That stinks getting your stands stolen. I think you will find the climber to be more comfortable though.
I have a little bag.. this one---> http://www.deerhuntersclub.com/hunti...l-pack-review/
I usually throw a water bottle, snacks and my gut knife in that bag. My calls and spare ammo are usually in my pockets. Before I climb my tree I attach my bag to my top rack of my stand.
As far as what time I get in the woods and leave. I like to get there early but am usually running behind and make it right before daylight. In the evening I hunt until I cannot shoot anymore. I have a head lamp I use to come down out of my tree so I can see everything.
Use a harness. You dont want your stand to slip or something and go a falling!