5.11 Tactical Operator’s Belt for Abseiling and Backaches

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BOD

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I am a happy camper today.

Thanks to bandel4, :You_Rock_ I am now the happy owner of a 5.11 Operator’s belt. All for just over £7. It’s genuine for sure, but the factory had stitched in the code for the cheaper TDU belt and this is probably why the entire production run was rejected.

This is a big departure for me as my ‘normal’ bushcraft kit looks like, and often is, charity shop recycled clothing, as those of you who know me can testify.

I was looking for a strong belt so that I can abseil down steep slopes without resorting to the painful classic abseil or having to improvise a sit harness out of some rope or rely on less safe methods of descent. You click on a krab and away you go. The buckle is rated to 6,000lbs and the webbing is bombproof.

A surprising bonus (and best feature) was that the belt reduces my currently chronic backache to negligible when adjusted tightly.:D

If you have these concerns, do get one.

http://www.511tactical.com/browse/H...ide/D/30100/P/1:100:50000:50800:50806/I/59405
 

PC2K

Settler
Oct 31, 2003
511
1
33
The Netherlands, Delft
Please don't use it as a replacement for a climbing harnass. It certainly isn't one. Might be usefull in a very last resort, but otherwise just carry a harness with you. If you carry rope, you might as well carry the harnass.
 

BOD

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Appreciate your concern P2CK. You are right, of course

I'm not climbing with it. Nor doing verticals or overhangs.

Sometimes there are slopes that are not doable or too risky unaided due to rain and mud or they are just steep - 60-70 degrees and to get down I use a short doubled rope around a tree (no sling) for the tricky sections.This is forested scrambling terrain here not SRT. Exposure is usually limited and a fall painful but probably not fatal. Can't do long sections because of vegetation. Can't hold a lot of the vegetation as it will pull out

Just hands or arm wraps on the rope is probably riskier than a Munter and krab on the belt. As my legs will be in contact with the slope most of the time the load on the waist will be reduced considerabley compared to hanging in the belt which might be what you are thinking of and which I would not do.

I sometimes carry a rope for a improvised harness but this should be easier and lighter. In the jungle excess weight and the exhaustion that can follow is the killer.

Believe me I avoid doing anything like this as much as I can, prefering to wait or find another route. No Bear Grylls heroics for me. I have probably done not more than 4 or 5 unplanned descents in 7 years.

Apprecite your feedback on things I may not have thought about.

I have yet to try the belt out though and it might be too uncomfortable
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,883
1,377
63
Pembrokeshire
Now then....using a belt for climbing type activities....
When I were a lad, climbing harnesses had yet to be invented and we just tied on to the ropes end OR -if you were lucky - used the good old Troll belt which were padded..... and mainly for southern poofs!
Using a big fat belt for assisted lowers (call that an abseil?!) - safe as houses (I take it you too pay huge insurances on your house...how safe ARE houses?) and probably for Jessies anyroadup!
I did my first ab on a hawser lay climbing rope - classic ab naturally - in shorts!
You can barely see the scars now.....
Climbers today? Padded sit harnesses? Andrex they are! Soft, strong etc and good for...welll.......:D
 

Mikey P

Full Member
Nov 22, 2003
2,252
6
49
Glasgow, Scotland
Now then....using a belt for climbing type activities....
When I were a lad, climbing harnesses had yet to be invented and we just tied on to the ropes end OR -if you were lucky - used the good old Troll belt which were padded..... and mainly for southern poofs!
Using a big fat belt for assisted lowers (call that an abseil?!) - safe as houses (I take it you too pay huge insurances on your house...how safe ARE houses?) and probably for Jessies anyroadup!
I did my first ab on a hawser lay climbing rope - classic ab naturally - in shorts!
You can barely see the scars now.....
Climbers today? Padded sit harnesses? Andrex they are! Soft, strong etc and good for...welll.......:D
The Troll!?! Good God, you're ancient John! Was it a hand-me-down from Don Whillans?
 

