By keeping some basic guidelines in mind, you can learn how to belay with a Figure 8. The Figure 8 is a belay-device made of anodized steel, and is used for both belaying and rappelling. In order to achieve optimal results, it is essential that both you and your partner feel comfortable using this piece of equipment.
- Hold the Figure 8 firmly in your hand. Make sure that the smaller portion of the Figure 8 is facing your body.
- Take a small loop of rope and carefully side it through the bigger end of the Figure 8. Next, rap the loop around the smaller portion of the Figure 8. When belaying, make sure that the loop is close to the climber. When rappelling, the loop should be close to the anchor.
- Use a sturdy carabiner clip to secure the small end of the Figure 8 to the belay loop of the harness. Make sure that the carabiner is locked and secure, preventing it from coming off of the harness.
- Use your brake hand to pull the rope from both ends of the Figure 8. Finally, carefully string the rope through the Figure 8 while belaying a climber, making sure that no twists develop in the rope. This can be accomplished by stacking the rope properly to one side.
Practice using a Figure 8. When used properly, this can be a very effective tool—however, it is essential that you practice enough to gain comfort and skill in order to achieve optimal results.