How To Tie A Swiss Seat
Need to know how to tie a Swiss seat? Tying a Swiss seat can provide a reasonably safe rappelling harness with no need for loading a lot of gear. Even though regular harnesses are more comfortable, there's nothing as minimalist and lightweight as nine feet of webbing or rope. During this explanation the terms "rope" and "webbing" will be considered interchangeable.
To tie a Swiss seat, you will need:
- Webbing or rope, the first being more comfortable (nine feet will be enough for a regular-sized person)
- A carabiner (preferably a locking carabiner, but a regular carabiner will do the job)
- To tie a Swiss seat, first bend the webbing into equal halves, and make a bite there. Place the bite on your weak side hip. If you are right-handed, put the bite on your left hip.
- Make each half of the webbing go around your body, one on your front and one on your back. When both ropes meet at your belly button, form an "X" ahead of it. Make them go over each other, always keeping each of them on the same side, three times, forming a triple overhand knot. This knot must be tight as a belt, comfortable but not too loose.
- Let both ends of the rope fall to the ground in front of you. Take a step forward, letting both ends of the rope go between your legs. Pick up one end of the rope with each hand behind your legs.
- Lift both ends of the rope and make them go around the rope that follows your belt. Each end must complete a full loop around the belt rope to the point just above each of your rear pockets.
- Tighten the seat by holding each end of the rope with the corresponding hand and pulling downwards. Again, try to find the right balance between comfort and safety. Make each end of the rope go around the corresponding hip to your belly button. Tie both ends with a square knot ahead of your belly button.
- With each free end of the rope, tie an overhand knot at each side of the square knot. This will prevent any knot slips and shorten the hanging ends of the rope that could interfere your maneuvering.
- Clip a carabiner around every rope ahead of your belly button. Make sure to lock the carabiner, or place the gate of your regular carabiner facing your body and up. This way you will prevent an accidental gate opening. Always double check for side loading on your carabiner; that may cause severe accidents.
- Sit on the Swiss seat and try it before hanging on it at heights. Check for loops or uncomfortable bends.
You've successfully tied a Swiss seat! Remember, always respect the climbing gear manufacturer's instructions for correct and safe use.