I bought my first one at Kmart and planned to use the tree hugging method of ascent. I found out real quick I didn't have the upper body strength. So then I bought the hand climber and used it until they came out with the seat climber modification kit for the hand climber. I have the Original as well as the Slim Jim model which they touted as better for bow hunting.

I never had a problem with mine collapsing. But I got a story about a weld breaking on the hand climber. My dad and I were bow hunting the Catonment area on the Camp Blanding WMA in north Florida one morning. The area had never been hunted and it was bow only. My dad had settled in and I moved on about 100 yards and was about 10 feet up when the weld broke on my hand climber. No problem. I tossed down the broken hand climber. Then I baled out, hit soft pine straw and did a tuck and roll. I walked back to my dad and told him my troubles. So he dropped his hand climber down so I could use it. Guess what? When his climber hit the ground, the weld broke on his. Now I got my 78 year old dad 35 feet up a long leaf pine and no way to get down. Long story short, it is Saturday and after checking out a couple of places in nearby Keystone Heights, I get a lead on a guy at the small airport who has a set up to weld aluminum. Talk about a God send. He repairs both hand climbers and I get back to dad around 2 pm and he's able to come down. Maybe some day somebody will write a book on Baker "experiences."
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
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Maybe some day somebody will write a book on Baker "experiences."
The ones that are still with us !!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:00 PM
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Default Ya got to be old

to remember a Baker Tree Stand.

I have a VCR tape from some twenty years ago, from the owner of the Tree Lounge, showing the disadvantages of the Baker stand.
Those Baker stands sure were a great selling tool.
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:01 PM
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You know if you put all your weight on one side of those things it will go down the tree like a cork screw.
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:17 PM
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The original Baker was in use at least 35 and maybe even 40 yrs ago. I built a copycat way back about 1971. It was safer I believe, but in the days before hand climbers, everybody got a taste of bark, and plenty of skint places on chest and chin! Many of them were left in the woods...permanently probably.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:24 PM
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still got one of the old original "Widow maker BAKER's" set up by the fire pit @ camp, ( about 3 1/2 feet off the ground) great place to set a cup of coffee or cold drink, when you throw another log on the fire
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:38 PM
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my first stand was a baker type when i was akid 14 years old bought it used for 35 dollars from my buddies dad.i had to cut several yards to get that money.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:14 PM
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I always hear about the Baker stand but I've never seen one (i'm 20 yo). Can someone post a pic of one please?
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:17 PM
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Check out page 3 under the Henry County Header from the link below. Apparently there are a couple still out there and a couple folks who'll use them. In the write-up, it doesn't sound like it was the stand's fault.

http://georgiawildlife.dnr.state.ga....29,%202007.pdf
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAMPFOX View Post
... mechanically or structurally unsound?
...
Both. As long as you're satisfied with them and use a belt, I wouldn't let someone else's ideas about them change that.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:34 PM
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Default Have a guy

in our club that tried to climb a telephone pole with one. Seems he remembered the tree lounge folks climbing a steel pole with theirs so surely he could climb a telephone pole with that old Baker to show them just how wrong they were. We got so worried about all the blood so we carried him to the emergency room. No major damage but not a favorite way to spend a Saturday for sure.

He says he's still pulling splinters out of some very unmentionable places.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:51 PM
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A little history on the bakers as far as I remember. For quite a few years there was no hand climber, they weren't thought of yet. The biggests problem with them was the piece of plywood that was the base would give. Either break or crack under stress of the weight, a true 3/8" piece of plywood. The second biggest problem was the frame for the stand which was made out of aluminum angle had holes drilled in it and then through the plywood to hold it together. Another stress problem. Imagine the 3 bolts pulling out of one side that attached the aluminum frame to the 3/8" plywood that was drilled for them a quarter inch from the edge. There was no such thing as weight rating back then so I'm sure some bigguns fell to the ground! One other problem was they were totally bolted together. Everything was bolted or screwed. I personally never had a problem with one except they would torque on the tree. The trick was turning around and sitting down on the small platform to hunt with feet dangling downMr. Baker is the father of what we have today.......The ole kick the stand back and slide to the bottom of a tree was the fastest descending type stand I've ever been in. You would buy a big coat to hunt out of just for that reason. Some of you young bucks should try that sometime! Hold on tight and slide down the tree!
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:57 PM
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Miss Darcy, i cannot imagine a woman climbing in a baker, cant be done!
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:13 PM
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We (my Dad and I) had and well still have a couple of Bakers. We didn't have no handclimber top but Dad came up with the "Rope A Dope", basically about 8 ft of nylon strap with about 18" of broom handle on one end and then knotted about every 18-24", created loops in it. Sling the strap around a tree, run the handle thru a loop, pull it tight and then do a "chin up". Much better than hugging a tree and once you got to the top it served as a safety strap. When you killed your deer just put the front legs up behind the deer's ears and loop the strap around the neck/legs, run the handle thru the loop and pull it tight and whoala:
a great drag rope. I still use my "Rope a Dope" to drag deer with but haven't attempted to use that Baker in a long long time.

