How to Make a Homemade Climbing Harness

How to Make a Homemade Climbing Harness
Making a homemade climbing harness out of webbing yields a low-cost alternative to an expensive commercial version. The thin webbing used in making this style of harness cuts into your leg and waist during falls and long hangs, so don't expect it to replace a store-bought harness. Even though it's uncomfortable, learning to make one came be handy when a climbing partner forgets his harness or when teaching a friend who doesn't have a harness how to climb.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • 22 feet of 1-inch tubular webbing
  • 12 feet of 1-inch tubular webbing
  • 1 locking carabiner
Step 1
Tie a leg loop about 4-1/2 feet from the end of a 22-foot piece of tubular webbing. Then tie a second leg loop six inches from the first leg loop. Use an overhand knot for each leg loop and make sure that each loop fits securely around your legs. Adjust both leg loops until they are even.
Step 2
Pull the leg loops onto your leg and then wrap the loose webbing around your back. Take the webbing from around your back and run each side through the harness's leg loops. There should still be enough webbing to wrap it around your back again. Secure the webbing with a water knot.
Step 3
Wrap a second 12-foot piece of webbing around your waist and use a water knot to secure it. This second piece of webbing acts as a backup to the harness. Clip this safety belt to the harness using a locking carabiner.
Step 4
Have your climbing partner double-check the webbing and knots to ensure you tied the harness correctly. Double-check that the carabiner is locked. Attach the harness to the rope with a figure-8 follow-through knot. Run the rope around the safety belt, the harness's belt and the 6-inch piece of webbing separating the leg loops.

Tips & Warnings

Carry the required webbing in the bottom of your climbing pack, so when your partner forgets his harness you'll still be able to climb.
Learning how to make this harness from a professional climbing instructor guarantees it will work correctly when used.

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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