How to Rig a Climbing Harness

How to Rig a Climbing Harness
Rigging a climbing harness is the first and most critical step for any rock-climbing or rappelling adventure. By understanding how your climbing harness works, you will be able to safely approach the sport of climbing. Follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to enjoying more time getting vertical in the great outdoors and be a safer climbing partner for everyone around you.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Securing the Harness

Things You’ll Need:
  • Climbing harness Dynamic climbing rope Climbing helmet
  • Climbing harness
  • Dynamic climbing rope
  • Climbing helmet
Step 1
Examine your harness to ensure that all parts are in good condition and there is no excessive wear. If you have any doubts, ask another person to double-check the area of the harness that you are concerned about.
Step 2
Place your legs through the leg loops and bring the waist belt up to your natural waist. Your natural waist is above your hip bones. Failure to bring the climbing harness up high enough can be dangerous, as you could slip through the harness in a fall.
Step 3
Fasten the waist belt snugly around your waist. Make sure that the fastener is either double-backed to prevent slippage or that the harness is a self-locking harness. If the harness is self-locking, it does not need to be double-backed.
Step 4
Use the hand test. When the harness is secured around your waist, you should be able to slide a flat hand snugly between the waist belt and your skin/clothing. If there is more room than for one flat hand, tighten the harness. If you cannot slip one flat hand between the waist belt and your skin/clothing, you can loosen the harness a bit.
Step 5
Make sure that the leg loops are double-backed or self-locking if you have a harness with adjustable leg loops.

Rigging the Climbing Harness

Step 1
Tie your tie-in knot. The most common knot used to tie-in to a climbing rope is the retraced figure eight knot. The first step to tying a retraced figure eight is to tie a single figure eight knot into the climber's end of the climbing rope.
Step 2
Feed the end of the climbing rope through both points of your harness. Failure to do so can subject your harness to improper strain if you fall.
Step 3
Use the end of the rope to retrace the figure eight when you are sure your rope is through both points of your climbing harness.
Step 4
Tie your backup knot. A figure eight is a self-tightening knot, which means when placed under pressure, it tightens as opposed to loosens. However, it is a safe practice to place a backup knot in your rope above your figure eight.

Tips & Warnings

 
When first learning to rig a climbing harness, it helps to practice. Get a rope, put your harness on and practice in a no-pressure environment like your own home. The more nervous you are, the more likely you are to make mistakes. Rigging a climbing harness is a simple yet serious matter, and if you make yourself well-practiced, you will find your days at a climbing crag to be more enjoyable and safety-oriented.
 
When first learning to rig a climbing harness, it helps to practice. Get a rope, put your harness on and practice in a no-pressure environment like your own home. The more nervous you are, the more likely you are to make mistakes. Rigging a climbing harness is a simple yet serious matter, and if you make yourself well-practiced, you will find your days at a climbing crag to be more enjoyable and safety-oriented.
 
Never begin climbing without having your belayer check your climbing harness and tie-in knot. Never climb without a helmet. If you choose to not back-up your tie-in knot, you should have at least six inches of rope extending beyond your knot for safety so the rope cannot work its way back through.
 
Never begin climbing without having your belayer check your climbing harness and tie-in knot.
 
Never climb without a helmet.
 
If you choose to not back-up your tie-in knot, you should have at least six inches of rope extending beyond your knot for safety so the rope cannot work its way back through.

Article Written By Erika Napoletano

Erika Napoletano is a full-time professional writer and social media consultant based in Denver, Colorado. Her skills include experience as a formerly licensed securities professional and extensive real estate work including over 18 months in hard money lending. Recently featured in the Denver Business Journal for her social media expertise, Erika is a prominent figure in the Denver and Colorado social media communities.

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