For those new to the sport, this can be a daunting
task. Should you rack the gear on your harness or
on a gear sling? Either way, it is a personal
Most people appear to rack all their gear on the
Harness Gear Loops. This can be a nuisance
when crack climbing. Apart from scratching all
your gear, it can be just painful. However,
racking on a Harness works really well for
shorter routes and sport climbs! Many climbers
cannot stand the weight of a rack of gear around
I believe the advantages of a Padded Gear Sling
with loops on it, out way the disadvantages,
when multi-pitch climbing? When swinging
leads with your partner, a well organized gear
sling can be easily handed over. Saving time one
on long multi-pitch routes is a safety issue and
shows good judgment.
Either way, the basics of racking the gear is
much the same. Rack the gear in order of
smallest pieces to the largest ones. This goes for
wired nuts, hexes and/or spring loaded camming
devices. I like to split a set of 10 wired nuts into
two halves. Sizes 1 to 6 on one oval karabiner
and sizes 7 to10 on another.
If you double up on your wired nut sizes, I like
to keep them on another separate karabiner.
If you drop a sub-set of wired nuts for any
reason, it is re-assuring to know that you have
some more to continue with.
Quick-draws can be clipped directly on to the
harness gear loops. You can organize sling
(dogbone) lengths in sets on individual loops.
Quick-draws can be clipped into other quickdraws
to save loop space.
Spare karabiners can be clipped into each other
in sets and racked off one krab. Accessory gear
like prussics, gloves, chalk bag etc can be
clipped to the rear of the harness.
60cm and 120cm (twisted) slings can be put over
your shoulder. If you are using a gear sling,
remember to put the slings above the gear sling.
You may wish to extend a quick-draw or wrap
around a rock bollard. They need to be lifted off
with ease. I carry long slings or cordelettes in a
small purposely made nylon bag and hang it off
the rear of my harness.
There is no right or wrong way to organize your
rack. Experiment. Over time you will develop a
personal preference for what works best for you.
Climbing location and style of climbing may
dictate your decision?