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Choosing the Right Carabiners for Your Climb

Jul 13, 2008
Before going on any climb, you'll need to access what kinds of equipment you'll need for your trip and be able to pack your necessary gear accordingly. There are several different types of carabiners that you can choose from that vary according to size, shape and gate size. Having the right carabiners for your trip and understanding how to use them are very important, as your life may be depending on them. Here are some quick tips for choosing the right carabiners for your climb.

Consider Your Needs

Before choosing any kind of carabiner for your trip, you need to consider what you will be using them for. Different styles of carabiners are designed for different tasks, so you'll want to ask yourself what kinds of climbing you'll be doing, as well as the kinds of protections you'll be clipping into. If you're just starting out climbing, you may want to get the assistance of an expert or experienced salesman for some help.

Explore Your Options

Once you know what kinds of carabiners will be best for your trip, take a trip to the store and look at some examples of carabiners they have there. Try to get a feel for how they work, how easy they are to clip into, and how smoothly the gates work. If you're looking at getting some locking carabiners, try to get comfortable with locking and unlocking the gate with one hand. You'll find that different people prefer different models, so choose some that are easy for you to use and operate smoothly.

Does Weight/Size of the Carabiner Matter?

While it's always best to climb light, be sure to consider the weight of your carabiner as well, as light weight carabiners aren't always the way to go. Super light carabiners can result in lower gate-opening strengths and eventually a lower life span for your carabiner. Plus, narrow carabiners can harm your ropes as well. The size of your carabiners should really be based off yoru personal preferences. Larger shaped carabiners can be easier to handle and hold a lot of gear, but take up a lot of space and add extra weight to your gear.

Check Your Carabiners

It's always important to continually monitor your climbing gear to watch out for cracks, sharp edges, corrosion, and other signs of excessive wear and tear. Even a small hairline crack in your carabiner makes them extremely dangerous and should be trashed. If one of your carabiners has a fall greater than 20 feet, it should also not be used.

Climbing is unique from many other sports in that a fall may severely injure or kill the climber. If you have any questions or are unsure about a piece of equipment, be sure to consult with an expert.
About the Author
Jeffry Evans, founder and retailer of top notch rock climbing gear, here to give you the information you need to conquer the mountain.
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