Using a "Gear Belt" for trad climbing

Tip/Trick/Gimmick: Using a "Gear Belt" for trad climbing

Source : this one is my idea (I think)

Contributed by: Marty Comiskey (

Best useful for:   Top rope     Trad       x      Mountaineering

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Description:  As you know, there are two usually accepted methods for racking gear/pro when trad climbing:
- gear sling over shoulder (and the numerous variations - regular sling,dedicated gear loop sling, incorporated backpack/gear sling, other)
- rack gear on your personal climbing harness

Each system has its pros and cons. If swapping leads (i.e. each member alternates leading) then sharing an over the shoulder sling and swapping it at the belays is very efficient as compared to transferring each piece of pro individually from your harness to your partner's harness.

However, certain climbs/routes (or personal preference) favor using your harness to rack the gear. It is especially troublesome using an over the shoulder gear sling if your shoulder (and the gear sling) are jammed into an off width/chimney.

If only one of the climbers is doing all the leading, then this becomes a moot point; just do what works best for you. But, if you are swinging leads and would prefer to rack on your harness here is an idea that I have recently been experimenting with.

I recently retired an "old" harness. Rather than throw it away, I instead cut off the leg loops, belay loop and such leaving only the "belt" with its attached gear loops. I wear this above my climbing harness and when swapping leads I can easily remove the gear belt with its attached gear and pass it along to my partner in one step - a great time saver.  

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