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Improvised sling harness for kids?


Original Post
Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Might be taking a friend's kids out climbing here in a few weeks and I was wondering if anyone knows a way/ways to make a full body harness out of just some shoulder length nylon slings or maybe some tape.  They are both pretty young boys (I want to say like 4 and 7 but not sure) so I know we would want a full body harness for both likely.  If using shoulder length slings is there anyway I could put knots in them if they are too big so that I can make them fit well?

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535

Dude, just go buy a full body harness for them. Most of them have huge expansion ranges so it'll fit both. I want to say they're like $40. 

Imho, $40 is a pittance for the safety and security of a child.

Alvin Tham · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

I totally agree. $40 don’t cost much versus life of a child

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

They aren't my kids and I don't know if they will ever climb again.....There has to be a perfectly safe way to make full body harnesses for them.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Christopher Smith wrote:

They aren't my kids and I don't know if they will ever climb again.....There has to be a perfectly safe way to make full body harnesses for them.

Yeah, have the parents buy a harness or ask your friends if any of them have one. 

On a side note, I don't have kids and I'd still shell out $40 for a stranger's kid before I'd tie a bunch of slings together.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Alright let me rephrase.  Is there no such thing as a safe proven way to make a full body harness for kids out of slings/tape?

Greg Shea · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

There is

Greg Shea · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

But probs just best to use a real harness

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 553
Christopher Smith wrote:

Alright let me rephrase.  Is there no such thing as a safe proven way to make a full body harness for kids out of slings/tape?

Yes. But, just remember that kids are top heavy. With a regular harness around their hips they may very well go upside down in a fall. Most kids harnesses have a high tie in point.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
wivanoff wrote:

Yes. But, just remember that kids are top heavy. With a regular harness around their hips they may very well go upside down in a fall. Most kids harnesses have a high tie in point.

That's what I said full body harness........

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 124

Buy one from REI and if they don't seem like they're going to use it again, return it. Maybe it's not ethical, but it's way less ethical to risk a kid's life.

Dan 60D5H411 · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 2,077

The boyscouts have been teaching how to make harnesses out of webbing for the last half century.   It can be done, but is really limited to older kids.  To be able to tie a full body harness correctly would take a lot of skill and experience.  

To elaborate on the previous posters recommendation, reach out to the local climbing community, or go to your local climbing gym.  I suspect you could find another family with kids climbing harnesses who would be glad to share their gear and experiences with you. 

Nate Tastic · · Sutter Creek · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

I understand you came here looking for advice on how to build a harness for kids. Wish I could help.

That said, I see close to brand new kids harnesses on Craiglist all the time. I saw this sweet Edelrid one 20 minutes ago in fact: https://sacramento.craigslist.org/spo/d/edelrid-fraggle-ii-full-body/6493037717.html

They get used a couple times at most, then end up for sale. Maybe the parents will consider doing the same? Or finding one used for cheap?

I realize that's probably what you're trying to avoid but, I would think a $15 loss, for example, and a bit of time spent is worth the fun the kids will have and everyone will know they're safe in a real harness to boot.

Anyway...didn't mean to beat a dead horse here, just throwing out another idea.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,630

Another vote here for "just buy a full-body harness."   Sure, hard to justify for the one time but keep it for later use.  Still, Nate's suggestions are good.

We took my grandsons outside climbing once on a car-camping trip, and I improvised harnesses for them.  They were around 8 and 6 at the time.

While everything went well and everyone went home happy including Mom and Dad, it was not an inspiring climbing experience for anyone.

Improvising something as important as that takes time - at least for me.  So, essentially, we spend a fair amount of time getting the rig adjusted well for one of them, he'd climb, and then we'd dismantle it and start over with the other grandson.  If I recall, in the end they each climbed just once - maybe twice, while each definitely had more type 1 fun just playing in the dirt & rocks and burning sticks in the fire.

Contrast that with another time but with full-body harness where, at the end, both were racing up routes and then bounding away from the wall when being lowered.  Some of that was just being a little older (a year?).  But some was also just them being  able to easily get in some laps with little unfettered breaks in between.

bkwrm · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 15

I'll sell 2 for $35 including shipping. See my profile for a picture of the harnesses. They are older, but have been bin stored. Let me know if interested. -Chris

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 553
Christopher Smith wrote:

That's what I said full body harness........

Cool. Then I guess you know all about it....

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Bill Lawry wrote:

Another vote here for "just buy a full-body harness."   Sure, hard to justify for the one time but keep it for later use.  Still, Nate's suggestions are good.

We took my grandsons outside climbing once on a car-camping trip, and I improvised harnesses for them.  They were around 8 and 6 at the time.

While everything went well and everyone went home happy including Mom and Dad, it was not an inspiring climbing experience for anyone.

Improvising something as important as that takes time - at least for me.  So, essentially, we spend a fair amount of time getting the rig adjusted well for one of them, he'd climb, and then we'd dismantle it and start over with the other grandson.  If I recall, in the end they each climbed just once - maybe twice, while each definitely had more type 1 fun just playing in the dirt & rocks and burning sticks in the fire.

Contrast that with another time but with full-body harness where, at the end, both were racing up routes and then bounding away from the wall when being lowered.  Some of that was just being a little older (a year?).  But some was also just them being  able to easily get in some laps with little unfettered breaks in between.

Thank you for actually giving me some practical reasons behind why a professionally built harness is actually a better idea, much more constructive than everyone else's replies.  Really wish people would stop impugning my intentions here though, but alas this is MP.  Still would be nice to know how to do one but I suppose even if I can construct it just fine some other jackass might come along and think he can follow the same instructions and fuck some kid up.  For the record I would be meticulous about it and practice it beforehand, if anybody is willing to pass along instructions maybe PMs would work better for that.  I probably will try the buy/resale or borrow route though for the reasons Bill here has listed, got a full 2 months to figure this out.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
bkwrm wrote:

I'll sell 2 for $35 including shipping. See my profile for a picture of the harnesses. They are older, but have been bin stored. Let me know if interested. -Chris

How old?

George Bracksieck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 1,446

PMed bkwrm. 

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 124
Christopher Smith wrote:

Really wish people would stop impugning my intentions here though, but alas this is MP.

No one is impugning your intentions, bro. We know you just want the kids to have fun and save some money, and that you don't think that rolling your own harness is a safety risk. But it is a safety risk. Your intentions are good, but the force of gravity is stronger than good intentions.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 569
Christopher Smith wrote:

much more constructive than everyone else's replies.  Really wish people would stop impugning my intentions here though, but alas this is MP.  

Next time post on childendangermentproject.com

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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