Tips & Tactics

Slick Condition Traction Trick

Slick Condition Traction Trick

By Gary LaLone

Photo: Play sand is odorless and so fine it won’t crunch under your feet.

My tip originates from a scary incident that happened several years ago.

It was the opening day of Ohio’s firearm season, and I was excited to get set up in my treestand, a hand-built permanent stand made of wood.

When I climbed aboard, I suddenly discovered the floor of the stand was extremely slippery. Mold had grown on the wood over the summer, and all it took was some overnight dew to make it super slick. I nearly lost my footing in the darkness!

This was an incredibly dangerous scenario, and I am fortunate not to have been hurt. 

I decided to finish out the hunt sitting down, but I worried the entire time that I could slip and fall if I had to stand to get a shot at a deer, or when it was time to climb down.

Slick Condition Traction TrickBut that hunt gave me time to think about a solution for the problem, which I am sure many other hunters have encountered.

When I got home, I decided to purchase some play sand and keep it in pill bottles and old film containers.

Play sand is much finer than most sands, so it won’t make noise beneath your boots when you move around in the stand.

It is also scent-free, so no worries when some of it falls beneath the stand.

In addition to moldy surfaces, play sand also can give you traction when rain, ice or snow covers the stand floor. Just take a container out of your backpack and sprinkle the sand over the surface.

Sand works for other stands, too. Although most commercial treestand companies have grated stand floors or some sort of gritty surface to help with traction, if the floor has a layer of snow on it, a good sprinkling of sand is still a good idea.

Slick Condition Traction TrickYou can find play sand at most home improvement, hardware stores or Walmart for just a few bucks.

I usually carry a canister in my backpack and keep a few more back at camp, along with a refill bag. One container is usually enough for several applications.

I encourage my friends and family to grab a bottle to put in their packs in case a situation calls for it. I don’t want a slippery stand to ruin their hunts, either!

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