Join Date: Apr 2006
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Peter, there's no much difference between storebought jacklines and DIY jacklines. Use tubular nyon webbing, not polyester which is cheaper but takes more UV damage. Tubular not plain flat, because it is much stronger and still lies flat. Webbing not rope, because rope rolls under your foot and you fall.
You can buy tubular nylon webbing on eBay or a local camping store. Just take some care with the attachments, and stow the webbing when it is not in use, to minimize UV damage.
Safety harness? Rock climbers routinely used to make their own harnesses out of the same stuff but these days, you can buy a rock climber's safety harness, or a roofer's safety harness (sold in buckets in the big hardware stores) for not a lot more than what it would cost you to fuss around and make one. That will also usually be 2" webbing instead of 1", and the difference is that the wider webbing will do you less damage if you fall. I'd ante up and buy one, since DIY means a lot of careful stitching and hardware you won't conveniently find.
Then there's the tether...the elastic ones with locking snap shackles would be pretty hard to duplicate yourself. A plain snap shackle can and will unclip itself if you spin it around just the "right" way, so a plain spring-loaded carabiner or snap won't do as well.
Yes, a couple of loops around the waist, a bowline, some 1/2" line was used for so many years, but the new stuff will be so much kinder to you, in the event that you actually get saved by it.