If you poke around this site or have read any of my old magazine articles you might know that I have been running Muddy Pro Sticks since they hit the market back around 2012. I love the rope system enough to use them despite being 4 short sticks instead of the 3 long sticks I prefer. Well, then I found out that they were recalled and I didn’t know it. I did reach out to Muddy via their website to try to buy replacement tree cleats but I have never received any response from the company.
I was really hoping that Dan Infalt’s much rumored sticks would already be available on the market, but in the wake of the recall I think it might be OK to let other hunters do a season on them before buying. It’s hard to imagine a model of climbing stick with more man hours of use worldwide than the Long Wolf ones.
In the above picture you can see there are two sticks as they came out of the box on the bottom. Build quality was very good, and they feel very sturdy. I’ve used this model on and off over the years and have never heard anything bad about them from anyone.
I have been using Yak Grips on my treestand buckles for several seasons now and like the way they keep buckles from clanging on metal. I bought an extra pair of these that I cut in half and installed on all 4 buckles.
I decided to try out Stealth Strips instead of doing a hockey tape wrap. I must say I’m very impressed with the material and I think I’m going to like them. It did take me a little time to install them the way that I approached the project, but the results are phenomenal!
I really liked the double steps and rope/cam system on the Muddy sticks, but I think this setup is going to serve me well. Now with one off-season project done, on to the other million on my list of things to do before my next hunt in a few months….
*** Skip to bottom for the update ***
I need to replace some old gear, and base layers made my list for things to look for on Black Friday. Specifically I was looking for First Lite Llano 170 gram tops and bottoms in ASAT pattern. Sure enough they were on sale, but everything in my size was sold out. Internet rumors indicating that it might be a closeout of ASAT entirely.
At this point I wanted to be VERY sure of the system I would be investing in. KUIU Vias and First Lite Fusion were my 2nd and 3rd choices. I came up with a brilliant idea: I would buy one plain t shirt of each material in street friendly colors and plan to wear them exclusively at home for the entire winter. I will wear one every evening and weekend, then after 7 days wash and dry, then switch to the alternate brand. I figured if I could ever catch a whiff of body odor, or if one started wearing out faster than the other it would solidify what base layer system to go with.
I ordered my second choice from KUIU, a 125 gram 85% wool/15% nylon T shirt in gray. It looks pretty sharp in my book.
Then I went to order my third choice from First Lite, a 170 gram 100% wool T shirt in green. Too bad they are also out of my size for this like the ASAT so I didn’t order anything.
I guess at this point my business is KUIU’s to lose. The shirt fits PERFECTLY and the material feels really good on my skin. I hope it holds up! As of today the experiment has begun, we’ll see what the results are this coming spring!
I’ve worn this shirt at least 5 hours a day for 31 of the last 32 days (sometimes as much as 24 hours straight.) I have washed it by hand each Sunday, and had a woman with a sensitive nose check it each Saturday to see if she could detect any odor. Never once could she smell anything on this shirt. I slept in it 3 nights along the way just to see if I might stretch it out some way or another, but it didn’t. No little wool balls forming, and no thin wear spots yet. At this point I plan to run this material as my base layer for early season hunts in 2018.