How To Tie A Girth Hitch
If you are a climber, you probably already know how to tie a girth hitch. A girth hitch is the simplest hitch to tie. It also comes with a big warning for climbers: do not use this hitch to join two slings together! Doing this weakens, or reduces, the strength of what you are joining together.
In order to tie a girth hitch, you need to use a strap with a loop at the end.
- Bring the loop of the strap around the harness.
- Thread the other end of the strap through the loop. (The same way as when you join two rubber bands together).
- Pull to tighten.
Use a girth hitch to join a sling or webbing strap loop directly to your harness. If you need to attach slings together, attach them to a locking carabiner instead of each other.
The Mammut Sports Group in Seon, Switzerland tested slings that were girth-hitched to each other to determine strength, durability, size, and material. The group issued a written report dated January 10, 2007 regarding the tests performed and the results. Their findings were that slings of various materials and sizes broke either due to a load application or broke due to rubbing against sharp rocks. Their conclusion was that all girth hitches should be treated with caution, regardless of size of straps or type of material, and that the strongest way for two slings to be joined together is to do so by attaching them with a carabiner.
The girth hitch has several names: strap hitch, cow hitch, lark’s head, lark’s foot, and lanyard hitch. These names are used interchangeably so it is good to be familiar with them.