I have been piling up carabiners, cordelette loops, webbing, ATC devices, Gri-Gri, etc., and it is all now hanging from my harness. This adds a considerable amount of weight and becomes a bit unwieldy. For context, I typically set up top ropes, and rappel down.

What is the most sensible way to unload some of the stuff now clipped to my harness, and what is the best way to keep it together inside my climbing backpack for easy access?

  • 4
    Maybe you can expand on what you really need to know or clear up my misunderstanding, because the answer seems simple: What you need for the climb goes on your harness, the rest goes into the pack. Same as what you need for the day of climbing goes into the pack, rest stays at home.
    – imsodin
    Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 18:27
  • You might want to consider buying a bandolier
    – user2766
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 11:54

2 Answers 2


Anything that needs to be accessed quickly needs to go on your harness, this would include,

  • Belay devices.
  • Personal clip in gear.
  • A couple of slings and carabiners

Beyond that, you can sling your alpine draws over one shoulder, along with doubled up cordelettes, and if you use a gear sling, then you can place your extra cams and gear on that.

If you are just walking to the top, then I would put the rope into a rope bag, clip any extra gear to the harness or sling so its all connected. When you get to the top you can just pull the harness or sling out of the bag and be ready to go.


Given that you're top-roping, very little needs to be on your harness when you're actually on the route. In fact, one of they joys of top-roping is the freedom from all this clutter! Everything else can be stashed in your pack - I normally clip it all to a short sling, so that I can quickly grab it and find what I need at any time.

For seconding a route, the requirement is similarly low, except it's a good idea to carry a nut key somewhere out of the way (I clip mine to the back).

On lead, you need just about everything (though you might be selective - e.g. leave behind the micronuts if you obviously won't use them, or take only even-numbered sizes to save weight), and then the knack is to have a system that you know by feel (e.g. I carry nuts on my right gear-loop, ordered from smallest to largest, and extenders on the left gear-loop; nut key and belay/abseil device round the back, and slings over the shoulder).

  • Thank you. This is very useful. I followed Charlie's advice and got myself a gear sling - is it different from a "short sling"? Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 13:38
  • A "gear sling" is usually just a short sling, perhaps with some padding added for comfort. It might not be fall-rated, in which case you should use it only for gear and not as part of your belay. (Using an ordinary sling for your gear could give you that option, for an emergency). Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 13:47

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