Learning how to make a climbing rappelling harness out of webbing is very important for any kind of mountaineer. Even if you are not into climbing, you may see yourself or someone in your group in need of a harness, and having the ability to improvise one is of great help. Also, a piece of webbing long enough to make a rappelling harness weighs just a few ounces.
To make a climbing rappelling harness out of webbing, you will need:
- Enough webbing to go around your hips four times, plus another ten inches. The webbing should be an inch wide, but you can eventually use a thinner one.
- A carabiner
- To make your climbing and rappelling harness, first tie the full length of the webbing forming a big circle. Use a double fisherman's knot. From now on, you will use this double webbing as one.
- Make the double webbing go across the back and by the hips to the front. With your hand between your legs, pull part of the webbing from your back to the front.
- Make all three ends of your webbing meet at your belly button, and clip the carabiner to all three of them. There should be one coming from the back through each hip and one coming from the bottom of your groin.
- Make the necessary adjustments to the webbing length of your climbing harness. There are a lot of knots that can help you do that, including the choice of undoing the double fisherman's knot and tying it back shorter.
When tying a climbing and rappelling harness out of webbing, remember that the thinner the webbing, the more uncomfortable the harness. One inch is your best combination of comfort and portability. The climbing harness must be balanced. Before putting any weight on it, make sure it is properly adjusted and will not make the climber fall to his side. Don´t ever use a simple webbing harness to lift or lower an unconscious person. This type of harness requires a fully awake user. Use only webbing that is new, clean and dry. If the webbing is not in good condition, there's a chance for a major upset. Remember, gravity is a law that accepts no excuses, so play carefully.