“ Climbing Equipment „
Carabiners are a common piece of kit amongst mountaineers, technical climbers and even hikers, they can be used to hold your support rope or used simply to just hold a water bottle onto the side of your pack.
CAMP are now a US based firm and specialise in technical mountaineering and climbing gear and are known in climbing circles to produce especially lightweight gear...perfect for alpine skiers, cross country climbers where time trials are a factor, and mountaineers like me who want to keep the weight down (but I sometimes can`t use CAMP as their gear tends not to use the strongest heavier metal and I need those to hold the expedition weight I have to carry on my climbs).
Whatever its function a carabiner needs to be light, strong, robust and easy to use. This last use is especially important as your hands freeze above 6000 meters and you have think gloves or even expedition mitts on so you need to be able to work the mechanism easily and know that it is safe. It is for this reason that a screw gate carabiner, not the spring loaded small ones that you can buy for £2, are the most popular designs amongst climbers. A screw gate flips in and screw locks and stays that way....the only way that bugger is opening is if you physically hacksaw the carabiner. This means the screw gate is reliable and secure as hell, far more than the spring loaded ones you may have seen on travellers back packs. The down side of course is that obviously they tend to be a little more expensive, this one is £12 which is an avergare cost for a mid level carabiner, but you can get cheaper for the specification and performance. Why are you paying more ? well its the weight, it is very light for its purpose.
A screw gate carabiner has a flip topside piece of metal that is pring loaded and it flips to meet the lower piece of metal, which has a screw sleeve, normally a different colour so you can tell which part you have to turn to tighten over the upper part of the gate, thus creating a lock and this allows for more security than a standard spring loaded carabiner. These types of carabiner are best used on belay and rappel devices, this one can hold 7 Kn worth of force on the gate, 9 Kn on the minor section and 22 on the major section, before failing and has a 21 mm gate opening which means it can be used for 90% of the ropes on the market.
This screw gate itself is a secure piece of kit. The metal is a light aluminium, weighing only 79 grams and is very tough , and the machining is extremely well done, it is smooth as a babies bottom and will not scratch or mark any other surface that it holds, flips on to etc. This carabiner will probably never need replacing its so tough, you could use it for absolutely ages without any problems. I dont know if the screw gate mechanism itself may start to fail or stick in time, but I know people with some pretty old style carabiners and they still work fine, so I am not expecting any issues any time soon.
I used this carabiner on a trip in the Caucausus range and used it to attach my entire down sleeping bag to my bag with just one strap...its that strong, I even took ski lifts sometimes and the sleeping bag was hanging over the side and I was able to just let it hang, I had that much faith in it...if the sleeping bag had dropped I would not have been able to recover it easily in less than 3 hours.
The carabiner is a sort of half heart shape and smooth with the great machining and this lets the rope flow thorugh the carabiner like a hot knife through butter, it doesnt tug at all.
My partner and I have been climbing for a few years now and spend many of our weekends off outdoors or at the Leeds indoor climbing wall. Our collection of climbing gear grows all the time, it is quite an expensive hobby but once you invest in good products they do last a while. A firm favourite of ours are the CAMP screw gate carabiners. We have quite a few of these along with other CAMP carabiners. A screw gate carabiner has a gate that can be locked with a screw sleeve and allows for more security than a regular carabiner. This sort of carabiner are best used on belay and rappel devices. Having good quality products are extremely important as your safety relies on it!
The company have been going for 120 years and started in Italy, high in the mountains of Premana. The company is now based in America and making innovative climbing products for the USA, Europe and the rest of the world.
The name C.A.M.P. is an acronym that stands for: Construzione Articoli Montagna Premana. The translation is Articles for Mountaineering Made in Premana.
The carabiner is pear shaped and smooth which is great for letting the rope run fluidly through. It weighs 79 g and is made from aluminium, making it light but hard wearing. The keylock nose reduces snagging when clipping into webbing or cord. I find it really easy to unclip from anchors and ropes and can be done with just one hand. It is extremely strong with an open gate strength at 7 kN and has a 21 mm opening gate making it perfect to work with thicker ropes. They also come with a year warranty.
*Price and availability*
This carabiner is available widely at stores that stock climbing gear and on the internet. We paid £12.00 for ours from the website; The Outdoor Warehouse.
These are a necessity for us and we would only use a brand we trust. I find the carabiner reliable, light and easy to use which is, in essence, all I want from the product. Some of our friends have recently purchased some Mammut screw gate carabiners that have a very similar specification to the CAMP ones for £7.99! We won't need to replace ours for a while but when we do we may look at this brand because of the price difference.
I´m not a serious climber - I like to walk in mountains, but actual technical climbing is something I´ve never really been interested in. However, I do have a couple of these carabiners on the back of my rucksack when I´m walking, as I find they´re very versatile, useful products.
This is a simple, strong design that benefits from the screw-gate design. This is different from other carabiners in that it´s more secure and reliable than the simple hinged gate and allows you to be sure it´ll hold. The metal is extremely tough and the ones I´ve got are scratch where they´ve been used to hold things, but have not suffered any real damage.
I like to use them to attach things to my backpack when I´m walking, keeping my hands free if I´m on a narrow or unstable path, or walking on snow where I might need to use a stick. With a couple of these, I´ve been able to fix sleeping bags or smaller bags filled with food or warmer clothing in the mountains. They can be attached to all sorts of things, and allow you to keep everything together. They´re also useful if you want to secure your belongings on a train, for instance - if you´re planning on nodding off, they won´t stop people from making off with your things, but they will make it harder to part them from you.
At less than ten pounds each, I think these are excellent ideas for all walkers or backpackers, and can be used in so many situations. Even if you don´t use them much, they´re small and lightweight, and just clip onto your backpack. I would certainly recommend them.
This was bought for me with my CAMP Shell belay device and I love it. The karabiners them selves come in attractive colours such as green and blue and they definitely look good, but looks are not important with climbing gear, remember that you should always prefer to have equipment that colour clashes than be stubborn and keep using the same old piece of kit that has many scrapes and been dropped from heights. This puts you at risk.
The greatest thing about this karabiner is that it is perfect for beginners as they are relatively cheap at around £9 and are of course manufactured by CAMP which are an extremely reputable company that specialises in outdoor and climbing equipment so every times you climb with CAMP equipment you can rest assured that the equipment you are trusting with your life wont let you down as long as it is properly maintained.
The fantastic shape of the karabiner (the cylindrical shape) makes it perfect for all types of use for rope, this means that it can be set up with auto-locking systems and allows for perfect fluid motion of paying out and taking in slack in the rope/systems as a whole
The karabiner its self is can withstand forces of 22 kN (kilo-Newtons) on the major axis, 9 kN on the minor axis and 7 kN on the minor axis with the screwgate open. It weighs an exceptionally light 75 grammes and has a 21mm gate opening.