The biggest buck I ever killed was shot out of a Baker. I had tore up my knee playing BB and was on crutches. We hung that Baker over a limb about 5 feet off the ground and used a 6 foot step ladder leaned against the tree to get up in it. Worked just fine.

I got my share of pine bark in the face and down the shirt and a bunch of scratches but luckily no 25 or 35 rapid decents!

Mark
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:23 PM
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Default I fell out of one...

Or better say I had one fall out from under me. I was like 12 years old and my dad (smart guy) did not let me carry a weapon into the stand yet. I had a safety belt on and dad was in another stand on the tree next to me, so I didn't have hang there long. Same story as everyone else, too much pressure on the tree end of the stand and it shimmied down the tree without me.

That's still my old man's favorite hunting story of all time!
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:37 PM
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I owned a Baker...no hand climber...just hugged a pine and up I went, same way back down, just sat on the platform with my legs hanging down... I THINK it had a strap which hung down in front from platform I used to stand up in and get leverage to climb back up on the platform to shimmy down...
needless to say, pine bark left plenty scratches and tar on the inside of my arms...what pain...

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Old 01-08-2008, 02:09 PM
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I hunted with a baker stand in the early/mid 80's. I have killed some nice deer out of it. Now I wouldn't even try a Baker stand. Times have changed and its a whole lot more comfortable and safer with the new stands. Like hambone said, I have been wore out with scratches and less tired when Im done climbing
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:04 PM
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My wife's favorite story on me involves a Baker knock-off. After I saw my first one I thought "How hard can it be to build one of these?" I found out the hard way. I welded mine together using some sheet metal for the base and angle for the frame. I got "smart" and used some strap metal to go around the tree at the top. Went out to test it in the yard. I got about 20' up a pine before I got to ride it down. Pine bark and tar all over me, especially in the scratches on my face and arms.

First and last trip with that one. I went and bought a real Baker after that. Hunted with it for several years and never had a problem but it was REAL scary turning around and sitting down after getting up in the tree. Also tough to get up and turn around, hook up feet, etc. to climb down. I never had the hand climber part, always hugged the tree.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:59 PM
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My Lord I'm old......but not too old to remember that I'll never step foot on one again....
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbuck2007 View Post
Years ago, one of the guys in our club went up a tree in a Baker Stand. He was directly across the creek from the stand that I was in and I could hear him climbing the Pine Tree that morning. Just as he got to the top of the tree and moved his feet, the stand started back down the tree. He held on to the tree for deer life as it was one of the "hug the tree" models with no hand climber.
It made a ruckous as he came down the tree. Once he hit the bottom of the tree, the stand finally grabbed and then I heard a loud "Crack". It broke the stand in half.
He had ratcheted about 25 feet down the pine tree.
He was "OK" but looked like he had been run up and down on a cheese grater. He was scuffed on his face, arms and chest and had a mouth full of pine bark.
That was the last time anyone that was in our club used one. I do remember one of the guys in the club put one on a Pine tree behind his camper to sit a 5 gallon jug of water on to siphon into his camper.
BB
Friend of mine wanted to "try" mine got about 25-30 feet up in about 10 minutes--- came down in 15 seconds- looked like a mad tom cat got hold of him -- mine became a clamp on tree chair after that
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitworth View Post
to remember a Baker Tree Stand.

I have a VCR tape from some twenty years ago, from the owner of the Tree Lounge, showing the disadvantages of the Baker stand.
Those Baker stands sure were a great selling tool.
Sliding down a tree in an old baker is what convinced me to buy a TreeLounge.
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  #38  
Old 01-09-2008, 07:08 AM
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My Baker expierience came back in 1989, when a friend let me borrow his. I was in the market for a climber, and he told me to try this stand out, and if I liked it, I could buy it. I remember it being very noisy, and a pain in the rear to carry in and out of the woods. After trying this stand out, I ended up buying a Warren & Sweat climber.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:07 PM
Capt. Mike Capt. Mike is offline
 
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Cool

There is nothing wrong with the Baker design; it's still in use today although new technology often substitutes a wire or chain for the 'around the tree' arm. What most people forget -- and what is responsible for their sliding down the tree -- is the Baker came with strong bungees that wrapped around the tree to secure the 'bite' of the arms. Once in position, the bungee went on the opposite side of the bite arm and kept it securely against the tree, even with wiggles. You could put a second on the platform for added security.

