How to Make Safety Lanyards for Tree Climbing

Written by stanley goff
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Whether you are climbing a tree to rescues a cat, compete in a sport, or drop the tree, safety equipment is important, including lanyards. A lanyard is a line that attaches one thing to another to prevent its falling. The two kinds of lanyards tree-climbers use are equipment lanyards and personal fall-arrest lanyards. Equipment lanyards keep equipment from falling from the person using it; fall-arrest lanyards stop the person from falling out of the tree. The construction of either lanyard can be the same.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Steel snap hook with a rope-eye, breaking load minimum 2449kg.
  • 7/16-inch synthetic, static rope, breaking load minimum 2449kg.
  • Steel locking carabiner, breaking load minimum 2449kg.
  • Matches or lighter

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  1. 1

    Cut the rope to the desired length. Twelve feet is a common length for a fall-arrest lanyard. Six feet is adequate for an equipment lanyard. U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards require any lifeline to have a minimum breaking load of 2449kg. on both lines and connectors.

  2. 2

    Burn the ends of the rope enough to make a glassy cap at the tips to prevent fraying. Synthetics create toxic smoke, so do this outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

  3. 3

    Tie one end of the rope to the rope eye in the steel snap-hook. Tie a single bowline, with an extra half-hitch. Make a loop about a foot from the end. Thread the short end above the loop through the snap-hook's rope eye. Pass the threaded end--the working end--through your loop, then around the long end--the standing end--then back through the loop. Pull the standing end until the knot tightens. With the extra tail, tie a simple half hitch around the standing end. Do not use this lanyard if you are not absolutely sure the bowline is correct.

  4. 4

    Repeat this knot to tie the other end of the lanyard to the steel locking carabiner. The carabiner end gives you the option to attach it directly to other equipment or to wrap it around a limb and snap the carabiner to the rope.

Tips and warnings

  • The lanyard is not adequate to ensure your safety or that of those below you. Use it in conjunction with a harness, which also has to be strength tested. Never attempt technical climbs of any kind unless or until you have an experienced person to supervise the inspection of equipment and knots.

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