What to Do With Old Climbing Harness?

When it comes to outdoor sports and activities, safety is always a top priority. That’s why it’s important to take care of your gear and equipment, including your climbing harness. However, there may come a time when your harness is no longer safe to use or you simply want to upgrade to a newer model. When that happens, it’s important to properly dispose of your old harness to ensure it doesn’t end up in a landfill or pose a risk to others. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different options for what to do with an old climbing harness and provide guidance on how to choose the best course of action.

Assess the Condition of your Old Climbing Harness

Before you decide what to do with your old climbing harness, it’s important to assess its condition. A harness that is worn out, damaged, or no longer safe to use should not be donated, repurposed, or recycled. Here are some things to look for when inspecting your harness:

  • Frayed or worn webbing: Check the webbing on the harness for signs of fraying, excessive wear, or discoloration. If the webbing is damaged, it may not be able to support weight safely.
  • Broken or corroded buckles: Inspect the buckles on the harness for signs of corrosion, cracking, or breakage. If a buckle is damaged, it may not be able to hold weight securely.
  • Signs of wear and tear: Look for any signs of wear and tear on the harness, such as tears, abrasions, or punctures. These can weaken the harness and make it unsafe to use.
  • Age of the harness: Even if the harness appears to be in good condition, it’s important to consider its age. Most harnesses have a lifespan of about 5 years, so if your harness is older than that, it may not be safe to use.

If your harness shows any signs of damage or wear, it should be disposed of properly. If it appears to be in good condition, you can consider donating, repurposing, or recycling it.

Options for Disposing of an Old Harness

There are several options for disposing of an old climbing harness. Here are some of the most common:

Recycling programs offered by gear manufacturers

Some gear manufacturers, such as Patagonia and Black Diamond, offer recycling programs for climbing gear. These programs allow you to send your old harness to the manufacturer to be recycled. Check the manufacturer’s website for information on their recycling program and how to participate.

Recycling your old climbing harness is an environmentally friendly option that keeps the harness out of landfills and can help reduce the climbing industry’s environmental impact. While not all harnesses can be recycled, many gear manufacturers provide recycling programs through which you can send your old harness to be recycled.

To recycle your harness, first look for information on the manufacturer’s recycling program on their website. To return your harness to the manufacturer, you may need to fill out a form or request a shipping label. Before returning the harness, some manufacturers may require you to remove the metal buckles.

When they receive your harness, the manufacturer will usually disassemble it and separate the various materials for recycling. The harness’s nylon webbing and plastic components can frequently be recycled into new products, while the metal buckles can be melted down and recycled into new metal products.

Recycling your old harness is an excellent way to give it a second life while also reducing the environmental impact of your climbing equipment. It is important to note, however, that not all manufacturers provide recycling programs, and not all harnesses can be recycled. If you are unable to recycle your harness, you have other disposal options, including donating, repurposing, or proper disposal through a waste management facility.

Donate to a local climbing gym or community group

If your harness is still in good condition, you may be able to donate it to a local climbing gym or community group. These organizations often accept used gear and may be able to put your harness to good use.

Donating your old climbing harness is another option for keeping it out of landfills and assisting others who may not be able to afford new equipment. Consider donating your harness to a local climbing gym or community group if it is still in good condition and has plenty of life left in it.

Before donating your harness, inspect it thoroughly for signs of wear or damage. Check that the webbing is still strong and that the buckles are in working order. You don’t want to donate a harness that might endanger someone else’s safety.

Begin by contacting your local climbing gym or community group to see if they accept used gear donations. Some organizations may have specific guidelines or requirements for gear donations, so ask before donating your harness.

When donating your harness, you should also consider donating any other climbing equipment that you no longer use, such as carabiners, ropes, or helmets. Climbers who cannot afford to buy new equipment can benefit from these items as well.

Donating your old climbing harness is an excellent way to give back to the climbing community while also assisting others in staying safe while participating in the sport. Plus, it’s a sustainable way to dispose of gear that you no longer need.

Repurpose it for other uses

If your old climbing harness is no longer suitable for climbing, you may still be able to repurpose it for other purposes. Repurposing your harness is an excellent way to keep it out of landfills and reduce waste while also being creative and discovering new uses for old gear.

When working on roofs or other high places, one common way to repurpose a climbing harness is to use it as a safety strap. To prevent falls, attach the harness to an anchor point and use it as a safety tether. Before using the harness for this purpose, inspect it for signs of wear or damage.

Another option is to repurpose the harness as a small dog harness. The harness’s adjustable straps make it simple to adjust to your dog’s size, and the sturdy webbing and buckles can provide a secure and comfortable fit. However, before using the harness on your pet, make sure to thoroughly inspect it for signs of wear or damage.

The harness could also be used as a strap or tie-down for carrying gear or securing items in your vehicle. The harness’s strong nylon webbing and buckles allow it to securely hold a variety of items.

The possibilities for repurposing your old harness are limitless. However, it is critical to maintain safety and thoroughly inspect the harness for signs of wear or damage before using it for a new purpose.

Proper disposal through a waste management facility

If your old climbing harness is no longer usable and you are unable to recycle or repurpose it, your only option is to properly dispose of it. While it may be tempting to simply discard the harness, doing so is not the best option for the environment.

Instead, look for a local waste management facility that accepts nylon and other synthetic materials for recycling or proper disposal. Find out where you can dispose of your old harness by contacting your local government or a waste management facility. Metal buckles may also be accepted for recycling at some facilities.

When disposing of your harness, cut the nylon webbing into small pieces to avoid becoming entangled in machinery or causing other hazards. This will also make the waste management facility’s processing and recycling of the material easier.

While it may be difficult to let go of your old climbing harness, doing so is the responsible thing to do. You can ensure that your old harness is disposed of in an environmentally friendly and safe manner by taking the time to locate a recycling or waste management facility in your area.


To conclude, your old climbing harness does not have to end up in the trash. Recycling, donating, and repurposing are all excellent ways to keep your old harness out of the landfill and give it a new lease on life. Consider the condition of your old harness and whether it can be safely used for another purpose when deciding what to do with it. If none of these options are available, it is critical to properly dispose of your harness to ensure that it does not harm the environment. You can help to reduce waste and promote sustainability in the climbing community by taking these steps.

Olivia Wade

Olivia Wade is the creative force behind Climb Daily. Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, she brings her passion for photography, content creation, and outdoor exploration to the team. Learn more about Olivia Wade here.