How to Make a Rescue Harness

How to Make a Rescue Harness
Knowledge of rescue procedures can save someone's life in the mountains. Even on a routine hiking trip, a rock slide or soft cornice can trap a hiker with no climbing or rescue gear. It is a good idea to practice making an emergency harness to prepare for these situations. Before you begin, you should have a basic knowledge of climbing procedure and tackle, and specifically how to tie a water knot to secure climbing webbing.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two to three lengths of climbing webbing, 3 to 4 feet long Standard climbing rope Climbing carabiners
  • Two to three lengths of climbing webbing, 3 to 4 feet long
  • Standard climbing rope
  • Climbing carabiners
Step 1
Tie a 3 to 4 foot length of webbing into a loop using a water knot.
Step 2
Twist the loop over itself to form a figure eight shape. Slip your legs through the two resulting loops and pull the webbing firmly up to your hips.
Step 3
Secure another loop of webbing around your waist using a water knot.
Step 4
Slip a locking carabiner through both leg loops and the front of the waist loop. Use the carabiner to tie into a climbing rope, or run a short piece of webbing through the carabiner.
Step 5
Tie a chest harness for extra stability. Make a loop of another length of 4 foot webbing. Make a figure eight as in Step 2, and slip the webbing over your shoulders with the crossed straps at your back. Connect the loops with a carabiner, and lock on the the rope to stabilize yourself during an ascent.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure that every member of your climbing party knows how to tie an emergency harness. Each member should be able to secure a harness without help to be effective in a rescue situation.
This harness should be used in emergency situations only. Do not use this harness for climbing or mountaineering.

Article Written By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from The Ohio University. He has been a professional writer since 2008, specializing in outdoors content and instruction. Johnson's poetry has appeared in such publications as "Sphere" and "17 1/2 Magazine."

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