I used a Baker climbing seat, which had the same arrangement. Thus I sat facing the tree and lifted when climbing. Once in position, I had a seat, secured exactly as the bottom. If I have a complaint about the Baker, it was that the seat was small and close to the tree so one couldn't slouch or lean forward. With no wrap-around gun rest, the safety harness was still required.

Many tied a keeper between the platform and climbing seat (or bar) and the platform in case the feet became dislodged when climbing but that's the only time I've heard of one becoming a slider and then just a foot or so until the keeper fetched up. My current climber still uses this feature.

My Baker hangs reverently on the wall. Many a deer filled my freezers off that Baker until age began to catch up with me. My current climber has a suspended, cushioned seat, wrap-around arms & gun rail, and chain for the bite arm, but I still use the bungees around the tree opposite the chain. Now I can snooze if I choose ! I've got two leaners and a tripod, so don't climb much anymore, but like being able to if I want.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:45 PM
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Default I saw a fella in his mid seventies

wade fishing for trout. Smoking while watching his lure.
I'm glad I quit over thirty years ago. I don't think I'd be doing any fishing today.
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  #41  
Old 05-10-2009, 06:48 PM
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I still have one and use it.

It holds the water jug in camp....
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  #42  
Old 05-11-2009, 03:35 PM
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satchmo satchmo is offline
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The old baker "Tree ski". Hug the tree and hope your Moma never hears the stuff you say.
They do make good camp shelves if you don't care about the stuff that you put on it.
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  #43  
Old 05-11-2009, 03:43 PM
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I had the same problem huggin the tree climbed up a sweet gum and stopped about 15 ft up to rest a minute. guess i moved wrong and down i went skinned up my chest and arms, broke my glasses. I think I left that baker right where I landed. I bought one at a flea market years later, just so I'd never 4get. Stand up sit down stands are so much better.
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  #44  
Old 05-11-2009, 04:17 PM
Meriwether Bone Collector Meriwether Bone Collector is offline
 
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Treestand safety has come along way since then and the idea of comfort! The baker was not built with comfort in mind and as far as safety you better pay attention to every move you made and have a safety belt on at all times don't remember any safety harness back then just safety belts but if you didn't do those 2 things chances are you would wind up at the bottom of the tree the hard way! I have been in commercial construction all my life and have seen people fall from as high as 7 stories and I am guilty of climbing without a safety harness in a treestand but after sitting in a job meeting with a project manager about 5 yrs. ago for the drywall company that was in a wheel chair due to a hunting accident that changed the way i thought about how i had been in construction and climbing was just 2nd nature to me no way could i fall out of a treestand but after sitting next to someone that had,I thought about my family and from that day foward I always wear a Safety harness while climbing up and down the tree and while sitting in a tree! Safety is what we make it! Just thought i would share that, but Summit is a comfortable and safe feeling treestand and the only one i will own that's just my opinion!
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  #45  
Old 05-11-2009, 09:05 PM
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Had one with the hand climber....climbed a pine one morning. Got up about 30 or so feet...settled on the stand and two minutes later I am waving bye-bye to the bottom platform. Luckily I grabbed the hand limber portion and hung on for dear life. After 30 seconds of that I had to bail off of that and bear hug the pine in order to get down.

I still believe that stand is still in Three Lakes WMA in Osceola County, Fl. If you stop and listen you still might hear me cussing. The next day I bought a Warren & Sweat higher dollar death trap model. I think that is attached to a pine in the Ocala National Forest after two seasons of being jammed in like a sardine. If you hit the right area you can still hear me cussing and this all occured in the late 80's.
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  #46  
Old 05-18-2009, 08:31 PM
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The Baker Tree Stand Company was based in Valdosta. Living in Valdosta I bought a few directly from the "factory". The Bakers were always on site. They worked hard, were very helpful and were pioneers in the treestand business. I, too, learned a lesson the hard way with a Baker stand. But, I killed my first four or five deer WAY up a GA pine in a Baker climbing stand. My hats off to the Baker guys. Great memories and no doubt the Bakers layed the groundwork for all the climbing stands we enjoy today.
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  #47  
Old 05-18-2009, 09:36 PM
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does anyone have a picture of a baker stand
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  #48  
Old 05-18-2009, 10:01 PM
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I think I might just buy up a few of those old Bakers and leave them in the woods for the thieves to find.
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  #49  
Old 05-18-2009, 10:20 PM
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Default Jason

I'll try to post a pic of mine tomorrow.
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  #50  
Old 05-18-2009, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason bales View Post
does anyone have a picture of a baker stand

pops said this was a high class one it had a seat. most just had the bottom piece
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