A harness is a garment worn by climbers that connects them to a rope or other safety system. Harnesses come in a variety of styles, depending on the type of climbing being done, and are made for both adults and children. Climbing harnesses distribute the forces of a fall evenly around the body, and can be used for both belaying (securing a climber from below) and rappelling (descending from above).
What is a Climbing Harness?
A climbing harness is an item of climbing equipment for rock-climbing, abseiling or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access or safety. A harness attaches a person to a rope or an anchor point.
Different types of harnesses are used for different activities and situations. For example, skiers and mountaineers use “body harnesses” to secure themselves to a fixed point; this type of harness is also sometimes used by window cleaners and abseilers. Rock climbers generally use “seat” or “full-body” harnesses that distribute the load around their waist, thighs and shoulders.
Many different types of climbing harness are available, designed for different purposes and load-bearing capacities. Harnesses are also frequently used by rescue workers and in industrial applications such as tree surgery, construction work and power line maintenance.
How to Choose a Climbing Harness
When you’re starting out, the most important climbing harness decision is really quite simple: find a comfy one that fits, and has the right amount of gear loops for the type of climbing you want to do. After that, things like color, weight, and features become less important as you get more experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a harness: -Size and fit: Make sure the harness fits snugly and is comfortable to wear. You should be able to put it on and take it off without too much difficulty, and it shouldn’t ride up or pinch anywhere. -Gear loops: The number of gear loops on a harness corresponds to the type of climbing you want to do. For example, if you’re mostly sport climbing, you won’t need as many gear loops as someone who plans on trad (traditional) climbing. -Weight: Generally speaking, lighter is better when it comes to climbing gear. But if you plan on spending a lot of time in your harness (like if you’re an instructor or guide), comfort should be your top priority. -Features: Climbing harnesses come with all sorts of bells and whistles these days, from haul loops to ice clipper slots. But unless you have a specific need for something like that, they’re not worth worrying about.
Different Types of Climbing Harnesses
Different types of harnesses are available for different types of climbing, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
The most common type of harness is the waist harness, which is worn around the Climber’s waist and fastens with a buckle. This type of harness is appropriate for most types of climbing, including rock climbing and indoor wall climbing.
Another type of harness is the full-body harness, which covers more of the Climber’s body and provides more support. Full-body harnesses are often used for activities like abseiling (rappelling), where there is a greater risk of falling.
Chest harnesses are also available and are sometimes worn in conjunction with a waist harness to provide additional support. Chest harnesses are often used by beginner climbers or when ascending/descending steep slopes.
When choosing a climbing harness, it’s important to make sure that it fits properly and is comfortable to wear. It should also be made from durable materials that can withstand the rigors of climbing.
The Benefits of Climbing Harnesses
Most people think of rock climbing as an extreme sport and something that is only for the fittest and most athletic people out there. However, what many don’t realize is that with the proper safety gear, anyone can enjoy rock climbing – even kids!
A kids climbing harness is one of the most important pieces of safety gear that a young climber can have. A harness helps to distribute the weight of the climber evenly, so that if they were to fall, the impact would be spread out over a larger area and would not be focused on any one particular body part.
In addition to being safer, harnesses also make it more comfortable for kids to climb for longer periods of time. This is because they are not having to use all of their energy to hold on tight to the rock face and can instead focus on enjoying the climb and taking in the scenery.
Another great benefit of harnesses is that they give parents or guardians peace of mind when their kids are climbing. With a harness, they know that their child is securely attached to the rope and is much less likely to fall and hurt themselves.
If you are thinking about letting your child try rock climbing, be sure to invest in a good quality kids climbing harness and always supervise them closely when they are using it.
How to Use a Climbing Harness
A climbing harness is an important piece of equipment for anyone who plans on doing any serious rock climbing. The harness provides a secure, comfortable way to attach yourself to a rope, and can help prevent serious injuries if you happen to fall.
There are many different types of harnesses on the market, but they all have the same basic components:
- A waist belt that goes around your waist and clips in the front
- Leg loops that go around your thighs and also clip in the front
- Loops that go over your shoulders
- Gear loops on the sides of the waist belt where you can attach carabiners and other gear.
Most harnesses also have adjustable straps at the leg loops and shoulders so that you can get a custom fit. It’s important that your harness fits snugly but not too tightly, as you don’t want it to be uncomfortable or constrictive.
To put on a climbing harness, first thread your arms through the shoulder straps and pull the waist belt around your hips. Clip the waist belt closed in the front, then adjust the leg loops so that they are comfortable but not too loose. Once you have everything adjusted properly, double check all of the buckles to make sure they are fastened securely.
Before you start climbing, it’s always a good idea to do a “seat check” to make sure your harness is correctly positioned and won’t slip off if you happen to fall. To do a seat check, simply sit down in your harness as if you were going to take a break during your climb. If everything stays in place and feels snug but not too tight, then you’re good to go!
Climbing Harness Safety
Climbing harness safety is of utmost importance when your child is engaging in any type of rock climbing, tree climbing, or other high-altitude activities. A harness is the only thing between your child and a potentially fatal fall, so it is crucial that you choose a harness that is comfortable, adjustable, and above all else, safe.
There are three main types of climbing harnesses on the market today: full-body, chest-and-seat, and seat-only. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the type that best suits your child’s needs.
Full-body harnesses are the most comprehensive and provide the most protection for your child. They are also the most expensive and can be bulky and uncomfortable for smaller children. Chest-and-seat harnesses are a good compromise between safety and comfort and are less expensive than full-body harnesses. Seat-only harnesses are the lightest and most comfortable option but do not provide as much protection in the event of a fall.
When choosing a climbing harness for your child, always err on the side of safety. Look for a harness that is certified by an accredited testing agency such as UL or CE. Avoid used or secondhand harnesses, as you cannot be sure of their history or condition. Inspect new harnesses carefully before each use, looking for any frayed or damaged webbing, loose stitching, or other signs of wear and tear. With proper care and maintenance, your child’s climbing harness will provide years of safe fun.
Now that you know the different types of harnesses available and what to look for when purchasing one, you’re ready to get your child started rock climbing! Help them find a comfortable harness that fits properly, and let them explore the fun and excitement of climbing.