Make a Camera Harness

A camera harness is a valuable, easy, and inexpensive device you can make yourself for under $5.00.

| May/June 1981

  • 069 camera harness - main photo
    The finished camera harness snugly in place.
  • 069 camera harness - adjustable straps
    The slides make the harness fully adjustable for large and small photographers.
  • 069 camera harness - parts
    Nylon webbing, elastic, slides, and snaps are the harness' main parts.

  • 069 camera harness - main photo
  • 069 camera harness - adjustable straps
  • 069 camera harness - parts

When you're spending time in the great outdoors—hiking, backpacking, skiing, or what have you—it's often difficult to find a convenient way to carry along a 35mm camera. Well, I've solved that problem with a dandy harness that can be made, in about 30 minutes, for around $4.00 that is the equal of similar devices sold in camera stores for $14 or more!

Ready in a Second

As an outdoor writer and photographer, I take my camera almost everywhere I go, and I've found no better way to keep it secure and accessible than this handy, homemade harness. One day, for instance, when my husband and I were backpacking on the Continental Divide, a coyote suddenly appeared, moving at a comfortable lope, about 50 yards in front of us. At that pace, the animal disappeared among the trees in about 15 seconds, but—since my camera was waiting, practically under my nose—I was able to get a good photo of the beast.

The harness also comes in handy when I join a bunch of friends to go downhill skiing. With my equipment snugly secured and just a jacket zipped up over it, I can whip my handy 35mm out, take several shots, stick it back inside my coat, and be on my way. Furthermore, my camera stays warm, so there's no danger of battery failure. And now that I'm so quick on the draw, my friends' aversion to my picturetaking has substantially lessened because they no longer have to ward off frostbite while I fumble with my cumbersome gear.

Shop Around and Save

The materials you'll need can be found at several kinds of stores, so look for bargains. Shoe repair shops, for example, may have the least expensive price on elastic, but generally stock it only in black and brown. (If you want a white camera holder, you can simply buy your elastic in any store that sells sewing notions.)

My shopping list for the project looked like this:

(7')  2" nylon webbing  $2.22
(2)   2" snap buckles     .60
(2)   2" sliders          .30
(12") 3/4" elastic        .25
(4)   3/4" split rings    .60
      scrap material       00
Total                   $3.97

Try checking out a tent and awning or sailmaking establishment to find the lowest price on nylon webbing. Snaps and slides can be found in such places too, or in sporting goods shops that specialize in camping gear. Hardware outlets may also have them, and will certainly carry the needed split—or key—rings. (The split-ring assemblies go between the camera and the harness to prevent the snap buckles from scratching the camera's finish. If you now use a regular neck strap you may already have these sections, in which case you'll have saved a step.)

12/31/2008 3:35:30 PM

May be asking a bit too much here, but I was wondering if you can send me a few pics of the camera harness close up by itself from the front and side angle? It's sounds ideal for my situation as well. My e-mail is Hope you can make an effort to provide these pics. Kevin

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