July 4, 2020

How to Make a Climbing Harness Out of Webbing Easily

by Jullie

Should you learn how to make a climbing harness out of webbing? When you go rappelling or climbing, you will want to use a climbing harness for safety’s sake. Sure, there are some people who climb without any kind of harnesses or safety gear, but those people are likely action junkies.

Harnesses are true life savers when rock climbing or rappelling. With that being said, maybe you noticed that your harness is in bad condition right before you go for your climb, maybe Fido chewed it to shreds, or maybe your buddy forgot his harness.


Whatever the case may be, it is a good idea to have a length of webbing with you which can come in handy when you’re in a tight spot.

Webbing can be used to make a makeshift harness that can be safely used a couple of times. So, how to make a climbing harness out of webbing is what we are here to discuss.

Making a Climbing Harness Out of Webbing

You have no usable harness, nor none at all, and you are about to go climbing. Luckily, you can make your own climbing or rappelling harness out of webbing. Let’s go over how to do this in an easy and step-by-step manner.

It’s really not that hard to do, but there are several steps involved and you have to follow them closely. Needless to say, if you don’t follow all of the steps or do something wrong, your life may be at risk.

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Polyp Webbing for Outdoor DIY Gear Repair
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Poly Webbing for Outdoor Gear

First, to make a climbing harness out of webbing, you have to buy or procure a 20 to 22 foot long piece of nylon webbing. Make sure that it is made of nylon, as it is the best choice to go with.

Also, make sure it is in good condition, because a frayed piece of nylon webbing won’t do any better than a frayed harness. The first step once you have your nylon webbing is to get one end of it, and find a spot that is roughly 5 feet from that end. The more precise you can be, the better.

Here you want to make a loop just past the 5 foot mark and tie an overhand tight, which should then leave you with a loop about the size of your thigh. Now, tie a second loop using this same method.

This loop will be for your other leg and thigh. There should be about 6 inches of webbing between the first and second loop. Now, try stepping into the loops and pulling them up to your thighs. 

The loops should be quite tight and snug, not so much that they cut off circulation, but more than tight enough so that they stay on the thigh muscle with ease; you need to have a snug fit as your life will depend on it.

This is when you need to make adjustments, making the loops smaller or larger depending on your needs. Now take the rest of webbing, while your legs are in the loop, and wrap it around your waist as many times as you can, while leaving a length to tie a knot at the front.

Start this by wrapping it back over your hip bone. Now, take the short end of the webbing and wrap it around your waist, tying the two ends together using what is called a water knot.

Tighten this water knot so that it is tight and snug around your waist, but not to the point of being painful. You then want to tuck these ends in so they don’t get in the way of your ascent or descent.

How to Make a Climbing Harness Out of Webbing

To finish this improvised harness off, you need to take a large locking carabiner and lock it around all of the waist webbing strands. Do so in the front. The harness should be tight enough so that you have to bend down at the waist to get the leg loop strand into the carabiner.

To stop the leg loops from dropping down, you can also tie a length of webbing to the rear of a leg loop, then pass it up through the waist strands, and back down to the other leg loop, tying it into position.

An the making a climbing harness out of webbing is technically done. Make sure that you are safe to use your hand made harness out of webbing. You can check how to tie some of the most popular climbing knots.

How to Make a Climbing Harness Out of Webbing Easily


Of course, a store-bought climbing harness is always best, but sometimes you just don’t have a choice. This climbing harness made of webbing should do the trick for a couple of days and you should definitely learn how to make a climbing harness out of webbing. You never know when you will need it.

For gaining more topical knowledge about climbing webbing, read our guide on how to choose climbing webbing.

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About the author 


Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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