No matter if you are going to do some rock climbing or try to climb a tree, you need to be sure your climbing harness is properly set up. An incorrectly set climbing harness can be very dangerous and could cause you to fall or give you a false sense of security. No matter the brand of the harness you are using you need to be sure you are always using it right. If you are unsure of how to properly wear a climbing harness then let me provide you a small, yet detailed guide on how to wear one.
Before we start make sure the climbing harness you are using is a high-quality one and can hold your weight. There are many brands and kinds of harnesses but not all of them can manage the same weight than others, so always be sure to ask before buying one. Now, let us proceed to the steps you need to follow to efficiently wear a climbing harness:
Step one: Preparing the harness
The first thing you need to do before wearing a harness is to open all of its buckles. Ensure both the leg loops and waist belt are set at their biggest size but be sure you don’t undo them completely. Once all buckles are opened to their biggest size you can lay down the harness on the floor, right in front of you.
Step two: Setting up the harness on your waists
After the climbing harness is laying on the floor you can step into each leg loop. Once you are standing on top you need to pull it up and be sure it sits well above your hips. Be sure the waist belt doesn’t sit low on your hips and instead is placed in the narrowest area of your waist.
Step three: Fasten the waist belt
Once the climbing harness is sitting in the narrowest area of your waist, you can proceed to fasten the waist belt. You need to start by slowly feeding the waist’s webbing through the opening buckle and be sure it’s tight. Once you are done be sure to feedback the end through the buckle, this is known as a “Double back”. If it happens to feel weird or uncomfortable don’t worry you are doing it right. Doing a double back ensures you won’t fall down from the harness in case you are turned upside-down.
Step four: fasten any leg loop and tuck the end of the strap away
You need to tuck away the loose end of the strap, as it can cause the loose end to get stuck in an unwanted area. Be sure you also tighten the buckles around the leg loops if they happen to need fastening. Be sure all buckles on your waist and leg loops are tightened properly.
Step five: Check that your harness is properly set
The best way to ensure your climbing harness is properly equipped is by checking if your front buckle makes a C pattern rather than the usual square. A-C pattern would indicate you double back successfully and ensures even if you happen to fall upside-down you will be held by the climbing harness. If you have forgotten to double back or the buckle is still a square then the climbing harness isn’t correctly set. Never use a harness that shows a square or O buckle in front as it isn’t properly set and could be very dangerous.
There are other kinds of climbing harnesses that are much easier to set up, as these have easy-to-adjust buckles that all you need to do is just to pull them tight. Always be sure you know what kind of buckle system your climbing harness is using, and if you happen to still have trouble setting it up ask your provider for instructions. Never attempt to use a loose climbing harness or none at all when climbing as it can have very serious repercussions if you happen to fall.
Using a climbing harness while climbing rocks or trees will give you more confidence and peace of mind because you know you are secure in case of a fall. A harness is an excellent method to ensure you don’t fall but to ensure its efficiency you need to properly set the harness, otherwise, a false sense of security could be way more dangerous. Whenever you will start your climbing journey for the very first time be sure to hire a professional that can properly guide you, so you can learn all the areas to consider aside wearing the climbing harness.