Using gear tethers for items outside your haul bag


Not everything is going to fit in your haul bag. And, there are some things you don't want to put in there! Typically, these items might be your portaledge, poop tube, gear bag, garbage sack, empty water bottles, day bag and maybe a gear bucket.

The Old School technique for dealing with extra items like this was to clip them underneath your haul bag. Even if you've never climbed a big wall, you can probably imagine what type of problems this creates.  Every time you'd need to access your extra items, you'd have to finagle yourself underneath your haul bag, a major and unnecessary hassle.

Fortunately, there is a Superior System - gear tethers. Rather than clipping your gear under the bag, you tie it with the tether attached to the top. This allows you to grab the gear tether, and simply pull up whatever you need.

A tether is simply an 8 mm cord about 15 feet long. Tie a figure 8 on a bight and clip it with a locking carabiner to your main hauling carabiner. This gives you two tethers.

Get another 15 foot section of 8mm cord of a different color, and do the same thing. The color coding helps you remember which rope to pull.

And, as long as you’re buying 8 mm cord, you might as well get yourself another 15 feet to use as a docking tether for the actual haul bag, which we cover in this Tip. (Ideally the docking cord is a different color from the cords you use for gear tethers, to be sure you don’t accidently release the wrong one.)

Be sure the cords are long enough so whatever is attached to them hangs below your haul bag, otherwise it gets pinched between the bag and the rock.

Important: everything on a gear tether has to be on a locking carabiner. (Use a "cheapskate" locker if you need to, a regular locker taped shut with athletic tape.)


An excellent use of gear tethers.