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How to Care for your Carabiners

Jul 24, 2008
Your carabiners may not be one of the larger or even one of the most expensive pieces of climbing gear that you'll have, but that does not mean that they are unimportant. Carabiners are used to link climbers to their safety devices, other kinds of climbing gear, or even other climbers in a belay. Using a faulty or damaged carabiner is dangerous. Always remember that keeping your climbing gear in good working order is an excellent way to avoid accident or injury. Here are some basic tips and maintenance care guidelines for keeping your carabiners in tip top shape.

Cleaning your Carabiners

Typically, you'll only need to clean your carabiners by blowing any dirt or dust away from the hinge area. If any additional cleaning is necessary, then be sure to wash your carabiner in warm soapy water, and rinse it thoroughly. Once it is rinsed and dry, be sure to lubricate the gate area with a dry graphite, WD40 or other kind of lubricant. Using a dry lubricant will help to keep your carabiner clean longer, as dirty will not be readily picked up. Once the gate has been lubricated, be sure to wipe off any excess lubricant.

Storing Your Carabiners

When storing your carabiners, be sure that they are stored away from any humid or salty air, any kinds of corrosive materials or chemicals, and also damp equipment.

Inspecting Your Carabiners

It is important to inspect your carabiners before each and every climb to ensure that they are in good working order. Give them a thorough look over to make sure there are no cracks or other kinds of corrosion. Also, work the gates a little to make see if they open and close properly. If the gate does not open properly, or if it is bent, then you will need to throw that carabiner away. Also, carabiners that have been dropped any significant distance (anything over twenty feet) will need to be retired as well. Retiring your carabiners may be difficult, especially if you have a favorite , but it's much better than risking a fall that could have easily been prevented.

Other Advice

Be sure to keep your carabiners clean and free from any burrs that may cause damage to a rope. Gently sand down the burr using a high grade sandpaper, such as 220-400 grit. If this doesn't remove the burr, then throw the carabiner out. Never ever file your carabiners. Also, you should always clean and lube your carabiners after contact with saltwater or salty air to keep them in top condition.

While small and relatively inexpensive, you'll find that carabiners are an important part of the safety measures put into place to protect from a fall. Keeping them in good working order is essential to a safe climb.
About the Author
Jeffry Evans is committed to helping you with the best information possible for your next climb. Check out my climbing gear site before you go on that next climb.
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