How to Tie in to the Figure 8 Knot – Step by Step for Beginning Climbers, Part II

Now that you learned more about the figure 8 knot and how to make one from “how to tie a figure 8 knot” article, you are ready to move forward to the next step of rock climbing. What is the next step and why is it so important?

The next step is to tie the end of the figure 8 knot to the harness that is attached to you. This procedure is important because you will be hanging from the rope and you may want to make sure that every time you fall that rope is tightly secure to you and your harness. The belayer can do so much. They can catch your fall with the rope but if you are not tie in correctly there is nothing they can do. The wonderful part about the figure 8 is that it is automatically tightens under the pressure of your weight so you can safely feel secured. Sometimes after a fall, the figure 8 knot can get so tight that it’ll take a while to unravel.

Below is the step by step procedure on how to tie in to the figure 8 knot.

Rental Harness — rope through
Your own harness – rope through two loops







First check out what harness you are using. Is it a rental or your own? A rental has only one loop to put your rope through while your own harness usually has two. See illustration above.

With the two loop harness, I usually bring the end of the rope through the bottom loop first then I loop through the top (2nd) loop. This way I won’t forget the bottom loop for sure. It is important to make sure you loop through both loops. There are always redundancy in rock climbing when one technique fails you have a back up planned.

Then follow the figure 8 with the end rope making sure the end rope is lined up with the original figure 8 as in illustrations.

Pull the end of the rope through and continue to follow the figure 8

Follow the arrow of the figure 8 through the loop again.


There’s usually a tail of at least six to ten inches left extra. To keep the tail from flopping around, we generally tie a double fisherman’s knot as an extra safety knot.

Bring the end of the rope and make two loops around the main rope

Then pull up the end of the rope through the two loops.

Pull up as tight as you can.

Final product – Double figure 8 knot with a fisherman’s knot at the end.

Always check yourself and your partner. There should be five sets of twos for a doubled figure 8 knot. Also verify that you have looped through both loops of your harness.

You are now ready to climb. Climb on my friends.

As always, please feel free to leave your comments and/or questions below. I would love to hear your thoughts.


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