How to Tie a Swiss Seat Harness

How to Tie a Swiss Seat Harness
A Swiss seat is a style of harness used for climbing or rappelling. The harness is made from a single piece of rope or webbing tied in a specific fashion around your body. While not nearly as comfortable as commercial harnesses, the Swiss seat is lighter and packs smaller. It is an excellent emergency or backup harness, and most climbers consider tying a Swiss seat a critical survival skill for emergency situations. Creating a Swiss seat requires about 9 feet of rope and a bit of knot-tying expertise.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Place the midpoint of the rope at the hip of your brake hand, and wrap the rope around the back of your waist so that both rope ends are in front of you.
Step 2
Tie a double overhand knot with the ends of the rope so that the knot rests at the front of your waist. The knot should be tight enough that you can let the rope ends dangle to the ground without the rope falling from its position at your waist.
Step 3
Pass the ends of the rope back between your legs and pull them up through the rope wrapped around your waist. The rope ends should be spaced so that the rope is pulled over your back pants pockets.
Step 4
Squat down and pull on the two ends to tighten the rope, then pass the rope back over the waist rope from the inside, then under the ropes across your buttocks.
Step 5
Bring the rope ends to your hip opposite your brake hand and tie in a square knot. Secure the square knot by tying an overhand knot on each side of it. Tuck any excess rope into your pocket or simply wind it around the harness rope to keep it out of the way.

Article Written By Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams has spent over 11 years working in the information technology, health care and outdoor recreation fields. He has over seven years of technical and educational writing experience, and has brought strong skills and passion to the Demand Studios team in articles for eHow and Trails in 2009.

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