How to Make a Rope Climbing Harness

How to Make a Rope Climbing Harness
A climbing harness really is your lifeline in rock climbing. Webbing is the typical material used in making a harness, but in an emergency or for temporary use, a good quality climbing rope to carry your weight will do the trick. The harness needs to fit right, but isn't that complicated to make. There are lots of complicated climbing harness configurations, but this one can be easily made, especially if you need one in a hurry.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 12 feet of half-inch climbing rope Carabiner
  • 12 feet of half-inch climbing rope
  • Carabiner
Step 1
Tie off the ends of your rope in a loose overhand knot. Take the resulting circle of rope and stretch it out behind you with the tie-off hanging down at the bottom. Hold the rope out at either side so that the top strand is at your lower back and the bottom (with the knot) below your crotch.
Step 2
Bring the two side ends forward and grasp the ends with one hand. With the other hand, reach below your crotch and pull the knotted ends between your legs and up so the three loops come together.
Step 3
Snap your carabiner so the three looped ends are all gathered in the clip. Loosen the overhand knot and snug up any looseness. Re-tie the knot in a figure-8 follow-through or other safe climbing knot.
Step 4
Stick any leftover tailings of the knotted rope through the rope at the front of your waist. Tie off the knotted rope tailings on the waist rope for an extra measure of safety. You are ready to tie onto the climbing rope at the carabiner.

Tips & Warnings

Climbing harness material isn't very expensive and an extra 12 feet will roll up fist-sized and be light enough to throw in your pack. That and a couple of extra carabiners will bring little added weight to your rucksack. It's much more comfortable than rope. You can even have it tied off in advance to fit right and be ready to use in a hurry.

Article Written By Richard Nilsen

Richard Nilsen writes poetry, fiction, features and news stories in upstate New York. He was an emergency mental-health consultant for 20 years and directed a mentoring agency for a decade. Nilsen is a black-fly control technician in the Adirondack Park, where he enjoys hiking, biking and boating.

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.