Draven

Native
Jul 8, 2006
1,530
4
31
Scotland
Now then....using a belt for climbing type activities....
When I were a lad, climbing harnesses had yet to be invented and we just tied on to the ropes end OR -if you were lucky - used the good old Troll belt which were padded..... and mainly for southern poofs!
Using a big fat belt for assisted lowers (call that an abseil?!) - safe as houses (I take it you too pay huge insurances on your house...how safe ARE houses?) and probably for Jessies anyroadup!
I did my first ab on a hawser lay climbing rope - classic ab naturally - in shorts!
You can barely see the scars now.....
Climbers today? Padded sit harnesses? Andrex they are! Soft, strong etc and good for...welll.......:D
Pah, padded belt? When I was a little 'un it was a matter of looping the rope enough times to take some of your weight and few enough that you wouldn't just dangle! And it was that horrible blue synthetic stuff too, not that modern rope for sensitive skin :p The rope burns looked like tyre tracks!

Funnily enough, it was actually my friend's knot tying ability (or lack thereof) that led to be falling most of the time :cussing:

Come to think of it I was a remarkably lucky child, we used to climb up waterfalls sans rope as well and I never got a broken bone til I hit an ice rink (literally) - though now I think of it, maybe that's why I'm only 20 and can't stand up or bend over without making a creaking noise.

Outta curiosity though, I can't see how that belt works :confused: Any clues?
 

welshwhit

Settler
Oct 12, 2005
646
0
38
Mid-Wales
Belts are usually used with a carabiner attached to them and a munter hitch or the like tied into that!

You could always tie a thompson knot, look like a hunchback and trust ya mate not to let go!

Drew
 

sargey

Mod
Mod
Sep 11, 2003
2,686
6
cheltenham, glos
I did my first ab on a hawser lay climbing rope - classic ab naturally - in shorts!
You can barely see the scars now.....
:lmao:

i used to have a matching set of scars.

for some reason, i never knew the name for a munter hitch, till now.

i looked up south african abseil, i don't see how it's different to the classic abseil, which if done correctly makes you go :aargh4:


cheers, and.
 

wattsy

Native
Dec 10, 2009
1,111
0
Lincoln
you can't lead with a rope wrapped around you're middle though. the early pioneers of climbing had a mantra 'the leader does not fall' because if he did that lovely old hemp rope with no stretch around his middle would snap him like a twig.
 

troutman

Nomad
May 14, 2012
264
3
North East (UK)
Your braver than me using that as a harness! I really would save it for emergencies (like everyone else has said) it is too easy to slip out of that and the load surely won't be spread properly around your body.
 

Itzal

Nomad
Mar 3, 2010
280
1
N Yorks
Your braver than me using that as a harness! I really would save it for emergencies (like everyone else has said) it is too easy to slip out of that and the load surely won't be spread properly around your body.
I used mine for 7 months in Afghan and several times during the day I would have to re tighten it, we did test them for weight bearing and they will but I wouldn't like to bet my life on it holding too long or with some shock loading.
 

Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,883
175
Knowhere
I have seen pictures of old quarrymen working in Wales before the current obsession with health and safety. No harnesses, no helmets, simply hanging off a rope. Of course there were lots of accidents, but I would guess that if you knew what you were doing you were safe enough. I wouldn't want to rely on it myself, but when needs must you use what is available. Industrial strength webbing is what you want, if you can use it to tow your car out of a ditch it should be enough for anything :)
 

NS40

Nomad
Nov 20, 2011
362
4
Scotland
Was it a hand-me-down from Don Whillans?
The old Whillan's harness...now there's a blast from the past!:lmao:

I learned to climb with one of these torture devices...you tended not to want to fall as you knew the single strap which ran between your legs was never tight enough that you could, erm, ensure everything was 'safely stowed away'.

If you fell, you knew there was a good chance of some discomfort/serious pain/unexpected amputation or mangling of the 'gentlemans area'.

Admittedly, it was as great way of encouraging you not to fall...