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Harness Must Haves - Sam Turner

Harness Must Haves - Sam Turner

What must have climbing equipment is on your Arb harness?


Welcome to the start of a new series on!

It’s clear that every climber has their harness set up in their own particular way. We think this is great! 


To start off the process we’ve used Sam Turner (our new writer) as an example. This isn’t just for arborists, we will include rope access technicians, as well as some rock climbers. Because so many of us can also be found on rock, when not at work.


Look out for future entries in this series. From industry veterans, competition legends & epic contract climbers.


Sam Turner, Arborist climbing a beech tree in a Teufelberger Treemotion

What must have climbing equipment is on your Arb harness?


Lanyard: CUSTOM

  • 3 m length in FimbylSAVER type design,
  • Ocean Vectran core (doubled),
  • Kernmaster cover,
  • BOLA adjuster with DMM Nexus Swivel,
  • 2 x DMM (Black) Sentinel Carabiner,
  • 1 x Aspiring 150 mm Dyneema sling,
First Aid: Silver Bull Arb Trauma Kit
  • Includes Combat Application Tourniquet & Israeli Bandage.







Keen readers may notice similarities between items on my harness & items that I recommended every climber will love (from my last article…). Anyway here’s an explanation of why it's all on there:

For the harness, I will need a lot of convincing before I climb in anything other than a TreeMOTION. A backup bridge would be great but otherwise it's pretty much perfect for me. I have repeatedly half hitched black paracord around the edges because I was fed up with getting sticks & sawdust stuck between the padding.
To be honest I had envisaged it as creating heaps of extra attachment points, but it didn’t really come out like that. It makes it a pain for inspections as well so I’m not sure if I’ll bother for my next harness.
There’s a few other customisations like Ocean Polyester cover over the elastics (no more butt spanking when they get caught on twigs). I’ve also tied the leg straps back over the buckles so that there’s less chance of them getting accidentally opened & it keeps the straps tidy.
The lanyard is based on Paul Poynter’s design (which I assume is based on the original FimbylSAVER design) & I LOVE it. The idea is for something that flips like steel but bends like rope, even better than this - if you nick the cover you can replace it without retiring the whole thing!
Gordon Svedberg’s BOLA is a great lanyard adjuster as well, because I can so easily switch my lanyard into a short DdRT system (like a CE lanyard). Its mechanical so there’s no sitback & it deals with sap & rain really well. I use a short dyneema sling as a lighter weight version of the thimble prusik on the CE lanyard.
As far as I’m concerned the Arb Trauma kit by Silver Bull is the best arborist specific first aid kit out there & I wouldn’t use a chainsaw at height without it. My lanyard lives on the left hand DMM Vault when its not in use, I aim to keep sharp things on the right & textiles on the left. Although I find the large Petzl Caritool gets caught on branches. It's the only tool holder out there that can fit a chainsaw’s top handle through (resting the saw sideways). I’m so used to this now that I couldn’t go back to having a saw dangling around ripping up my pants.
An HMS karabiner & a revolver cover me for munter hitching, SRT retrievable redirects & once you’ve thrown the snake tail in there you’ve got most of your rescue options covered, as well as an adjustable cambium saver (amongst innumerable other options).
The rope wrench is a new addition as an “every climb” item, I used to prefer the Rock Exotica Totem because I considered it more versatile. However I’m really buzzing off of being able whack the wrench on top of a mechanical SRT device & bail out of big trees one handed as fast as I want without wearing out my devices!
The quickie also gives me quick & easy options for attachments, where gate loading would be an issue with a karabiner.
Finally - no climber should leave the ground without at least one spare DMM XSRE carabiner!


Sam Turner, Arborist taking a big swing at the Red Bull climbing competition

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