1. The Rule of Three
    There are four points on your body that come in contact with the tree's branches: two hands and two feet. At least three of these points should be supported by branches at all times. [Reason: If one of the three branches breaks, then at least two branches will still be supporting you.]

  2. Keep Close to the Trunk
    Always step onto or grab a branch at the point closest to the tree's trunk. [Reason: This is where the branch can support the most weight.]

  3. Stay off the Dead
    Avoid using dead branches when climbing. If you must use a dead branch, be sure to follow the "Keep Close to the Trunk" rule. [Reason: Dead branches can easily snap; living branches will bend before they break.]

  4. Test Weak Branches
    If you're not sure if a branch will support your weight, test it out by stepping on it (or grabbing it) at a point far away from the tree's trunk. Be sure that you follow the Rule of Three as you do this. If it passes the test, then step on it (or grab it) at a point close to the trunk.

  5. Always Think About Falling
    If you keep in mind that you could easily fall at any moment, then chances are you will proceed cautiously.

  6. If It Doesn't Feel Right, Don't Do It
    If for any reason you feel uncomfortable with what you're doing, then stop.