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figure 8 knot for climbing

How To Tie Into A Climbing Harness With Figure 8 Knot

A fundamental skill necessary for safe and secure climbing is learning how to tie the proper knots and knowing when and how to use each knot. As the most commonly used knot in climbing, the figure 8 knot is the preferred knot for tying into a climbing harness

Read on to learn the benefits of the figure 8 knot, along with how to tie into a climbing harness using the same figure 8 knot climbing gurus around the world trust to keep them safe and secure during a climb.

Why Use a Figure 8 Knot for Climbing?

Especially recommended for novice and intermediate climbers, the rock climbing figure 8 knot is the easiest climbing knot to teach, learn, and check for accuracy. Compared to the bowline knot (a technical rock climbing knot reserved for experienced climbers), the figure 8 knot is more secure with new or stiff ropes

While a figure 8 climbing knot is undoubtedly a crowd favorite, in certain instances–like after a fall or when enough tension is applied–a figure 8 knot can cinch down extremely tight, making it difficult to undo. This could require you to cut the rope. Of course, you can always try a few tried-and-true tricks climbers use to loosen the knot, like rolling it against a flat rock or pulling the knot using the strands on either side.

Just as crucial as the knot you use to tie into a climbing harness is the climbing rope you use to create your tree or rock climbing figure 8 knot. At SGT KNOTS, we offer an incredible selection of dynamic rope certified for safety by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA).

Once you have your rope and harness ready to go, it’s time to practice tying your figure 8 knot. This guide offers step-by-step instructions on how to tie a figure 8 knot into a harness. 

How to Tie Into a Climbing Harness with a Figure 8 Knot

1. Hold the end of your dynamic rope in one hand. Then, extend your arm to measure a rope length extending from your fist to the opposite shoulder.

2. Pinch a bight where you’ve measured at your shoulder. Twist the bight one full rotation so that the rope’s standing part crosses over the working side. Twist it again, allowing the rope to come around to its original position.

 3. Pass the working end of the rope through the loop from front to back. The end result should resemble a classic figure 8.

 4. Now it’s time to form the follow-through. Pass the end of the rope through your harness's tie-in points. Pull the knot in close to you.

5. Feed the rope back through the knot, making sure to trace the original knot as you go. You want the working end to run parallel to the standing part of the original knot. Work the end all the way through, and ensure your strands are neat and run parallel.

 6. To tighten your knot, pull each individual strand tight individually. Leave at least six inches of tail.

 7. It’s time to check your knot. There should be five sets of parallel lines.

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