Like so many people, John and Jerry Wydner and lifelong friend Jim Barta had to learn the hard way that safety, health, and life aren't guaranteed. It took a near tragic incident to show them that invincibility was restricted to comic book characters, not die-hard hunters.
During a typical hunt for deer in 2000, John found his tree stand crashing to the rocks below and himself clinging to the tree for his life. Sliding down the bark-covered trunk left the terrified hunter bloodied and shaken. All he could do was think about how close he had just come to severe injury or death.
Camp that evening was a buzz of ideas, sketches, and suggestions of how to make a safety harness easy to put on and comfortable to wear. Soon afterward, John located a sewing factory and began having prototype after prototype made until he was satisfied that he had designed a harness that would prevent a repeat of his previous experience.