How to Make a Safety Harness

How to Make a Safety Harness
Safety harnesses are needed for many outdoor ventures, especially rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. Though it is always better to wear a safety harness that has been designed and manufactured by a professional company, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to improvise, you can make a safety harness with webbing and carabiners.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 7 to 9 feet of tubular 1-inch webbing
  • Multipurpose knife
  • Locking carabiner
Step 1
Cut your piece of webbing to between 7 and 9 feet depending on the size of the person who will be wearing the safety harness. You can purchase webbing at any outdoor sports store that sells climbing and mountaineering gear. You should always have some in your pack for safety. If you are unsure what size webbing you will need, cut it on the long side. You can always trim it.
Step 2
Tie a water knot with the ends of the webbing so that it makes a continuous loop. Water knots are tied by creating a loose overhand knot with one end and then following the knot with the other end of webbing. Pull the two ends tight once they are interlinked. The two ends should come out of opposite sides of the knot. An illustration of a water knot can be found at the Animated Knots website.
Step 3
Grab the webbing with both hands, one on each side of the loop, so that it makes an oval shape when you hold it up. Wrap it around the back of the person with this horizontal oval of webbing framing his behind. One strand should be above the hip bones, the other at the seat.
Step 4
Pull the lower strand between the legs to the front. Pull the two sides of the upper strand by the hips. There should be three points to grab onto; now pull them all together right around the person's navel.
Step 5
Clip the locking carabiner through all three points of the webbing.

Tips & Warnings

These types of safety harnesses should never be used when a professional harness is available and should be used when there is no other option, such as when rappelling out of danger.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.