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I know alot of guys cringe when they hear of something homemade but Ive come up with a cheap ladder for getting up to fixed stands, and I feel very safe on it. I do practice the 3-point rule when climbing.[2 hand and 1 foot or 2 feet and one hand] is always in contact with my ladder. What I do is take 2 2x4's[pt] 8 ft long each and connect them on their ends with a door hinge. That way it will fold together for transporting. You can either screw 10 inch 2x4 steps about 17 inches apart or screw in 5 1/2 inch lag bolts in the side, leaving 3 inches sticking out to grab hold of. It will stand up fully extended with the hinge towards the tree, then I tie it off in a few spots or ratchet strap it. At the top I drill a 1 1/2 hole for a bike-type lock. Even if someone did take it Im not out much. I weigh 175 lbs and feel very safe climbing these. I do beef up the steps with some plumbers tape [metal strap with holes] and screws for extra insurance And pay the extra money for galv. lags and screws.
 
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