Stealth Step Review
Gear Review: Stealth Step
I first started archery hunting in 1997 I decided that I would buy a few 12 foot ladder stands. These stands seemed durable, safe to hunt out of, and easy to set up. I had some early success with the 12 foot ladders but often times I felt like deer could pick me out very quickly. I decided to look for another easy method of getting up higher and out of the sight of the deer.
At my local archery shop I found a Summit Viper climbing stand. I purchased the stand with the hopes of being able to get higher in a tree to give me a better chance of seeing deer before they saw me. During the summer I practiced using the climber on different types of trees. I found that some trees were easy to use and others I wanted to stay away from using. The only issues I had with the climber were its bulky to carry into the woods and it often was noisy going up and down the tree. With that in mind I headed into the 2001 archery season with high hopes of harvesting a deer out of the climber. I accomplished my goal by taking a great 123 inch 8 point.
Using the climber a few more years I had success but I wanted to get into bedding areas to hunt and I needed a quieter method to accomplish that feat! I looked at screw in steps and lock on stands but I didn’t really have confidence in the screw in steps. I was so afraid of slipping and hurting myself. Plus, I didn’t feel it was right for me to screw the steps into trees I didn’t own. My attention turned to stacking sticks and lock on stands as my combination of choice.
For years I would go into the woods during the summer and hang my stands in bedding areas. I don’t have a UTV or 4 wheeler so I was carrying all my stuff in on my back. It was a huge pain trying to keep all the stacking sticks together while also carrying the stand. I was getting tired of all the clanging of metal on metal and the noise. I tried to tie everything together but that still was just too bulky for my liking. I had lots of success with this combo set but still I wanted something lighter, safer, quieter, and easy to hang.
One evening, in December 2015, I was looking through Facebook and I found a post about Stealth Steps. Eager to learn more about the tree steps I decided to like the page and start asking questions. Dave McNaughton, the owner, began answering all of my questions I had about the product. Little did I know Dave was the owner and inventor of the Stealth Steps. I learned that Dave was less than 2 hours away from me in Chardon, Ohio. Dave also told me about how and why he came up with the idea for these tree steps. After hearing about the steps and getting questions answers I went to YouTube and watched some informational videos about the steps. I purchased a set the next day.
I highly recommend these steps and here is a short list as to why.
Light and Compact
Easy to set up
Safety is always my main concern when I am hunting. When I asked Dave about the steps he explained how he wanted to make a safe product for hunters. Dave is a hemophiliac and so are many of his grandchildren. He was always afraid of using screw in steps or the metal stacking steps in fear of slipping, cutting him and possibly bleeding to death. The Stealth Steps don’t have sharp, are made out of a material safer than metal and once attached are extremely safe to climb.
Stealth Steps are made of a high-strength polymer that is quiet even against the tree. This was one of the selling points for me. Since I liked to hunt bedding areas I needed something that was quiet to set up and use. When I used metal ladders they always seemed to make a lot of noise. If I accidentally hit my bow off the ladder it was loud. With the Stealth Steps I don’t have that issue anymore and I have seen my success hunting in bedding areas go up.
Since I don’t own a UTV or 4 wheeler I had to carry everything in on my back. If I wanted to hang multiple sets I had to make a few trips. Stealth Steps are compact, easily nest into each other and fit into a backpack. When I ordered my first set of 13 steps with 13 straps it allowed me to hang my stand over 20 feet up in the tree. I was easily able to carry the steps and straps in my backpack and carry the stand in one trip. A complete set of steps is just about 10 pounds. No more noisy, heavy ladders to carry in to hang when you use the Stealth Steps.
Many people look at the Stealth Steps and the first thing they ask is, “How Strong Are They”? Stealth Steps are made in the USA with a high strength polymer material that can withstand sub-zero temperatures, without breaking or cracking, and can hold up to 350 pounds. The straps that help you hang the steps are also strong and durable. I have never had an issue with any of my steps breaking, cracking or slipping.
Setting up Stealth Steps is pretty easy, all you need is a lineman’s belt. I would also recommend using a Treestand Wingman while setting the Stealth Steps. The reason you need the lineman’s belt is so you can work with both of your hands. Each step has a strap that you will use to set the step in place. With the strap there is a key that will keep the buckle on the strap open so you can easily thread the strap through the buckle. It is best to set the first step about 18 inches off the ground. You can set this step without even leaving the ground. Step #2 can be done the same way. Once I have the first two steps attached to the tree I stack my remaining steps and straps together on step #2 and attach myself to the tree using the lineman’s belt and Treestand Wingman. I will them hang each step 18 inches apart working my way up the tree. The easiest way to get the step tight to the tree is to attach the strap around the tree at the bottom of the slot. Tighten the strap as tight as possible then push the step down and the strap will slide into place to make sure the strap is tight. There are some great YouTube videos on the website to help you hang the steps. No longer do you have to fight a stacked ladder trying to keep it next to the tree or worry about it sliding up and down the tree.
Do you hunt a lot of public ground and worry about people stealing your set or hunting out of it? If so, that is another reason to check out the Stealth Steps. I was always worried about people stealing my ladders, stacking sticks, and stands. Unfortunately, it has happened to me. Stacking sticks and Ladders are easy to see for those who would want to steal them. The Stealth Steps look like part of the tree. Since using the Stealth Steps I have not one stolen.
I absolutely love my Stealth Steps and I have had great success with them. The Stealth Step website, www.stealthstep.com , is a wealth of knowledge if you have questions. Dave McNaughton can easily be reached on Facebook or through his email, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking for a safer, quieter, lighter and compact, stronger, easy to set up and camouflage set of steps, give Stealth Step a try!